The 2013 Social Charity Index shows a large increase in social-media following

  • Whilst overall income has dropped over the last 12 months, the number of people following charities has risen dramatically.

    In the Guardian's 2012 index the top 100 charities had an average of one supporter on Facebook and Twitter for every £2,707 of their income, now, in 2013, there is one supporter for every £714.

    In these tough economic times charities have seen a benefit in being able to develop relationships with people using social media. Not only is the cost of promotional marketing reduced, a more dynamic relationship is able to develop.

    The average growth rate across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is on average around 350%.

    The effect of social networking also means that large and small charities can operate on a more level playing field. Smaller charities are seeing an advantage as their audience tends to share more content about fundraising using social media, as well as having better authenticity scores. These indicate a higher quality of followers as well as a more solid relationship between the amount of social support they have and the income raised.

    However the Guardian thinks that this could be a tipping point for charities' social media success story. This is because although follower levels have increased, charities are not evolving fast enough to meet user-led needs.

    Supporters wish to know the impact their money makes however charities are not providing enough open data strategies or giving significant details on how donations are being spent.

    Charities need to become more transparent as well as learn how to fully connect with supporters and create a human presence behind their accounts to tell their stories.

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