Why Social Media is an Integral Part of Your Fundraising Strategy
In my experience, most development folks intuitively know that they should be using social media to achieve their fundraising goals. Yet it can be difficult to explain to our administrators why exactly we want to pursue that avenue.
Whether you’re still skeptical of the impact of social media or you need help making the case to the rest of your organization, here are some quick thoughts on why exactly social media is so important to fundraising for nonprofits.
Prospect and donor engagement is critical to not only securing an initial gift, but to ensure that your nonprofit builds lasting relationships. Relationships are the crux of social networks, making it an essential tool for this endeavor.
First, social media, when undertaken correctly, allows donors and prospects to get to know your organization. Through the content you post, you can communicate your organization’s mission on a much larger scale than mail, phone calls or one-on-one visits alone. As a side note, creating this content isn’t difficult at all. Look at the materials you’ve already created for other projects and figure out how to repurpose it for quality social media content.
Once someone has connected with your organization on social media, it’s easy to redirect them to your website to make a contribution. In 2014, nonprofits raised an average of 60 cents for every website visitor. Another side note: Donations increase in both size and number when custom landing pages are used.
Then, after they’ve invested in the organization, you can use social media to demonstrate the impact of their gift. Maybe it is photos of kids using the school supplies they helped purchase, a quick video of the facility they helped build or a note of gratitude from one of the people your nonprofit impacts through your work. Social media gives you the flexibility to communicate in a variety of ways that snail mail does not and it can never be “marked as read” or end up in a spam folder.
Furthermore, social media empowers your donor by making sharing the cause with their networks as simple as clicking a button. This will not only lead to more interest from those people in their networks, but it is also a way in which that donor becomes publicly invested in your organization and its mission.
And while online giving still accounts for less than 10% of all nonprofit fundraising, expect that number to grow as a younger generation becomes more involved in charitable giving. Cultivating young donors on their terms is crucial for long term fundraising. Organizations that ignore their wants and needs do so at their own peril.
A final note: One of the biggest mistakes nonprofits (and businesses) make when they start using social media is that they use it to merely blast out their messages. But social networking is not meant to work as one-way communication mediums like TV or radio do. Engage with you followers. Answer their questions. Ask them for some questions. Invite them to submit their stories or reasons for supporting your organization. Whatever you do, do not treat social media as a podium.