Social Media for Nonprofits Best Practices: Gain Online Support for Your Charity Beyond Donations

5 Jul

Soliciting donations is the basis of fundraising, but creating a network of supporters is the avenue to this goal. How can you increase your online exposure to potential donors?

Online fundraising efforts are usually focused on that little donation button that is highlighted on our website, but creating traffic to the site is just as important. If people don’t know you’re out there, or what your organization is about, there is little driving them to give. Sree Sreenivasan touches on this in Using Social Media to Bring Attention to Nonprofits, discussing the importance of having your donors promote your organization to their friends on various social networking platforms. Sreenivasan writes, “Sending money, of course, remains the single most important way to support nonprofits. But social-media users have learned that you can also have an impact by paying with something else. Attention — your own attention and your friends’ attention.” He goes on to add “hitting ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ or retweeting a post from a nonprofit can bring awareness to new circles of users — and potential supporters. And nonprofits big and small are finding ways to harness the energy of their fans to get more awareness to everything they do.”

How can you get more attention online?

Flipping through the channels, there seems to be trends emerging among many television news stations: at the end of every program they comment “Like us on Facebook.” They are asking their viewers to take action and join their brand page while also inadvertently advertising to their social network. Many supporters are focused on socializing on Facebook and probably haven’t considered “liking” your nonprofit or “sharing” your post with their friends. Bottom line: ask. Depending on your charity, marketing buzz words are a good place to start.

A few examples: Please like us on Facebook…

  • to share with your friends the importance giving children a brighter future.  
  • … to help us feed 10,000 hungry people this holiday season
  • … to bring awareness to the hundreds of homeless animals that desperately need a healing touch.

You can also encourage your donors on Twitter to retweet your comments, therefore introducing their followers to your organization.

Something Worth Sharing

Another way to empower donors to share your comments and posts with others is to produce engaging content. Utilize the incredible statistics about your cause and share them in new ways to inform your followers. Find a heartwarming story that will pull at supporters’ emotional side. Explain how a new law or candidate is going to impact your organization and encourage supporters to rally for your cause. Post any media coverage that highlights your organization. Reinvent content to keep it interesting, relevant, and causes a reaction to bring interaction.

Make Your Post an Invitation

There is one organization that I work with that had a great idea: they created a beautiful invitation for an upcoming event and posted it on Facebook. Several of my friends have “shared” it so it has popped up on my home page about four or five times with comments of support from the person who forwarded it. I get about ten pretty pictures with sappy sayings each day, why not use a great picture of your organization’s work with a call to action written below?

Finally, on your Fundly webpage your donors can make a financial contribution or just show their Facebook and Twitter friends that they support your cause. We make it simple so that even the most inexperienced computer user can spread the word on your behalf. Social media fundraising reaches its potential when it has a domino effect to touch countless possible supporters.

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