How to make the most of user-generated content

18 June 2024
Relationship BuildingDigital Integration
Standard Content

This is part of our collection of resources aimed at small fundraising teams, individual fundraisers and small charities. Produced by the Chartered Institute and our expert partners.

Emma Bracegirdle
Emma Bracegirdle
Founder of The Saltways

User-generated content can be a game-changer for small charities, allowing you to connect with your supporters without needing huge budgets. Find out how you can engage supporters to produce content that you can use in your fundraising activities.

How can small charities get user-generated content that is good quality, ethical, respectful, and effective? We work with charities of all sizes to improve their content, here are our top five tips for making the most of user-generated content.

1. Get consent

When speaking to your service-users, staff, volunteers etc. about capturing content, charities need to be transparent about the purpose of the content and how it will be used. This means telling them where the content will be posted, who will have access to it, and how long it will be used for.

By building trust and transparency, your content creators will feel more appreciated and supportive of the project. Get fully-informed consent from those involved in the content, ensuring that they are aware of what they are agreeing to, and that they have the option to decline participation.

2. Set clear expectations

You need to be very clear about what content you need and what the theme or key messaging is. Guidelines should include image and video quality requirements, content themes, and any other relevant information. By setting clear expectations for content creation, you can ensure that the user-generated content is of high quality and aligns with your charity’s mission and values. The clearer and more supportive you can be, the better.

3. Be supportive

Be open with your content creators and create a sense of community around user-generated content creation. Respond to submissions, comment on social media posts, and share the content you receive. By engaging with your audience, you can create a positive and supportive environment for user-generated content creation and encourage more people to participate.

4. Provide feedback

Be clear about how and where to send footage. Make it as easy as possible for people to send in content and give feedback as you receive it. You want to provide constructive feedback that helps improve the content while also being respectful of the creator’s efforts and intentions.

5. Thank your content creators

Thank and credit your creators. Let them know how their content has been used, what the result and impact has been.

So, there you have it. Getting good user-generated content is a fun and rewarding experience that can help your charity grow in ways you never thought possible. Don’t be afraid to get creative, experiment, and see what works best for you. Who knows, you might just create the next viral content sensation!

To speak to The Saltways to ask any questions please contact us.

Members can access an on-demand webinar on the topic of using your phone to create a film, access it by logging in to your member account, selecting Member Benefits and then Member events. 

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