5 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Fundraising
Blackbaud's 2012 State of the Nonprofit Industry Survey of 1,500 nonprofits found that nonprofits that used five or more outreach methods experienced higher optimism in fundraising. The more channels you use — such as print letter, e-mail letter, social media and telephone fundraising — the easier your fundraising time will be and the more likely you will be to reach your goals. Social media can complement other fundraising strategies and help keep your fundraising goals at top-of-mind awareness. Here are five ways to integrate your fundraising campaign with your social media:
1. Grow your audience to grow leads
Social media streamlines connectivity and makes it very easy for potential donors to engage with you. Turn this to your advantage and grow your audience by posting thoughtful, sharable content. As you attract more and more fans on social media, your potential donor base grows. Even if social fans only give a small amount, the sheer number of contributions may help you to reach your overall fundraising goals. A large social following can also help you find volunteers (or participants) for your initiatives, identify new markets and learn about great opportunities.
2. Boost your response rate
As the 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study by M+R Strategic Services and the Nonprofit Technology Network reveals, e-mail response rates have fallen. Consumers are less likely to open e-mails and, when they do open them, they only average a 0.07 percent giving rate. Use social media to post reminders and updates about your fundraising and boost this low response rate. While most nonprofits have more potential donors on their e-mail lists than on their social networks, don't underestimate the power of social media to engage and convert fans and followers to donors.
3. Connect with like-minded organizations to boost your impact and be seen as a thought leader
Social channels like Twitter allow you to easily follow and be followed by other nonprofits, grantors and major donors. Use these channels to create and share expert content to be seen as a thought leader and strengthen your industry connections. This can lead directly to higher regard from industry players, which can lead to more donations and even more grant funding.
4. Link your social and printed content together
Some of your audience may be more inclined to connect socially while other audience segments may use social media little. Social-media fundraising isn't meant to replace print fundraising. The two can complement each other. Consider ways that you can embed social media in print brochures and fundraising letters. For example, you can include a postcard or bookmark with your social-media sites in a fundraising appeal. Or you could attach a QR code that links to your Facebook page on your brochure. Custom quality brochure printing online can include direct-mail services and printing in as little as four days.
5. Demonstrate your impact and tell your story socially
Demonstrating impact and telling a story are vital for nonprofit fundraising. Luckily social media makes it easy to visually demonstrate your impact. Post photos or videos that demonstrate your impact; put together infographics that help tell your story; and share status updates, news links and blog posts that help explain your mission and include a call to action. Sites like infogr.am let you create inforgraphics for free.
Kaitlin Turner is a graphic designer who helps small businesses develop e-commerce sites to compete with the big boys.