Understanding fundraising in the social media realm

Raising money for charity by spreading awareness on social media is something every organization should be doing these days. Organizations should use social networking sites to post promotional content that encourages people to fill out a donation form on their websites. There are many ways to stimulate monetary gifts over the internet, but garnering attention and creating buzz on social media will help build a community around the cause. Understanding how and why people interact with nonprofits on social networking sites allows charities to better organize campaigns and make their initiatives known on the web.

Social management and its impact
Salesforce.com featured the American Red Cross's social strategy, explaining so many people (approximately 25 percent of the general public) are active on the internet and of those, about one-third interact on social media during times of crisis. In addition, people immediately turn to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms for the latest news, to offer support and to find answers. Social networks are becoming an inherent part of the culture and the way people communicate. Because of this, the Red Cross has dedicated time, effort and resources into developing a Digital Operations Center to better monitor and collect information from social media during emergencies.

The efforts put forth to better manage social interaction and reach out to those interacting on the internet help organizations function at a much more efficient level. Jerry Crary, CIO of the American Red Cross, said the emphasis on social media gives the nonprofit access to the resources necessary to manage a crisis situation and keep in contact with volunteers and donors.

Breaking down social media engagement
Social media is quickly becoming part of charity awareness, communication and fundraising strategies. According to statistics supplied by Avectra, 77 percent of people in the U.S. are connected on social platforms, and 93.3 percent of nonprofits have a social media presence. Of the social networks that organizations use to spread awareness, 98 percent are on Facebook, 74 percent are on Twitter and 66 percent are on YouTube. On average, one like on Facebook is the equivalent of $3.50 in fundraising, and one follower on Twitter is equal to $2.05. Therefore, allowing donors and other community members to contact organizations via social media accounts can help create a relationship with them and lead them to invest in the cause.

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