Implementing an Online Fundraising Plan for Beginners

16 Feb

In this fourth blog pertaining to Social Media Week, let’s start at the very beginning of how to actually use social media for those who are either new to the nonprofit world or unfamiliar with the basics of social media. This week we’ve discussed the purpose and differences of Twitter and Facebook, but here are some practical ways to slowly incorporate them into your development department’s strategy for fundraising.

1)      Get your website up and running – Facebook and Twitter are great ways to contact donors but if you have nowhere to lead them, it almost defeats the purpose. There are great website templates that you can find on the internet that average about $20 per month for a basic account, or you can set up a donation page on Fundly. Last night I created a Fundly page for my brother-in-law’s charity event and it literally took me about 25 minutes. You can share your mission, contact information and collect donations in a matter of minutes.

2)      Set up Facebook and Twitter accounts – You can’t contact donors via these internet applications if you don’t have an account. Fill in the required information and spend about half an hour playing around with the different fields and features. Also, check out YouTube for video tutorials on how to use these online tools. If millions of people can do it, you can too! It just takes some time and basic computer skills to figure out the online social scene.

3)      Set up a calendar – I live by my calendar and a to-do list. If I don’t organize my life on paper, I feel frazzled and overwhelmed. Once you get your online accounts set up, set aside a time and schedule or assign this task to someone on your team to keep up with creating updates and posts for your online donor list. Maybe every Wednesday you can create a post on Facebook to let your supporters know what project you are working on. Possibly send out an e-newsletter on the first Monday of the month with a success story or urgent need. On Twitter you can report on a great article you read pertaining to your cause or state how much money you raised at a fundraiser. Create a plan and then stick with it!

4)      Reply to your donors – Social media is a two way street; you can post all you want, but donors will comment and ask questions. Be sure someone in your organization replies. Of course you don’t have to comment on everyone’s message, but filter through your account and reply when necessary.

5)      Expanding your online presence – Once you have Facebook, Twitter and e-mail mastered, you may want to check out LinkedIn to connect with other professionals. There are a bunch of great groups focused on nonprofits and the forums are perfect if you have questions or need ideas.

So those are some of the basics to using social media resources. Tune in tomorrow for our final installment of Social Media Week posts: Starting Your Own Blog.

In this series:

Happy Social Media Week – http://bit.ly/yKlkNr

Woman Uses Fundly and Facebook to Help Fulfill Stranger’s Last Wish – http://bit.ly/wluGiv

Twitter vs. Facebook: To Tweet or Not to Tweet – http://bit.ly/ADdqwn

Implementing an Online Fundraising Plan for Beginners – http://bit.ly/x5BymH

Starting Your Own Blog – http://bit.ly/yxR2kG

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