The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Taking Fundraising to the Next Level

It’s no secret that social media has created a world of untold riches for businesses when used in conjunction with a well thought out marketing plan. Companies have been able to create strong relationships with existing customers like never before, as well as grow their tribes to include like-minded individuals outside their immediate circles. These new connections can spread messages further than the original reach, help it gain momentum, and bring about positive engagements well beyond its planned intention.

As a newer era of nonprofit marketing is ushered in it’s important for professionals in this industry to remember social media marketing (SMM) can be as beneficial for their organization as it is to for-profit business. Much in the same ways, nonprofits can reach out and engage customers on Facebook, Twitter and through the use of YouTube, etc. There is little that can’t be accomplished online to help nonprofits achieve their goals.

Some critics may caution nonprofits to save the fundraising efforts for traditional methods and utilize social media for strengthening relationships with donors, but there are a number of ways of using social media as a tool for successful fundraising.

1. Emergency Assistance

When funds need to be raised for an unexpected fundraiser the quickest route to spread the word and create a call to action is through the use of networks such as Facebook and Twitter. They have the opportunity to be shared through followers’ circles, increasing reach. It’s important to announce the specific needs as well as the timeline in which it should be received.

Just a day before Christmas vacation, an emergency situation came across my desk – a family of 5 had suffered a fire losing their home and possessions. The call came in after school hours had already begun limiting communications to put help into motion. Fortunately, there is a well-established Facebook page and following allowing for the sharing of all the necessary specifics, including clothing sizes, ages, allergies, drop off locations and deadline times. All this information was quickly posted in a visible location. The posts were monitored frequently and all questions were answered promptly.

Through social media we were successfully able to raise the funds and collect vital supplies to get the family a start on their recovery efforts.

2. Key To Success For Planning Events

TSO blog contributor Debra Breed has a comprehensive list of ways to make an offline fundraising event a success through the use of social media including finding connections, ways to showcase your cause and creating invites. She highlights how sponsorships are an important aspect of fundraising and how organizations can reciprocate by offering connections to key influencers donors and the organization have in common.

3. Tying Together a Traditional Fundraiser with a Organizations Online Presence

Families In Transition (FIT) is a nonprofit organization in NH providing affordable housing to families in danger of becoming homeless. For the second year in a row they are holding their “Wicked Fit Run”, a 5k to benefit the organization. They enjoyed a successful event of 300 runners at the inaugural run by incorporating Facebook to create awareness for the event. They posted a press release to their News Section, published posts engaging visitors to join in on the event and created an “events invitation” with information to keep runners informed. All this shareable content served to raise awareness and gain runners. In addition, they were able to drive traffic from their Facebook page to their website from runners looking for more information on what other events FIT did to raise funds.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of ways social media can be used in nonprofit fundraising efforts.The point is, think outside the box. Listen to your creative side. Perhaps now you will be able to create a multitude of successful fundraising events. In every nonprofit organization, there is the ability to aid fundraising efforts with the use of social media outlets. The key is to find the best fit in order to create the greatest reach, engagement and ability to watch as your goals are quickly reached.

Has your organization successfully pulled of any of the listed suggestions? Or something even greater?

Category: Advanced Tactics