NGOs & Digital Media

How NGOs around the world can use technology and digital media to enhance their visibility


For quite some time now, we have been living in the age of internet. With the help of the internet, brands have been able to reach out to millions of consumers and vice-versa. In recent years the world of internet has been taken by storm with the evolution of social media and its impact on our everyday life.

With the help of the internet and social media, Non-government organizations (NGOs) can easily create awareness for social causes and charity events. Many NGOs have actually adapted to the digital age and use technology to communicate with supporters and donors.


However, according to a report from nonprofits Tech for Good and Public Interest Registry, there is a slight gap between the use of internet and social platforms by NGOs in Western nations and those in developing countries.

The report was based on a survey of 2,780 NGOs in 133 countries

Based on statistics:

  • 92% of NGOs have a website

  • Nearly 80% agree social media is effective for fundraising

  • 11% were able to employ either part-time or full-time social media managers

It can be stated that digital will be key to regaining the public’s trust – and especially through social media. Social media not only allows charities to use the same effective story telling techniques as big budget TV campaigns, but also allows them to personalize their communications.

How Digital Media builds Trust

With the help of social media, it gives NGOs a chance to move away from a “push” communications and move towards a transparent communication in which both parties can interact with one another. As a result of NGO success being deeply dependent on creating a strong relationship with its audience, many are investing in social media platforms to enhance that loyalty and trust.

  • Through social media, it allows you to create a personal brand voice by writing in a way that reaches your readers on a human level. As a result of this, your content becomes far more relatable to your audience and it allows them to better understand the issue or cause.



  • An excellent social media page will make room for some humor and entertainment. By posting funny videos it shows the audience how there is a human being behind all these posts. It gives your brand a fun and trustworthy personality and lets people know that your goal is to communicate with an audience not just push a product.

  • Another reason why NGOs have been able to create trust is the ability of responding to comments and questions that are posted on social media. By doing this your demonstrating that you hear and care about the comments, thus creating a transparent communication with the audience.

How should NGOs use Social Media?

  • Virtual Reality -2016 saw the steady rise in virtual reality, where people enjoyed real-life experiences from their communications. The non-profit sector is doing very well by using emotional “cold” pictures and facts in order to encourage fundraising and a connection with the audience.

  • Use as many platforms possible – Just when we’ve become comfortable with our websites being the key hub for all our content, social media, apps and published platforms have proven us that people are accessing content in multiple places.

  • Invite Conversation – People are much more likely to engage when asking questions or inviting feedback. Whether you publish surveys, seek advice, start a dialogue or promote a competition, motivate your audience to get involved.

‘WaterisLife’ Real Life example

The hashtag “firstworldproblems” is ngo4 popular and trends on a regular basis. According to, this hashtag has a potential reach of 1.2 million. WATERisLIFE used this hashtag and the idea behind it to spread their viral video. Their strategy proved to be effective as the video went viral on Facebook and Twitter, expanding their reach.

Human Rights Campaign

In the after math of the Paris terrorist attacks, millions of Facebook users added a filter overlay of the French flag to their profile pictures. The act of solidarity spread rapidly across the internet, creating awareness for the Human Rights Campaign. The power came from the millions of everyday Facebook users who changed their profile pictures showing support to the cause.


Digital media and marketing will continue to be one of the most significant ways that NGOs can increase awareness as well as have people engage in their causes. Through the given examples, digital media has been able to leave a positive impact on NGOs by regaining the public’s trust and raising awareness for special causes.

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