Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Online social networks as fundraising tools

Online social networks as fundraising tools

Rachel Beer has shared two examples of how online social networking sites and services can be used as fundraising tools in Social networks take word of mouth to a global level.

Following the China earthquake of May 2008, Jeremiah Owyang used his blog and Twitter feed to share photos from China and to encourage all his contacts to donate to the emergency appeal. This was then turned into a presentation using Slideshare.

Note how the slideshow includes examples of tweets from people thanking him and letting him know that they have donated in response.

The slideshow was put together by Oliver Ding who also created the following Slideshare, “24 ways to give”.

Note that this was not put together by a professional fundraiser or charity. Yet it points the way to how charities perhaps should consider using these tools. Don’t just rely on publishing information such as news releases or fundraising appeals on your own site: instead, create compelling appeals using images, sound and/or video and publish them on popular media sites. They will get viewed but more importantly they will get linked to, copied and embedded on other sites, resulting in a viral spread and wider impact.

Rachel Beer concluded: “I’m sorry to say that I had previously received an approach from two charities – one via Facebook and the other by email – but hadn’t yet made a donation. However, Jeremiah’s Twitter message changed that.

“Charities, take note…”

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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