When we walk down the street and see someone sleeping in a doorway, what do we think? Do have a thought of disgust that someone is ‘messing up’ the area? Do we wonder if they’re ok? Do we wonder how the ended up sleeping rough? 

When we see someone with a young child in a wheelchair, drip and oxygen close by – what do we think? Do we look at the child with pity? Do we wonder about the illness the child has? Do we think about what the parent is going through? 

We all have thoughts – questions about what we see, but do we think about what how we could help them? 

How often do people see someone who appears “less fortunate” than themselves, that their own situation pales in significance to others around them? 

I would say the frequency of people having an ah-huh moment would be quiet high, but the follow through, the action taking place I’d suggest would be significantly less. 

Have we become cold, heartless, self-centred, only thinking about ourselves? Perhaps at some levels, but in the main I’m wondering if people are overwhelmed by the needs in the community. 

Look at the calls being made for help with natural disasters, famine – the BIGGIES, and see how much help is needed; it’s no wonder some people are “donated out”. 

How can we help donors to see they’re help is still very much needed at a local level? 

We can’t get down and beg (although there’s some I’m sure feel as though they need to), pulling at heartstrings isn’t always good and can come across insincere. 

The “normal” appeal messages may not be getting through as well as they once were – envelopes, door-knocks, emails, bucket collections are thick and fast, people are feeling inundated. 

There has to be a better way to reach out to the donor.

Social media is what charities must now seriously consider using to connect and engage with their supporters; and can be used for appeals, if done right. 

Over the coming weeks look out for Non-profits and Social Media, a series on how non-profits can make good use of social media tools. If you’ve any tips, case studies of social media and non-profits, I’d be keen to hear what you have to say and to share. 


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