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Habitat for Humanity South Africa wins Social Media award

September 6th, 2010

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JOHANNESBURG, 6th September 2009: In July, The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) invited entries for the 2010 South African NGO Web Awards which are now in their fifth year. The conference focused on how NGOs are raising money through the Internet, mobile phones and other online applications. The Web Awards competition raises awareness about the benefits of having a web presence among South African NGOs and in line with this year’s conference theme, “Fundraising in a Digital World”, SANGONeT invited entries for the 2010 NGO Web Awards for two categories: Best Use of Website for Online Fundraising and Best Use of Mobile Technology for Fundraising.

In April 2010, Habitat for Humanity SA launched their new website and quickly followed with the addition of social media pages and on-line fundraising appeals. The aim was to improve communications with donor’s sponsor’s and volunteers by providing up to date information on the various projects and programmes around South Africa and provide simple and secure methods for online giving through Givengain. The Habitat for Humanity SA official Facebook page has in the last four months seen significant ‘fan’ growth as pictures and stories emerge from the various builds and events. In addition, the hits on the Habitat for Humanity SA website have seen even more growth with the photo gallery, volunteer opportunities, fundraisers and volunteer stories having had most interest.

With everything in place, Habitat for Humanity SA entered the competition and from the numerous entries, ten NGO’s were shortlisted and the winning NGO’s were announced at the SANGONeT Conference on 1 September 2010 in Johannesburg.

Habitat for Humanity SA was announced as a winner in the Best Use of Website for Online Fundraising category and receives a prize of R 10,000.00 from Torque IT, the sponsor of the awards.

In South Africa only a small percentage of local NGOs are actively involved in fundraising through the Internet and mobile phones, a number of factors will contribute to accelerated growth in this area over the next few years. These include the growing number of South Africans with access to the Internet, the fact that most South Africans already own a mobile phone, the ongoing reduction in Internet costs, more NGOs with their own websites, the increasing relevance and popularity of social networking platforms, a growing middle class and a significant expatriate community with an interest in supporting good causes back home.

Keeping donors, sponsors and volunteers updated with the latest in programme information and happenings is crucial for building good relationships and helps to provide feedback and information on where funds are allocated and how our mission to eradicate poverty housing is having an impact at the community level. Fundraising money through the Internet, mobile phones and other online applications is gaining international importance. This is particularly evident, especially during high-profile events such as disasters, political campaigns and targeted multi-channel media efforts that draw attention to a particular cause or campaign.

For more visit Habitat for Humanity SA’s website.