Social media platforms have risen to prominence in recent years, arising from internet and
technology developments, transforming the manner of daily interactions around the world.
Businesses in every industry have tried to harness these benefits, with recent efforts in the
charity sector achieving international prestige. Public confidence has been affected by high
profile transgressions in Irish charities, while donations are also diminishing due to the
financial difficulties the country has experienced in recent times. This research aims to clarify
if Irish charities are effective in using social media and if it can be used to overturn these
The initial research phase required an extensive and critical examination of the latest available
literature on the topic. The author could then develop comprehensive theories on the use and
capabilities of social media. Through a method of qualitative interviews, with candidates
chosen to represent a cross-section of the sector, the author was able to apply the secondary
research to the current situation in Ireland. Three charities and an external agency with expert
industry experience were chosen to provide this in-depth primary data.
The findings illustrate the practical benefits of effective social media utilisation. It’s now an
essential component of communication strategies as the Irish public are increasingly reliant on
it to source information. With optimal strategies, charities can capitalise on social media
presence. This cannot be monetised directly, but it produces value by increasing donations from
other sources. Furthermore, by demonstrating outcomes and transparency, social media creates
value by improving reputation and trust.
From an organisational perspective, this research provides important indications for Irish
charities and guidelines to meet present day challenges. Continued research is required as this
topic is constantly evolving, while smaller charities would benefit from an investigation of the
situation organisations with less resources. Author keywords: Social media, charity, non-profit, Ireland, online communication, fundraising, transparency