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Social media 'should not just be for fundraising'

Patrick Nash, Connect Assist chief executive
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Social media 'should not just be for fundraising'1

IT | Kirsty Weakley | 19 Jun 2012

Charities should be using social media to deliver services, according to research carried out by social enterprise Connect Assist.

According to a survey carried out by the contact centre solutions organisation, 80 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 73 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds use Facebook, Twitter and the internet to get financial, social or emotional advice.

Connect Assist chief executive, Patrick Nash (pictured) said: “These findings highlight just how engrained social media has become in our daily lives and how it is now seen as a critical source of information and support. Yet the charity sector is worryingly behind the curve.

“To date the only way that charities have embraced social media is as a fundraising tool.”

The survey also reveals the divide between the generations with 18 to 34-year-olds saying that if a charity can only offer one communication channel it should be via social media, while the over 65s preferred face-to-face methods.

Connect Assist commissioned ICM Research to carry out the survey of 1,000 over the phone.

Last month Missing People carried out a 24-hour tweetathon, tweeting the details of missing children to try and find them. A spokesman told civilsociety.co.uk that it was too soon to tell if any child had been found yet, but that the charity was collating data.

 

SMK
Communications Officer
Sheila McKechnie Foundation
19 Jun 2012

Alongside fundraising and service delivery, social media as a tool for campaigning is also important. Social media has fast become a valuable tool in engaging vast numbers of people and, unlike traditional means of communication, it taps into previously inaccessible audiences. The London Cycling Campaign, for example, utilises Twitter as a discussion space for cyclists around London. They otherwise may not be connected. Social media can be a fast-pace, fresh and effective way to promote and build campaigns.

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