Posted on : January 10, 2018

The charity sector, like every other sector, is facing a digital transformation. Our online ecosystem has disintegrated into what a former Facebook executive called “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops”. Worse, this post-truth world threatens the fabric of civil society. Fake news has affected elections, referendums and continues to polarise people around the world.

Connectivity makes the extremes in society more visible. But it can also amplify the good work of charities. The latest technology fads can be a distraction: organisations trying to experiment with disruptive technologies such as bitcoin, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and more will soon find themselves overwhelmed. But frugal innovation and experimentation can be beneficial. Charities of all sizes need a robust digital strategy that covers the basics and should be open to trying new tools to promote social change.

Video continues to dominate social media
Social media platforms have become mainstream communications channels, but many charities face enormous challenges using them strategically. According to the Global NGO Tech Report, only 32% of non-profit organisations have a written social media strategy.

Video content can help with visibility in the Facebook newsfeed, as it is prioritised by Facebook’s algorithm. Charities should upload videos directly onto Facebook, and add videos to paid social activity, as well as doing regular Facebook Live broadcasts to engage supporters and fundraise.

These videos do not have to be expensive to produce. It is more important to be authentic and engaging. The Community Action Partnership, a small US charity, posted a humorous video of its executive director lip-syncing to promote its annual fundraiser. The video, created on an iPhone, went viral with over 10m views.

Also,with 90% of media interactions taking place via a screen, and 38% taking place on a smartphone, there is no longer an excuse for charity websites not to be optimised for mobile devices. But many lag behind. According to Reason Digital, charities missed out on an estimated £1.5bn of donations last year due to high bounce rates on mobile devices. People using mobile devices to view a charity website are more likely to leave after visiting one page, compared to users viewing from a desktop. (Story courtesy:The Guardian)