Tag Archives: twitter

#SocialMedia and #Technology: Helping #NoLimits make a difference in seven different ways #charities #nonprofits

Facebook Data May 2013When I first joined No Limits in 2010 they  had a Website, a fledgling YouTube Channel and used Outlook Express as an e-mail client …..and that was it. Over the last couple of years things have changed dramatically. Not only do I fundraise but I also have within my job title Promotion and Communications.  The charity has also grown in size….in 09/10 it supported around 4,500 young people, had 45 volunteers, 31 paid staff and a turn over of about £825,000. This year (12/13) we have supported over 6,000 young people, have over 150 volunteers, 65 paid staff and a turn round of about £1.5 million. It has also expanded its operations from Southampton to include Hampshire, Eastleigh and Portsmouth.

Measuring the success (and that in itself is open to debate) of all forms of Marketing/Promotion/Communications is difficult and far from an exact science. It is also challenging  to separate out where fundraising ends and promotion/communication/marketing starts.

I now regularly use seven different tools to ensure that prospective supporters  (in all shapes and guises) and users  know of  No Limits and feel that they want to help or support us or use our services.

  • Our website, www.nolimitshelp.org.uk, was redeveloped about twelve months ago. We are still making changes and, of course, keeping it updated. Google Analytics ( a great free service that shows you exactly who  is looking at what, when and where) shows that in  June 2013 we had about 2,400 visits, up 600 on the same time last year. We still have around 62% of new visitors and around 11,000 page views per year, up 2,000 on last year. The website is well used by young people looking at the details of our services. It is also a vehicle for donating (Text, Everyclick) and for finding out about volunteering opportunities.
  • I developed a Blog in WordPress which can be accessed through our website along with our news page http://www.nolimitshelp.org.uk/news .This only started in started four months ago but  we have already  had 1,100 page views (best of 85 in one day and 15 comments). A great way of speaking in depth about your charity to supporters and potential donors/volunteers.
  • Embedded in  our website is CiviCRM. (Constituent Relationship Management software) This has several modules but in the last couple of months we have focussed on using it  for bulk mailing, e newsletters to 400 volunteers and friends and for mail merging appeals. This particular programme needs a great deal of thought before using. It is not for the fainthearted but with perseverance it does work well. The response by volunteers and friends has been encouraging. There has only been one person unsubscribing! We can now regularly let our volunteers and friends how much we value their support and share with them successes.
  • Our Facebook page is very popular. We have 240,000 friends of fans, each posting often reaching 200 to 800 unique users with an average weekly reach of 800 to 1000 unique users https://www.facebook.com/nolimitshelp This is an instant way of reaching users, friends and volunteers with success stories as well as commenting on how  the political scene is impacting on our work.
  • Twitter. @nolimitshelp We started tweeting about a year ago and have just reached 1,500 tweets. We have 550 followers , almost doubled in the last  five months. An excellent way of interacting with other similar providers, professionals and those interested in our work.
  • You Tube. We have only started to use this more effectively in the last twelve months. To date we have had 1,300 views, one clip has reached  400 views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ug4q_iphtA  This is a very easy way of showing  what you are doing. A moving picture is worth several hundred words.
  • I just had to mention Everyclick.  Every time you use it to search you are given free money! If you encourage others to use the Give as you Live feature it is even better. To date we have raised  £17,200, averaging £300 a month. For no work (apart from the occasional reminder to staff and volunteers and supporters.) See http://www.everyclick.com/nolimitssouthampton/info It is  also a cheaper  and alternative to other sites such as Just Giving. Supporters can make up a page for a particular event or project with ease.

We have just started to use Text giving and a Google+ account but have not had enough time to how effective these may be. I can also see some benefits in using Instagram and Pinterest…..

As a result of this work I am convinced that more people are aware of  our services. This includes other providers, professionals and users. Apart from increase in use are there any other signs of increase in volunteers or an increase in income? Well there are some signs. In the last few months we have been made Charity of the Year for two branches of Sainsbury’s and  a University, received unexpected gifts and donations , chosen by an individual for her challenge  and are now receiving  volunteer support from Barclay’s Bank. We are also managing to recruit more volunteers including some part time interns. We are distributing collection tins and are starting to place a new set of posters in a range of locations. We have a better relationship with a range of media. ….and have won a major award. All difficult to measure but compelling enough for me to encourage you to try some or all of these (and other) techniques. Let me know how you get on!

No Limits. Helping young people help themselves.

Facebook Generation

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Over 901 million people worldwide use Facebook currently. Of those, an average of 526 million people use Facebook daily. Facebook, as well as Twitter are two of the most common social media platforms which have changed the face of the world. How businesses, individuals and charities operate has been radically affected and influenced by what some term ‘The Facebook Effect’.  When considering the huge amount of users and the ‘virtual communities’ created by the social media channels, No Limits have adapted and increased the mode of online communication. Twitter and Facebook allow content to be shared quickly and easily and encourages user interaction, which websites do not always offer.

No Limits are committed to providing a useful and readily available advice service for young people in the Hampshire area, so it is vital funding opportunities continue. Social media is now integral in this process. A range of social media platforms are utilised, targeting two specific demographics: young people and individuals/businesses who currently or will potentially donate to the charity.

Facebook specifically is ideal for posting current and relevant news articles, as well as No Limits’ blogs written by staff members and volunteers – often relating directly to services provided at No Limits. This encourages cohesion between current affairs and services we offer to the young people who use our charity. In today’s UK’s austere climate young people are struggling with common social concerns, such as: unemployment, homelessness and crime. Using social media platforms to highlight factors contributing to young people’s problems may help to dispel common misconceptions about why they face so much adversity in this country and encourage people to support us financially or through volunteering.

The importance of creating compelling content for our social media users is paramount, so the overall personality of No Limits is consistent, positive, socially and ethically responsible and politically objective.  The aim of social media within the charity is to convert visitors of our multi-channels to No Limits service users, or donators who support the continuation of our vital services through funding.

Over the last month the amount of visitors No Limits’ Facebook page has reached for example, has been increasing and in the last week alone has gone up by 290.78%. The amount of engaged users – those who actively talk about No Limits beyond the parameters of our pages – has increased by 192.86% in seven days. Twitter has seen an increase in re-tweets, suggesting a surge in interest and approval of No Limits’ brand personality and perception.

These figures are encouraging and allow content to be target driven, so we can continue to provide engaging information which is talked about via Twitter and Facebook, thus increasing the awareness of the charity.

The social media arena continues to progress and evolve, signifying the importance of a continuous and stimulating online presence.

What do you think about Facebook and Twitter? Friend or foe?

Like it or not social media is here to stay for now so it must be embraced – not ignored, or we face potentially vanishing into the void of social media oblivion, which in online terms is equivalent to extinction!

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