Editor’s Note: I’m happy to have Norman Reiss guest posting on our blog today. Norman helps nonprofits to succeed in ephilanthropy–the intersection between technology, communications and development. Currently Project Manager at the Center for Court Innovation, Norman also blogs regularly at www.nonprofitbridge.com.
You’ve heard social media isn’t really effective for fundraising, so you’ve chosen not to spend much time cultivating constituents there. After all, the major nonprofit benchmark studies such as the recent Nonprofit Social Network Report show that few nonprofits have successfully raised funds on social networks. So let Communications handle the Facebook page and Twitter feeds—followers are unlikely to be donors, right?
Social media provides an opportunity to connect with those who are already interested in your cause and/or organization. It also gives people a chance to learn more about your nonprofit before they commit to a financial contribution. Even if you don’t specifically ask for funds on social sites, constituents may end up giving through your website or through direct solicitations.
So how can you use social media to drive fundraising? Try these simple steps
- Find a way in your constituent database to track those who are following you on social media sites. Pay particular attention to those who have shared or commented on your content.
- Develop a partnership between development and communications. A good way to get started is to maintain an integrated communications/fundraising calendar, which shows all your upcoming campaigns and planned outreach.
- Use simple tools such as Google Alerts to find others who are already talking about your cause or organization, then promote great content to your followers. This will demonstrate that you sincerely want to spread the word about your work, not only about your nonprofit.
- Segment your list to target messaging to those who have recently joined your email list or who have begun to follow your accounts on Facebook and Twitter. These constituents may turn out to be strong fundraising prospects
- Offer supporters multiple ways to help—not only by donating money. Those who take advocacy actions or volunteer may also decide to support you financially.
And how do you measure your results? Use specific landing pages for any campaigns that come from social media, but keep in mind that many donors who learn about you through social media may decide to give through other channels.