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Think Digital To Be Where Your Supporters Are


15 May 2014 at 9:21 am
Lina Caneva
As National Volunteer Week reaches the halfway mark, Westpac’s Head of Marketing Projects and volunteer mentor for The Crunch, Van Dissing, speaks to her mentee, Uplift Digital Agency’s Dez Karlsson, on how to engage with supporters in the digital world.

Lina Caneva | 15 May 2014 at 9:21 am


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Think Digital To Be Where Your Supporters Are
15 May 2014 at 9:21 am

As National Volunteer Week reaches the halfway mark, Westpac’s Head of Marketing Projects and volunteer mentor for The Crunch, Van Dissing, speaks to her mentee, Uplift Digital Agency’s Dez Karlsson, on how to engage with supporters in the digital world.

This is the time of year that we honour all volunteers who are the backbone of For Purpose organisations.

Recently I met with Uplift Digital Agency’s Dez Karlsson, who I voluntarily mentor for The Crunch – a capacity building program, offered by Social Traders, to discuss how Not for Profit or For Purpose organisations can leverage digital to deepen and broaden engagement and ultimately enable delivery of their social purpose.

Whether a cause is for people or planet, a For-Purpose organisation already knows that it is essential for long-term sustainability to be present and engaged in the social media space.

However, the challenge is to deepen and broaden engagement with supporters, donors, stakeholders and volunteers in this noisy online landscape.

From our discussion, we came up with three tips that For Purpose organisations should consider to Think Digital:

Tip One: Tap Your Hidden Champions

Ever heard of Sheridyn Fisher? You could be forgiven for not being aware of this savvy Australian model unless you happen to be one of her 80,000 Twitter followers.

Sheridyn describes herself as a “Model & Actress, Creative Director, Animal Lover, Vegan, Soccer Player, SciFi Geek & Movie Dork, Peace & Love”. Fisher blogs on fashion and lifestyle, and promotes “respecting our planet and all its occupants”.  

W.I.R.E.S, True Food Campaign and Amnesty please all take note.

There are thousands of influencers in the social media landscape.  The true benefit to your organisation is the depth of their engagement with a specific audience. Unlike major star power with followings in the millions, these micro-celebrities are accessible, and their engagement with their followers is more personal. Hence, influencers are not only advertisers, they are mobilisers.

The key to success in the Digital space is to identify those influencers who:

·         offer genuine and authentic value who match your cause

·         have a following that is likely to respond to your objectives

Tip Two: Go Mobile

In the last 12 months, advertising on mobile and tablet devices jumped by 40 per cent.

People are accessing news, talking to friends and making purchases on the go as never before.  Knowing about, and engaging with the news of the day has become instantaneous and continuous.  Give supporters the ability to support you on the go.

A good example, of those taking the leap to mobile is Oxfam whose mobile enabled website allows for donations from supporters anywhere, anytime and from any device.

Tip Three: Give Your Regulatory Reports Digital Wings

Whether it be your Annual Report, a Sustainability Report or a Reconciliation action plan, significant time and investment goes into the generation of reports required by regulation.

The marketing value of these documents is well understood, however up until now their reach has been finite. Ever heard about an annual report going viral? They should!

This document is usually the place you get to tell the world about all your success. The fruits of hard work and determination to make our world a better place.

What if your annual report was live online? What if your supporters could read, share and comment on the sections that are of interest to them?

Why not get a double benefit from your investment in these reports?

The potential to reach to new audiences was an opportunity embraced by Youthconnections.com.au with their annual report www.ycannualreport.com.au to great effect.

For more information on how you might take the next step on your digital journey, why not talk to a social enterprise digital agency:contact dez@youthconnections.com.au on 0478 190 258 to talk about how Uplift Digital Agency can help you.

Westpac Foundation and volunteering

Westpac Foundation is delighted to be working in partnership with Social

Traders to offer four scholarships for The Crunch, an innovative program designed to help budding social entrepreneurs with great ideas access the skills and investment needed to start operating.

Crunch participants are guided by mentors, like Van Dissing, through a rigorous business planning process developed specially for social enterprise and once complete are given the opportunity to pitch for investment.

About Westpac Social Sector Banking Westpac Social Sector Banking is deeply committed to the For Purpose sector, and can proudly say we have a national team of dedicated specialists and customised banking solutions to service the sector. The sole aim of our bankers located across Australia is to deliver better banking experiences for Social Sector customers. Beyond banking, we have several initiatives in place – directly helping to build capacity in social sector communities. For more information, visit Westpac Social Sector Banking


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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