MC&C founder and chief executive Mike Colling has likened the way charities have been using media channels to the “burning and slashing the Amazon rainforest” by going through each channel and burning it out.
Speaking at the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands, Colling – who has worked with charity clients for over 30 years – said current fundraising methods were unsustainable but that social media would help charities to achieve high response rates for low investment.
However, before charities all rush to the channel Colling did warn that “social media is not a silver bullet – 66% of media consumption is still offline”.
Never shy in coming forward with his opinions, Colling said historically charities have been forced to ask for donations on every communication, whether direct mail, telephone or DRTV, because it has been too expensive not to.
But with social media “the economics are fundamentally different,” he said.
“We’ve completely changed the maths and because of that you can afford to build up a relationship in a way that the maths have not permitted in all the 30 years that I’ve been working in media,” he said. “This time we don’t have an excuse.”
He cited MC&C’s own experience which has found the best donor journeys began in the offline world, often on TV, but then drove people to social media for a conversation before asking for money via an offline channel. “Have your conversations in social media but you’ll get much better results if you do your asking in the offline world,” he concluded.
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