While not businesses, non-profits are still in competition for donors, dollars and supporters. A non-profit can’t grow unless it attracts new donors, and encourages current donors to up their giving levels. Getting your message across can be tricky, but, used correctly, social media can increase awareness of your non-profit and support for you mission.
Say “Thank You” Regularly
Corporations love to promote their generosity and talk about their social consciousness. Anytime a corporation or sponsor engagements with your non-profit, whether it’s to send volunteers or to write a check – use all of your social media channels to acknowledge that partnership. They will most certainly share your posts; they will want to show your gratitude to their workforce and their customers. These shares give you access to potential untapped supporters and increase recognition of your organization’s mission. As an added bonus, it could even encourage your corporate partners to increase their level of involvement.
Tell Compelling Stories
Social media is all about stories. Snapchat, which has overtaken Twitter, gives users the opportunities to take a share quick, interesting stories to share with their followers. Regardless of which platform you use, make your content relevant, hard hitting and short. If your posts are too long, they’ll be ignored. Spend time thinking about your organization’s mission and then develop compelling content to support it. Highlight people, experiences and issues that evoke emotion and cause people to pause at your content, rather than scroll past it. Regularly check your analytics to see how content is performing, and don’t be afraid to share things up. Livestreaming is huge, so if you’re hosting a fund raising event or volunteer opportunity, broadcast it live via Facebook Live or Periscope.
Make Donating Easy
Non-profits have not traditionally made giving easy, but that could be changing as organizations turn to mobile giving. Younger people prefer opportunities to give directly through their phone or tablet, either on your organization’s website or via an app. Increasingly, social media platforms are making it easy for people to donate via Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Whether you send an email, included a “donate now” button to make it easy on your donor. We expect to be able to do almost anything in a few clicks now, and your giving programs should follow suit.
Rely on Influencers
No matter how large or small your non-profit is, there are notable people who can help you spread the word. The World Heart federation holds an annual World Heart Day, where they engage with people all over the world, encouraging people to share their stories via branded hashtags. Recently, Queen Latifah and her mother joined the conversation, giving the World Heart Federation a coveted celebrity endorsement. Whether it’s a local Chamber of Commerce president, a sports figure, or even someone who has been touched by your organization’s mission and can help you capture hearts and minds, find key influencers to help spread your message.
The good news about social media for non-profits is that it can be done very effectively on a shoestring budget. Choose your messaging, tell your story, ask others to do the same, and watch your organization move toward accomplishing its stated mission.