Understanding and Engaging the Next Generation of Philanthropists, Part 2
[Editor's note: This part 2 of a two-part series. Click here to view part 1.]
How to engage the next generation of philanthropists
Once you identify this next wave of constituents, there are certain best practices you must incorporate to engage these donors socially, says Arnon Shafir, CEO and co-founder of give2gether. He offers these three immediate ways to do that:
- Make it easy. "Make it easy for your social activists to not only invite people to your campaigns and discussions online, but also make it easy for them to share the progress," Shafir says. Use a social platform that provides all the cross-platform promotional tools donors need — widgets, badges, personal fundraising pages, progress updates — so they can share as much information with their social networks as they can to get others as excited about your cause as they are.
- Make it sticky. "By making it sticky, what we mean is that the mover, the champion, the person who is running for a cause is being invited to look at his achievements rather than just thanking him for his gifts," he says. "If you are a social activist and you could literally check every day — or every hour — and see how far your influence went, how big your impact was in the campaign, it makes the donor want to keep coming back."
- Make people feel pivotal in your success. "What if we, as a nonprofit, could show you what your personal social responsibility equates to? What did you do for the cause not only by giving, but how far did your reach go, how deep, how many layers, how many people you inspired?" Shafir asks. He says you should acknowledge these social activists constantly, specifically rewarding achievements. For instance, if someone brought in 100 new followers to the campaign, acknowledge that.
Shafir also says it's important to be creative and actively engaging on social media to keep people interested in your cause. He suggests offering other ways to provide help besides donating money, i.e., volunteering, participating in an event, signing a petition. And you should pursue ambitious goals because the fundraising potential is there.
Fundraisers have been looking for ways to actually raise funds through social media to little or no avail since the channel's inception. However, that is finally beginning to change as the sector understands the channel and its users more and more. In fact, give2gether currently has more than 100 nonprofits raising more than $4.2 million on its platform, including six campaigns exceeding $300,000. Music for Relief and Leiby Kletzky Memorial Fund each have raised more than $300,000, and Save a Child's Heart, one of the first organizations to utilize the platform, has raised more than $700,000, showing the type of fundraising potential that's out there for organizations of all missions and sizes.
"Instead of saying give us money, we say forget about how much money you can give; instead of opening your wallet, open your social wallet. It's monetizing the social activity of this younger generation," Shafir says. " … If you think about it, it's not only about your next gift or your next donors; it's about growing an online constituency who will support you in the second, third and fourth campaign this year and beyond.
"These are the modern philanthropists out there who are changing the way not only that we give but the way we think of ourselves as socially responsible and involved in campaigns. We live our lives online. We do our shopping online. We do our giving and philanthropic activities online, and I think that's what this is all about."