5 Tips for Raising Funds Through Social Mobilization
The troubled economic times that our nation now faces are forcing many to curb their level of charitable donations — donations that nonprofits and cause-driven organizations rely on to survive. Typically, nonprofits rely on more traditional methods of growing support — volunteer word-of-mouth, mass mailings or telephone outreach. While effective, these methods are time-consuming and cost-prohibitive.
As a result, nonprofits increasingly are deploying new technologies like social mobilization to optimize fundraising efforts. Social mobilization is an online technology that operates in much the same manner as social-networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. However, instead of acting merely as an entertainment portal for posting messages or sharing pictures, social-mobilization technology rallies donors around a cause — mobilizing them to give money while spreading the word, performing actions and recruiting other donors into the online community. The following tips can help organizations get the most out of their social-mobilization platforms.
Use a reliable platform
It’s no surprise that many organizations prefer to do things in-house as an attempt to save money. However, a number of organizations have launched proprietary, homegrown technologies only to find that they spend just as much on development and maintenance; and they often experience costly system crashes that postpone efforts until the platforms are running again — sometimes days later.
Developing a social-mobilization platform is best left to the experts because technology vendors hire engineers and specialists to design and test-fire systems before they’re officially launched — helping to ensure that platforms are “bug free.” They also provide user-support services to assist with any problems should they arise. Using a reliable platform not only prevents headaches associated with a homegrown system, but it also provides users with the support necessary to make sure that operations run as smoothly as possible.
Integrate pre-existing lists
Although social-mobilization technology will exponentially build organizations’ lists of supporters, it is important that existing contact lists are integrated into the system once a platform is installed. This is useful not only because it solves the problem of having to start a list from scratch, but it also saves lots of time by allowing organizations to quickly upload existing supporter data into the system — rather than manually re-entering information. And existing supporter lists are important because they contain individuals that already are familiar with the organization and can begin recruiting their friends and family. Because donors are more inclined to give when the request is made by a trusted friend, it is especially important for organizations to make sure they integrate pre-existing lists into their newly installed systems.