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Social media certainly has a way of stealing away our attention and turning us into zombies as we scroll through. But every now and then, social media comes through in brilliant ways, from raising awareness of diseases and the charities that help them, to encouraging donations that result in billions.

It’s safe to say that, when used correctly, social media fundraising can be an extremely powerful, invaluable tool for the charity sector. People love taking part in crazy trends for a good cause as it lets them take centre stage in front of their friends and make a difference in the world. If you’re not taking advantage of this as a charity, you’re missing out! So here are our top three social media fundraising campaigns that changed the game for the better. 

Movember

Movember is always good fun for everyone when November rolls around. You might know someone who can’t help but take part – that might even be you. Growing a moustache is now probably one of the most well-known activities for fundraising alongside marathons and bake sales. 

But Movember wasn’t always about charity. When the idea first came to fruition in 2003, Movember was an attempt to “bring back the moustache”. But after realising its potential, the founders made it all about raising awareness for men’s health issues. 

That first year, only 30 people participated, and it raised no money at all. But the two founders kept at it, and soon it became a global household name. Now when November comes around, you can find moustaches painted on something no matter which direction you look. 

Since their humble beginnings, they have raised over £1 billion, accumulated 195,000 followers on Instagram, and in 2017 the Movember Foundation was ranked 49th out of 500 NGOs around the world. An amazing result for such a simple, fun idea.

ALS ice bucket challenge

In the summer of 2014, out of seemingly nowhere, people began dumping buckets of freezing-cold water and ice over their heads and uploaded the video to social media. As it turned out, it was to raise money for the ALS association in America and the MND Association in the UK. Both charities help those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The campaign came under some fire after people accused those participating of not donating or doing anything to help the charity, instead just doing it for the trend. But whether or not that was the case, it can’t be denied that it went viral and likely raised awareness of a disease many may not have heard of before. 

This trend raised over $115 million for the ALS Association in America, a dramatic increase from the $2.7 million donated the year before. A huge success. 

No makeup selfie 

In March 2014, a woman posted a picture of herself without makeup in support of actress Kim Novak, who was criticised for attending the Oscars without any herself. When many women joined in, a young girl noticed the potential for this trend and used it to raise awareness for cancer.

In less than a week, over £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK. The charity also saw a massive boost in website visits and increased engagement on social media. It was an easy trend to jump on and even if you couldn’t donate, your no-makeup selfie would help spread awareness.

These campaigns all started with simple ideas that blossomed on social media. It’s amazing to see just how big of a change we can make when utilising the power of social. And as new apps release, it’ll be interesting to see what strange new trends and challenges will be born to lend a hand to the charity sector. 

Our modern world revolves around our mobile devices, so why not make them a part of your charity too? With Nisyst’s mobile dashboards feature, you can see how your store is performing live, no matter where you are. If you’d like more information, get in touch on 01204 706 000.

A company is nothing without its customers. No matter the business, customer loyalty is always one of the most important factors. You want to deliver a service that keeps them coming back again and again. You want them to look at your brand and believe in it. For a charity with a cause to support, that brand loyalty takes on a whole new level of importance.

In our modern world, we have more ways than ever to ensure our customers have the experience they deserve. By making their time with us easier and more enjoyable, we give them more than enough reason to come back again. And technology has been a huge boost in this pursuit. So how exactly can you use tech to push your brand loyalty even further?

Benefits of loyal customers

First, let’s look at just how much of a difference loyal customers can make. The biggest benefit for most businesses is in their revenue and savings. Increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25%. But bringing up a new prospect to the same level as a loyal customer can cost 16 times more.

So keeping a strong relationship with your customers can save a lot of money. And considering 57% of consumers spend more on brands they’re loyal to, it’s well worth your time trying to nurture those relationships. Now we’ve covered the why, let’s look at the how…

Social media and blogs

Social media is a simple but extremely effective way to keep customers loyal and also drive brand awareness. And you can use it in so many ways. You can post tips, how-to guides, funny or interesting content, or whatever you think is relevant to your customers. It allows you to open up a casual dialogue with them without necessarily pushing an agenda on them – it’s a more subtle approach. Social media is a great way to be present at all times, making an impression in their mind and reminding them you’re there.

For existing patrons, it allows you to stay at the forefront of their mind and keep them in the loop about any news. If they’re willing to support you in other ways, they’ll probably gladly do it on social media, too. It can also signal boost your message, reaching out to others in their network.

Similarly, blogs give you the perfect opportunity to provide your customers, just with a more long-form twist. With at least 500 words to work with, you have a lot more space to drive into your message. You can also see what your customers respond to and then create content that gets more clicks, all while establishing a stronger, more personal relationship with them.

Emails

A longtime favourite of any brand that strives for customer loyalty, emails are brilliant for keeping you on their mind. And it’s so easy to add a personal touch. Simply adding the customer’s name to the email can make them 26% more likely to open it

It’s always a great idea to let customers choose how frequently they receive emails, too. Some people might prefer daily while some prefer monthly. Allowing them to set the frequency for themselves stops them from frustratingly unsubscribing when they feel like they receive too many. Newsletters are one example of how you can reach out on a constant basis without coming across as intrusive. It’s a great way to summarise what you’ve been up to recently and include calls to action to push certain campaigns or charity drives.

Thank-you letters

Building on that idea, you can add a personal touch with thank-you letters. We understand how important it is for your charity to keep your customers happy and loyal. With just a few clicks, your charity can set up personalised thank you emails to be automatically sent to your customers to thank them for signing up, donating money, or making bag drops. Thank-you letters can be personalised to add images, text, and more to better suit your charity’s needs.

Customers love to feel appreciated. And thank-you letters are a hassle-free way to brighten their day and strengthen their relationship with your charity. It’s just one way you can go the extra mile to increase brand loyalty and show people you care about them as much as they do about your cause.

Our CHARiot EPoS system is constantly updating to ensure your loyal donors get the treatment they deserve. Thank-you letters are just one such improvement; how else can we make your experience that much better? Let us know at support@nisyst.co.uk.

You can’t make it through the day without interacting with some sort of technology. It’s probably there with you from the moment you wake up – your phone is probably your alarm clock, after all! But something we come across often, whether we realise it or not, is artificial intelligence (AI). 

When we think of AI, it might conjure images of extremely intelligent robots or self-driving cars. But these are more extreme examples. We also use AI to ask Siri what the weather will be during the weekend. 

A huge reason it’s so common is because it’s incredibly useful and saves us time. In the coming years, it’s going to become an even greater part of our businesses, including in the charity sector. But what ways can we use it to help us right now?

Social media monitoring

You can have the best social media content, but if you post in the wrong place or at the wrong time, no one will see it. And that’s where AI comes in. Bots analyse current social media trends and can predict when a piece of content might go viral. With so many people posting on social media (there are 6,000 tweets per second on Twitter, for example) it’s easy for your content to go unseen. Having a bot analyse what time is best for you to post your content can take your marketing efforts much further.

But AI bots can track more than that. Users online want speedy responses more than ever. 79% of customers expect a response within 24 hours. And 40% expect one in just an hour. AI gives you crucial data you can use to see what people need help with the most and at what times. How you use that data ties into our next entry…

Chatbots

Not every conversation with a customer has to be handled by someone on your team. The great part about the data we mentioned above is you can use it to set up a chatbot. These simulate human conversations to help people on your website; you might have seen one pop up when you’re browsing. They can give the potential customer important information, redirect them to another section of the website, or just start a conversation a team member can pick up later.

But chatbots aren’t limited to your website. The Children’s Society trialled a chatbot on Facebook to answer questions about their fundraising. And Missing People, Children In Need, and NSPCC teamed up to create ‘Is This Ok?’ with great success. The chatbot was launched to offer support for young at-risk people. In just three weeks, 600 young people got in touch, 10% of which did so out-of-hours. The chatbot was integral in supporting them during a time when they wouldn’t have been able to contact anyone else. 

Smart assistants

Smart assistants are a kind of software installed in a device to perform tasks and services and answer questions. Think Cortana, Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. But smart assistants aren’t limited to personal use – they can help optimise workflow by handling easier tasks so your employees can focus on doing what they do best.

Some charities have started using smart assistants to make donations easier. With Alexa, you can now donate to NSPCC. And, to provide support for those living with arthritis, Arthritis Research UK created a smart assistant for people living with the condition.

AI can not only help us streamline our days, but it can also offer help and support to those who need help. It can be an extremely powerful tool for your charity and transform the way you and your operation work. 

Looking to transform your charity? Nisyst’s HMRC-approved EPoS system allows you to access all the important information you need, like sales data, profits, Gift Aid, and more. For more information, get in touch on 01204 706 000.