How to build relationships with donors on social media

If nonprofits want to encourage people to donate online, they need to build a strong awareness of their causes on the Web and offline. There is more to an online strategy than building a website and hoping people will fill out an online donation form. In fact, this strategy won't get organizations anywhere. Instead, it is worth their while to invest time into building a plan that will engage donors and potential givers on the various social media realms that the Internet has to offer. Here are a few tips to start off:

1. Acknowledge followers
People want to know that when they speak, someone is listening to them. This could not be more true for the social media realm, meaning it's important for nonprofits to respond to followers, post statuses that show appreciation for donors and thank them for their support of the cause.

2. Engage online and offline
Social media can be the starting point of a great relationship with donors if organizations are able to carry engagement to their websites and live events, says npENGAGE. Showing donors where the nonprofit accepts online donations, how they can volunteer their time or when they can come in person to support a cause will help them feel more like part of a community of followers dedicated to the same thing.

3. Be consistent
Social media, though useful and exciting, takes time and patience to be successful. Posting statuses, photos, comments, updates, news and other pieces of information should be consistent so donors have a good idea of what is going on inside the nonprofit and how they can help. Make it a point to dedicate a specific amount of time each day to creating content that will engage followers and potential donors on social platforms. 

4. Show results
News is easy to share on social media, so share updates as often as possible for people to spread to their own communities. There are plenty of opportunities to get the word out about an organization's triumphs and challenges and asking followers to play a part in those will bring light to the issues.

5. Use social media as a supplement to a bigger plan
As fantastic as social media is for helping garner donations, nonprofits have to understand that there is more to developing relationships with donors than a social media strategy. There needs to be a solid offline and online fundraising tool in order for people to become completely immersed in the cause.

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