Social Media Success In the Giving Challenge

January 30, 2013

photoIf you’re a social media maven, just plug your ears and move on. You definitely know all of this.

If you’re still finding your way through any of the great social media tools available to us these days, take just a few minutes to digest this.

Is social media the most effective fundraising medium?  No. Not at all.

Can social media be an effective tool for informing and engaging your existing stakeholders and possibly attracting new interest to your cause?  Yes. Absolutely.

Many of the organizations that fared the best during last year’s Giving Challenge used social media to the max. That doesn’t mean they went online and asked friends, fans and followers for money every second. It means they kept their constituents engaged and interested. Here are some tips for how to do that:

  • Help them get to know you. If people give to people (and they do), showcase your team members.
  • Put them in touch with your mission. Share short stories or photos of who will be helped by the funds being raised. How about a quote from someone who will benefit from your nonprofit’s services?
  • Capture your Giving Challenge moments. What is it like to be at your office during the Challenge? Share photos of your team as they are working and celebrating each donor’s gift. Grab a screen shot of your organization’s name on the Leaderboard. Post a photo of your board member calling a donor to thank him for his gift.
  • If you ask, make it easy and feel-good. It’s okay to make an appeal for donations every once in a while. If you want people to give, play on emotion and make it easy. Share the link you want them to use. Be direct but grateful.
  • Thank your donors. If you have permission to share names, go for it. “Special shout-out to Janis Martin for bringing us closer to our goal of $10,000” is a nice touch.

Whatever you do on the social spectrum, we recommend building your online fan base now.

During the Challenge, don’t be afraid to tap into some social media ambassadors, asking your biggest fans to post for and about your organization on their own Facebook and Twitter accounts. When your supporters share, the messages are more authentic and more likely to reach people inside of their circles and outside of yours.  Third party credibility rules.

Great social media resources for nonprofits are plentiful online. E-mail us and we’ll share some of our favorites with you!

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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