Facebooks of this world 'are the future for fundraising'

Successful charities will use social networking sites to engage donors in the future, delegates at this year's International Fundraising Congress heard.

Simon Collings, chief executive of the Resource Alliance, which runs the IFC, predicted that segmentation of supporter bases would become more sophisticated thanks to Web 2.0, the perceived second generation of web-based communities.

“Web 2.0 will enable charities to interact with supporters and build up sophisticated data that can be used to send out highly segmented messages cost-effectively,” he said. “There is an ability through the web to cater for a much broader range of levels of interest among supporters than is currently possible through mail-based programmes.

“There will be large groups of donors that want low levels of engagement and are happy just to get it. You will get charities respecting that, but also being able to identify those groups of supporters who do want higher levels of engagement.”

Collings also predicted that charities would move towards encouraging supporters to become ambassadors and recruiters for the charity rather than just asking for financial transactions, especially among younger audiences.

“There is less respect for or belief in traditional authority, the media, even NGOs, and a decline in confidence in them,” he said. “People don’t think that institutions tell the truth. What they listen to are peers, other people in their age groups who are telling them what’s cool and what’s interesting.”

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