Social giving has major effect on nonprofits

Social media is having a large impact on how nonprofits garner attention and engage donors. Social platforms and community interaction is becoming more important and leading more people to online donation forms. This is essential to remember when developing charity fundraising ideas. Organizations should know how to use social media as a fundraising tool and get interested parties involved in cause initiatives online. There are a wide variety of options, but understanding how to leverage platforms and reach influential audiences is key.

What the stats say
Network for Good provided statistics from a recent online benchmark study by M&R Strategic Services and NTEN that pointed to the overall impact social followers have on organizations. The study found the number of nonprofit Facebook fans grew 46 percent in 2012, while the number of Twitter followers grew 264 percent. While email is still considered an integral part of nonprofit fundraising, social is moving up the ladder quickly. Online revenue increased 21 percent in 2011, and between 2011 and 2012, monthly online donations rose 43 percent. In addition, social media growth surpassed email lists in 2012.

How to use social media
Having a smaller target audience and spreading the brand across many platforms will help attract new donors while also providing detailed information about those interested in the cause. The study found small groups have a 0.16 percent response rate, while larger groups had a 0.07 percent rate. Targeting a message to a smaller audience may be more beneficial.

Creating a community around the cause and spurring excitement can get people more involved and willing to fill out an online donation form. The Tech Cocktail featured an article with Social Good Network's Russ Stoddard on how to get people invested in a cause online. Too many people abandon donation forms, but putting that money to good use is not impossible. Stoddard says using social media to create matching donation campaigns and other creative ideas will lead to more donations.

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