Social media is changing the way the public interact with and give to charities in a trend clearly demonstrated by the Ice Bucket Challenge, with one in six Brits having taken part – making it one of the most successful campaigns of its kind.
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A survey conducted for the Charities Aid Foundation has found that on average people donated nearly £5 as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge. The majority of this was additional to the amount people had planned to give to charity this year – meaning the sector has been boosted as a result.
The Ice Bucket Challenge started in the US as a way to raise money and awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and has become a global trend, with more charities benefitting. In total the challenge is thought to have raised over £100 million (£61m).
Social media can be used by charities as a tool to connect to a wider audience, the survey suggests, as half of those surveyed believe such campaigns will encourage more people to give to good causes.
Deborah Fairclough, head of research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said, “Social media is a fantastic way to help organisation big and small reach new supporters and spread awareness about their cause – and this year in particular we’ve seen an explosion of really creative campaigns.”
Other successful social media charity campaigns include Stephen Sutton Thumbs Up, which raised money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and involved 7% of the population, and the ‘#nomakeupselfie’ that 6% of Brits took part in.
Fairclough added, “What we need to do now is help turn these one-off trends into a lifetime of support, getting more people involved in social action regularly – something we hope to achieve by brining the international giving day #GivingTuesday – to the UK in December this year.”
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