Announcing the launch of the 2013 Social Charity Study

How are charities evolving to meet the needs of their causes and challenges in a digitally networked world?

Three years on from the first Visceral Business Social Charity study, we’re delighted to announce we’re beginning work on this year’s one.

We’re inviting charities to take part in it to help discover the answers with us.

The Social Charity study aims to understand how charities are evolving as social organisations, adapting to the demands of funding and budget cuts using the opportunities of digital technology and open data.  It looks at how nonprofits are collectively solving social problems and meeting the needs of important causes through philanthropy in a networked world.

Charities have experienced a 20% drop in funding according to reports in the last year. They have smaller pockets, but arguably more connections.

The Visceral Business Social Charity Study looks at this from digital, organisational change and impact perspectives. This is an anthropological study to get under the skin of the important issue of non-profit evolution, exploring how dynamically and responsively charities are tackling these challenges by creating deeper dialogue with supporters and using data to track and create efficiencies in terms of fundraising and charitable impact.

We’ve seen throughout the whole of this year that charities are addressing these issues in different ways. To develop a compelling voice and digital culture that moves people to want to respond and contribute, we encourage each to take an individual approach to creating a distinctive digital culture and developing into ‘social and digital first’ organisations. The intention of this study is to generate collective understanding about how each charity as a networked non-profit can achieve that. Who’s leading, and how are different parts of the not for profit landscape developing?

The study has five core themes:

1. The relationship between fundraising revenue and social connection.

2. Data and developing impact throughout the supporter experience.

3. Social narrative and curation.

4. The networked organisation.

5. The future.

Part of the purpose of the 2013 Social Charity study is to help level the playing field between large and smaller charities and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with JustGiving again this year. Last year, for example, we found that only a handful of large charities were as successful as smaller ones when it comes to supporters sharing and encouraging others to participate in causes.

If you work for a charity, your perspective and shared insight by participating in the research survey will make it invaluable, so please help co-create the 2013 Social Charity Study with us. Hopefully it will be a useful 20 minutes and stimulate  a few thoughts about how your charity is evolving as a networked organisation. The results will be published free of charge. We’d love your charity to be a part of it.

So, please have your say on how things have changed for your charity in the last year and what you see, and would like to see, happen as a direction of travel in the future. At a time when some charities are unsure even of their continued existence, this understanding has never been more important.

The survey is open from today to end of play Friday August 23rd and the research will be published mid September, and it’s free. Here’s where you can download the 2011 and 2012 results.