Published: 2 February 2012

Five things to tell your boss to get support for social media at your charity

Embarking on communicating via social media, like any other project of significance, needs support from your senior management, and indeed the whole organisation if possible. 

Ensure they are least aware and at best fully supportive of this deployment of resources. You can adapt and share this information with senior management and trustees to help convince them of the value of social media to your organisation.

1. Everyone is online

Figures from UK Online Measurement show that Britons spend nearly one day a month online. That’s 65% more than three years ago, and the figure keeps rising. Your donors and your supporters are online right now. If you don’t join them, you’ll be left behind.

More figures from September 2011 show that:

  • 37.4 million UK adults use Facebook regularly
  • 32.1 million UK adults use YouTube regularly
  • 15.5 million UK adults are on Twitter
  • 7.9 million UK adults are on LinkedIn
  • 6.7 million UK adults are on Flickr
  • More than half UK pensioners are now on Facebook

Which channels are your charity’s audiences using?

2. Gain new fundraisers

People raise money for causes close to their heart. They also talk about causes close to their heart, including on social media. So social media is the perfect channel to find the people dedicated to your cause. That makes you money, and you need that, right?

3. Everyone’s doing it

This isn’t usually the best argument for doing anything in a professional capacity. But the fact is that every other charity out there is diving into social media head first. If yours isn’t in the mix, you’ll miss out, and your competitors will win big.

What are other charities in your area of operation doing on social media? Can you show examples of successes that you would like to emulate?

4. Low-cost comms

All charities are operating on a budget. If we can’t afford to hire a PR agency to place articles in national press, social media affords us the opportunity to get our message out in cost effective channels.

Outline how much time and resource you think your charity will need to devote to social media to be effective.

5. Dialogue is king now

Most marketers agree that marketing is no longer about experts pushing messages out to consumers. We spend money or time on organisations we know and trust, and this means conversation first. Social media is an effective and efficient conversation. Give examples of the type of conversations you would initiate with your audience.


Matt Collins, managing director, Platypus Digital

Matt is a digital marketer who helps charities use digital channels to raise more money and reach more people. He spent 10 years working for charities large and small, trained with General Assembly and delivers campaigns and training for charities who want to use digital better.