Social Media Strategies and Donor Cultivation for Non-Profits
April 9, 2014
Non-profit entities are essential to almost every slice of life. Whether talking about an organization that provides relief for disaster victims, promotes health and comfort for the less fortunate, initiates educational opportunities for impoverished youth, or furthers artistic pursuits and funds enrichment institutions; non-profit groups are responsible for bringing to life countless worthy projects around the world. The most important issue facing today’s non-profit organizations involves building and maintaining a level of support that will make possible the noble causes to which they aspire.
Though the tried-and-true methods of raising support for non-profit groups can still be a fruitful source of donations, the Internet provides a wealth of new opportunities that can allow organizations to reach more potential donors and secure greater levels of support than ever before. Among these new ways of garnering support over the web are the slew of opportunities available through social media. Social media allows non-profit groups to deliver an appeal for support across a greater landscape as well as serve as a rallying point for like-minded individuals to pool their resources to reach fundraising and awareness goals.
In order to maximize the awesome potential that social media outlets afford non-profit agencies and causes, these vital topics should be examined and addressed thoroughly.
Establishing a social media presence.
Getting started on social media is a critically important step in establishing a flourishing cog in the fundraising wheel. Unlike beginning a personal social media profile, day one for a non-profit should involve establishing a presence that mirrors the mission of the group above all else.
One way to ensure a solid start is by taking the time to first define the group and its mission. If the non-profit organization is new, establishing this mission before opening a social media account is made easier by the fact that a mission statement and statement of intent and goals can be geared toward the unique parameters that are dictated by social media; meaning, creating a more succinct message to appeal to the constructs of the most popular social mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.
If the organization is already established and venturing into social media as a way to augment its support outreach, crafting an online presence through social media will entail boiling down the organization’s mission to be more “postable” in the various forums the online avenues provide.
Using social media to its full potential.
Once the social media profile has been created and steps have been taken to attract those who are most likely to support the cause, managing those new relationships becomes the most important aspect of the venture. These keys are essential to maintaining a thriving donor stream using social media:
Keep followers in the loop related to ongoing projects and goals.
Deliver news related to progress in specific areas of the group’s cause.
Recognize the support of donors and deliver “thank you’s” to those who have helped.
Define the ways that supporters can help (other than through basic monetary nation).
Cultivating donors and calling supporters to action.
A social media platform is best used when it educates supporters on the benefits of their assistance. Using the platform to inform donors on the ways their support has helped and showing appreciation for past support - in as specific of terms as possible - encourages further support. Defining other ways supporters can help the cause, through sharing and urging others to join, is a way to build a social media following and encourage more donations.
The most important part of any fundraising appeal is a call to action. While some supporters will be motivated to act regardless of the post, many others will need a call to action to get involved.
Social media can be a significant help in increasing an organization’s donation stream. Utilizing all that social media has to offer will enable a non-profit group to accomplish its goals and allow for new frontiers of its mission to be envisioned.