The world of fundraising has changed since Bob Geldof’s 1985 Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine victims. Thanks to the Internet, charitable giving is more global and accessible than ever. People instantly spread awareness of important issues to the other side of the world. Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring allow people to create campaigns for and give to others in need. Social media has revolutionized nonprofit fundraising, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
One of the biggest challenges nonprofits face is lack of awareness. There are many people who would care deeply about issues or organizations — if only the messages would reach them. The Internet provides easy communication between nonprofit organizations and the supporters they need to further their cause. Continue reading to find out the best ways nonprofits can use social media to impact their organizations.
Pay for Social Media
Just because nonprofits put content online doesn’t mean it will gain traction. As Pinterest and other social media sites continue to change and refine their algorithms, it is increasingly necessarily for organizations to spend money advertising their content.
This doesn’t mean nonprofits need large advertising budgets — even $100 goes a long way — because any amount will impact how many people your posts reach. It’s rare that an organic post will naturally grow your social media audience.
One of the major benefits of paying for social media advertising is that nonprofits have more control over their audience. Websites like Facebook allow organizations to gear their content toward people with specific interests in certain demographics. This means that if you’re in tune with your target audience, you can access people who are more receptive to your content.
Hire a Social Media Pro
The Social Media Benchmark Study shows that it is uncommon for nonprofit organizations to have someone on staff dedicated to social media. If your nonprofit organization doesn’t currently have someone social media savvy, it is worth investing in a professional.
A social media strategist maximizes your online efforts. They will have knowledge of more complex ways to target people and help your organization show up more frequently and prominently in search results, such as using Google AdWords and Google+. Someone with an in-depth understanding of effective social media campaigns will serve you well. If possible, also enlist a graphic designer to keep your visual elements professional and attractive.
Leverage Your Network
Building an email marketing list is an important component of fundraising campaigns. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, 88% of nonprofits say email is one of their most important communication tools, even though 97% have a Facebook presence.
Establishing an initial email list or Instagram following is difficult, but gathering momentum online can see exponential growth. Continue to encourage your website and social media visitors to sign up for your email list. This will increase your ability to spread awareness of your efforts and raise money for your cause.
The best way to create a large network is to mix different platforms — especially popular ones like YouTube and Snapchat. By reaching out to a diverse group of social media users, you are more likely to attract those who will be invested in your work. When a nonprofit receives a retweet on Twitter from an influencer, they are leveraging their network effectively.
Engage Your Audience
Social media’s power isn’t limited to generating donations. A nonprofit can also engage their audience to reach potential volunteers. Ask your supporters through email to share links on their social media pages and help spread your message. This is an easy strategy for any nonprofit to adopt, and is especially effective if your message is powerful and evokes emotion.
The best social media efforts create engagement, not just awareness — though they often impact both. Audiences are often interested in websites or social media accounts that share information and resources rather than only asking for donations. Share content multiple times a week — or day, depending on the platform — and make sure you engage with the content your followers shares as well. Stay aware of what they respond to and tailor your content to generate maximum engagement.
No matter which social media networks your organization chooses to use, make sure you sign up for business accounts to obtain insight into valuable analytics. A little bit of content testing, and campaign hind-sighting can go a long way towards find out what content and platforms work for you.