St Ann's Hospice and Social Media - IoF North West Annual Conference 2009
IoF North West Annual
How St Ann’s Hospice used social
media to boost their event
Catherine Williams Jonathan Waddingham
• Director of fundraising & • Charity Champion at
communications at St Ann’s JustGiving
Hospice • Work with charities to make
• Vision and strategy for the best use of the web
fundraising and internal and
Advice from last summer...
Engagement is more than just a ‘donate now’ button
It’s about building relationships with supporters
Reaching out to people in their online world
Go to where your supporters are, don’t expect them to come to you
Hard to measure, may not reap immediate returns
The investment is time more than money
If you do it, do it well – be authentic
What *is* social media? And what’s the point of it?
It’s a way for people to share and discuss information online
The point of it is people – anyone now has the power to create content online
From a charity perspective, it’s a great way to engage supporters and tell a story
You can get your supporters to tell your story
Photos... It’s not just Flickr – try Picasa
St Ann’s on Flickr vs Picasa
Picasa’s offline photo management system is excellent and allows St
Ann’s to categorise and tag photos both using text and facial recognition.
With one click the folder can be synchronised to our picasa website and
any changes made offline are reflected online in real time
Picasa also works perfectly with our CMS (umbraco), so from a
development point of view there was less cost and hassle in integrating
it into our site.
Facebook – some facts
Facebook – your ‘other’ website
Use fan pages to engage people with... photos
Use fan pages to engage people with... videos
Customise your tabs
If you have the resources... www.facebook.com/MarieCurieUK
Don’t forget to add your events
Add donation and fundraising info
Facebook and JustGiving http://apps.facebook.com/justgiving
St Ann’s Hospice strategy
JustGiving visit gave them ideas, they worked on what they wanted to do
Planning re-launch of site and saw need to incorporate social media into it
Structure of CMS took into account social media ambitions
Built standard site, but left room for more integration in the back-end
The big event – Manchester Midnight Walk
Promoted the launch of the walk by holding a flashmob
A flashmob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place,
perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse (wikipedia)
St Ann’s did supplementary work with generic Hospice pages on Facebook and
Twitter to advertise the FlashMob and drive traffic to the main hospice pages/groups
Manchester Midnight Walk promotion
Aim: increase awareness of the event and encourage people to register
Only 6 weeks into opening registration for the event for the ‘early birds’ in April, St
Ann’s already had 1,340 registrants (from a total target of 3,000) for an event that
didn’t take place until June.
After the flashmob… keeping momentum going
Set up the Midnight Walk twitter pages a couple of weeks after the event
Cross promoted everything between St Ann’s site and Midnight Walk sites
All footage and Press coverage was put on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr
Social Media use after the launch
Realised the value of investing time & effort building fans and followers
Painstakingly followed lots of Manchester people on Twitter
Promoted it on our website, in our newsletters, in our enewsletters, and put
permanent links on the front page of our website and every other page too
We are also building into our Content Management System the ability to flag
up which pages we want to tweet to help manage the process.
Promoting Social Media
www.sah.org.uk (their most visited page)
Had a Facebook group, but changed to fan page – lost a few people
Be careful how you set up your Facebook fan page!
Generating content is often hard, but there are always great stories around
Finding the right people on Twitter to follow – looked at the Forever
Manchester site to find local people
Now using Twitter lists to find Manchester people
Look out for opportunities – St Ann’s are due to start work with
Salford University students on their Social Media Masters Course
Has the Recession affected things?
The Midnight Walk average sponsorships were lower (but had been budgeted for)
Even with the increase in net income from the walk our net income
across all fundraising is £165k lower than the same time last year
Corporate fundraising is struggling in particular and we are all having to
work even harder than before to maintain existing relationships.
Overall results of the Midnight Walk
Total net raised so far is £231,890 (last year £175,000).
17.5% higher than budgeted and 32.5% higher than last year
1,485 more walkers signed up than last year, a total of 3,285
Budgeted for 2,750 so achieved a 20.5% increase on target
What’s next for St Ann’s
Challenge is tracking FB & Twitter accurately
More YouTube – getting help on design and structure of NFP YouTube page
Growing the Facebook fan page
Having more conversations about their services through social media
Added links to social media on every page of website
If I could give one tip it would be: do one thing now –
you don’t need a strategy in place, just try it out!
For example, set up a Facebook group/event or a
Twitter site and actively promote it on your emails –
see what happens as a result!
Social Media offers unparalleled opportunities for
storytelling and engagement. While it can be difficult
to measure, it’s a new channel to use and can
certainly help you attract supporters – be it for
specific events or for the longer term.
Catherine Williams Jonathan Waddingham
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