5 great social media apps for charities

Social media app review

One of the ways to power up your social media activity is to integrate with apps that help automate common tasks. Lots of these apps (mostly free!) intergrate well with Twitter, and not only serve to make the lives of charity professionals easier, but increase their impact and influence.

Top five apps, and why charities should use them.

  1. Storify
  2. Thunderclap
  3. Feedly
  4. Buffer
  5. If This Then That

1. Storify

StorifyStorify gathers stories (the clue’s in the title) and shares them. A free profile allows you to have a profile picture, a custom header, and to create stories for public viewing, finding content shared on social media channels and links online.

It’s a really easy way of capturing all those tweets and photos from an event that your charity organised, or of creating a round-up of all the activity you’ve been involved in that week.

Here's an example of Storify in use:

Why should charities use Storify?

1) Storing conversations matters

The value of many charities lies in their relationships with donors, supporters and beneficiaries - and gathering conversations had through social media into one place ensures they can be saved and shared.

For organisations that engage heavily in news, Storify also provides a way of collecting traditional news sources alongside the stories reported on social media that are not often picked up on - and disseminating this to followers in an accessible way.

See Human Rights Watch’s Daily Briefing for 22nd July 2013 on Storify.

2) The reach of campaigns and events need maximising

If you’re investing in an event or campaign, you will have key targets including figures for outreach. Reminding your supporters that you hosted or organised an event/campaign, recapping the key points and showing the ways that people engaged is a useful reporting tool and provides another point of engagement.

Similarly, if you’re putting resources into a trip or project, gathering the social shares into one place is an easy way to maintain the momentum and ensure supporters can easily access information, even after the event or trip has happened.

Five useful, free & time-saving apps for charities to use with TwitterTweet this

Here’s a story gathered by Sightsavers following a trip by two MPs to visit their projects in Malawi.


2. Thunderclap

Thunderclap iconThunderclap is a tool that uses Facebook and Twitter to send messages out simultaneously from multiple accounts. Charities, individuals and organisations can set up Thunderclaps with a target for how many people they want to support it - if they meet the target Thunderclap will blast out the timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all those who have supported it, which, in their words, ‘creates a wave of attention’.

Why should charities use Thunderclap?

1) It’s a soft ask

Asking a supporter to allow you to tweet or post on Facebook on their behalf is an easy way to engage people with your work or campaign. It’s simple to sign up to, and increases the likelihood that they will engage with your charity in other ways afterwards.

UNHCR had a goal of 100 supporters for their #1family campaign, but found over 1000.

2) It has huge potential to increase the spread of key messages

Thunderclap calculates the maximum social reach of your message by adding together the number of followers of the people who are supporting your campaign - the more who support you, the larger the reach.

The ‘I was here’ thunderclap on World Humanitarian Day last year had a total reach of over 1 billion.

However - Thunderclap is only as useful as the message you’re actually spreading. What are you asking people to do who see your message?

Some ideas:

Include a link to a webinar or event streamed online

  • Include a Just Giving Text Code
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Link to a website for the campaign
  • Include a link to a video with more information

3. Feedly

Feedly iconFeedly is one of many RSS Readers - these gather RSS Feeds from all over the web and put them in one handy place so you can see all updates at once. It then allows you to share them in a really easy way via your social networks and with your charity’s team or supporters.

Why should charities use Feedly?

1) It saves time and increases social capital

Unless you’re very lucky, you probably don’t have time to sit scouring the web for information about your sector, news relevant to your work, and updates from your favourite blogs and writers.

Feedly does this for you, and collates it all together in an easy-to-read format. As well as being constantly up-to-date, you can share this information with your followers on Twitter, providing a useful service and gaining social credibility for your knowledge.

2) It’s good and it's free

Need we say more?!

Click here to learn more and set up a free account.

(Note: There are plenty of other great RSS Readers, we just like the simple layout of Feedly and its integration with Buffer App)

4. Buffer

Buffer iconBuffer is another time-saving tool with an increasing following. It enables you to write your tweets in advance, post them at pre-determined times using the scheduling feature, analyse the reach and impact and queue up re-tweets from the Twitter website in one click (using the Chrome Plugin). It also integrates with a whole host of other services. Read our full buffer review for more information and how to get a discount. 

Why should charities use it?

Time-efficiency is always something to strive for, and for many charities social media can feel like it dominates the working day with the constant pressure to engage on Twitter. Using Buffer App enables you to spend a set amount of time every morning (or any other time - morning is our preferred option!) queuing up your tweets - you can then carry on with your day safe in the knowledge that you have a certain minimum amount of tweets going out at regular intervals.

5. IFTTT (If this then that)

IFTTT iconIFTTT (pronounced ‘Gift’’ but without the G..) creates recipes using different channels which act upon triggers. Something like this:

Although we've included it here, IFTTT is a multi-channel app that works best when integrated with your entire online presence - but Twitter is a good place to start.

Why should charities use IFTTT?

It’s difficult to be everywhere at once and to keep on top of all the social activity your charity is engaged with.

Here are some examples of recipes that you could use:

  • If someone retweets my tweet, save it in a spreadsheet.
  • If I upload a photo to Instagram, save it in my Google Drive
  • If I upload a photo to Instagram, save it in Dropbox
  • If someone tweets about me, email these three people
  • If someone tags a photo of me on Facebook, text me


Phew. Hope all these have been useful - do let us know if you’re a charity already finding these useful, or if you’ve been inspired to have a go following reading this post! Are there any others you’d recommend?

And if you are hungry for more then check out our post on the best productivity apps for charities.

24 July 2016
Mary Mitchell