Charities look to digital media to gain competitive advantage

Over the past 10 years there has been a shift in consumer behaviour towards online channels. At the start retail and media were two industries which were significantly impacted, with consumers preferring to shop online rather than high street stores. Suppliers which couldn’t adapt quickly enough became insolvent or were bought out. Some high profile examples are Blockbuster, Woolworths and Dixons.

Charities now face a similar challenge. Digital media and online presence is becoming more and more integral to raising brand awareness and collecting donations. Multi-channel interaction with customers is vital to establishing brand recognition in the 3rd sector where today there are over 150,000 charities in the UK competing for donations.

Some Charities have embraced the trend and recognised social and digital media as a huge opportunity to open new donation channels and increase brand awareness.

A recent success story has been Cancer Awareness who raised £8m from a Facebook campaign (girls take a picture with no-makeup and post on facebook to raise awareness for breast cancer).

One agency that is leading the way in digital media to launch campaigns and raise awareness is Amnesty International. To drive its digital strategy, Amnesty’s IT team embarked on an ambitious three-year project to overhaul its hosting platform. This project would involve the consolidation and re-engineering of Amnesty’s hosting infrastructure, and aimed to fully integrate all its online properties, and to provide enhanced data analytics and much greater functionality to users. Other objectives included simplifying the management of the platform and eliminating other inefficiencies, and improving the reliability and flexibility of the online infrastructure.

Claranet has helped us to simplify our back-end processes and to automate fulfillment, so that our staff can get on with more important things like building additional functionality to support our next campaign."
Kamesh Patel, Head of IT at Amnesty

Today, Claranet is working with a large number of charities and Digital Media Agencies to provide stable hosted platforms for digital media campaigns, websites and donation channels.

Scalable cloud solutions enable charities to quickly deploy platforms to run campaigns and switch off after the campaign has closed. This level agility is driving down costs and increasing speed of delivery.

By having an independent hosting provider it also allows charities to choose different marketing agencies for any given campaign and not be tied into a single provider.

Lastly, it allows developers to focus on what they are good at: development. By having a managed platform it frees up the developers time form ensuring that the platform is up and running and working properly.

  • To learn more about Claranet’s Managed Application Hosting go here
  • To learn more about Claranet's work with Amnesty go here

Written by Charlie Saunders - Business Development Manager

Charlie has 10 years of experience working with CXO's and technical architects to leverage I.T. to increase performance and reduce costs back to the business. Previously he worked in both Private and Central Government sectors across UK and Asia Pacific. His current role involves consulting around Applications, Hosting, Networks and Voice technologies with Mid-Market clients.

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