While nothing beats face-to-face interactions, it’s still possible to build meaningful relationships in a virtual world. Online networking allows your nonprofit the opportunity to share your mission on a much larger scale. If you are looking for new ways to connect with online users, check out these five creative ways to build genuine relationships with potential donors, volunteers, staff members and supporters.
1. Give your community what they want
Online networking comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. While building your nonprofit’s online network, keep in mind how you will connect with, engage and inspire your users. Brainstorm ways your organization can create compelling digital experiences while keeping communication personal. Use social listening tools to understand the needs of your target audience. What do people want to know about your organization? How do they want to help? Social listening tools can also help you learn what’s being said about relevant topics surrounding your organization’s mission—and identify opportunities for positive interactions among your online community.
2. Utilize LinkedIn® for Nonprofits
LinkedIn has 260 million monthly users, 40% of whom are accessing it daily. Not only is this networking platform an efficient way to reach a large number of people, LinkedIn also offers special tools and resources for nonprofit organizations. Through LinkedIn for Nonprofits, your organization can take online networking to the next level. From hiring and fundraising to marketing and learning, LinkedIn makes it possible for you to share your mission with millions of professionals around the world.
Looking for a new, virtual way to host your next fundraiser? Connect with your board, volunteers, staff members and donors via LinkedIn for fundraising and grow institutional relationships with your network’s network. Once you hit your goal, thank your donors with a simple yet meaningful gift, like a branded journal or chocolates.
3. Go live on Facebook®
Looking for a new, engaging way to reach staff, volunteers, donors and supporters virtually? Facebook Live is a great online networking tool—and a fantastic way to increase your organization’s social media engagement. It’s estimated 78% of online audiences watch videos on Facebook Live. Plus, Facebook Live videos get six times more interactions than regular Facebook videos.
Attract an audience with an exciting announcement. Or collaborate with donors, volunteers and industry thought leaders to provide unique content to your followers and new audiences.
4. Host an online meeting or conference
Telepresence is “the ability to connect geographically separated people via high-quality real-time video and audio streams.” Video conferencing and online networking meetings give your organization an opportunity to reach people no matter where they live.
Take your online meeting to the next level by creating a Facebook event to share on your social pages. Then ask your network to share the event to grow your attendee list. For every new contact you make during the meeting, give a nonprofit giveaway, like a branded tumbler.
5. Add a personal touch, even from a distance
Provide nonprofit giveaways to staff members, donors, volunteers and supporters who participate in online networking events. They will not only appreciate the gesture, but your generosity adds a personal touch. Logo T-shirts and mugs are fun yet simple ways to show your gratitude.
It’s a great time to start networking
Even when you’re not meeting face-to-face, you can still get the face of your nonprofit in front of supporters. Stay in touch when you:
- Use social listening tools to discover what supporters need and want to know.
- Use LinkedIn to share your mission and raise funds.
- Get visual with Facebook Live or real-time video conferences.
- Thank supporters and volunteers with gifts like T-shirts and drinkware.
There’s no better time to build an online network that will support and grow your organization. Use these creative online networking tips to get started. Good luck!