May 19, 2014

How nonprofits can extend their reach & build community

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Sharing with your audience on multiple levels is key

Post by Teddy Hunt

Target audience:  Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketers, managers, general public.

teddy-huntNonprofit organizations have to reach their audiences effectively in order to find supporters and donors for the cause at hand. Social media offers nonprofits the very platform they need to get their voices heard, but going the social media route doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. In order for your nonprofit to extend their social reach, here are a few pointers that’ll help turn your nonprofit into a social media darling.

Get your story out there

As a nonprofit organization, you’re always working on telling your nonprofit’s story to your social media audience in the best way you can. You need to let your followers know what you’re trying to accomplish in a straightforward way while also giving your mission a personal touch.

There are many ways to go about telling your nonprofit’s story, but no matter how detailed you get with your mission, always remember the three w’s: who, what, and why. Who is it your nonprofit is helping, what is your nonprofit doing to accomplish its goals, and why has your nonprofit chosen its charitable field on a personal level?

Say, for instance, your nonprofit is trying to end world hunger. When campaigning on sites like Facebook and Twitter, your nonprofit should introduce itself socially by:

  • Describe who it’s helping — Is your non-profit trying to end hunger in a specific region, country, or on a local level? The sooner your nonprofit describes who it’s trying to help, the faster followers will respond to your efforts.
  • Explain what it’s doing — Is your nonprofit involved in local food drives or money-raising events? How will those funds reach those in need? By describing your nonprofit’s process, your organization will look more professional and responsible, which helps build trust and makes followers more likely to respond.
  • Explain why your nonprofit  is doing what it’s doing — Is your organization trying to end hunger because it’s affecting a specific community, or is it trying to help the hunger cause in general? Do you have beneficiary stories you can share with your audience? Giving your nonprofit’s story a personal touch will help others relate to your cause.

Keep your followers in the loop

Whether it’s a social media follower or a longtime donor, the secret that every socially successful brand will tell you is to keep your audience in the loop. This means not only keeping followers updated on your nonprofit’s charitable efforts, it also means sharing everything from your donation goals, to volunteer opportunities, to upcoming fundraising events.

Above all else, staying social with your followers means answering any and all questions that come your way through the social pipeline. Answering your followers’ questions helps keep your audience informed, involved, and feeling like part of the cause. So, reply to all questions and all comments thoughtfully, respectfully, and in a timely manner.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Your nonprofit’s social presence is there to help you reach out to your followers and part of reaching out is asking people to donate. That’s ultimately why you use social media and your followers are well aware of it, so never be afraid to ask for donations via social media come fundraising time.

If you follow all the pointers above and make your cause as engaging as possible, your followers will be more than happy to donate to your NPO. So, the next time you’re need of online donations, call-in donations, or volunteers, ask your social media audience for help and support — you’ll be surprised with the positive response you receive.

Link to your victories

Whether your organization reached a personal goal of signing on a handful of new volunteers or it reached its quarterly fundraising goal early, it’s important to link to all your nonprofit’s victories. Linking to large and small successes could inspire others to get involved, by highlighting how no win is ever too small.

By keeping in mind some of these social media tips , an organization can help build a greater sense of community on their social channels and ultimately grow their following.

Teddy Hunt is a freelance content writer with a focus on technology. When not behind a computer, Teddy spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, Florida.
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