With insights from the NGO, GiveIndia social media strategy, Priyanka Prakash helps unravel how non-profits can make the most of digital to garner support for their causes.
Through their social media posts, GiveIndia makes donation appeals, supporting the various fundraising campaigns in their ambit. They talk about their initiatives, NGO partners, the impact they are creating, and the milestones they have achieved. Brand collaborations are also highlighted on social media. We talk to Priyanka Prakash, Director and Head Online Giving, Marketing & Partnership, GiveIndia to get more insights into their strategy and potential lessons for similar platforms and non-profits.
Could you briefly tell us about your marketing strategies to reach more people, especially on social media?
We share various stories of hope and impact that GiveIndia is making, hand in hand with multiple NGOs, corporates, and leading brands. Our followers have always engaged well with such content and love to know more about how their donations are making the right impact. We try to always dish out the content in creative and innovative (polls, quizzes, GIFs) ways to interact with people. We also engage in various organic influencer outreach.
Do you feel social media helps you build your NGO’s credibility?
Social media helps us communicate with our followers, some of whom are our donors. We use social media to talk about all our fundraising initiatives, NGO partners, the impact that we are making, and also milestones that the organisation is achieving. We also highlight all the different types of partnerships and collaborations that we have with brands, corporates, and e-commerce platforms. Through these real-time updates, we get a fantastic chance to establish trust and credibility on social issues with those who engage with us.
Which platforms work best for you and why do you feel that is so?
We are equally active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Facebook and Instagram have worked out well for us, with more engagement, interaction, and conversions. While Twitter and LinkedIn have also given us conversions, social media is also about getting our message across. Each handle works differently, we can’t claim to have mastered all of them — we are still learning.
What are your goals when it comes to social media communication?
We feel it’s a healthy balance of fundraising, trust and brand building, raising awareness of a number of social issues and expanding our giving community.
There are some templates you use for your social media creatives. Could you tell us more about the creative aspects of it?
Our main objective is to keep the creatives honest, simple, and straightforward. We do not want to complicate it by overdoing the design elements, so we always prefer a neat and clean approach. Although our campaigns can be very heavy and emotional, we consciously try to post stories of hope with positive images.
How do you ensure that you are communicating about the plight of your beneficiaries but not coercing people into donating funds?
Through our donation posts, we inform our donors and audience of our various fundraising initiatives. There is a donation appeal with these messages that are placed in a straightforward manner and we do not resort to any fraudulent or dramatic messaging to scam our donors.
What’s the significance of influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements for GiveIndia?
We have collaborated with many influencers and celebrities in the recent past for our COVID-19 missions. It gives us a great boost in spreading our fundraisers to a wider range of audiences. Mostly we have engaged in organic collaborations which also adds to the credibility of the campaigns.
How do brand collaborations help an NGO? Could you give an example of a success story for GiveIndia?
Brand collaborations add to the diversity of our donors and help us expand our reach and giving community. NGOs want to reach out to a larger audience and build awareness around their respective causes. Working with brands helps achieve this and reach the right audience and lend credibility to the NGO. Several brand campaigns also assist with storytelling which helps bring more people into the giving fold.
At the peak of COVID-19, we were fortunate to have the support of several brands and e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, PhonePe, Myntra, Puma, Helo, Facebook, Curefit, Grofers, Xiaomi, 1MG, FabIndia, Vogue, Zee Entertainment, and many more. Each brand/platform helped us spread awareness of the needs on the ground, raise much needed funds from a diverse range of givers across the country
Did 2020 and the pandemic change things about the way you communicate using social media?
No, fundamentally we followed the same principles, though every post became about the humanitarian and medical crisis. We had a very early response to the pandemic and launched missions and fundraisers for immediate relief. Our major mode of communication with our donors was through social media and email where we introduced and updated them on the various initiatives and groundwork that our NGO partners were championing.
When it comes to donation drives, are virtual events just as good as physical events? Could you share your experiences from 2020?
GiveIndia is predominantly an online platform. We have always used digital platforms for fundraising and that gave us a lot of insights and expertise to fundraising during COVID-19 as physical events were completely out of the picture. I For India was the biggest virtual event we participated in, in collaboration with Facebook, engaging Bollywood celebs and music and sports stars. The event raised Rs 52 crore.
What are some of the things NGOs should keep in mind while communicating on social media?
One should always keep in mind the private space of the donors/audiences. Stick to credibility and trust as it has no alternative. Keep the messaging simple and straightforward and not unnecessarily complicate things. Always generate interesting and creative content to engage with the audience.