How charities are using chatbots

Kirsty Marrins
Digital communications specialist
01 Mar 2018

In our Lightful Predicts Charity Digital Trends for 2018 blog post, our Community Manager Jennifer Rose predicted that the robots are coming. Chatbots have huge potential for the sector – from providing information to bringing supporters closer to the cause. In this post, we share examples of charities who are using bots to raise awareness, engage and even fundraise. We hope it will inspire you to create one.

charity:water + Lokai

Most likely the first example of a charity using a chatbot, Walk with Yeshi was launched back in 2016. A collaboration between charity:water and jewellery brand Lokai where you’re invited to walk with a young, Ethiopian girl called Yeshi as she embarks on a two and a half hour journey to collect water.

While you walk with her, you hear about her ambitions to go to school so that she can become a teacher, how she loves cooking with her mother and stories about her brother. The user is asked to send photos, take part in quizzes and answer questions. The whole experience lasts two and a half hours so you are immersed in Yeshi’s journey.

UNICEF

How do you cut through the noise and engage with your supporters on an awareness day that every other charity with children would be tapping in to? You do something different, of course. For World Children’s Day on the 20th November, UNICEF launched a Facebook chatbot campaign #KidsTakeOver. Here’s how it worked:

Prior to World Children’s Day the chatbot engaged with people through quizzes, jokes, videos and even dares. On World Children’s Day they had timed broadcasts, including posts they could share with their Facebook friends, a special video message from actress Millie Bobby Brown as well as a donation ask.

The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project is a small charity with just one person in their communications team. They set up a chatbot themselves on Facebook to build their email list and educate people on the importance of taking action on climate change. This is a really clever and simple way to grow your audience and just shows that chatbots are not just reserved for big charities.

WaterAid

As part of their #Untapped appeal, which invited supporters into the world of the villagers of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone, who were getting clean water for the first time, WaterAid created a Facebook chatbot. Supporters could speak to Sellu, one of the villagers who has three young children and find out about him and his family, village life and how getting access to clean water will improve their lives.

It was very important to WaterAid that the villagers were involved in the whole process and Sellu really did help create the chatbot in terms of content. This campaign has had amazing feedback:

Mencap

Unlike the above chatbots, Mencap’s chatbot lives on its website rather than on Facebook. The chatbot is part of their #HereIAm campaign, which aims to help people understand more about what it’s like to have a learning disability through talking to Aeren who is learning disabled. Another difference is that people can’t ask their own questions, rather they have to choose from pre-set answers (a decision tree). Although this may seem less ‘human’ than the Facebook chatbots, Aeren certainly feels very real. Most importantly, Mencap reported that the chatbot has led to a 3% increase in awareness of the charity.

Have you seen any other great charity chatbot examples? Let us know! Tweet us at @Lightful.

Latest articles

How nonprofits can assess and prioritise their digital needs to be more resilient

Nonprofits embraced digital technologies during COVID-19 in order to continue delivering their services and reach their beneficiaries. However, the transition was not smooth for everyone, and there were many obstacles they had to navigate.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
26 Nov 2021
Eco-storytelling - Your story can change our planet’s future

Storytelling can be an incredibly powerful tool, especially when in the hands of those seeking to change the world around them.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
15 Nov 2021

Related posts

How nonprofits can assess and prioritise their digital needs to be more resilient

Nonprofits embraced digital technologies during COVID-19 in order to continue delivering their services and reach their beneficiaries. However, the transition was not smooth for everyone, and there were many obstacles they had to navigate.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
26 Nov 2021
Three key learnings in nonprofits’ digital delivery and the impact of COVID-19

Nonprofits around the world have had to change the way they deliver services as a result of COVID-19. A combination of restricted movement, furloughed staff, and increases in demand at a time when forecasted revenue has become more uncertain has created a challenging - at times, impossible - environment in which to make adjustments to delivery models. However, so many nonprofits have shown remarkable resilience, transitioning to virtual delivery models where possible and in many cases, almost overnight. For some, the challenging circumstances have led to accelerated digital transformation and related opportunities.

Tereza Litsa
Digital Engagement Manager
14 Sep 2021

See other ways Lightful can help

All
What we do
Who we help

Contact us

Want to learn more?

Email Pumulo and start a conversation

Pumulo Banda
Relationship Manager

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.