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Plan UK credits social media with its Haiti fundraising success

Plan UK credits social media with its Haiti fundraising success

Children’s charity Plan UK has raised over £100,000 in a week for its Haiti earthquake appeal. It puts much of this down to the power of social media and “constant sharing of information about the devastating quake on the web”.

Globally the charity has raised £8-10 million for its work providing Haitians with emergency food, shelter and water.

“Haiti really has seen the dawn of a new age in disaster response,” said Jeremy Cooper, Plan UK’s director of fundraising.

“We had to meet the dual challenges of orchestrating a quick and effective aid effort in horrific circumstances while also meeting the
demand for 24-hour information from the field.

“The fact that we’ve met those demands means that donations have come in on-line at all hours.”

Plan staff in Port-au-Prince have given media interviews and blogged around the clock to help keep the UK media and wider public informed.

The charity has issued updates daily ­drawing media attention to development issues such as the need for psycho-social support, girls’ rights and the risk of child trafficking.

“This latest disaster has highlighted the way social media is changing the way many raise awareness and funds,” added Plan UK’s new media
manager Katharine Dorset.

“Within 24 hours of the emergency hitting Haiti we sent an eAppeal to our supporters but just minutes after the earthquake Plan staff were using social networking sites to circulate content and updates.”

She confirmed that the charity had received a “remarkable response” from social networking sites such as Twitter and online auctions, together with sharing of news via blogs from Haiti.

www.plan-uk.org/haiti

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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