Book: ‘Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits’
In a recent study, event fundraisers that incorporated social-media tools in their outreach increased their fundraising by as much as 40 percent compared to their peers who didn't. And, if you look at it from an engagement perspective, supporters who take an advocacy action on your behalf first are seven times more likely to give a donation when asked.
FS: Do you think it is a phase (albeit a long one) that will fizzle out in the next few years, or does it have real staying power (in regard to fundraising)?
The authors: It has real staying power for fundraising, but perhaps more so from the perspective of marketing of a fundraising campaign or a referral source vs. as an actual fundraising platform. Social media will become an increasingly important awareness channel as more people turn to it for their news.
As with any new channel, just like online fundraising, it will complement, not replace, traditional channels and will take a long time for fundraisers to get to that comfort level that they have with traditional channels. While there are examples of fundraising campaigns that are solely run on social media, they aren't as "sticky" for donors and will face the need to constantly be reinvented, and are, therefore, not as sustainable as a multichannel approach.
FS: Does social media further blur the line between friendraising and fundraising? Is that a good thing?
The authors: Yes! Because you should treat all supporters in a way that acknowledges the multiple ways they interact with your organization. It really isn't as cut-and-dry as it may seem in the offline world either. Supporters wear many hats and should be communicated with accordingly. A smart fundraiser will go above and beyond to use social media to further engage donors, not only to ask for more money in a new channel.