What’s on your mind? If you’re like other fundraisers, you’re probably thinking about multi-channel communication strategies more than ever. As you know, going surround sound with your outreach is key in modern fundraising. But many fundraisers struggle to build a successful social media appeal!
You might have more questions than answers when determining how to support your appeals with social media. You may have asked yourself if fundraising on social media can be truly effective, or if it is better as an engagement tool.
Or maybe you’re not sold that social media is right for your organization.
But did you know, according to Nonprofits Source, 55 percent of people who engage with nonprofits on social media take some sort of action? That’s an amazing stat! Think about it.
GivingTuesday and the year-end fundraising push are coming up fast. And organizations everywhere are looking for ways to raise more money and reach their goals. And using social media to support your appeals is a great way to stand out during these busy months.
Stay on message.
As you know, donors should be able to tell when messages in different mediums are part of the same campaign. And this holds true for social media!
The best way to do this is through the story you tell. So, let’s think about the story in your year-end appeal and how we can apply it to social media.
Hint: It’s not just copy and pasting your appeal letter into a Facebook post and calling it a day!
Social media is a great way to break down your story into bite-sized pieces. Any good social campaign consists of many posts over a given time. So, think about ways to extend the shelf life of your appeals with social media.
For example, posts on GivingTuesday can set the stage for the story in your appeal mailer.
Ask yourself, what was going on before the start of your story?
Then use social media to provide context and create suspense by introducing the problem you’re trying to solve and what made your organization want to help. You can include a CTA that guides users to your website, where they can sign up for your mailing list and learn more about what you’re doing to help.
You can use a similar strategy in January and February to follow up on your story and let your donors know how their support made a difference!
READ MORE: It’s time to rethink your nonprofit’s appeal letter.
Every platform has its strengths.
You know your social posts need to tie into your appeal’s main story and message. But you can’t do this the same way on every social platform.
Every social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. And certain platforms appeal to some demographics more than others.
So, what’s the right platform for your nonprofit? It depends!
Facebook has become a favorite among fundraisers for its broad audience demographics and suite of built-in fundraising tools. And as the most widely used platform, Facebook is ideal for encouraging your audience to share with friends and family.
If your nonprofit has strong visual elements, Instagram may be a good fit. For example, a museum would never run out of interesting items in its collection to share on Instagram!
But that museum wouldn’t want to post the same content on its Twitter feed. Twitter favors shorter form content and audience interaction. And it can be a great way to have more direct conversations and build relationships with your audience.
According to Nonprofits Source, 77 percent of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to. So even simply joining in on a conversation can open doors on Twitter.
READ MORE: Repurposing assets for your nonprofit’s social media outreach.
Leverage your networks.
Getting others to work with you may be the most effective way to support your appeal with social media. So, take some time to look through your posts and see who your most engaged followers are.
You’re looking for anyone who regularly likes, comments, or shares your posts. Then, make a short list of those people and cross reference it with your data base to see if they give to your organization.
If they do, reach out and see if they’d be interested in serving as a social ambassador for your organization. All they have to do is share some of your posts with their networks.
They will likely jump at the opportunity to do more for the cause since these are people who support your organization and goals!
The objective here is to use the audiences of your audience to get your message in front of as many people as possible. Your current supporters can help you tap into a new network of potential donors with the same values as your nonprofit!
Don’t forget to extend the story.
Your work on social media is not done once you send your year-end appeal.
As you know, effective stewardship is an essential part of any appeal strategy. After all, it’s not just about securing one-time donations.
You want to build relationships with your donors and keep them engaged, so they are excited to give again!
And even those who doubt the effectiveness of raising money on social will admit it is a great way to engage with audiences and raise awareness.
So, use social media to support your appeal by thanking donors for their past support before your appeal arrives in the mail.
And don’t forget to show your social followers the real impact of every donation by posting about your progress. Just remember, it’s not about what your organization is accomplishing. It’s about what the donor makes possible!
Putting it together.
Closing out the calendar year is hectic for any organization that depends on donors to sustain programs and support operations.
These tips will help you organize your strategies, maximize limited resources, and raise more by supporting your appeal with social media as we move closer to GivingTuesday and December 31.
Remember, no single method of communicating guarantees success. But you have a better chance of standing out, making an impression, and hitting your fundraising goals when you include social media appeals in your outreach!