Which charities are smashing social media?

Image of a microphone for which charities are smashing social media

We aren’t just talking about who gets the most likes and retweets – that’s always skewed towards the big boys.

Neither do we mean the charities with the biggest, flashest campaigns (great as they are of course).

We mean the charities who are out there every day delivering great content for its own sake; content that truly competes for attention with all those cat photos and pictures of feet up on beaches.

We recently ran a live 30 minute lunchtime webinar, which you can catch up on the video below. , In the session we took a fun and engaging peek at some of the freshest and best nonprofit social media content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, created by charities large and small.

Our Picks:

Leonard Cheshire Disability

First up is Leonard Chesire on Twitter.
They don’t just talk about themselves, they talk about their cause generally. This is a great way to attract followers. They always have timely content based on what’s going on which is brought to life with a great tone of voice. The best piece of content we’ve seen from them was when they used the #tubestrikes hashtag and produced a fantastic infographic to highlight the lines which are accessible all year round. A brilliant piece of topical engaging social content.

Isles of Scilly Police

Matt’s second choice wasn’t so much a charity as an organisation going against the grain, and smashing social media because of it! The island’s police force have taken to sharing irreverent posts, covering everything from an upcoming royal visit to a possible UFO abduction. Nothing is out of bounds when you have time on your hands, even going against best practice. What this feed teaches us is that having fun is always a good idea.

I went on a spot of foot patrol around town and returned to find these sandals in this position outside the police…

Posted by Isles of Scilly Police on Sunday, 12 July 2015

Coventry Rape Crisis

The third choice from Matt was picked because they consistently highlight what they can do for their followers, and not the other way round. By focusing on their services and replying to members in a caring and personable way Coventry Rape Crisis come across as a very caring organisation, which really endears you to their cause. Simple but consistent.

Age UK

The last charity Matt picked was at the other end of the scale in terms of size. Age UK throw best practice out the window by using long copy alongside images, yet they manage to keep lovely heartwarming stories coming week after week. Matt picked Jack’s story as a great example of their long form posts which inspire thousands of their followers to share and engage. Such a lovely post and although they don’t always include a call to action, this kind of content will get noticed.

Jack Dasher has celebrated his 101st birthday by enjoying a slow dance with his wife Katie. Jack met Katie just 14…

Posted by Age UK on Sunday, 19 July 2015


Fran’s first pick was a recent post from Shelter’s Vine account. The post is really powerful and forms part of a long series of visually powerful content which really gets their supporters engaged. Good content can be quick content.

We want to help as many people as possible. For those who call us, our advice can mean the difference between being…

Posted by Shelter on Monday, 13 July 2015

The Cybersmile Foundation

Fran’s second pick really know their audience, choosing platforms which they know their audience with be hanging out on. Their Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube channel all have great posts designed for their teenage audience. Their YouTube channel stands out with their curated playlists which all support their mission and allows a small charity to have a big presence on YouTube. Promoting positivity is easy to get behind!


Fran thinks the RNLI’s #RespectTheWater video is an amazing piece of key content which has a really powerful message. It’s simple yet focuses on the core of what RNLI does. Watch it below:

Lastly, Fran shared a parent’s plea on Facebook. This is a great example of showing that the people that you’re supporting as a charity are really the people that matter. Simple content can have a big impact, this goes to show the power of personal stories and great storytelling.

#CHDAWARENESS We were a little apprehensive to post this but I feel it’s important. Carter took his bandages off this…

Posted by Mark Gentle on Saturday, 11 April 2015

From this session we came up with a list of key actions for charities to takeaway:

  • Focus on the content – not the platform
  • Be where your audience is
  • Storytelling is your most powerful weapon
  • Be responsive and proactive
  • Use events/hot topics/trends to inspire content creation
  • Don’t forget about your ‘core’ content
  • Remember to have fun

What do you think?

Do you rate the charity examples Matt and Fran picked out? Or have you seen some pieces of social media content you like more? We’d love to know what content you are digging! (Feel free to plug your own charity if you think you’ve got something great to share.)

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