Apr 30, 2013
Nonprofit websites must do more than introduce the cause and offer a donation page to collect contributions. The digital platform is also responsible for engaging viewers and offering unique opportunities for supporters to spread the world and help the mission online. Nonprofits should take advantage of social tools and capabilities to reach a wider audience of donors while equipping them with functions to do their own part in helping others and perpetuating the cause.
In an interview with Folio, Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation, explained the value of social media in the context of global activism. The various networks that connect individuals across international borders are aiding the spread of awareness and information that may otherwise be stifled. Organizations are realizing the cost-efficient communication portals can be used to engage audiences quickly and efficiently, driving more traffic to websites, fundraising events, crowdsourcing platforms and online donation pages.
The Nation has already started leveraging social media tools to grab the attention of the public and build support for a Nation Builders donor community. The Nation has also launched a NationAction Twitter feed to more directly address the needs and interests of the audience. Other nonprofits may use similar strategies to generate dialog among donors and involved populations that have new ideas for enhancing the work of the organization. Creating safe spaces online where participants feel free to express their concerns and share their viewpoints is a powerful way to use social networks to spread awareness. As conversations grow, so too will online follower populations and donations. Nonprofits must embrace the affordable platforms that directly connect the younger generation looking to make a difference via online channels, vander Heuvel explained.
Another way to take advantage of social tools online to build a wider audience is through the addition of coupons onto websites and donation pages. Nonprofits can fundraise, reward supporters and entice new contributions through coupon offerings. Visitors on the website and donation pages can select an online coupon to purchase, with some or all of the money going toward the charity, and receive a digital code that can be reimbursed at restaurants, stores or other businesses. Nonprofits work with businesses in the community to collaborate on coupon offerings to benefit both parties. Companies can enjoy increased sales from shoppers using the coupons, while nonprofits can entice more sales by offering rewards.