According to the research published by the Tech Report in 2018, Facebook is the most popular social media platform with 92% NGOs around the world using it to connect with their supporters. Followed by Twitter and Instagram with 72% and 39% of NGOs creating profiles on these platforms. With over 2 billion users, it’s clear why Facebook can be an effective tool to bring change in the society. Especially in this technology-driven age, where most information is just a click away, there is a need to be ‘Out there’ to connect with younger generations to garner support, raise awareness, recruit volunteers, invite donors and use social media for good.
Why do NGOs need to shift to social media?
The internet and social media in itself are very powerful tools that can be used to raise awareness about social causes, charitable events, and volunteering opportunities. According to nonprofitsource.com, over 80% of millennials and 49% of Gen Xers donate through online forums. Most millennials tend to be inspired by social media, and as the millennial generation is growing. Hence, there is a need to make it easier for them to use social media for change.
As technology is rapidly becoming accessible to the younger generation, NGOs with social media channels can easily spread their messages of goodwill and kindness among them. Social media adds that personal touch which was previously difficult to deliver through letters and emails. Now, NGOs have a direct line with their donors with whom they can communicate instantly to answer their queries and keep them updated about their work.
The Akanksha Foundation
Founded in 1991 by Shaheen Mistri, the Akanksha Foundation works to transform the lives of the children hailing from low-income families. Akanksha began with the simple idea of giving less privileged children an opportunity to learn and enjoy their childhood. With over 75% of their alumni pursuing higher education, the organization is not only making a difference in their students’ lives but also the rural education sector in India.
The Foundation actively uses social media for change and provides regular updates on the lives of their students and the work the organization is committed to. Right from fun activities and guest lectures conducted at their schools, to the achievements and awards won by their students. With over 34k followers on Facebook, the organization constantly keeps its donors updated about their work. It is also using the same to build trust and credibility. Their recent #TeachersDay campaign on Facebook, featuring Boman Irani (film actor), helps them to talk about the support that they receive from the celebrities like Irani.
The organization is currently accepting donations to help kids from slums to break the cycle of poverty.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation
Akshaya Patra is an organization founded in Bangalore to implement the mid-day meal scheme in government-aided schools to fight hunger and malnutrition. The non-profit organization aims to encourage more underprivileged kids to attend school by providing wholesome meals every day. The food, cooked through centralized kitchens, feeds over 1.5 million children. They aim to feed 5 million children by 2020 and have a strong team committed to achieving this goal.
The organization has used technology to spread the word of the incredible work they’re doing. With over 2 million followers on Facebook, the organization has attracted visitors from all over the world to their kitchens. They have used their social media for change and launched fundraisers and other informative posts to reach out to people and use food as a means to improve education.
Their #SocialFundraising campaign also allows donors to create their own fundraising campaigns. Through this, Akshaya Patra is not only encouraging people to donate themselves but also asking them to motivate friends and families to contribute directly to the NGO. This helps them reach the untapped potential audience and actively involve their donors in the process. These kinds of campaigns make organizations more accountable by making the process a lot more transparent.
Contributing to this cause will bring a warm meal to poor children with no other source of nutrition.
Teach For India
Teach for India is rooted in the belief that leadership lies in the heart of the solution for illiteracy. With a strong fellowship program that produces some of India’s best and brightest teachers, they have been working to change the face of the Indian education system, one child at a time.
With almost a million followers on their Facebook page, Teach For India has been able to use their social media for change by encouraging prospective teachers to apply for their fellowship program. The 34k followers on their Instagram page get to view regular videos and facts about the education system and the organization’s contribution to society. They also share essays on what change they hope to see in the future, written by their students. The beauty of social media is that it brings people together while allowing them to be physically dispersed anywhere in the world. That’s what TFI did by opening the discussion to all through their Twitter dialogue.
Teach For India accepts donations in the form of one time giving programs which will help them provide a world-class education to underprivileged children.
According to the India philanthropy report, 2019 of Bain and company, contributions to NGOs by individual donors had increased by 21% in the last five years! The rise of technology has increased awareness which in turn has led to a rise in philanthropy among people. Technology has created a more empathetic and tolerant society. It has not only become easier but also a more rewarding experience as people can see the change they are bringing about through their donations.