Nonprofit giving has changed a lot in the past 10 years and we can chalk much of that up to the huge presence of social media in our lives. While we can all agree that social media and online giving plays a huge role in fundraising, never is that role as big as during large campaigns such as End of Year or Giving Days. These campaigns are your big opportunity to rally your troops, gain new support, and let your donors know how much their support means to your organization. No pressure though…
Take the pressure off with these tested and true tips - Social media and online giving doesn’t have to be a nightmare and it should be - dare we say - fun. Read on to increase your giving and craft a strategy that results in more gifts and less work.
1.Develop your Brand
Nonprofits aren’t corporations but they should strive to brand like one. All of us can easily recognize the font of Disney or Coca Cola. We know the golden arches of McDonald's and even without seeing the logo could probably recognize the brand colors. While your organization may be small compared to these branding giants, to your local followers and donors, your visuals and voice should be recognizable. If you don’t have a branding guide now would be the time to establish some guidelines. Those guidelines can be as simple or complex as you wish, but they should remain consistent across all campaigns regardless if the theme of the campaign varies.
2. Donate Links
While many nonprofits choose to use their Facebook action button as a donate button, it’s still great to include a donation link on every post. Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to put a button on each post - however keep in mind that you must be set up through Facebook to accept donations which requires you to link your bank account and register with the platform, Network for Good. Another thing to keep in mind is that not all donors like to give through Facebook, so it is nice to also include a website giving link or PayPal link on each post for those who might prefer a different way. Pick one link, per campaign, to include other than Facebook giving and stick to it so you don’t overwhelm the donor.
3. Schedule but be Flexible
Scheduling posts is amazing but it doesn’t mean your social media work is done. You can easily use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts but that can’t be the end. Social media is meant to be a conversation and those who are successful, treat it as such. You don’t have to have a social media manager, but it’s wise to allow a few staff members to manage on a schedule to ensure comments and messages are answered quickly, correctly, and kindly.
4. Get Visual
Every post should have something visual to gain attention. In our busy social media world, followers generally skip by worded posts or links. You need something to catch their attention and stop them in their tracks. A photo, infographic, or other visual representation of what you do can help you achieve this. You don’t have to be a graphic designer - internet based tools like Canva can help anyone make a beautiful visual to post. They have all sorts of templates and you can even purchase stock photos if needed, though we are a huge fan of even phone photos catching your amazing organization at work.
5. Spend Wisely
Facebook is not as useful as it used to be. Sadly it’s a fact. There was a day when you could post to followers and know at least half were going to see your post - that is no longer the case. Even if you have a healthy social media budget you may be noticing that the numbers are not what they used to be. So what do you do? Focus on creating easily shareable content that is highly engaging. Everything that you post should be visual whether with photos, slideshows, or videos… make it visual and brand those visuals. See number 4.
6. Choose Your Channels
This is so important, especially for organizations that don’t have a dedicated social media manager. Every organization should be on Facebook at minimum - see below for a breakdown of the other platforms.
Facebook - It’s a must - at a minimum of 3 times a week.
Instagram - A great place to tell a visual story and communicate with the under 40 crowd. You can connect it with Facebook to tell your story across both.
Twitter- Do you have a lot of events? Yes you need Twitter!
Are you in an urban setting? Yes you need Twitter!
Do you have someone on staff who knows how to use Twitter? If the answer is no, you do not need Twitter.
In my experience, it is the least useful of all platforms as a donor tool.
7. Find Your Story
Each campaign should come with a compelling reason that you need your followers to give their support. Do you need a program funded? Tell the story of those who have benefited from the program. If it is a new program, show the data on how it can help with an infograph
or other chart. (See number 4).
8. Encourage Fundraisers
Through Facebook and Instagram, your followers can start fundraisers to benefit your organization - so long as you are registered as a nonprofit with Facebook. Consider sending out a targeted email prior to a campaign to encourage your supporters to start a fundraiser for the campaign. Additionally, consider a post every so often to remind supporters that they can start fundraisers, in your honor, for birthdays and other special holidays, including giving days.
9. Appreciate Your Donors
Never let a campaign end without thanking all of your donors, as a group, publicly. Celebrate your successes and let them know on social what a difference they have made. Ask any large donors if you can tag them or thank them as an anonymous donor. Always remember to ask if you can identify them first, and never mention the amount unless they allow or it is a match. Additionally, always give corporate or business donors a shout out if they allow - it’s great for their reputation and lets other businesses know that you are a good steward.
10. Remember That not all Giving is Monetary
Encourage volunteerism by thanking your volunteers and posting photos of them working or their completed tasks regularly. Make it a point to recognize their hard work regularly and consider posting a volunteer of the month to highlight those who are really making a difference.
Bonus: Did you know we get social?
Schedule a free consultation today to hear more about our social media services!