Socialbrite Social media for nonprofits Mon, 03 Dec 2018 04:29:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top Facebook Blunders That Hurt Year-End Fundraising Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:57:09 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Can you believe it? Summer flew by, and now we’re headed right into year-end fundraising season.

If you’re like most nonprofits, you will raise most of your money during the last three months of the year, particularly between Thanksgiving and December 31st when the big ball drops.

Now is the time to put all your resources into attracting and retaining as many donors as possible!

Avoid these top five mistakes that could hurt your year-end fundraising on Facebook.

1. Ignoring Facebook altogether

If you’re like most nonprofits, you have at least a minimal presence on Facebook. So does your competition. Not only that but most of your donors are using Facebook.

Facebook isn’t going anywhere, and again, even if you ignored Facebook until November, don’t regret ignoring it during the biggest spike of fundraising you’ll see this year.

2. Bragging about your nonprofit

There’s no doubt that your nonprofit has earned the bragging rights it has. But on Facebook, people want to brag about themselves to their friends. One way they do this is by sharing stories about causes they care about.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to create impact stories that make your supporters look fantastic to their friends.

3. Not thanking your donors

Probably the biggest fundraising mistake you can make is not thanking your donors. In fact, Bloomerang found that 19% of donors won’t come back if you don’t thank them.

Thanking your donors on Facebook makes them feel great and more likely to get again. And it also makes you look great to potential donors.

4. Not using Facebook ads

At this point, if you’re not using Facebook Ads, you’re just not serious about using Facebook to reach your audience.

Facebook ads are so incredibly cheap and effective; there’s just no excuse for not making at least a minimal investment.

You can reach people who recently watched one of your Facebook live videos. You can even reach people who have visited your donation page but didn’t give.

And again, if you haven’t used Facebook ads yet, now is the time to try them given that year-end is upon us.

5. Only using Facebook

Last but not least, if Facebook is your only channel to reach donors, you will have profound regrets at year-end.

Direct mail, phone solicitation, email, and face-to-face fundraising are much more effective when used together.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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Building your Nonprofits Thought Leadership Capacity Mon, 30 Jul 2018 21:30:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Content marketing has risen to the forefront in recent years as an important tool (if not the most important) in the nonprofit communication toolbox. It’s about creating great content on your blog, through social media messaging, email, quarterly and annual reports, case studies, whitepapers, etc.

At its core, content marketing is about communicating wisely with your supporters. The nonprofit, social enterprise or organization is providing value by creating and sharing information, innovative ideas, and insights that makes your supporter smarter and in the know. You become a resource. The result, much of the time, is that you earn the trust and loyalty of your supporters and donors. You no longer interrupt them with “messaging” but invite them into a conversation they find value in, that resonates, that they deem worthy of sharing with others, that makes them come back and ultimately invest in you.

The issue with creating great content is that often change-makers and nonprofit leaders are unsure about how to activate the most powerful resource they have: their intellectual capital. Nonprofits can be treasure troves of insights, experience and expertise, just waiting to be unleashed and shared with the world, but often the best of ideas and expertise lies dormant within the walls of an organization.

The Readiness Dance: Share your insights despite the misgivings

There are many reasons why organizations keep their most valuable thoughts and findings internal. I call it the Readiness Dance. People will say, “Our data isn’t completely ready yet – we’re not 100 percent clear internally on our direction with this project,” or something similar. While I completely advocate for presenting breakthrough insights that are research-based and clearly thought out — in fact, that is the essence of true thought leadership — very often it’s more about that “readiness” variable. It’s less about how analyzed the data is and more about how comfortable and confident we are in sharing our ideas and insights with the world.

Thought leadership is one of the most effective and least expensive ways an organization can build awareness of their cause and influence the communities they need to reach.

When nonprofits hone in on their years of experience, research, collaborations and discoveries, they can advance their mission by using those same valuable thoughts and insights to lead. Many people call this thought leadership, and I’d like to see more organizations build their capacity to lead with their thinking.

Especially for smaller to medium-sized nonprofits, thought leadership can be one of the most effective and least expensive ways an organization can build awareness of their cause and support for their ideas and programs, and influence the communities they need to reach, including decision makers, policy makers and donors. By harnessing the power of their collective insights, an organization can shape its thought leadership to inspire and move its supporters to action.

While building a thought leadership program for a nonprofit should be thought of as an organization development exercise and not just a communications/PR job, communications teams often and appropriately lead it.

Below is a short primer to help you get the conversation started with your team. I recommend getting your group together around breakfast (or Google Hangout!) one morning and running them through this little primer. I promise it will get the conversation started and make for an interesting talk about how you approach your work and the insights and ideas that lie just below the surface.

Start with the big idea or revealing insights

Every big idea starts with a vision. It has a strong viewpoint and brings new insights and problem solving to an issue. Ask yourself what original, innovative and valuable perspective you and your organization bring to the table. What do you want to achieve from it?

Overcome culture shock

Effective thought leadership programs are an organizational development function, not just a public relations function. Powerful thought leadership campaigns need to be embedded into the culture of an organization to be truly successful. Teams need to be on board with sharing those ideas and insights with the world. They are your greatest ambassadors. Does your culture support that? If you encounter resistance, ask them what about it makes them uncomfortable?

Tell a great story

Concentrate on telling one focused and clear story and communicate it using channels you know your audience engages with. Social media, online communities, associations, traditional media and speaking events like panels and conferences are all fair game.

Become a resource

People don’t like to be sold things, for the most part — even when what you’re selling is a noble and brilliant cause. That said, they do buy into solutions, expertise and problem solving. Share your insights. Spread your idea. Offer guidance and people will follow.

Inspire action

Powerful thought leadership can inspire people to act. Whatever your idea is, make sure that it is actionable. What do you want people to do? Be brave. Ask for what you want.

What are some of the ways your team is leading the conversation on the issues that drive your cause? I’d love to hear some examples. If you’re not quite there yet, I would love to hear what some of the barriers are that you’ve encountered.


Caroline Avakian, Socialbrite’s Managing Partner, is a global development communications strategist in the New York City area with a focus on strategic communications, innovation, PR, and content marketing. Caroline is also the founder of SourceRise, a digital platform connecting journalists to international NGO sources. Contact Caroline by email, see her profile page, visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

5 Ways to Show Progress Toward Your Nonprofit’s Mission Wed, 09 May 2018 14:03:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Photo by Daniel Funes Fuentes on Unsplash.


Chances are, your nonprofit has a bold goal, whether it’s eradicating poverty or curing a disease. Your organization helps make progress toward that goal every day, but of course, complex problems have complicated solutions that can take a long time to achieve.


Unfortunately, slow progress, even if it’s impactful, doesn’t always make for the most inspiring message for supporters. We put together five strategies that you can use on your nonprofit’s blog, on social media, in email marketing, and other outlets to help maintain momentum as you work to achieve your mission.

Compile a timeline that demonstrates how far you’ve come. When you care deeply about a cause, nothing other than a cure for the disease your loved one lives with, or an end to childhood hunger, feels satisfying. But showing key milestones you’ve hit along the way can help create a sense that your organization is moving closer to your goal. For example, if you’re involved in research, your timeline can begin when the first treatment appeared for the condition and track new therapy options from there. Timelines can help demonstrate that even if progress may feel slow, positive updates have moved your cause forward. Everytown for Gun Safety, for example, has a timeline on their website that combines legislative successes alongside the organization’s history and development. Teach for America shares a timeline of the organization’s history along with the progress they made along the way toward improving educational outcomes for low-income students.


Show how patients can make an impact beyond donating. Donation campaigns are important, but sharing other ways community members can get involved is one way to help supporters feel more engaged with your cause, and understand the steps involved in getting closer to your goal. Use your website content and blog to share ways supporters can help your organization move past roadblocks and reach solutions faster. For example, lack of participants in clinical trials slows the research process. JDRF shares information on how to sign up for clinical trials to help move research forward by using Antidote’s clinical trial search tool to help community members find type 1 diabetes trials for which they may qualify.


For other organizations, political challenges may create significant barriers. Sharing with supporters how to get involved in calling representatives and attending rallies can be another way to engage your community. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, for one, has a section on their website about getting involved in policy issues around CFF, such as medical research funding.


Create evergreen content explaining the mechanics of the work you do. Help your community better understand the complexities surrounding your particular mission. For example, if you fund medical research, outline the steps involved in how a new drug is approved for patients, starting with the process of research discovery. You can also detail the work your organization does in support of your larger cause, beyond what your supporters might think of initially. For example, Feeding America notes that the work of foodbanks goes beyond distributing food: they also provide programs for families to help them make healthy choices for their families, maintain a food budget, and other skills to help reduce hunger.


Use numbers to show that you’re making progress. Even if you haven’t reached your organization’s most significant goal, highlighting promising statistics, whether in a blog post or in an infographic, can help demonstrate the progress you have made in a concrete way. UNICEF, for example, creates infographics that show promising changes in specific areas related to their cause, such as number of school-aged children currently out of school. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers a page on new Parkinson’s drugs in the development pipeline that the Foundation has funding, noting how close the treatments are to reaching patients.


Share stories from people who can offer a perspective on the progress your organization has made over time. Personal stories are some of the most powerful ways to tell the story of the progress your organization has made along the way. Try to find stories about problems your organization has helped solve for someone. Volunteer stories can work here, too, particularly if they highlight that participating made the volunteer feel more hopeful. Charity Water does a great job of highlighting stories from beneficiaries of their clean water programs who share how having access to water has changed their communities.


The path toward your goal may be long, but by sharing milestones and how supporters can get involved along the way, you can keep your community engaged throughout your organization’s journey. If you have other suggestions for keeping supporters engaged when your mission hits a roadblock, please share them in the comments below.


Nancy Ryerson is a digital communicator with experience in content, marketing, and social media in the healthcare space. She currently writes for clinical researchers, nonprofits and patients at Antidote, a digital health startup that connects patients to research through an innovative clinical trial search tool. Prior to joining Antidote, she spent three years at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, where she communicated research updates and advice on living well with Parkinson’s to the Foundation’s social media community of 750,000+ followers.




New Power: How to Harness the Power of the Connected World Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:13:36 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Here at Socialbrite, we are thrilled to share the launch of New Power!

We have long admired Henry Timms’ leadership and vision as president and CEO of the 92nd Street Y and co-founder of #GivingTuesday, an international day of philanthropy. Henry Timms and co-author Jeremy Heimans worked on this book for three years. It unpacks the ultimate skill of the 21st century – the ability to harness the power of the connected crowd. From how to spread your ideas, to how to start a movement, to how to transform an organization, it is a practical guide to navigating our chaotic world.

The early response has been amazing. Sir Richard Branson said “If you want to understand how the world is changing…this book could not be coming at a better time.” Alicia Garza called it “…a must-read” Jane Goodall said “This book will inform and inspire all those wanting to make change . . . and achieve a goal against all odds.”

New Power shines fresh light on the cultural phenomena of our day, from #BlackLivesMatter to the Ice Bucket Challenge to Airbnb, uncovering the new power forces that made them huge. Drawing on examples from business, activism, and pop culture, as well as the study of organizations like Lego, NASA, Reddit, and TED, Heimans and Timms explain how to build new power and channel it successfully. They also explore the dark side of these forces: the way ISIS has co-opted new power to monstrous ends, and the rise of the alt-right’s “intensity machine.”

A wonderful read for any activist or nonprofit leader looking to better understand, navigate, and thrive in the world they live and work in.

You can purchase the book here: New Power Caroline Avakian, Socialbrite’s Managing Partner, is a global development communications strategist in the New York City area with a focus on strategic communications, innovation, PR, and content marketing. Caroline is also the founder of SourceRise, a digital platform connecting journalists to international NGO sources. Contact Caroline by email, see her profile page, visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

This One Simple Habit Will Make You More Productive Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:23:55 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


You have big goals you’d like to achieve.

But many of these goals have been on your list for the past few years.

If you’re so smart, why can’t you accomplish your goals?

You’re smart, passionate and hard-working. But some days, you realize you did nothing towards your important goals.

What does it really take to achieve your goals? If it’s not brains, passion, and hard work, what is it?

An 18-Minute habit for getting important things done


Check out “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman.

It’s a pragmatic and entertaining book that can help you focus on what’s truly important, by practicing a simple 18-minute habit:

  • STEP 1 (5 Minutes) Set Plan for Day. Before turning on your computer, write down a short list of things you will do towards your big goals. Schedule these into your calendar, with the most important items in the morning.
  • STEP 2 (1 minute every hour) Refocus. Set an alarm to ring every hour. When it rings, ask yourself if you spent the last hour working on the items you wrote down in step 1. Were you productive? If not, recommit to winning during the next hour. Repeat this exercise every hour until the end of the work day. (disclosure, I’ve found that an alrm going off every hour creates more stress than it’s worth, so I checkin and refocus every 3 hours).
  • STEP 3 (5 minutes) Review. And the end the day, take time to review how you did. How did you find your focus? Where did you get distracted? How can you be more productive tomorrow?

Imagine feeling more happy and productive!


Rituals like the one described above make big changes in our lives because they change how we go about changing.

If you practice this 18-minute habit, I mean actually do it, you’ll get more done AND feel happier and more productive at the end of each day.


John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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Facebook News Feed Overhaul – How Your Nonprofit Can Prepare Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:03:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Well, we all knew this day was coming.

Facebook has finally decided to pull the plug on almost all types of public content from pages.


Because Mark Zuckerberg wants to make a better Facebook. One with less clickbaitengagement bait, and hopefully less fake news.

The News Feed’s goal is shifting from “helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

How is the News Feed changing?

To inspire meaningful conversations, the News Feed ranking will now prioritize:

  1. Posts from friends that spark back-and-forth conversations.
  2. Videos and news articles that spark back-and-forth discussion.
  3. Posts from friends and family over posts from Pages.
  4. Posts with longer comments over posts with shorter comments.

Facebook will continue to reduce click bait, engagement bait, and other types of passive content.

Less Buzzfeed quizzes and more posts from mom needing help with Facebook.

Why did Facebook make this change?

First of all, this change shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Pages that don’t engage have had diminished exposure in the News Feed for years.

And I’ve been writing about it for years:

The bottom line is that without happy users, Facebook can’t sell ads. If your posts don’t inspire, Facebook won’t put them in the NewsFeed.

What does this Facebook News Feed change mean for your nonprofit?

First of all, don’t freak out.

Nonprofits have a clear advantage over consumer brands and businesses. People talk more about the causes they care about more than the clothes they wear.

All these changes to the News Feed require a shift in your nonprofit’s Facebook strategy.

Here are just a few recommendations:

  1. Stop posting passive content: Stop posting content that doesn’t engage. For example, links to your latest blog post, event announcements, or pics from your board retreat (yawn).
  2. Inspire meaningful conversations: Posts that ask followers to share their advice and recommendations will naturally spark more meaningful conversations than that link to your latest blog post. Keep in mind, your followers are waiting to share their own stories, their journey. For example, diabetes organizations should publish more posts that encourage followers to share their own diabetes experiences and tips.
  3. Focus more on Facebook Groups: Be helpful, put the members first, and create meaningful conversations between members. And if your Group is public, make sure it’s connected to your Facebook Page.
  4. Put your Page first: Make sure supporters who want to see your posts see them first in the News Feed. Especially core supporters who might worry about missing posts from your Page.
  5. Mix email and Facebook: If you have an email newsletter, you’re ahead of the game. On a regular basic, feature your most engaging post from the previous week. Invite subscribers to join the conversation by commenting on that specific post. Also a great way to grow your fanbase.
  6. Use Facebook Live to generate massive engagement: Facebook Live video is the #1 type of content on Facebook, getting 6X more reach and engagement than videos and pictures. During your live broadcast, get people commenting by asking for their tips, stories, advice. Read this post for more on getting started with Facebook Live.
  7. Invest in Facebook ads: If you don’t have a Facebook ad budget, you’re really not serious about Facebook. Start investing more in Facebook ads to give your most conversational posts more exposure.
  8. Create content designed to make your fans look awesome: People share content on Facebook, whether it’s a video from your Page or a blog post from your website, because they want to appear entertaining, informed, connected, etc. to their friends. Creating content that helps your supporters achieve this goal leads to more engagement and organic reach.
  9. Share news your people are already talking about. Create meaningful conversations around trending news your community might already be talking about. It’s much easier to join a conversation than it is to start one.

Facebook will always put friends and family first when it comes to the News Feed. The more you adopt the same mindset with your strategy, the more successful you’ll be with Facebook.

john-haydonJohn Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

The 2018 Communications Trends to Watch Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:43:08 +0000 Continue reading ]]>



As communications professionals, we need to be agile and forward-thinking to stay competitive. We’ve come to accept that the future is unpredictable—and that we need to prepare ourselves for the unexpected.

With technological advances, fake news and virtual reality, we started to see accelerated change in 2017. We can expect that 2018 is going to move even faster. So limber up, expand your periphery, and take a look at what I predict will be the trends to prepare for in the coming year.


Activist CEOs

I am happy to report that CEOs are coming out of their corner offices with important social messages. What a breath of fresh air to see Tim Cook and Elon Musk speak out against injustices, and hundreds of CEOs resign from Trump’s business advisory board in protest. This makes my activist heart glow.

The time is here: Customers and investors now insist that companies engender a social sense of purpose that goes beyond delivering profits to shareholders. It’s a popular trend, and one that resonates with a much wider audience. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer: “Three out of four general population respondents agree that a company can take actions that both increase profits and improve the social and economic conditions of the community where it operates.”

You’ll see growing corporate pressure in 2018. With it, keep your eyes open for CEOs taking public positions on social issues—stepping in where policymakers are failing. It will be the communicator’s job to advise these business leaders on how to build trust and confidence with their stakeholders.


Integrating communications with business functions

Throughout my career, communications has traditionally stood on its own as a service to other departments within a company or organization, which are often seen as “clients.” For example, a comms team will be called when a sales department needs to promote a specific product or a program manager wants to run a campaign for maternal health. Historically, communications has responded by providing the needed content and design to implement these initiatives. I’ve seen this slowly change over time. In 2018, we’ll see that paradigm shift dramatically.

Organizations and businesses are catching on that communications is most functional when integrated across the company—with marketing, sales, finance and programming. Look out for the consolidation of positions like “Digital Communications Manager” and “Financial Communications Account Executive.” Companies will create new positions like these to more closely associate people with the work they do. We’ll need to work closely with our colleagues in each department and understand their functions so we can effectively communicate and elevate their work internally and externally.



I’ve seen time and again how important it is to make data-informed decisions. But what is a data-informed decision?

Organizations need employees trained in data analysis, such as programming, visualization and statistics, to understand their audiences, cut costs, improve customer service and reach the right funders. Companies in the wireless, healthcare and software industries are using big data in this way, and nonprofits can similarly reap huge benefits from big data. The Foundation Center manages a grand database for nonprofits to find out what and where donors are funding, and how to use data to advance their missions.

As data becomes more integral to operations, communicators must work side-by-side with data analysts to simplify the language so everyone across the organization understands the meaning, and uses it to make better decisions, like personalizing content.

We also need to be honest about data. It doesn’t lie, but how it gets translated can skew meaning. And, if you’re measuring likes, clicks and shares, understand exactly why you are using those metrics. Will they help you get closer to your goals?


Augmented Reality

As a social do-gooder, I’m skeptical about our ability to control our technology impulses. Frankly, it gives me mild anxiety. But augmented reality (AR) is here to stay, with the promise of making our lives easier. According to International Data Corporation, “AR revenues will surge ahead [of virtual reality], hitting critical mass in healthcare delivery and product design and management-related use cases.”

AR has come a long way since being invented in 1968, and it will continue to evolve (check out the full history). Existing museum, decorating and travel apps are already creating convenient and fantastical experiences for the citizenry.

What does this mean for communicators? We need to think differently about how we create and deliver content, from a 2D reality to 3D, and using voice, face and object recognition. Think back to how we changed our approach to writing for websites when the Internet took off or how we learned to create for mobile. AR is going to be our next big content challenge.



“If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million.” – Miranda King, digital media strategist

I couldn’t agree more. Video has been the most shared form of digital content for years, and you can expect it to explode in 2018. Around the world, people collectively spend a billion hours a day on YouTube. In addition to the well-researched fact that people are drawn to video over text, video gets better search results: “Social media algorithms prefer video content because it generates higher engagement and more click-throughs than traditional static content,” according to Stern Strategy Group.

Virtual reality, raw footage, 360 video, and live streaming will boom in 2018 as people not only want to watch video, but be completely immersed in the experience. And as Facebook becomes more mobile and video metrics more available, there’s greater reason to invest in this medium.

As a communicator, you’ll want to figure out what types of video will be the most useful for your organization, and the right platforms to showcase them. Then decide how to shape your content into the most compelling video people will want to share.

Video will increasingly become a necessary communications tool. With strong communications direction, it’ll be exciting to see how video producers use new technologies to deliver fresh video experiences.

I’m exhilarated about what 2018 has in store for us communicators. It’s a new frontier to develop new skills and tell our organizations’ stories in new ways.


What are your communication trends predictions for 2018? Tweet me your ideas!

Jessica Scadron

Jessica Scadron founded Social Harmony, a social impact firm that provides communications strategy and implementation to organizations changing the world. Find her on LinkedIn, Twitter and email.



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How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit Tue, 02 Jan 2018 21:10:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


You already know that Facebook Live lets any nonprofit live-stream fundraising events, breaking news, impact stories, and more, directly from their Facebook Page.

But did you know that Facebook lets nonprofits add a donate button to their Facebook Live broadcast?

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money

If your nonprofit is based in the US, and your Facebook Page is verified, you can fundraise within a Facebook Live broadcast.

For example, in this screenshot from Facebook, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals adds the donate button feature to their Live broadcast.

Two things to remember about fundraising with Facebook Live:

  1. Your Page needs to be verified. This feature is still gradually rolling out on iOS to admins of verified Pages in the US.
  2. Your nonprofit must be approved to accept Facebook payments. You can apply here.

To add the donate button, click on more options at the bottom of the screen (“…”). Next, select your nonprofit from the options (as shown above).

Viewers can donate to your cause during the live broadcast, and supporters who missed the live broadcast can always donate from the broadcast recording.

But is just having a donate button enough? Of course not! Fundraising is about building trust, sharing stories of impact, and growing a community of supporters.

Here are a few pointers as you fold Facebook Live into your fundraising plans.

Use Facebook Live to tell donors about the impact THEY made

More often than not, donors hear about impact second-hand (through your newsletter, website, etc). Rarely do they get to witness, first-hand, the impact of their support.

Facebook Live is a super effective way to bring the impact to your supporters.

For example, Best Friends Animal Society introduces their cutest residents to supporters from all over the world. Without Facebook live (and other live broadcasting tools), supporters would have to travel all the way to Utah to witness, first-hand, BFAS’s impact.

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Make donors the heroes

If you want your donors to give over and over again, you need to tell them the truth: that for your nonprofit, they are the true heroes.

Feature donor stories in your broadcast. Tell your viewers the impact that one donor made. Recognize and praise this donor sincerely. Viewers will no doubt want the same praise and recognition.

For example, Stand Up To Cancer broadcasted news about a high school raised money during a “Sports Day For Charity”.

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Don’t ask people to “Donate”

This one sounds a bit unintuitive, but let’s face it, asking people to donate money to your nonprofit is a buzzkill.

The reason why is that the word “donate” doesn’t place the donor in the role of the hero.

Instead, ask viewers to make an impact that’s meaningful. For example, ask them to “Give clean water”, “Feed hungry children”, “Stop human trafficking, etc. Each of these asks is associated with a problem that donors ultimately want to solve.

Tell donors when you’re going live

Facebook live isn’t that exciting if no one shows up. Make sure your core supporters show up when you go live.

  • Post an update on your page the week before and the day before
  • Send an email to your email list
  • Share your broadcast date / time in your email newsletter
  • Tweet about it immediately before you go live
  • Facebook Live Tip #6: Make an outline for your broadcast

Call out commenters by name

The cool thing about Facebook live is that you can see comments as they’re posted real time during your broadcast. Engaging commenters real-time increases engagement even further, creating massive reach for your broadcast.

  • Call out commenters by name
  • Read their comment
  • Reply to their comment
  • Say thank you

Ask for action

As your broadcast reaches more users, your viewer count will increase. This is your captured audience. Seize the moment to ask for action!

  • Ask participants to follow
  • Ask supporters to support an issue
  • Ask supporters to sign a petition

Share the recording with your supporters

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your first Facebook a live broadcast. Congratulations! Make sure this investment goes further by sharing it with your supporters.

  • Send a follow-up email to subscribers
  • Link to your recent broadcast in your newsletter
  • Reshare the broadcast on other social channels
  • Embed the broadcast in a blog post

Remember, if you have added the donate button to your broadcast, it will exist in the broadcast recording. As you continue to broadcast stories of impact, you’ll accumulate a whole series of fundraising videos on your Facebook Page.

Repurpose the recording

When you finish a live broadcast, save it to your mobile device. Then open the file in your favorite video editing software and create several videos to be used on other social networks.

Select key moments that are less than 60 seconds but still convey a powerful story. These short videos can be used on Instagram (which requires videos to be less than 1 minute), YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Get inspired by these creative ideas for Facebook Live

If you’re not sure what topics or events you should broadcast, check out this list of 35 Facebook Live ideas for museums, animal shelters, youth organizations, and more.

john-haydonJohn Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

How to Attract & Keep Donors Using Text Messaging Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:35:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


For many nonprofits, text messaging as a communications and fundraising tool can feel daunting. I’ve worked with nonprofits who grapple with understanding if text messaging is even right for them.

Below is a graphic shared with me by TextMagic that can help you better understand what an SMS campaign could look like and if it’s right for your nonprofit.

What do you think? Had your nonprofit worked on an SMS campaign? What were the results? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

attract_keep_donors_with_text_messagingCaroline Avakian, Socialbrite’s Managing Partner, is a global development communications strategist in the New York City area with a focus on strategic communications, innovation, PR, and content marketing. Caroline is also the founder of SourceRise, a digital platform connecting journalists to international NGO sources. Contact Caroline by email, see her profile page, visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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5 Ingredients to Make Your Nonprofit-Corporate Partnership Succeed Mon, 11 Sep 2017 11:35:02 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

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A few days ago, I was strolling along the foggy coast in Northern California when I noticed a cormorant flying in “v” formation with a flock of pelicans. A week later, I saw a pelican flying with a flock of cormorants.

I’ve been watching these birds for years and never saw them co-mingle in a flight pattern. I always assumed the same types of birds fly together. It turns out these two species bond in the hunt for food because they can catch more if they work together.

It’s a great metaphor for a corporate-nonprofit partnership. Joining forces with organizations that have resources your organization doesn’t can yield exponential dividends.

As federal funding tightens and corporations take on a larger role in communities, these partnerships are becoming increasingly common — and successful.

“Whether it’s tackling the Muslim ban or protecting green spaces, nonprofits have products and services that many companies realize they need to create a healthy business environment, and to contribute to a world their stakeholders — employees, investors and customers — want to live in,” said Danielle Silber, director of strategic partnerships at American Civil Liberties Union.

Everyone Benefits

Are you with a nonprofit that wants to innovate but doesn’t have the financial cushion to take risks? Maybe you work for a company that wants to deliver services on a small scale to low-income neighborhoods, but don’t have the local understanding to do so.

Each entity has its strengths. A corporation has resources and connections, and a nonprofit has an intimate understanding of a community or issue area. Combined, the company can build a positive reputation showing its support for a cause, and the nonprofit can focus on advancing its mission.

For example, to help solve the problem of children missing school because they don’t have clean clothes to wear, Whirlpool created Whirlpool Care Counts™ — an initiative to install washers and dryers in schools to see how attendance rates are impacted when students have clean clothes. The pilot program was so successful, with 93 percent of participating students’ attendance increasing in the first year, that Whirlpool is partnering with Teach for America to reach more students across the country.


The Five Practices of Partnership

If you decide to embark on this kind of partnership, make sure you have senior management buy-in and ample resources to run it. Then, follow these five practices to increase your likelihood of success.


1. A shared vision: What is it that each of you are trying to accomplish? Companies often look to strengthen their brands with customers, shareholders and employees. A clearly articulated social mission helps them do that through their corporate social responsibility efforts. Nonprofits are laser-focused on their social missions such as alleviating poverty, curbing climate change, or providing healthcare, for example. Although companies and nonprofits have different reasons for partnering, both should agree on the partnership’s purpose and outcomes.

The issue the nonprofit is on a mission to solve will determine the perfect intersection for a company and nonprofit to work together. If a healthcare company wants to provide discounted services to low-income neighborhoods, the obvious partner for them is an organization whose mission is to do the same.

Look at Unilever’s partnership with Domestos and UNICEF to deliver clean, safe toilets to millions who don’t have them. In just three years, 6.2 million people received access, helping all three organizations meet their water, sanitation, hygiene and sales goals.



2. Define the partnership: Articulate the division of labor from the outset. Make sure each organization knows who is responsible for what, how decisions will be made, and which organization will lead the project. Appointing individuals will insure each side fulfills their commitments and keeps the train moving.

“Partnership terms are negotiated like any other contract,” said Cheryl Damian, senior vice president of Ketchum Social Purpose. “Not only does it drive accountability, it provides a clear understanding of roles and expectations. Many times it is during this process that organizations unearth hidden gems in terms of assets and expertise that can make the partnership more efficient and productive.”

3. Monitor and evaluate: Measuring progress is often the Achilles heel of any organization. Layer that with figuring out how to align metrics between disparate entities and the climb can seem steep.

Companies and nonprofits have different approaches to metrics. But measurement is critical to the success of the project in order to quickly build on what works, learn from what doesn’t, and keep momentum. A lexicon both partners can agree to, and realistically fulfill, will prevent mission stagnation.

In 2012, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment (WB) created the We Can Be Heroes campaign to raise funds and awareness for the worst hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa since the ‘90s. Thirteen million people were displaced, and WB wanted to help. So they partnered with International Rescue Committee, MercyCorps, and Save the Children — three organizations equipped to deliver expedient aid to those devastated by the drought. All entities agreed that the best metrics for measuring the campaign’s success were how many people received aid and amount of funds raised. WB hit the two-year campaign goals within six months.


4. Communicate. Like a good marriage, your partnership requires nurturing to be fruitful. Don’t be shy about shaking out the rug if decision-making stalls or the partnership takes a wrong turn. Open dialogue will strengthen your collaboration and lead to better outcomes. So will establishing processes for communicating with your partner, and your internal team. Create a project work plan, schedule weekly check-in calls, and consider using technology like Slack or a project management tool like Teamwork to make collaboration easier.

And don’t forget to communicate partnership successes both internally and externally. Doing so will build excitement for the project throughout both organizations.


5. Flexibility: Remember, each organization has its own culture. Organizations evolve and grow — so must the partnership if you want to have a positive experience. Handle conflict when it arises, and be accommodating.


Creating a partnership can be challenging, but the effort is worth it for organizations and the communities they serve. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take things step by step. If you’re considering a partnership, or are in the midst of one you’d like to reinvigorate, apply these five elements and you’re likely to cultivate strong results.


Jessica Scadron

Jessica Scadron is the founder of Social Harmony, a communications firm that provides strategy and implementation to organizations changing the world. Find her on LinkedIn, Twitter and email.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.