Social media has changed the way people connect with each other, the way businesses interact with customers and now, the way non-profits bond with their current and potential donors.
Changes implemented by non-profits to meet the needs of tech-savvy donors can have tremendous benefits, so below are some of the steps non-profits are taking to reach people in the social media world.
Opening Up to Smaller Donations
Traditionally, non-profits liked to impose a minimum, usually a round number like $10 or $20, on the amount of money people could donate. In doing so they would rely on large donations from a few wealthy donors or corporations. With social media, however, non-profits have the ability to reach hundreds or even thousands of potential givers that can contribute small amounts that quickly add up. With social media, it can be easier to find 200 people comfortable donating $1 than finding one person on the street willing to give $200.
Hosting Events Online
The average non-profit has a very modest budget which can limit the types of events they can host to raise awareness for their cause and collect donations. By using social media, non-profits can instead host virtual events that act as cyber fundraisers, auctions or even workshops. Non-profits that accept things other than money can really benefit. Imagine users tweeting and sharing an online event- such events can even incorporate video and audio messages to increase their interactivity. The most appealing aspect of it all is that it can be done for free and often times you’ll end up building brand advocates like this person for Kars for Kids.
Becoming More Transparent
For better or worse, social media has lowered the walls on privacy. While that can be a concern for an individual user, it is something non-profits are embracing. Using social media to operate with transparency helps potential donors see directly what the mission of a non-profit is.
For example, non-profits working in exotic locations or during natural disasters can use social media to help keep their members informed, as well as generate awareness with daily posts of conditions on the ground. Sites like WePay have already demonstrated transparency with their Helping Real Families in Need campaign- allowing people to login and see exactly where the money is going that they’re donating.
Reaching Far and Wide
From national to local non-profits, social media is a useful tool that can help any organization reach out to people around the world. Thus, a non-profit operating out of a rural area can have the same reach as one that actually has international offices. Groups no longer have to strictly rely on donors in their physical vicinity and instead target relevant audiences wherever they may be.
People are familiar with non-profit volunteers walking along the street or standing outside a grocery store or going door-to-door with clipboard in hand to solicit either donations or volunteers. They can now get used to finding the same volunteers online soliciting through social media. Non-profits are using posts and tweets to not only pique the public’s interest with something unique, but also to get what they need most—money or help—by inserting links that will direct users to pages to sign up or donate.
Social media has opened up a whole new world for non-profits. Now, the most important way to stand out? Become more personal.
What types of social media techniques have you seen non-profits use?