The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Social Media Campaigns for Non-Profits: Creating Donors and Doers

hands using a phone texting on smartphone app

Dr. Seuss once said: “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” And making things better can be tough. There is a lot of responsibility for individuals who herald non-profits and who choose to serve a cause. You not only have to stand for it, but in order to keep the cause alive you have to be able to express it in a way that motivates people to move and inspires them to take action.  And in today’s market, where people are blasted with just about everything, how does a non-profit use social media to rise above the noise, capture potential donors attention, and trickiest of all- actually get them to donate?

The story of your message is important, and it has to be compelling, but for nonprofits, creating a compelling story isn’t always enough. The reality is that non-profit marketers also need a tangible response. The key lies in knowing how to use social media campaigns to their maximum potential, and to not only make your story go viral- but to do it in a way that calls people to respond. It’s known as a call-to-action, and weaving it into your campaign from the beginning helps to ensure that your campaign gets your cause where you want it to go. Here are three steps to help create a donor experience from the start.

One: Create a Shareable Story
Your story has to be shareable because this is where the donor experience begins. Translate what you do in a way that meets people where they are at. See what the trends are, where the hubs of activity are and who the pack leaders are. Tell these people the story and do it in a way that appeals to them- but also gives them a chance to respond. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of a campaign that allows people to be a part of the story. Their formula for going viral was putting people in a social facing situation where they could be part of the story- then pass it on to their friends. What is your formula for going viral? Using social media to create awareness is lost if your story doesn’t share.

Two: Clarify the need.
People who are getting wrapped up in your story, at the same time, need to be wrapped up in what they can do to help. The expected response can easily get lost in the hype. Make it clear. State it plainly. Although ALS Ice bucket challenge was brilliant at going viral, most of the uploaded videos floating around Youtube don’t mention the fact that getting ‘iced’ also means you are expected to make a donation. UNICEF experienced similar issues and chimed in on Facebook with a recent statement: “We have nothing against likes, but vaccine costs money. Please buy polio vaccine at” The term ‘slacktivist’ was coined here. Don’t lose the momentum for your campaign by not being clear about what you need.

Three: Communicate the Method.

A disconnect can happen if people are exposed to a great story but then have to hunt for a way to help. Make it easy for them. If it is something that people are creating and sharing, make a template or a script. If they are posting it on their site, make downloadable icons. Check out this site for some of the methods for non-profits to use that are universal and can really give your campaign some clickable power. Always remember to keep your donation methods as fresh as your story.

At the core of it all, your story is what matters, but make sure you get as much momentum as possible by setting it, and your followers, up for success at the beginning of the campaign. Speak to your audience as if they are Donors or Doers as opposed to merely followers.

Category: Advanced Tactics, Integrating with Traditional Marketing, Social Media Marketing 101