October 31, 2012

Why can’t I raise any money with social media?

Help your donors climb the ladder of engagement

First of two parts. Next:
Tips & tools for effective online fundraising

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause advocates, fundraising professionals.

John HaydonWhy does it seem that raising money with social media is almost impossible?

We all know that retweets can travel faster than an earthquake and Facebook is basically word of mouth on steroids.

But why do so many social media fundraisers fall flat?

The answer lies in understanding exactly how people use social media, and why these tools even exist in the first place.

Four ways you use social media

If you think about your own behavior, you’ll realize that you use social media in at least four different ways:

  • Connect – Facebook is a friend network. The reason you visit your Facebook news feed is to see what’s happening with your friends. Updates from brands, including nonprofits, are mostly interruptions.
  • Discover – Twitter is where you discover interesting pictures, videos, and blog posts. You’ll also make new friends who might eventually become Facebook friends. YouTube is where you discover awesome videos, either by searching or browsing categories and trending videos.
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September 12, 2012

How to use social media to reel in big fish donors


Image by Canolais on Flickr

Techniques to lay the groundwork before approaching prospects

Guest post by Geri Stengel
Ventureneer

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs.

Many nonprofits already use social media, including mobile, to raise money among individual donors. Small donations add up, as Mark Hanis found. His first Facebook campaign raised $250,000 in 2005 for Genocide Intervention Network, now known as Endgenocide.org.

But few nonprofits use social media to build relationships with potential big fish donors. Yup, you can target and build these important relationships by engaging with them through LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The relationship starts online, but the “ask” happens offline, perhaps on the phone, but most likely face to face.

Building these relationships is hard work, but the benefits are enormous. Effective social media outreach takes at least 25 hours of staff time per week, according to the Ditch Digital Dabbling research report. Hanis has tips for those willing to undertake the task, based on his experience as head of the Genocide Intervention Network:

1Identify prospects using annual reports and gala invites from nonprofits working in that sector, which are among Hanis’ favorite methods. The Foundation Center also recommends reading press releases from nonprofits announcing donors as well as newspapers, magazines, etc. They also recommend using database such as WealthEngine or DonorSearch. The Foundation Center subscribes to DonorSearch so you can use this for free from their library.

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