With the rise of authoritarian regimes, fake news (whatever that is), and a shrinking space for civil society in many parts of the world, NGOs struggle to live in a new reality that often discredits them. With Social Media, you can give them your support.
6 ways to support NGOs on social media
I’m sure that there is at least one cause that you care about. The climate crisis, human rights, animal rights, corruption… No matter what, there are many things you can do to support the cause in different ways — besides volunteering or donating.
The first thing I recommend you to do is to learn about the work of civil society organisations dedicated to a specific area. Perhaps you already know a lot about your favourite organisation, but if you don’t, try to find out what exactly they do. What are their current priorities? Who funds them? What are their core values? These are only some basic questions that you can easily check on their website. Understanding this will help you to make better decisions and, hopefully, get you more excited about helping!
Here are 5 ways to support nonprofits on social media:
1. Follow them on social media
Really. It might sound like very little but following an NGO on social media means a lot to them. It shows support and interest, something that keeps the organization motivated (and the social media team probably very happy *wink wink*). But there’s more. We nonprofits tend to call out people like politicians, celebrities or other relevant persons for their wrongdoings (and sometimes just to ask for help, actually). Having an engaged, large community backing us up is important and can get us the attention we need at the right moment. Plus — and this is a big plus — you will always be up to date with news, the organization’s work and other things they want to let you know.
2. Share their work
Investigations, reports, letters to parliaments, studies — NGOs are always working on something and very often, that something doesn’t get the attention it deserves, especially if the organization is young or doesn’t have a huge reach. Sharing their work is a great way to support them! Why? Two main reasons: 1) On social media, information spreads easily and quickly which helps to build up the pressure and raise awareness. And 2) your followers or connections trust you. That trust can also be extended to the NGO you’re supporting, something that encourages others to share, too, or even volunteer or donate.
3. Create awareness
It doesn’t need to be a post! At Transparency International, for example, we have created several absolutely 👏 cool 👏 funny 👏 gorgeous 👏 stunning anti-corruption gifs and stickers to use on every social platform.
Other NGOs create t-shirts, pins, caps, mugs… Showing off that cool merch or using and sharing the stickers and GIFs is a way to create awareness of the cause or organization.
4. Engage in conversations and debates (or spark them!)
Social media is a place to create conversations where you can not only talk with that nonprofit you’re following but you can also talk to other people that care about the same cause. Remember that a Facebook page or the collective following on Instagram or Twitter, are COMMUNITIES. Never forget that. Communities discuss topics, learn from each other and support each other. You can start by sharing something on your feed and ask your friends what they think about it — the result might surprise you.
5. Fundraise for your birthday
Trust me, I get it. Not everybody is in a position to donate their own money to a cause, as much as they might support it. Even if you do, you have been working hard to get those tickets for Beyonce that cost you an arm and a leg, and you deserve it. But what about donating other people’s money? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to rob a bank —there are other ways. What if your family and friends can actually donate some coins to a cause? Just ask them!
Facebook allows you to start fundraising for a charity or NGO at any time and a birthday is an excellent occasion to do it. For more information, check out the Facebook Fundraising site here. And for the privacy nerds out there: you don’t even need to be on Facebook to do it 🙂
6. Use social media for offline action!
Yes, there is life outside the internet — and social media can be a great starting point for it. If you are really interested in an issue, being a part of a group of people who care and talk about it seems like a good idea to me. LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook or even Instagram have groups functions that you can use to chat, exchange opinions, share news or simply arrange an offline meeting with like-minded people.
I hope you find the options I just shared useful, and maybe I could even inspire you to put them into practice since they are all right at your fingertips 🙂 To end, since I’m here and you’re here, I would like to invite you to follow the organization I work for: Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption. You can find all the links to our social media channels here.
PS: You can also follow me! I’m @villaraco on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks for reading!