Non-profit organizations (NGOs) don’t have the luxury to promote their programs such as the private sector does. Meaning, they can’t persuade their audience to spend money for something in return. For example, an auto-maker can easily draw a purchase because a customer can give up their savings for their dream car. An NGO, on the other hand, can only promise that their donors’ money will help a certain community in need.
A business does not need kindhearted customers to succeed. An NGO depends entirely on the kindness of their audience to reach their goals. But the two types of organizations have something in common: the need for marketing strategies that will allow them to hit their targets.
Before the internet, NGOs were normally promoted through TV ads, newspaper ads, schools, and churches. While those methods had been effective, they limited the reach of NGOs. To gain the attention of the international crowd, NGOs needed funding to access global channels. Now, with the internet available, NGOs can promote through various platforms at a low cost. And donors themselves are the ones looking for them instead of the other way around.
The internet has changed the connection between donors and charities in remarkable ways, such as:
Providing Online Content for Free
Before the internet, the only way to access information was to pay for magazines, books, or newspapers. If the information was available on TV, you can only access it once. Now, it only takes a quick Google search to find information about a charity or a cause.
Some examples of websites with charity-related content are:
- Rethink Mental Illness — quick and easy access to vital information and support for individuals dealing with a mental health crisis
- Children International — provides resources for individuals or organizations willing to sponsor a child in need
- Battersea — offers information to people who would like to adopt pets
- WWF — educates people about wildlife and nature
- SSAFA — gives local volunteers a platform for sharing news and information about their activities
These websites also offer educational content and a donation channel. If you’d like to help them change lives, you can rest assured that your donation will fall into the right hands.
Offering a Directory of Non-profit Organizations Around the Word
If you or your business decided to plan a fundraising activity for a specific charity, you can use the internet to find the NGO that best aligns with your cause. Various websites offer a list of local and international NGOs. They’ll help you discover that there are more groups that help people in need aside from the ones we often hear on the news.
Also, browsing directories can lead you to NGOs with a more specific purpose. For example, the Center for Victims of Torture. This NGO increases awareness about human rights violations occurring all over the world. It opens your eyes to the grim reality faced by political prisoners and other wrongfully detained individuals.
Fundraising Platforms That Offer Transparency
NGOs today may no longer issue spoken promises that their donors’ money will go to the right channels. They can now be more transparent with the help of an online charity matching program. This platform helps organizations show the outcomes of their programs. It can provide real-time updates on the funds raised for a particular cause.
Such platforms allow donors to learn how NGOs use donations. The American Red Cross, for example, spends around 91 cents of every dollar donated for programs that benefit the community. For their administrative expenses, they only use less than 5% of their total overhead.
Doctors Without Borders, an NGO that offers healthcare to places with the most deplorable conditions, spend around 89% of the money donated for their programs. Less popular NGOs that have lower overheads often spend the funds they’ve raised for goods and services that will benefit communities. Greater Chicago Food Depository, for example, distributes 200,000 lbs of food daily.
Social Media Posts that Increase Awareness
Of course, the role of the internet won’t be 100% fulfilled without social media. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have also proved useful in educating people about charity. Most NGOs have their own social media pages, where they share news, updates, and thought-provoking content.
Using social media is an effective way for NGOs to inspire donations. According to global marketing intelligence firm IDC, consumers who use social media regularly have bigger budgets than those who don’t. Their budgets can be 84% higher. As such, if they see an opportunity to donate, they will be more likely to take it than those with lower budgets.
The internet may be a scary place, but if used right, it becomes a tool that gives voices to underrepresented communities. In NGOs’ hands, the internet can perform miracles.