Good Things Come ...
However, in those early years we also realized pretty quickly that online donors didn't just stumble upon your website on the Information Super Highway. Rather, they needed to be presented with a great, big, flashy exit sign to "Donate Now," which gave rise to the all-powerful e-newsletter. Nonprofit fundraisers spent the first decade of the 21st century perfecting e-mail communications and fundraising. To this day — but for how much longer no one knows — a click in an e-newsletter is still the greatest source of traffic to your Donate Now page and by far the most successful means to raise dollars online.
And so it goes with social media
What does all this have to do with social media? Everything! I want you to go to Google right now and search for "social good: charity and technology in the online universe." Your search pulls up a well-designed infographic of the brief history of online and mobile giving in the United States. Now, scroll down the infographic to the "Online Charitable Donation Growth" rocket ship. Notice how online giving starts to grow around 2006? Well, that's when nonprofits started using MySpace to engage the MySpace community, of course. But if they were strategic, they also used it to build their e-newsletter lists and drive traffic to their Donate Now pages.
Notice the larger jump in giving in 2007? Guess what happened that year? Facebook Fan Pages were launched late in 2006 and grew by the millions in the nonprofit sector throughout 2007 to the present. One out of every two Americans now uses Facebook regularly, and that has dramatically resulted in increased brand recognition and website traffic for nonprofits — at least for those that know how to use it correctly. What about Twitter? It soared in users in 2008 to present.