Social Networks: How to Make Them Work for Your Nonprofit
“We create talking points and approved messages, and then send our interns looking for groups on Facebook who share a similar pro-peace perspective to ours,” she explains. “A lot of smaller groups on these social networks are looking for actions they can take. I used to be surprised when a group organizer would say, ‘Yes, I’ll forward your message to my group!,’ but I’m not anymore. We can also help them grow by linking to their group or fan page from our Web site.”
Is your goal fundraising?
The results from using social media to fundraise have been mixed so far. Though we’ve seen a few flashes of success in campaigns such as Twestival ($250,000) on Twitter, most of the social-network campaigns don’t generate much cash. There is wide adoption of Facebook’s Causes application, but the fundraising volume is still limited. According to a recent report in The Washington Post, out of the 235,000 nonprofits using the Causes application, three had raised more than $100,000 and 88 had raised $10,000. For instance, if you look at the American Red Cross Causes page on Facebook, you’ll see that it has collected $7,295 … clearly it’s not the No. 1 place to donate to such a big brand.
There is no doubt these fundraising statistics will grow over the next few years. At Artez we’ve found that one of the best ways to use social networks for fundraising is to view them as an alternative to e-mail. Nonprofits can run walkathons and create personal fundraising pages. We (along with other tool providers in this area such as Convio and Blackbaud) are seeing more and more traffic to our donation servers arriving from Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s say I’m trying to raise $1,000 through my personal fundraising page. In the past, my primary method for doing this was to send out lots of e-mails. Now, increasingly, I’m updating my status on Facebook and posting information on the wall that will direct my generous friends to donate through my fundraising page … and they never have to be ‘spammed’ with e-mail from me!
Please keep your eye out for next month’s column: "Trends in Online Giving: Making Your Fundraising Recession-Proof." If you’re enjoying this content I invite you to search for my “Digital Fundraising Podcast” on iTunes and listen to interviews with rock stars in the world of digital fundraising.
Philip King is president and CEO of Artez Interactive. If you have any thoughts or comments, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org