I’ve already said enough about our Facebook application for now, plus there’s a great post over on Hitwise (not to mention an intro to the site in Third Sector) that deals more with that side of things.
I just wanted to find out what exactly charities are using the site for, whether it helped and how. To that end, I asked Ian Beningfield, Fundraising Manager at the Meningitis Research Foundation about their group on the site:
When did your charity start using Facebook and why?
The Foundation started using Facebook over the summer. We work extremely closely with the student community as they represent one of the groups most at risk from meningitis & septicaemia, we are also very lucky to receive a great deal of financial support from students fundraising on our behalf.
The growth of Facebook over the last year meant that it was a great way to get in contact with our university supporters and keep them up to date with what events we’ve got on.
As time went on I noticed more and more users signing up to the group. Many of the new sign ups weren’t students so we’ve updated the group so that it focuses on all of our events not just those aimed at students.
What do you use it for?
We use Facebook as a way of plugging any up and coming events. It’s proved to be a great viral way of getting the message out to the wider community with very little effort and no cost.
We also use the page to direct visitors through to our own website through links posted on the site, either to get them to sign up for new events or just to let them know about our work.
Has it helped? And if so, how?
It’s made it really easy to contact a lot of people really quickly and because of the way in which Facebook works, if one person signs up to an event then all their friends will see that, meaning word quickly spreads.
So, there we go. A big thanks to Ian for sharing his thoughts, because if I was trying to sell the benefits of Facebook to a charity, I don’t think I could say it any better than he did:
It’s proved to be a great viral way of getting the message out to the wider community with very little effort and no cost.