January 04, 2023
Social media can be an effective fundraising tool for nonprofits. With the right strategy and approach, it can help organizations reach a wider audience and generate more interest in their mission. It also makes it easy to post updates on fundraising campaigns, share donation links, and communicate with donors. Additionally, nonprofits can use social media platforms to create engaging content that will draw attention to their cause and inspire people to donate.
One size doesn’t fit all.
When it comes to social media, nonprofits can reach a vast audience and engage with potential donors. As such, it is important for them to select the right platforms that will align with their mission, target demographic, and fundraising goals.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are some of the most popular social media platforms that nonprofits use. While each platform serves a different purpose, they all offer an effective way to reach potential donors and engage with their audience.
While it might be tempting to create an account on every single social media platform, that is not always the best approach. Nonprofits should select the social media platforms that best suit their needs. For example, if they are looking to connect with younger generations, Instagram or TikTok might be the best option. On the other hand, if their goal is to spread awareness about their cause, or reach more millennials, Twitter or Facebook are great options. They are often used for more frequent updates and sharing of information.
How to use social media effectively.
It's important to remember that all supporters don’t receive and respond to information in the same way, and so messages should be delivered in multiple ways. I recommend an approach that hits all streams of communication. Messages sent by different paths reinforce one another and make for a stronger message and for a strategy that covers all the bases—and all the donors.
Let’s say, for example, the food bank you direct is having a fundraiser. Here is a comprehensive strategy to market it:
- Send a direct mail piece well in advance to promote the event and your organization.
- Promote the event, in different ways, frequently on the food bank’s Facebook page. You can create an event and invite all your Facebook followers. You can post pictures of the preparation of the event. And of course, you can post reminders in the days leading up to the event.
- Visually driven social media like Instagram and TikTok can create a buzz with eye-catching images and fun, short-form videos.
- Send an email reminder about the event. Include a link to a YouTube video or a slideshow of photos from last year’s event.
- Send tweets about the event to your followers; hopefully, they will retweet them and your potential audience will grow.
- Collaborate with social media influencers who have a large following to draw more attention to your event.
Did it work?
You will know if your fundraiser was a success by how much money you raised. But how will you know which marketing medium worked best? Social media analytics can be an invaluable tool for nonprofits looking to measure the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts on social media. It helps them gain insight into how their content is performing, who their target audience is, and which strategies are working best. Some of the data you can retrieve includes:
- Engagement rate
- Follower growth rate
- Audience demographics
- Website referral traffic
- Click through rate
- Video views
This data can help nonprofits determine what type of content resonates with their audience, how they can optimize their fundraising efforts, and which platforms are the most effective for engaging potential donors. Additionally, analytics can provide insight into the effectiveness of influencer campaigns and help nonprofits determine if working with them is worthwhile.
Use social media to show supporters how they are making a difference.
Show don't tell! Social media can play a big role in helping your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals and donors want to see that. Highlight how donations make an impact on the ground by using photos and videos to show off what you do best. Video content is particularly powerful for getting people interested - posts with video tend to get more attention than plain old pictures on Instagram. It doesn't hurt to sprinkle some stats or infographics into your campaign too: give potential donors something tangible that shows their money will be put towards specific causes (like providing books for students). With creative storytelling & visuals, plus facts-based evidence of where funds are going - you'll have all the right ingredients for successful giving!