Social Media: Top 6 Guidance Tips for Charities
Today, We Share Ways In Which Charities Use The Practical Support And Resources Which Are Online Today To Ensure Safety And Security In The Digital Age.
- Service Delivery
Social media is important for charities because it allows them to reach a large audience at a relatively low cost. Charities can use social media to raise awareness about their cause, share stories and updates about their work, and engage with donors and supporters. Additionally, social media can be used to mobilise supporters to take action, such as signing petitions or donating to a campaign. Additionally, social media provides a way for the charity to be transparent, by showing the impact of donations, and how the money is being spent. It also allows for two-way communication and building a community of supporters around the charity.
As a charity, your organisation has several legal duties that are relevant to your use of social media. These include compliance with data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), as well as other laws that govern the use of social media and online communications. Charity Commission has recently released draft guidance for charities and their use of social media, outlining everything from legalities to security, and everything in between. Read more here.
1) One key area of concern for charities when it comes to social media is the handling of personal data. The GDPR and DPA 2018 set out strict rules around the collection, storage, and use of personal data, and charities must ensure that they are fully compliant with these laws when using social media. This includes obtaining clear and informed consent from individuals before collecting or using their data, and ensuring that personal data is securely stored and protected from unauthorised access or misuse.
2) Another legal duty that is relevant to charities' use of social media is compliance with advertising and marketing laws. Charities are subject to the same advertising regulations as for-profit organisations and must ensure that their social media posts and other online communications are truthful, accurate, and not misleading. Charities must also be transparent about their fundraising activities and should not make false or exaggerated claims about the impact of their work.
3) Additionally, charities must also be mindful of laws relating to defamation, hate speech, and other forms of online abuse. Charities must ensure that their social media posts and other online communications do not contain defamatory or hate speech, and should take steps to remove any such content if it appears on their social media channels. Charities must also have a clear policy in place for dealing with online abuse and harassment and should train their staff on how to identify and handle such issues.
4) In case of issues or incidents arising, trustees must also be prepared to deal with them in the best way possible. They should have a crisis management plan in place and should ensure that their staff are trained on how to handle issues and incidents that may arise on social media. Trustees should also be prepared to take legal action if necessary, to protect the charity's reputation and interests.
5) Trustees of a charity have a legal duty to ensure that the charity operates within the law when it comes to the use of social media. Trustees must understand how their legal duties apply to the charity's use of social media, take steps to ensure compliance, and be prepared to deal with issues and incidents that may occur promptly and effectively. They should also have a crisis management plan in place and ensure staff is trained to handle such issues.
6) Finally, it is important to remember that charities also have to protect their reputation and that of the charity sector as a whole entity. Charities should ensure that their social media posts and other online communications reflect the values and mission of the organisation and do not bring the charity sector into disrepute.
In conclusion, charities have many legal duties that are relevant to their use of social media, including compliance with data protection and advertising laws, as well as laws relating to defamation and hate speech. Charities must ensure that they are fully compliant with these laws, and should have a clear policy in place for dealing with legal issues that may arise concerning their use of social media. Additionally, charities should also be mindful of the need to protect their reputation and that of the charity sector as a whole.
Lucy GreenwellMarketing Manager At Energise Technology
Lucy is passionate about writing about technology and third sector insight to help organisations meet the needs of stakeholders and end-users.
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