The Internet today is a very powerful means of communication. Social media is an online interactive means of communication. By means of social media, one can be able to even vote online.
It is also possible to leave comments and chat online at sites commonly known as blogs. Blogs are also an efficient means of sending and receiving latest news, magazines, and photographs. Oxfam as outlined in the case study is an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to offer humanitarian services to the disaster affected areas in war. It has over 800 shops in Great Britain specifically meant for collection of donations of goods from donors some of which are used for resale to generate some income. Oxfam depends mainly on donations though sometimes it also makes its own money from sales at its retail outlets. It also has various agents worldwide who help in the distribution of donations. Various governments and the United Nations also work in collaboration with Oxfam to help with disbursements.
Oxfam has employed various means of raising donations and funds. Among the means employed is the use of Oxfam’s website. The website outlines Oxfam’s mission and vision. Various past and current reports on humanitarian action spearheaded by Oxfam are also featured prominently at the website.
The website has a sign up feature where its visitors can sign up for a monthly email newsletter. This method is basically used to update the website’s visitors on the current activities helping in attracting more funds. Previously, email campaigns for raising funds lasted six weeks and they proved to be very successful. They raised $450,000 within the period of six weeks. If Oxfam undertook a similar emergency fundraising campaign at present times, it would have to involve social websites and the results would be tremendously successful.
Social media is capable of reaching out many people within a very short time. Due to its accessibility, many people prefer it as compared to other conventional means of media. Oxfam, for example, can integrate Facebook, as a way of enhancing the email campaigns as described in the case study.
It has about 500 million users worldwide. On Facebook, friends are able to communicate with one another. They are also able to search for friends they have not seen and talked to for long time; they can also form social networks. Thus, well-prepared funds can be spread out to numerous people within a very short time.
On Facebook, one can share photographs as well. Oxfam can use this means as a way of spreading information about urgent desperate cases that require aid immediately. Vivid pictures may not leave people indifferent to someone’s sorrow. Online groups and fan pages can also be used enabling people to socialize together online and discuss how they can mobilize funds. The supporters of Oxfam can be encouraged to use Twitter.
Through its using, people are able to send text messages to one another to spread information about funds. Using Twitter is more convenient and much easier because messages can even be sent directly to one’s mobile phones. Google+ is one of the latest online social media websites. Google+ has a program that connects its followers for the sake of sharing information. It has facilities like Circles, Hangout and Sparks. All these features can help people come together online for the sake of raising funds. Hangout facilitates online chatting and Sparks helps in identifying topics that online users are interested in sharing with each other.