Can not-for-profits use social media?
Do you support a not for profit organisation? Have you wondered if social media could help the organisation grow?
This article will give you some ‘social media’ ideas to improve donations and fundraising, and promote events and grow the supporters base of the not for profit organisation. We’ll look at 2 of the top social media networks, Facebook and Twitter and how to use each of them for the prime objectives of fundraising and event promotion.
Why social media could benefit not for profit organisations?
If you need to reach a lot of people very quickly without much fuss and with no outlay, then social media is a tool you should be implementing.
One benefit of social media, as a marketing tool, is that it’s basically no or low cost to get started. The cost will be the time involved in setup and management of the profile.
It’s fairly easy to manage, but if you need help, there are many YouTube videos and local workshops to help your team learn how to use the platforms.
Social media is instant. You can get your message out quickly and directly without delay and the reach of Social Media is huge. Currently around 50% of Australians are using social media regularly.
What can a not for profit organisation do with social media?
Network and connect with groups of people and other organisations that are your target market or have your target market following them. These could be either donors or event attendees or individuals that could help you spread the work about your organisation, fundraising campaign or event. When working with social media think outside your existing network of connections, a bit like joint venturing, to spread the word about your cause.
Create and grow a following of supporters, engage and interact with them and keep them up to date about your organisation, campaigns and events. But every existing supporter will have 100s of contacts on social media. What you want to do is encourage them to share your information with their friends and followers.
Listen to your community of supporters for feedback, ideas and suggestions that you can use to make your organisation better.
What benefits can be achieved by not for profit organisations using social media?
There are a number of benefits that not for profits can achieve from social media, but today we’re just interested in 3 basics objectives.
Attract Event Attendees by creating a buzz around a specific event and encourage the spread of the event information outside the organisation’s existing networks.
Generate donations for the organisation. You can use social media to both educate potential donors, as well as accept donations via social media.
And to help grow the supporter base, you can use social media to continue to source new advocates, volunteers and employees. This base is your organisation’s network and is important for the further of the organisation.
How not for profit organisations could use social media?
- Create a profile on one of the social networks, ideally one where you know your target market are hanging out.
- Listen to what your existing supporters are saying about your organisation and ask them for suggestions on how to use social media for the betterment of the organisation.
- Make it easy for people to interact; to donate and to support your organisation. A suggestion is to sign up for a fundraising app and add a “Donate Now” button on your social media profile that will make it easy for people to make an online donation.
- It’s easier to get people to act if the action is fun. You could make donating fun. Here a large donor is going to donate .50cents for each view of a video. (Just be careful as not all promotions like this are legit.)
Some Facebook ideas for not for profit organisations
Use Facebook’s Events function to create and invite Facebook Fans to events, and get them to share the invite with their friends. There are other applications that you can install that will help you organise and promote your events. (Like http://apps.facebook.com/eventbritetab )
Make it EASY to donate: install a Facebook App so fans and visitors can easily donate to your organisation or cause. There are a few online fundraising management services that offer Facebook Apps that you can install. (Like http://www.razoo.com/ , http://apps.facebook.com/fundrazr/ , http://www.everydayhero.com.au/ , http://www.australianfundraising.com.au/ , http://www.mycause.com.au/ )
Make it FUN to donate: try running matching campaigns. If you have a large $ donor, and they are happy to get the publicity, make it a matching campaign… for every $1 the public donates, XYZ company will match the donation funds up to X dollars.
Another fun and rewarding campaign you could run is “Cash for Action”. If you have a large $ donor, and they could benefit from new Fans on their own page then you could run a campaign that’s win/win. It works like this…. for every new Fan to ‘LIKE’ XYZ company’s Facebook Page, XYZ company will donate $1 to the organisation up to X dollars.
If you have a local bricks and mortar donor, you could do a similar thing… for every ABC purchased in the month of xxx, XYZ company will donate $1 to the organisation up to X dollars. The donor business getting the coverage and the organisation gets the donation.
The organisation could also sell or auction products from the Facebook Page (just be careful not to break Facebook’s Competition rules). People are more likely to hand over money if there is something in return. There are shop applications that you can install on to Facebook Pages. (Like http://www.payvment.com/ )
Don’t forget, you can reward your donors with tagging or you might even feature them on the Facebook Page cover image as a ‘thank you’.
Some Twitter ideas for not for profit organisations
There are applications that will allow you to accept donations via Twitter. Signup for an account and you’ll get a link you can distribute through social media networks to drive traffic to your donation collecting software.
You could run a “Tweet for cash” match donating campaign. Where anyone that retweets a tweet from the donor business, the donor will donate cash to the organisation.
Where to start?
This article only skimmed the surface of the potential of social media benefits to not for profit organisations. We looked at what an organisation could do with Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness of the cause; stimulate donations and to promote events.
- I would suggest that you start slowly. Ask your existing supporters where they are on social media. This will give you a better idea as to which network you would start with: Facebook or Twitter, or even one of the other networks.
- Then decide who will be the organisation’s social media champion, how they will start the organisation’s social media strategy and if they need some training to do so.
- I suggest that the organisation draw up a social media policy containing an outline of who, what, how and when posts are made and the procedures of dealing with replies, including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour on the organisations platform. This will take time and effort.
I hope that this has given you some really great ideas and insights into how you can incorporate either or both of the top social media networks into your organisation’s promotion and fundraising endeavours.
Where to Learn More?
‘LIKE’ us on Facebook and get access to information and tutorials. http://Fb.com/TownsvilleSocialMediaMarketing or check for hands-on Workshops http://townsvillesocialmediamarketing.com/courses/