Charities and social media

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It is important to think about how your charity can use social media effectively to benefit your charity, the risks it may bring, and how you can manage those risks, including by acting reasonably and responsibly to protect your charity.

Social media can be a powerful communication tool for charities, to raise awareness and funds and to better engage beneficiaries. It can help charities reach a much wider audience, much more quickly, than traditional methods of communication.

The Charity Commission has recently published new guidance which makes clear that social media can be an effective way for charities to engage their audiences and communicate their work, but also highlights the risks trustees should plan for. 

The guidance aims to help trustees understand:

  • how their legal duties apply when their charity uses social media

  • the importance of having a social media policy

  • what to consider if issues arise

Making sure that trustees, staff and volunteers responsible for managing the charity’s social media channels are familiar with the charity’s social media policy is vital. You should also make sure that all trustees, staff and volunteers are familiar with the charity’s guidelines on the use of personal social media accounts.

You can read more of the Commissions comprehensive guide here alongside a checklist for developing a social media policy.