Increasing numbers of philanthropic organisations are getting to grips with social media and beginning to understand how it can impact and influence their own work and approach to grantmaking. For others, however, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and similar online platforms remain something of a mystery. Demystifying this world and showing funders how social media can enrich their organisations is, therefore, an important task. It is for this reason that Indigo is delighted to announce a grant of £18,600 to the Institute for Philanthropy for the production of a report into social media and philanthropy.
The paper will examine concrete examples of how not-for-profit organisations have engaged with social media to get their message across in a range of fields from child soldiers in Uganda to LGBT bullying in American schools. In addition, it will contain in-depth case studies on a number of funders who have already invested in social media projects and will provide advice and recommendations for funders who may be thinking about following their lead. Finally, the paper will look at how trusts and foundations are using social media themselves to communicate about their own work and connect with relevant networks. We hope that the report will become a serious aid to trusts and foundations around the world and will go some way to encouraging them to become actively engaged with social media.