recently been introduced to Child's i (thanks @annemcx) and have been
really impressed by how they are using social media to connect with
out the site and get in touch with Lucy (the founder) on Twitter or
the five key things that I love about the site:
written in an authentic voice and with personality. The passion,
determination and drive of Lucy comes shining through and there is
generally (I'll come back to this at the end) a lack of jargon or
NGO speak. It seems like one person talking to another.
site takes you on a journey and presents a compelling story. It's
full of interesting videos, has a clear roadmap of what they want to
achieve (and when by) and explains how you can make a difference.
might say 'that's great, but you can't scale it' or 'it'll never work
at my charity' but eventually every charity that wants to fundraise
from the public will have to engage with their supporters in similar
ways or lose out to charities who do.
Child's i have done isn't rocket science but very few larger
charities have managed to cut through the bureaucracy and gatekeepers
to allow staff to use social media to talk and engage with supporters
in the same way.
I see two big challenges on the horizon.
first challenge for them will be turning the followers they are
collecting on their journey into donors. However, by building trust,
permission and continuing to tell an inspiring story then I would
hope that when the time comes for a 'hard' ask enough people will be
inspired and motivated to give.
other challenge is maintaining the passion, authenticity and
personality of the charity as it grows. At a certain point it's
going to be hard to keep the personal touch that makes the site stand
my one (smallish) criticism is about the one bit of jargon on the
site, which can be found at this post. Whilst I can completely
understand why they don't want to use the word 'orphanage'
unfortunately the reality a 'short-term transitional home' means
nothing to me and I'd guess most people.
subject these things to the 'mum' test. If I asked my mum to give to
a Ugandan orphanage she'd probably say yes, make a donation, feel
good about it, but not ask too many more questions. If I asked her
to give to a Ugandan short-term transitional home then she'd give me
a funny look and say 'What?' and when I'd explained she'd say, 'Why
didn't you say it was an orphanage? Of course i'll give.'
sometimes be hard to accept this (Jeff Brooks writes/talks about a similar
problem with leprosy here), but I think it's vital that you use
language that people understand even if it isn't 100% accurate.
I'd like to commend Child's i on a great example of social media in
action and I'll certainly be making a donation towards building the