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Best tips for nonprofits on Social Media: your followers are your donors

by Ornella Schillaci

Social Media is not THE new thing anymore. It's part of our routine, of the way we consume information and seek knowledge and tips. Who doesn't turn to Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration? Who doesn't have a group discussion on Facebook and doesn't share quick video snippets on Snapchat or TikTok? Who doesn't publish corporate news and personal career stories on LinkedIn? Well, it's sometimes linked to generations, and needs and expectations are indeed different. Sure. But the truth is, social media is part of everyday life. With more than 4.55 billion users on all media, the online channels are here to stay. Then, of course, it makes sense for companies, brands, foundations, nonprofits to keep in touch with their audience and followers from the online channels. Plus, the covid19 situation forced us to adopt online communications at a newer, broader scale! 

As a nonprofit trying to make your voice heard, your project is seen and your fundraising understood; how can you leverage social media to reach out to the very best target you need for help? Sometimes one can argue that social media is very intuitive and easy to master. However, there is more to it. Communication specialists seek to build an efficient strategy. So of course, there are elements you should keep in mind. No need to panic though: we're here to help. 

Who is on which social media?

Facebook gathers some 2895 million users, monthly. As for Instagram, the number reaches 1393 million. Then comes Twitter with 363 million active users monthly. Where are you going to spread your messages? 

You might be tempted to go to the biggest one, Facebook. But if your favorite audience isn't that present on Facebook, there is no point in making so many efforts to be present and visible on Zuckerberg's favorite network. You might as well take a break and reflect on who your followers are, where they hang out, what they expect from you, which types of news, etc. From there, you can start thinking of the best channels where you should share your content. 

Once it is done, build your social media accounts with care. Pictures, tone of voice, emojis, frequency, engagement via questions and replies in the comment section, etc. These are decisions to make in advance. You might think it's a huge task, but if you know your nonprofit's values, goals, and messages, it'll be a quickly solved task. 

Why should you be on Social Media?

It's an eternal debate. On the one hand, we can easily acknowledge that social media have a huge importance in our lives, and sometimes, we miss the important stuff happening because we're only looking down at our phones. On the other hand, we can't pretend that social media is not helping us daily: to get information, to share content, to keep in touch with our loved ones, etc. So, as a nonprofit, why is it also very important for you to be at ease with your presence on social media? 

  1. It's good for visibility: If you're not on the world wide web, you don't exist. Users, followers, and audiences now turn to the Internet to seek more information on an association and foundation. Everything can be found on the Internet, nothing can be hidden. It can be a good thing. Use it to your advantage to let them know who you are, what you do, and how they can help. Build your voice and spread it everywhere you can: news section, social media, blog, partnerships, etc. 
  2. It benefits your brand awareness: the whole purpose of brand awareness is to position yourself so that your audience will be able to easily and directly recognize you from the type of post, images, videos, messages, etc. that you publish. The more familiar your followers are with who you are and what you do, the easier it will be for them to feel closer to your activities and get involved. Social Media does benefit your brand awareness and positioning because it gives you a space, a showcase to talk about you and reach out to your community. 
  3. It's key to building a community: Now that you have understood how easy it is to position your values and activities via social media, you need to be aware that you can also easily create discussions, animate debates, and conversations, and keep in touch with your followers. At some point, these followers will turn into donors who feel a kind of belonging to your cause. 
  4. It's easy to use: Social media are part of our lives now, it's nothing new. They are easy to set up and rather intuitive for anyone.

Fundraising on social media: 5 steps to get there

  1. Plan and Gather information: it's key for all the kinds of projects you're running, so of course, it's also essential for a Social Media project. Plan all the elements of the launching of your fundraising and include the social media announcement and follow-up in it. 
  2. Adapt to the channel: you're not going to promote your fundraising the same way in an email as on Social Media. There are elements to take into account. On Social Media, you won't go into too much detail, you'll use attractive illustrations or even a nice video and turn to emoji and a friendly tone of voice. Or not. It depends on your message, values, tone of voice, audience, medium, etc. Take these elements into account. 
  3. Collaborate with influencers: they are a hit these days! They reach a very large target audience on very specific social media. Don't hesitate to ask them for a partnership and to join a cause that they care about. Make sure to look them up so you find the ones that are interested in your values and missions. 
  4. Embrace interactivity: Launch challenges, quizzes, contests,... make it lively, and make sure your followers know that they have the power to make a change by donating and participating in this fundraising activity actively. Make them the hero for the day, thank them and highlight their actions. 
  5. Be there... but don't flood: Social Media has specific rules when it comes to posting. Take a look at the best frequency to publish content. Sometimes, the more you post won't bring you good visibility, on the contrary. Be aware of that. 

Engage with followers... Keep in touch with donors

More and more social media users take advantage of their social media accounts to take action in causes that matter to them. We see a lot of people asking their Facebook friends to donate to associations instead of offering them gifts for their birthdays. Social media can be indeed a great opportunity to give the floor to the followers and to make them understand that the change begins with them. That way, they'll no longer be "basic followers" but will quickly turn into donors, loyal ambassadors for your cause. It benefits everyone so it might be time to look into it and start planning. 

Of course, Social Media alone can't do it all. Emailing and forms to collect applications or launch projects are also very important for your team to remain efficient in your social impact projects. So alongside social media, a social impact project management software is always a good idea.

Bonus tip - Did you know ...? 

Social Media has adapted its platforms to make sure that nonprofits like yours can get their voice heard. 

On Facebook or Instagram, you might want to check the eligibility elements for the Facebook fundraising, same goes for Youtube actually. You can also make sure that you can accept donations from personal fundraisers and have already added your "Donate" button on your page. You can also subscribe to their Charitable Giving Tools.

On TikTok, you can ask the social media to join for a social good campaign via their initiative TikTok For Good

Well, if you’re willing to know more or to get in touch with us, you can always keep the conversation going by following us on LinkedIn or Twitter. You’ll be able to find out more about our latest news, articles, and get all the insight and inspiration you need to master your own social impact projects! 
And if you are looking for the best all-in-one platform to manage all your social impact and CSR projects from one place, you can turn to software that offers modular features that adapt to your activities and evolve with you. Get a demo or find out more about it.