How charities can use social media to educate, support and raise funds

We recently revealed how the charity Ovarian Cancer Canada increased donation rates by 250% through the use of Chatbot technology. 

In our two-part blog series, we now explore how the disease of ovarian cancer is being talked about online in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

We’ve taken a look at the online conversation about Ovarian Cancer from both charities and the general population to understand what online content moves audiences in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada to engage.

These insights will demonstrate how charities can apply insight to inform content that serves three purposes - to educate, to provide support and to raise funds.

Looking at the detail

The findings


1) Content from both people and charities is not inspiring action

2) Inspiration is more helpful than fear

How much is being said?


There have been 3, 590 conversations about ovarian cancer in the US. This is 3x the amount in the UK and 5x the amount in Canada, though, given population sizes, this may not be surprising.

What's the impact?

We took a look at how much engagement - likes, comments, and shares - the content receives in order to better understand how much impact it is having.

Of the 1,000 plus conversations about ovarian cancer in the UK, very few inspire action in the form of likes, comments and shares. In fact, engagement is so low that you can only see one peak in the graph below, where engagement is larger than the amount created.

In the United Kingdom, the most engagement came on a post by Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

The post contains hashtags and is themed around awareness and support. When we take a look at the themes of the 1,040 posts about ovarian cancer in the UK, we can see that a lot of the language is of a medical nature. Symptoms, stages, patients, research, diagnosis all feature. None of this resonated. Neither support nor awareness feature in the report below, which tracks trends in the language used.

A similar story in the US

In the United States, it’s a similar story though there was an enormous amount of engagement at the beginning of the period, totalling 15,000 engagements. 

In the USA, the most engaging post was a post about Survivors Day. On the same day, coverage about affordable health care research was also published.

Despite this, neither healthcare plans nor survivors feature in the conversation content themes.

Engagement is more consistent in Canada

In Canada, though volumes are lower at 494 and engagement per post is still less than 1 per post on average, we do see a different pattern. Rather than focused on one day, engagement is more consistent throughout the month. This would suggest that content about the disease published in Canada more regularly resonates with an audience. 

North of the US Border there is slightly more alignment between what resonates and what is being published. The most engaging post was about a two-year-old with a rare form of the disease.

More support language features, and there are more examples of charity initiatives to raise money. Nonetheless, the key takeaway from this data is that when it comes to Ovarian Cancer, social engagement is low globally.


Key takeaways

Many charities already monitor their posts to understand how frequently they’re posting. The real insights come from measuring engagement from those posts and looking at the broader conversations around the cause. This gives charities true insight into how likely conversations about their causes are to encourage action.

Charities with their limited resources need their content to serve three purposes - educate, support, and raise funds. In order to do that charities need to ensure that the content they create strikes a strong enough chord for someone to do something with it, whether that's a social engagement or a donation. 

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