Using Audio and Video to Increase Charitable Giving

by admin on January 17, 2012


There’s new research from Pew Internet on charitable giving  documenting that the technology and social media savvy are ready and willing to use their socially connected tools to give to charities, especially during emergencies.

As Americans become increasingly socially connected (two-thirds are involved in social networks with that number greatly increasing for younger people) and the percentage of smart phone use approaching 50 percent, a platform of charitable giving via social networks, smart phones and tablets will take on greater importance.

The question is the message. If we make an appeal for charitable giving, what form will it take? If it’s to be truly meaningful, it should incorporate video and audio messages that appeal to the tech and social audience.

In the private sector, it’s well-known that people buy from people, not businesses. It’s the same with charities. The appeal needs to be interesting, sincere, and authentic and have a call for action that people can easily accomplish like sending a pledge through a text message. Compelling video and audio messages can accomplish that purpose inexpensively.

Pew research:

The research below from Pew Internet is based on charitable giving during emergencies. Charitable donations from mobile phones have grown more common in recent years and 9% have used text messaging to send a charitable donation from their mobile phone.

Pew based its findings on giving during disasters in Haiti. Pew found few differences between the tech oriented givers and the rest of the population. However, these donors are different when it comes to their technology habits, and are significantly more likely than US adults as a whole to:

  • Own an e-reader (24% do so, compared with 9% of all US adults), laptop computer (82% vs. 57%) or tablet computer (23% vs. 10%).
  • Use Twitter (23% of the Haiti donors we surveyed who go online are Twitter users, compared with 12% of all online adults) or social networking sites (83% vs. 64%).
  • Use their phones for activities such as accessing the internet (74% do so, compared with 44% of all adult cell owners), taking pictures (96% vs. 73%), recording video (67% vs. 34%) or using email (70% vs. 38%).

This is significant. As groups try to raise money for a wide variety of causes, there now seems to be a younger more technologically connected group who are willing to respond immediately to a cause and give.


Another perspective on fundraising.

Banks providing matching funds, universities providing social media training and a focus on the tech and social oriented populations add another dimension to association and nonprofit fundraising. See the article link below.

But like television commercials, the entertainment/interest value of what the social community produces becomes critical. Emergencies and the accompanying news coverage (i.e., Haiti or Japanese earthquakes) creates its own interest. For local charities, social brings new opportunities to create creative messages that are inventive enough to hold interest and sway people to give.

Again, social media is the medium. The message needs to carry impact and the best way to do that is to craft messages that are audio and video based.


Best, Len.

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