How do charities catch your eye online?

I could really use your help this week. I’m not asking for money, or votes, just social media tips on gathering votes for charities. After #teamhonkrelay, and with blogging award season in full swing I know my readers will have some great ideas, I would love to hear from any charities reading this too.

I’m helping the often quite small charities involved in the Direct Debit Big Break for Charity initiative. Welcome to any charities reading this, I hope today’s tips are helpful!

It is all about helping Direct Debit to donate to good causes. Each month from March until June, Direct Debit will donate £5,000 to the causes you think deserve it, while charities will also be in the running to win £500 by entering the various award categories. Last year, the overall campaign raised £150k for 120 good causes.

So there are lots of charities out there looking for votes. I’ve been asked to be an ambassador for the campaign, to help share some of the creative ways charities are using social media to get their message out there to raise awareness and to get votes. So I am asking, what’s the best way to get people to vote for you?

Images, graphics and flattery helped this charity last year!

dogWhile the size of the charities varies, many can be relatively small charities, very different from the huge institution Comic Relief I have just finished working with. Time, budgets, staffing are much smaller. But sometimes it is the little things we do, that get noticed right?

Like Direct Debit suggest, I have to say when appealing for votes or sponsorship that having a link in my email signature really helps. Thanking people often encourages others to vote too. What works for you?

Many of the charities have had great ideas already, I’ve pulled a few examples together from last month’s winners:

NORSACA, who won a £100 donation in March, work with children and adults in the East Midlands with Autism. They have Twitter really sorted – Please RT, a call to action with exactly what is needed, relevant hashtags.

Likewise pictures can really maximise your 140 characters, the Sambat Trust show us exactly what they do here, an approach that helped them achieve second place, winning£1000 in March’s vote.


The Ecologia Youth Trust, enable disadvantaged young people around the world to meet their potential. They tweeted about the option to text vote too. To some voters that can seem easier, and safer than clicking. They were one of the 20 charities to win a £100 donation in March.

It isn’t all about numbers, The German Shepherd Rescue Alliance has just 3000 members in a facebook group – but finished in 8th place earning a £100 donation. Groups are much more likely to take action than fans on a facebook page, especially when they see others are doing so. Chat moves fast in these groups, so why not pin the request to members to vote to the top of the group?
I try to have a permanent button on my blog, like this example from the Wales Air Ambulance from last year. It takes a few minutes to code, but it stops the call to action getting buried!
air ambulance

What do you do when you really need to catch people’s attention and get them to take action online? I am sure the charities involved would really welcome some tips from social media savvy individuals. You can of course also vote or nominate a charity should you want to.

Good Luck to all those going for votes in April, please let me know what you are up to, you can contact me using any of my social media channels – I look forward to sharing your ideas. Any charities I haven’t featured with great ideas for future entrants, I would love to feature you in my next round up!

Thank you



Disclosure  – I am a paid ambassador for Direct Debit Big Break for Charity.

8 thoughts on “How do charities catch your eye online?

  1. I think one thing that’s important is giving people a range of actions they can take to support a charity – a list of say five things that you can do depending on time available and level of interest. Starting with a simple tweet, or liking a FB page, to making a small donation or writing a supportive blog post.
    Ruth recently posted…Testing, testingMy Profile

  2. I think the easier it is to donate or get involved, the more people will do it. Text messages are a great way to get people to donate as I think they have the feeling that they’re not immediately parting with their money x

  3. We’re really struggling to get votes, and I’m running out of ideas. We put a post on FB, it had 11,000 view (because we put a nice pic of a puppy poundie on the post) but we only pulled in about 400 votes from that. I spent the day in Cardiff today, asking people to text vote, but we’re struggling to get the numbers that we need. I have a personal twitter account, put a post on there, got loads of RT’s but still the votes don’t come in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge