Over the years, nonprofit organizations have utilized a number of different strategies in order to solicit support from interested individuals, families, and corporations. Because these organizations are generally responsible for a large portion of their own financial health, developing strategies that best enable them to not only receive contributions, but also to build rapport with donors in the hopes of receiving regular contributions, is of utmost importance. While many historically successful strategies are still used by organizations (large-scale galas, direct mail solicitation campaigns, offering donor incentives), as knowledge and technology have evolved, organizations are beginning to incorporate social media tools into their fundraising efforts. In this post, we’ll explore three of the major social media tools that third-sector organizations are now utilizing to maximize their fundraising efforts.
Facebook is a tool that most people are probably very familiar with. What started as a convenient website and later as a mobile app to help old friends to stay in touch with each other and to form connections with new ones has exploded into a medium for promoting events, organizations, and just about anything else one can think of. While many people may be annoyed with incessant friend requests, odd political and social manifestos, and … questionable pictures that people in their friend circles post, the impact that Facebook has had on organization promotion is undeniable. The ability to fan a company’s or organization’s Facebook page not only keeps people constantly engaged in the organization’s updates and happenings, but also indirectly advertises the organization to friends and other users. This feature is a great way to keep interested people informed and to further spread information about their cause!
LinkedIn has grown in popularity at an exponential rate over the last few years as it has gained a large following within the professional community. With an ever-growing user base and “connections” continuously being established, it is never difficult to find like-minded people to collaborate with or to reach out to. A unique feature that many LinkedIn users utilize with their profiles is the “Causes You Care About” area where they are able to list different areas that they have special interest in. By listing these areas directly on their profiles, users are immediately conveying an above-average amount of interest. When reaching out to these people, fundraisers and more general networkers alike can assume that their leads are inherently “warmer” than they would be without this indicator of user interest.
The last device that has become a popular tool for fundraising and other awareness-raising endeavors is YouTube. From its humble beginning as a medium used to spotlight yawning cats or second grade talent shows, YouTube has grown into a multimedia giant, providing anyone from mega corporations to everyday people the platform to showcase their messages (or their “interesting” talents) to the world. A special feature that YouTube’s administrators have graciously made available for third-sector users is the “YouTube Nonprofit Program.” This program allows users to add a “Google Wallet” donate button to not only the organization’s YouTube homepages, but also to individual videos! However, the true power of YouTube is the ability to be interactive, appealing to viewers through the use of full-motion audio and video (with the additional HIGHLY RECOMMENDED option of including InVideo program to add organization-specific links and avatars) and even to live-stream events that the organization hosts or participates in!
Interested in learning more? You might want to consider picking up Mobile for Good: A How-to Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits, to get a better idea about some of the strategies discussed above.