Industry News

The best of 2019: social media from the charity sector

Rebecca Shortt

From #KnowYourLemons to #ShareTheOrange, the calibre of standout social media campaigns has reached new heights and has made 2019 an exciting year for the third sector. Charities can promote impactful and thought-provoking messages through social media, reaching a wide audience and giving the organisation a voice. So, as we gear up for the New Year, we want to celebrate 2019’s best and most impactful social media campaigns from the charity sector.

#DonateYourWords by Age UK

Shockingly, 225,000 older people in the UK can often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. Age UK ran a partnership campaign with the famous chocolate brand, Cadbury, to raise funds and awareness for loneliness in older people in the UK. For each limited-edition Cadbury Dairy Milk bar sold (a bar with no words on the wrapper), 30p was donated to Age UK to support its national advice telephone service and telephone friendship service.

As part of the campaign, Sue Perkins, well known TV personality, committed to spending 30 hours in complete isolation. During this time, she had no access to the outside world; she couldn’t speak to anyone else and had no phone, internet or TV. The 30 tough hours were documented and the powerful video, which you can watch here, showed a glimpse into the reality of the long-term loneliness many go through.

Movember by Movember Foundation

Since Movember Foundation’s launch in 2003, the Movember yearly digital charity campaigns have become a well-known phenomenon. Every November, men take on the brave task of growing a moustache for charity in order to raise awareness and money to prevent prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. The Movember movement has social media firmly at its core. During November, ‘Mo Bro’s’ (those who take part in the scheme) often post updates of their moustache and are then featured on the charity’s website. Through excellent content and good hash-tagging, the charity campaign has its word thoroughly spread. Movember has now funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world.

#KnowYourLemons by Worldwide Breast Cancer

Worldwide Breast Cancer found success with their incredibly clever #KnowYourLemons campaign which uses light-hearted graphics to promote something far more serious. The charity made it their mission to ‘radically change the picture of breast cancer’ and to educate women on recognising the symptoms. In the most popular poster, there are various lemons displayed with possible symptoms of breast cancer, showing people what they should be checking for. Through a catchy campaign hashtag and images, thousands of women were made aware of the important information needed to spot lesser known warning signs. A community of women was also formed through a Facebook page, where news updates and relevant active conversations occur and where group members cab donate money.

Since 2014, the #KnowYourLemons campaign is in over 20 languages and is used in 90 countries, helping educate over 500 million people.

Charities can promote impactful and thought-provoking messages through social media, reaching a wide audience and giving the organisation a voice.

#GivingTuesday Fundraiser – The Prince’s Trust

The Princes Trust partnered with eBay, the well-known online auction site, to help raise funds during the #GivingTuesday period. You may have seen #GivingTuesday trending on social media at the beginning of this month and wondered what it was. It is celebrated on the Tuesday following the well know shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which predominantly happen online. Over the last seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires millions of people globally to give to others and celebrate generosity. For every eBay transaction of two or more items, 5p was donated to the charity. eBay’s Vice President released a statement saying the following:

“Customers can help change the lives of young entrepreneurs who may require a little support to help them realise their dreams, and the best part is it won’t cost them a penny.”
Over £105,000 was raised for the charity and will go towards support for young entrepreneurs.

HeadSmart Campaign by Brain Tumour Charity

Brain Tumour Charity worked with CDM London, a design agency, to create a series of silly but serious Snapchat filters. The filters were created in order to raise awareness of brain tumours and to encourage teenagers to visit their GP if they were concerned. Filters for the four key symptoms were created: persistent headaches, abnormal eye moment, vomiting and dizziness. The life-saving scheme made a big impact on the young audience, with over a million teenagers reached in the UK.

#ShareTheOrange by Alzheimer’s Research UK

Since 2017, Alzheimer’s Research UK has run it’s #ShareTheOrange campaign, which aims to fight the serious misconception that dementia is a natural part of aging. In it’s third year, Aardman, an animation company based in Bristol, partnered with the charity to produce a powerful short film starring Samuel L. Jackson. According to the charity’s website, Dementia is caused by physical diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s. The damage to a brain with Alzheimer’s can leave it weighing 140g or less than a healthy brain, roughly the same weight as an orange.
So far, 2,134,759 people have shared the orange.

#UnseenStories by Unseen

Unseen, an anti-slavery charity from Bristol, this year launched a striking campaign to help raise £800,000 to fund its Modern Slavery Helpline. #UnseenStories used a ‘story-in-story’ technique to expose lies told in order to lure people into slavery. A series of unsettling outdoor posters appeared around the UK, showing poetry, with some words blacked out to reveal disturbing hidden messaged. The social media campaign was promoted throughout Anti-Slavery Day 2019, with a call to the public to change their profile picture to a bright green background, to make people look twice. As well as this, real experiences of people who survived modern slavery in the UK were shared on social media using the #UnseenStories hashtag.

What an incredible year it’s been for the third sector, with such innovative and creative social media campaigns. If you haven’t already supported a charitable cause this year, we hope this has given you some inspiration and highlighted a few great foundations. This year, we have supported many local charities in Wiltshire, such as Julias House and Dorothy House.
As this is our last blog post of the year, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. As always, please get in touch if there’s anything you need support with.

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