Social media has huge impact on Haiti Appeal


11:30 am - January 18th 2010

by Chris Barnyard    


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Social media websites were the biggest referrers to the Disasters Emergency Coalition fund-raising appeal on Haiti, the organisation has claimed.

The DEC says it had raised £10m in 24 hours after the Haiti Earthquake Appeal was launched.

Facebook and Twitter were by far the biggest referrers to their site after Google and BBC.

The amount includes online and phone donations only, with amounts from corporate, postal, events, SMS and over-the-counter donations still to be recorded.

The DEC issued a statement saying social media “played a crucial part in raising funds and awareness” in the 36 hours following the appeal.

Although the TV ads was not broadcast until Friday evening, £8m was raised online following the first DEC announcement on Twitter at 7.41pm on Wednesday.

It said simply:

You’re the first to know – DEC #Haiti Earthquake Appeal now live, UK broadcast appeals to follow

An SMS donation system was launched shortly afterwards and by Saturday morning a total of 148,000 people had donated online.

The DEC Facebook page now counts over 11,000 fans as of Sunday morning – a phenomenal rise up from 800 five days earlier.

Bloggers showed their support by adding DEC banners and buttons to hundreds of UK blogs.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

Their donations mean our member agencies can continue to source and deliver the emergency supplies needed like safe water, shelter, medicine and food. We hope people will continue to give their support so that more emergency aid can be added to what will be a massive humanitarian effort.

Photograph sharing site Flickr has also been used to host images from the DEC’s member agencies, with 34,000 views of the DEC account on Friday.

The ability to pool resources on sharing sites and follow the DEC’s 13 member agencies through newly implemented Twitter ‘lists’ has also proved invaluable to the committee in updating the public on developments.

Examples of what donations will go to include:
* £25 will supply a kit of household essentials.
* £50 buys a food pack to feed a family for a fortnight.
* £100 provides temporary shelter for two families.

To make a donation to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal visit www.dec.org.ukor call 0370 60 60 900

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About the author
Chris is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is an aspiring journalist and reports stories for LC.
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Reader comments


Original post: “Social media websites were the biggest referrers to the Disasters Emergency Coalition fund-raising appeal on Haiti, the organisation has claimed.

Facebook and Twitter were by far the biggest referrers to their site after Google and BBC.”

So social networking sites didn’t refer the most people. Google and the BBC did a better job.

“Although the TV ads was not broadcast until Friday evening, £8m was raised online following the first DEC announcement on Twitter at 7.41pm on Wednesday.”

The earthquake occurred on Tuesday evening (GMT) and was covered in UK news broadcasts that day and on Wednesday. As is standard practice, the BBC mentioned the DEC as a donor target as soon as the potential scale became understood. That’s why Google provided so many referrals.

I’m not arguing that social networking sites do not contribute to awareness raising. But TV and radio news reports, photos in the national papers, opened people’s wallets. It was the old media wot dunnit, and social networking made it a bit easier to donate. In the old days, we used to pass a tin around at work — not exclusively to raise money, but to increase consciousness.

2. Just Visiting

After reading today about someone rescued from the rubble by an Israeli rescue team – I wondered how much countries small and big were helping

Interesting pie charts here of how different countries have provided different aid amounts:

http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2010/01/haiti-aid-facts.php

Eg Canada seem to have provided the most, per capita of the donor country.


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