Tips for how social media can improve charity fundraising

As social media continues to become a prevalent part of daily life, companies from all industries have begun introducing the medium into marketing strategies. What was once a disconnected process - faceless companies sending materials to nameless customers – has evolved into something much more intimate. Organizations are now forming real relationships with their customers and, as a result, better understanding how to adjust to developing markets and introduce new services and products.

For nonprofits, longtime fundraising trainer and international nonprofit organizational development consultant Marc Pitman says introducing social media into an existing or new marketing strategy can be great for further connecting with donors and inspiring future gifts.

Don't start from scratch if you don't have to
When starting an account on any of the available social media platforms, most are forced to start with an empty slate. Don't. Nonprofits can utilize existing contacts lists from volunteers or donors to foster an immediate social following.

Make conversations with donors 
One of the more difficult but important aspects of maintaining a fundraising base is keeping connected with contributors. Social media opens up an entirely new portal to keep in touch with existing donors.

Through social media, literally millions of people have begun forming relationships for both personal and professional reasons. Nonprofits can use these platforms as a means to start more personal conversations with existing and even potential donors.

Fundraising with Twitter
Twitter is unlike any other popular social media platform. All communications are concise and in real-time, but still have the potential to reach thousands, if not millions, of people for online donation requests.

There are several reasons Twitter stands out as a platform conducive for fundraising. For starters, it is an incredibly simple way to expand your fundraising operations in terms of physical location. Twitter users are from all around the globe and the content published through the platform is much more publicly available then from other sites. This makes it easier to identify and then connect with people who might be interested in your campaign.

One successful example of using Twitter to raise funds is Twestival​, which used the platform to garner international support and organize offline events. The event raised $250,000 for charity:water.

Show where the money is going
Contributors want to feel connected to the charitable foundation they're giving to. By using social media, nonprofits can offer donors a window into how their money is being spent, giving a more intimate connection with that particular project while also providing more transparency for the organization.

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