4 Things Charities Can Learn From Christian Aid Week

If you can’t see the video above, click here, or watch it directly on YouTube.

I got an email last week from Sally Douglas from Agenda21Digital.com asking me to say something about Christian Aid Week which runs all this week to raise awareness and finances for some core social justice issues around the world.

Why am I posting it? First of all, I believe in it.

Secondly, it’s not hard to imagine they targeted UK bloggers based on keywords like “Christian” and “Pastor” — but the fact that they did that, that not only an agency did it, but a charity like Christian Aid also went with it, deserves some respect.

I also love the way Sally went about doing it. She gave me very clear points, posted three bit.ly links (so as to not cram my screen), and then kindly asked me to post a link to them. It was easy for me to write this post – all the research was done for me. The tools were complete.

The campaign is actually pretty cool. You can do things like “donate your Facebook status” (on this page here), which is a very low participatory way to help spread the message that is also new and not just the regular retweet button or host of share buttons that no one ever uses.

The site reminds me a little of the Child’s i Foundation and their Get Involved Page, where you can give “time”, “love” or “money” — another exceptional way to allow a low participatory buy in, and also appreciate that for some people, their time is more beneficial than the amount of money they can give. (That last point takes me right back to our discussions on People vs Parts.)

Having spoken to Lucy Buck who runs the foundation, she says that this people-to-people approach has been very successful, in both increasing participation, reducing waste (particularly with time), and in turn, has reduced costs.

What can we learn here?

There are a few lessons here for charities using Social Media, and for community in general:

  • Find advocates who are stake holders. The people that give most to charities are the ones that have benefited by them.
  • Create complete tools to help people share. Don’t make people have to work to share you. (Watch this video for more.)
  • Have multiple levels of participation, with the lowest being just a click.
  • Value more than money — and make it clear you do. Because to make anything work, you need more than money — you need people.

I know today might be too late for you to get massively involved with Christian Aid Week, but what you can do at least is donate your status. I’ll be doing it.

Archived Comments

  • http://twitter.com/so_you_know Annie Syed

    Scott, this is great. I wouldn’t have thought all that via an aid organization. So it is nice of you to share your pointers. This one really resonated with me: “Have multiple levels of participation.” Often we allow our expectations of how things should go get in the way of a desired outcome.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Annie

    Totally – we must have varying levels of participation. Would you like to me post my model on that tomorrow?

    Scott

  • http://www.christianaid.org.uk Steven Buckley

    Thanks for the shout out Scott! Christian Aid Week has been amazing here and we’re just starting to see social media come of age after years of trying (we were one of the first off the blocks with Twitter – tweeting from a march three years ago now). Anyhow, agree with what you say here – it’s all about participation, a sense of belonging, and not thinking everything has to be on the corporate website.

    Huge thanks to you for engaging with us during Christian Aid Week – stay in touch!

    Steven Buckley
    Head of Comms and Brand – Christian Aid

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Steven – many thanks for this. It means a lot when you thank me, I really appreciate it.

    Glad it all went well – what is now next for you guys?

    Best,
    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    Annie – posted my framework on participation for you: /model-the-7-levels-of-part...

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