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Impact of social media on fundraising for haiti
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Impact of social media on fundraising for haiti

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Joint presentation between the British Red Cross and Merlin about the impact of social media on fundraising during the Haiti Earthquake Appeal. Presented at #nfptweetup

Joint presentation between the British Red Cross and Merlin about the impact of social media on fundraising during the Haiti Earthquake Appeal. Presented at #nfptweetup

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  • As a smaller charity without the audience reach of larger UK-based emergency response charities, this was vital for us – both to update people on our response, make further asks for donations and reach an audience that we haven’t reached before. It also meant that we could raise awareness of Merlin and what we do.
  • Followed by: British Red Cross – Flickr Merlin – Facebook ads (US)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Impact of social media on fundraising for Haiti
    • 2.
      • The Haiti earthquake – common factors:
      • Resulted in the biggest emergency fundraising appeal since the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004
      • Use of social media (focus on Twitter and Facebook) in communication, engagement and fundraising
      • Also, record breaking email results
    • 3.
      • Over 100 RT’s of appeal launch announcement
      • Twitter the 5th top referrer to the donation page on launch date
      • Over 1,400 clicks from Twitter through to the donation pages
      • 360 new followers
      • 29 donations on the first day of the appeal raising £914
      • 56 donations through Twitter raising £1.7k
      • #Haiti has been trending from the 13th January – present
      • Red Cross was trending on Twitter on the 14th, in part due to the response to American Red Cross text to donate
      Twitter response
    • 4.
      • At start of emergency appeal had 462 followers. Gained 506 new followers (highest growth of all DEC members)
      • Analysis of other DEC members showed we had 11 th lowest number of followers
      • However, analytics showed on appeal launch day we had the 8 th highest number of readers reach
      • At the peak we had a reader’s reach of over 60,000 – more than the number of people on our database
      • Received positive mentions in trade press for our tweeting
      Twitter response
    • 5.
      • Impact of Social Media on the Haiti appeal
      • Feed back from donors and supporters has been immense online
      • We have the ability to send personalised thank you’s and respond directly to queries - both positive and negative.
      • e.g. @britishredcross Do you have any plans for a donate by text service like your American cousins? If not, why not?
      • I immensely appreciate @britishredcross for taking time to thank me for my donation... How do they do it all?? @britishredcross are HEROES!!
      • e.g. Stories about aid not getting to #Haiti . We've delivered 17 tonnes incl medical tents & operating table. Read more here http://bit.ly/7AyfSi
      • I think i can speak for @ nakeddiary as well , when I say we're not pointing at you. YOUR TEAM IS DOING A GREAT JOB.
      • @ MerlinUK The work you're doing is amazing, make sure you say a huge thank-you to your emergency team too. They help us feel less helpless.
    • 6.
      • Impact of Social Media on the Haiti appeal
      • It can be done from anywhere
      • It is instant & immediate – we can communicate on the ground information straight away
      • It reaches thousands of people
      • It’s free – and it’s fast
      • It allows us to actively engage with supporters
    • 7.
      • Downsides of Social Media
      • Lack of control – you cannot dictate what your supporters (or others!) will say about your brand
      • Policing Twitter - rumours grow online and spread quickly and virally e.g. there was a rumour about UPS shipping goods over to Haiti for the Red Cross
      • You have no choice but to monitor and respond in order to protect your brand and in order to direct your genuine supporters to the right place
      • Companies wanting to promote their websites ride on the back of the big appeals
      • Responding to criticism is time consuming but essential
    • 8.
      • Managing Social Media
      • Managed between our Social Media Officer based in our Comms team and the Digital Fundraising Officer based in Fundraising to co-ordinate messaging and ensure tracking is in place
      • Tested Tweet Funnel and Co Tweet on an ongoing basis
      • During appeal launch and the following days we aimed to tweet/post once an hour, or at least leave a gap of 30 mins between updates with the exception of responding to queries
      • Managed by Individual Giving team, working with emergencies and communications team to ensure messages were available and accurate
      • As one person tweeting used TweetDeck
      • During appeal launch and the following days we aimed to tweet whenever information was available. This worked out an average 17 tweets per day including responding to queries
    • 9.
      • Learnings
      • For both British Red Cross & Merlin Twitter was the most successful social media channel
      • Social Media is incredibly effective from an emergency response perspective, as you can answer queries and get information out there quickly
      • It can allow us to develop personal connections with people who you have never interacted with before
      • It can be incredibly time-consuming, for little financial return
      • Social media is an undeniably useful resource that can reach thousands of people immediately, but don’t expect it to raise lots of cash (yet!)
      • Although there are lots of people talking and responding the number that actually convert is small – only 0.1% of total online donations to the appeal have come through social media
      • It is essential to use social media as another fundraising channel, but also important to keep it in perspective in comparison to other digital fundraising channels such as email and search marketing
    • 10.
      • The future?
      • Income generated on these channels is growing but still a tiny proportion of overall online income generated to emergency appeals
      • Social media channels allow a charity to monitor what people are saying about them and increasingly resource will need to be spent on responding to comments and tackling fraud
      • We have the challenge of keeping our newly acquired social media audience until the next emergency appeal
      • Organisations need to recognise the usefulness of social media in engagement, but realise that massive income generation will not happen overnight
    • 11.
      • Thank you
      • Any questions?
      • Sarah Webb, Digital Fundraising Manager, British Red Cross
      • Danielle Atkinson, Individual Giving Manager, Merlin
      • Follow us at:
      • @swebby
      • @roxymartinique

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