Fundraisers use social media for mass appeal

The third sector is using online marketing channels to stimulate interest among the social media generation with campaigns that provide real-time updates.


Case study: Bullying UK/Beatbullying

The organisation Bullying UK gets its anti-bullying message out to schools using a marketing campaign that allows people to design and download print and digital versions of posters. These can then be downloaded to mobile phones via QR codes [two-dimensional bar codes].

Each poster is sent to the charity’s Flickr photo site, which had 10,000 views in its first three weeks. The organisation used to count on its non-governmental organisation partners, such as Childline and NSPCC, to refer people to the campaign, but now sees digital media as its prime tool.

“Twitter is plugged into every aspect of our work,” says Bullying UK founder John Carnell. With the real media capabilities of social media having an increasing effect on its cause, the organisation is looking for ways of creating even more interaction with its supporters in future.

After the success Bullying UK has had in this area, the charity Beatbullying has also embraced digital channels to help young people.

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union announced plans last week to train 150 local volunteer “CyberMentors” with help from the charity Beatbullying. These people have to be aged between 18 and 25, have regular internet access and be able to use social networking sites. It follows a similar scheme in Sheffield.

The idea is that anyone facing problems connected with bullying can contact a CyberMentor via the dedicated website and communicate with them online using social networking.

Beatbullying chief executive Emma Jane Cross says that more than 60% of young people claim they would actively seek advice online from their peers and the charity hopes CyberMentors will be the “ideal platform” to achieve this.

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