Mar 27, 2014
To put in perspective how powerful social media platforms are, consider this: More than 400 million tweets are sent on Twitter each day. There are 1.2 billion users on Facebook, and more than 1 billion unique visitors to YouTube every day, according to a recent infographic by Digital Insights.
Although those numbers can seem overwhelming, online media provides an excellent channel to reach potential benefactors for fundraising and creating overall brand awareness. Marketers share the same sentiment,and 74 percent of professionals are using Facebook to generate quality leads, Digital Insights added.
With that in mind, here are four tips to help your nonprofit use social media as an online fundraising tool:
1. Streamline the donation process: Even if your charity's donation management software is robust, there's no need to make it confusing for the benefactor. A way to simplify things is by including a call to action, according to social media guru Nina Radetich. Emotional appeals work best in this instance - especially if you're looking to drive traffic to your website. Hyperlinks that lead directly back to your online donation form limit the number of pages people need to click through to get to the donation page and increase the chances of giving.
2. Use your current contacts to self-promote: The beauty of social media is that it's an established network of individuals all connected through a single platform. Acting as a modern-day collection of business cards, social media provides users the opportunity to share content within minutes. The nonprofit's job then is to reach out to its existing contacts and ask for their help. Online sharing compounds itself, so if every contact shares with his or her network, the audience exponentially multiplies - and hopefully the number of donors do as well. Radetich suggests providing a pre-written statement you'd like your benefactors to share to make it that much easier and painless.
3. Be transparent about where the money is going: Since potential benefactors are being directed toward your website, make sure to dedicate a page or some type of written sentiment as to where the donation is going or what it's doing to help your cause. A simple, "Your $20 could feed a family in a developing country" may be the difference in processing donations or not. Full disclosure creates trust and inspires confidence with donors, as well as board members and staff, the National Council of Nonprofits suggested.
4. Tell donors how you feel: Common courtesy doesn't seem like an insider tip, but saying thank you to your benefactors may mean more than you think. Social media provides a real-time platform for a nonprofit to respond to its donors which means the interaction is much more personal than an automated e-mail response, Radetich says. A quick response within 24 hours of the donation is a strong way to create an ongoing dialogue about your nonprofit and its cause. Since online networking is publicly viewable and great for sharing content and stories, the chances of your message being spread are greater as a result.