Getting started with social media for charities

Last week the Institute held a webinar surgery on the application of social media to further charitable organisations’ missions. The session was hosted by TPW alumni and social media experts Fran and William Perrin of the Indigo Trust, who did a fantastic job of tackling participants’ queries, challenges and worries about using social media within their work.  Many people joined us from across the globe to hear Fran and William’s presentation, which gave advice as to how to ‘get started’ on social media, busted social media myths like ‘it’s only for young people’ (it’s not!), and offered examples of what social media could do to further the work of the not-for-profit sector as a whole. Following the presentation, the audience were invited to ask our speakers questions about how they could best use social media as tools to work towards achieving their charitable goals. The whole session was both interesting and insightful, and participants left with some very practical tips to maximise the digital tools at their disposal.

Here are our top tips for getting started on social media:

  1. Think of approaching social media like arriving at a cocktail party: listen and watch for a bit first before you join in with the conversation.
  2. Don’t be afraid: the best way to learn is to play around with it. If you are interested, perhaps you could join Twitter or Facebook personally to see what it’s like before you do anything professionally.
  3. Don’t be put off by jargon.
  4. Think about what you have to contribute; not just words, but pictures, audio and video as well.
  5. Be yourself!

If you would like to watch and listen to a recording of the webinar, please email Daisy Wakefield at 

The Institute for Philanthropy published a paper (which was generously funded by the Indigo Trust) on the topic of ‘Philanthropy and Social Media’. The paper offers a wealth of information on the topic and is available in PDF format here.


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