|Fun(!)draising and social networksAs the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter continues to grow, so do the opportunities for nonprofit organizations to embrace new fundraising strategies. Often referred to as philanthropy 2.0, incorporating the use of social networking into a fundraising campaign can prove to be an effective tool in meeting development goals and growing your donor base.|
Fundraising through social networks is not totally unlike traditional fundraising strategies; it depends on relationships and trust to be successful. You will need to take the time and effort to engage your audiences—while explaining your cause and the differences you are making—in order to build these relationships and trust before venturing into “ask” territory.
At the heart of philanthropy 2.0, there are two basic strategies: use social networking as a component within a larger campaign to spread the word and drive traffic to a campaign web page, or create smaller campaigns using only social networks in hopes of acquiring micro-gifts.
Strategy 1: Social networking as PART of an integrated campaign
Blogs provide the perfect venue for getting the word out about your cause or campaign. Share stories that will inspire people to give. Encourage users to comment and share their own stories. Remember to link back to your campaign web page prominently and often.
Much like the blog, you can use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word, share updates and provide donation links. You can also add your organization to Facebook Causes—a part of Facebook devoted to nonprofits and causes attempting to rally support and increase visibility on Facebook.
Encourage potential donors to interact with your organization through social media channels by offering a contest, raffle or giveaway. Ask them to “register to win” branded items like a Jerzees Cotton T-Shirt or a Spooner Mug as a way of increasing your fan base or followers. For those visitors who become truly engaged in your social media efforts, offer them fun items like a USB Swing Flash Drive or an M&M’s® Tube to say thank you for their continued interaction. Try enticing increased giving with a raffle to win larger, impressive items like the Star Treat Box or an Organic Market Bag Set. (*Note: Before conducting a raffle of any kind, be sure to check raffle laws in your state.)
Social networking as THE campaign
After you choose a strategy and carry out a successful campaign, thank everyone who participated. For those who went above and beyond in spreading the word or those who donated substantially, thank them by sending a gift along with a note. Try a Carabiner Aluminum LED Flashlight with a “Thanks for shining some light on our cause!” note or a Shiny Heart Note Nest with a note that says “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
One more thing: don’t forget to have fun! Regardless of the strategy your nonprofit chooses or the amount of money raised, your nonprofit will benefit—you will have reached out to new prospects and spread the word of your nonprofit or cause.
For more information on social media fundraising, visit one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits — Beth Kanter’s blog!
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