The charity industry has changed. The fundraising preference service, coupled with the GDPR, has forced charities to change their culture. Gone are the days of hitting data hard, driving up the number of donors through cold calling. Likewise, the responses to the campaign teams in the high streets have dropped significantly. So how do charities continue to raise funds in the face of tough regulation and a digitally driven world?

The first step is to appeal to the right audience, the established donors are still targeted through television advertising and direct mail, suited to their senior age category. In terms of developing a new audience for generations to come, many charities are turning to social media. In the viral world, the second step is to choose the right message.

A recent example of, the right time, right place, right audience, was by Solace Women’s Aid.

We all said it at least once during the World Cup – “it’s coming home!” So, expecting that to be a trending topic is reasonable. SWA did a great job of raising much-needed awareness for domestic violence by harnessing the World Cup buzz, with the unexpected use of #StopItComingHome. The message was that when England played, domestic violence incidents rose by 26%, and even as high as 38% when they lost. Targeting key influencers such as Gary Lineker, the retweets and engagement rolled in, starting a much-needed conversation. To gain donors and supporters, we first need people to understand the cause, to engage with it, to discuss it. From here, with an informed and open audience, the probability of raising funds is drastically improved.

So, how is your charity harnessing social media?  

A successful campaign may be planned, or it may be more reactive based on the environment at the time, such as #StopItComingHome. You may not have the desire to run campaigns, you may just want a regular, ad hoc stream of social media. In either case, what is important is how you manage it; remain responsive, and true to your brands` tone of voice.

What gives us here at DDC Charity Solutions the right to pass comment on this? We have been working with charities for 30 years facing the changing landscape with them every step of the way. From Donation Handling, Supporter Care, Print & Fulfilment, Digitisation and Lotto Management, we can handle one element or all elements of a charities processing needs. We have managed customer services for many national brands and continue to do so. In terms of social media, however, how can we help?

To create a successful social media presence, you first need to understand where you currently stand. Social listening is a staple part of many marketing plans, and we have been happy to support many organisations in providing an intuitive platform to help you hear from your supporters, critics and potential donors. But not only to hear them, to find patterns, identify opportunities and help create informed decisions.

In the face of tough economic times, the marketing budget is often amongst the first to be reduced, and social media as an extension of this, suffers. Can your charity afford to employ someone to respond to all of the incoming social media interactions? Not only social media but forums and review sites. Often it becomes an additional task on top of somebody’s regular workload, and this undervalues social media`s ability to drive growth. We have managed social media channels for our clients, embracing their brand ethos and tone of voice, supplementing a wider Supporter Care solution.

You may find one of the solutions above works for you, you may just want to talk to us about social media on a more consultative basis. If we can support you in a new, data sensitive, digitally driven world, we will. DDC Charity Solutions are doing this successfully already, so what are you waiting for?