Howard Lake reports today that Great Ormond Street have over 92,000 members on their Facebook causes page yet this has resulted in only $280 in donations. Amnesty International have over 312,000 members have managed to raise just over $15,000.
This is something i have been wondering about for a while and I asked Beth Kanter in April if she knew how much had been raised by the Causes application and you can read her reply here. (And check out Beths Blog for all things Social Media)
Does this mean that charities shouldnt be on Facebook or similar sites. No I dont think so. Does it mean that charities shouldnt rely on it to raise funds for them…absolutely. As Howard says in his post: That doesn’t mean that these supporters haven’t given or won’t give by other means. They just haven’t given via Causes/Facebook.
I think if you are putting your cause up on Facebook and getting people to sign up that you need to work them to be active in other ways in terms of donating. I think the Causes Application should be seen more as a badge or an affiliation that someone wants to display on their homepage to tell people something about themselves and what they stand for. So if you join a Breast Cancer Research Cause well you are stating that you support Breast Cancer Research.
Changing the Causes Application ?
I would like to see some sort of application that makes these badges more prominent on home pages. So it becomes more of a statement. Like when you buy a pin or ribbon in a shop to support a cause, you wear it proudly on your coat or jacket, so maybe Facebook could consider an online version of this? Would you pay for it? I think I might if it was part of an overall campaign. So perhaps Facebook can become an additional tool that could be used.
I would like to see Facebook make some changes to the application to make this possible. Imagine having a Pink Ribbon displayed on your homepage during October…you buy it for $1…same as you would in a shop.
Other Social Networks
I wonder what this means for other social networks who are encouraging charities to come on board. Ammado comes straight to mind and I would love to hear what their stats are on giving. I will drop them a line and see what they say. Perhaps it is working better for them.
Is your cause raising money from Social Networking sites? Would love to hear your thoughts