Socialbrite Social media for nonprofits Fri, 17 May 2024 05:27:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Socialbrite 32 32 Socialbrite is shutting down Fri, 17 May 2024 05:27:23 +0000 Socialbrite is closing its doors after a nearly 16-year run.

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We launched Socialbrite in July 2008, back in the heyday of social media, as an educational resource, guide and consultancy to help nonprofit and social good organizations learn how to use the power of the crowd to advance their goals.

It’s hard to believe now, but in 2007-2008, most people had never heard of the term social media. 

Well, that changed fast. By fall 2008, “social media” was the hot new buzz phrase. And Socialbrite was there to help with activism, advocacy, and advice on everything from apps to storytelling techniques to tutorials on corporate social responsibility and social enterprises. Our Sharing Center won kudos and awards and Socialbrite received a number of honors from the nonprofit community for the service it provided.

But as we approach our 16th birthday, we need to shut things down. We’ll keep the site up for a while longer, so if you have some favorite articles or resources, please download them now.

Founder J.D. Lasica is heading up two different tech startups, Cruiseable and Authors A.I., as well as pursuing a career as an author. And the original Socialbrite team of social media experts has been pulled in new directions. Social media itself is having a bit of a midlife crisis, but there are plenty of other sites out there to fill the gap and help nonprofits and social enterprises fulfill their worthy missions.

Thank you for the wonderful ride.JD Lasica, founder and former editor of Socialbrite, is co-founder of Cruiseable. Contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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5 strategies to stand out in social media Sun, 29 Jan 2023 16:14:56 +0000 For nonprofit organizations and social enterprises seeking to bring social media into their philanthropic efforts, here are five strategies that can help them stand out from the crowd.

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Project Angel Food
Project Angel Food serves its 15 millionth meal.

Kevin XuSocial media has become one of the preeminent marketing tools for nonprofits looking to engage with donors and raise awareness about their cause as well as companies and social enterprises looking to incorporate a charitable component into their businesses.

It allows organizations to reach a large and diverse audience quickly and inexpensively. It can also be a way for organizations to connect with potential donors on a more personal level by sharing stories and updates about their work and community impact.

Philanthropy on social media helps those in need of donations to connect with a broader audience and raise awareness about their situation. And social media enables even more assistance, going beyond financial support to provide a way to mobilize volunteers and supporters.

However, it’s important to remember that social media can be a crowded and noisy space, and it can be difficult for nonprofits to stand out. Organizations need to develop a clear and consistent message. Companies and individuals can create powerful opportunities for charitable donations and acts of service by engaging with their audience in sincere and meaningful ways.

The effects of social media on philanthropy

The growth of social media has significantly impacted philanthropy for communities and those in need worldwide. Consider the effect of China’s “99 Giving Day,” which was the product of goodwill organizations and social media crowdfunding. Every September, Chinese companies donate millions to charity; their contributions are matched by the Chinese Internet company Tencent. Through this combination of social media marketing and philanthropy, millions have been raised for those needing medical treatment.

These viral social media campaigns have made it easier to learn about charitable causes, connecting philanthropists with organizations that align with their values. Social media campaigns have also enabled donors to share their philanthropic activities with their social networks, inspiring others to give. Remember the viral ALS Bucket Challenge in 2014? That social media campaign produced massive results for ALS research, netting more than $115 million and producing a life-changing new ALS drug.

The explosive growth of social media has also led to some challenges for philanthropy. Due to the large volume of social media posts and viral campaigns, it can be difficult for organizations to stand out in a crowded and noisy online space. It also presents a problem when measuring the impact of social media efforts on charitable giving. Additionally, the proliferation of online fundraising platforms has made it more difficult for donors to determine which organizations are reputable and which ones may not be using their contributions effectively.

Strategies to stand out from the crowd

For those seeking to bring social media into their philanthropic efforts, here are five strategies that can help organizations stand out from the crowd.

  1. Develop a clear and consistent message: It’s crucial for nonprofit and social good organizations to have a clear and consistent message that reflects their mission and goals. Distinct messaging will help differentiate the organization from others and make it easier for potential donors to understand the mission statement and values.
  2. Engage with your audience: Social media is a two-way conversation, so engaging actively with your audience is essential. Organizations and individuals should respond to comments and questions, share updates and stories about their work, and solicit feedback and ideas.
  3. Use visually appealing content: Social media is a visual medium, so it’s important to use visually appealing content to capture your audience’s attention. This might include photos, videos, infographics, or other types of media that help to tell your organization’s story. Last year Project Angel Food partnered with the television network KTLA to create a successful telethon, raising over $1.1 million in an effort to combat food insecurity.
  4. Use hashtags and tagging: Hashtags and tagging can increase the reach of your content and make it easier for people to discover your organization on social media. Use relevant hashtags and tag other organizations, influencers and individuals who may be interested in your work.
  5. Partner with influencers: Influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach a larger audience on social media. Consider partnering with influencers who align with your mission and values and who have a large and engaged following. In 2019, I partnered with MIT for its Pi Day 24-Hour Challenge. We donated $15,000 to support the efforts of teams worldwide, all creating innovative new solutions for global problems.

By using social media effectively, organizations and philanthropists can connect with thousands of worthy charitable causes worldwide, bringing aid to millions of people (and animals) in need. The awe-inspiring power of bringing people together to assist one another is one of the most significant technological innovations of the century. Let’s use it to do some good.

Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International,  a California- and Beijing-based intellectual property management company specializing in applied health systems. He also leads Skingenix, which specializes in skin organ regeneration and the research and development of botanical drug products. Kevin is co-founder of the Human Heritage Project.

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How to fundraise successfully in the new era Fri, 07 Oct 2022 06:27:12 +0000 Online fundraising has changed markedly in recent years. Post by Annabel Maw Recent years have ushered in a new era of fundraising — and nonprofit fundraising in particular has changed significantly. Donors are still eager to support the organizations and causes they care about, yet they expect to be engaged differently — often through digital channels. […]

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Online fundraising has changed markedly in recent years.

Post by Annabel Maw

Annabel-MawRecent years have ushered in a new era of fundraising — and nonprofit fundraising in particular has changed significantly. Donors are still eager to support the organizations and causes they care about, yet they expect to be engaged differently — often through digital channels.

As noted in the 2021 M+R Benchmarks Study, nonprofits enjoyed a 32% bump in revenue from online sources from 2019 to 2020. Organizations that moved to online and text campaigns via social networks seemed to fare especially well. In addition, nonprofits’ mobile audience for text campaigns jumped 26%. Facebook remained the most important social media platform for nonprofit causes. Overall, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits through social media end up taking some sort of action, whether it’s donating money, clothing, food or their time.

According to The Blackbaud Institute, 28% of all nonprofit donations in 2021 came from a mobile device. Online giving, in general, rose about 12% on average between 2020 and 2021.

This isn’t a huge surprise given that most people live very digital lives. Why wouldn’t nonprofits want to meet them through virtual means?

3 strategies to foster successful fundraising campaigns

To fully embrace the future of fundraising, your nonprofit organization can’t simply move all your typical campaigns, initiatives and practices online. You also need to embrace fresh strategies. To succeed in this new era of fundraising, here are three strategies to execute:

1. Nurture donor relationships through digital channels

It’s fine to send out print newsletters or advertise on billboards, but those efforts may not have the same impact they once did in achieving strong donor retention. As the statistics above show, it’s best to keep your donor relationships thriving through proactive, digital means.

For example, communicating with donors on social media or through your app’s push notifications can keep your nonprofit top of mind. Showcasing donors appropriately on your website, such as through “donor spotlight” blog posts or engaging videos, is another way to retain them. Your objective should always be to keep newer donors active and involved beyond their first donation.

Remind donors of your mission when you need a strong call to action to encourage an immediate charitable response. Then, add the option for donors to set up automatic recurring donations. As shown by the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy’s 2021 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey, just 18.6% of new, one-time donors were retained through 2021. Given that the average donor retention rate for nonprofits (that is, the percentage of donors who give more than once) is between 4045%, this small nudge can help your nonprofit increase its bond with donors and stop attrition at the source.

2. Make donating effortless

The harder it is for donors to contribute to your organization, the fewer donations you’re likely to receive. So make sure your website is clear and concise about how to donate. Give donors the chance to set up automatic monthly or annual donations as well.

Consider allowing less traditional donation methods. Many nonprofits now accept PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, Square and other contribution methods. It may make sense for your organization to follow suit.

As donations come in through your online forms, make sure to store donor information in your donor management system. Segment your contacts according to whether they are recurring donors. Repeat donors are statistically more likely to increase their contributions if asked. Your records can also help identify lapsed donors who may need reminders that your nonprofit is still around and in need of support.

3. Host online fundraising events

It wasn’t long ago when nonprofit leaders were asking: Will in-person fundraising events happen again? Even though in-person events have returned, you shouldn’t give up on online fundraising. People are more comfortable than ever attending virtual events. After all, many routinely Zoom with colleagues or attend online conferences.

Best of all, as reporting from the Chronicle of Philanthropy reveals, attendees at online fundraising events tend to give just as much as if they were face to face. In other words, you’re not losing money by moving one or more fundraisers to virtual platforms.

The type of online fundraiser that will work best depends on your nonprofit, your donors, and your mission. For example, maybe you’ve held in-person auctions for years. Auctions can be brought online fairly quickly, possibly enabling more individuals to bid. Online game nights and film nights where everyone pays to participate in the experience can work, too.

The pandemic showed that no matter what happens, people will still give to the nonprofits they feel most passionately about. If you haven’t refreshed your organization’s fundraising initiatives in the past few years, now is the time. You can revamp outdated practices while increasing the likelihood of successful campaigns that allow your team to accomplish its goals.

Image at top by Howard Lake / CC BY SA

Annabel Maw is the director of communications at Jotform, a full-featured online forms platform for easy data collection and management.

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How to inspire grassroots activism Mon, 26 Sep 2022 01:52:35 +0000 Strategies to combat the epidemic of hopelessness Post by Eric Anderson We all know the sinking feeling of having a long to-do list of big items. Often, we wind up overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin, so we don’t begin at all. For many of us, simply shutting down when faced with many challenges is a […]

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Image by Cam Miller (CC BY NC ND)

Strategies to combat the epidemic of hopelessness

Post by Eric Anderson

Eric AndersonWe all know the sinking feeling of having a long to-do list of big items. Often, we wind up overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin, so we don’t begin at all. For many of us, simply shutting down when faced with many challenges is a coping mechanism. We feel better when we don’t look at the long list of things we need to tackle, even though averting our eyes just adds to our long-term stress.

Many of us feel a similar pang of hopelessness when we look at the myriad crises happening every day in the world around us. There are so many, and they are so momentous and complicated, that we feel unable to effect change. Climate change, political gridlock, the pandemic, homelessness, war, wealth gaps, and racism are all around us, and they’re only getting worse as the days go by.

It’s true that, as individuals, each of us has only limited ability to impact an issue as big as climate change, for just one example. That may even leave us feeling powerless, especially as we see the harm these crises cause to the world and the people around us. Like wildfires, the impact of global catastrophes can spread quickly. Yet it is action, not avoidance, that will inspire others to do the same and, ultimately, create a culture of effective activism for change.

Taking tangible steps toward hope

For nonprofit organizations and communicators in particular, we have a responsibility to find ways to inspire constituents to act on important issues that affect us all. We can do that not just by rehashing the nature of present problems but by outlining specific tangible steps we can take toward change and by highlighting the inspirational stories of people already making a difference.

Here are three suggested things to try to inspire grassroots activism:

1. Go where your audiences are most comfortable

It is especially important to meet our audiences where they already are. That is, if your users are on digital platforms, that is where you should spread your message.

Tell compelling and relatable stories of people who have engaged constructively and how they found it rewarding and impactful

For some, these digital messages for change may come across as ineffective. Slacktivism gets a bad rap — if an action is relatively easy to take, it must be pointless, the reasoning goes. But that view is built on an outdated bias against activities in the virtual world. There’s nothing morally superior about attending a march in person or distributing flyers in your neighborhood if you can accomplish the same goals more efficiently on social platforms.

Whether your medium is digital or physical, it is imperative that you choose to broadcast your voice in a way that works best for you and your audience. Even small actions such as taking the first step or rallying support on social media can inspire more action. This is what will breed more momentum; you just have to decide to begin.

2. Keep moving forward

Image by pol sifter / CC BY
When facing an imposing to-do list, it’s often more beneficial and conducive to overall success if you pick off a few easy items to start with rather than tackling everything at once. After you’ve completed a few smaller tasks, you’ll have more confidence and energy to keep going on some of the bigger items.

This philosophy is similar to climbing a mountain. If you stand at the bottom and look up, you may lose the energy you need to climb to the peak. But if you start walking and stay focused on putting one foot after the other — and keeping your eyes just a few feet ahead of you — you’ll soon be able to look back and see how far you’ve traveled. Similarly, by taking small steps for actionable change, we can ultimately reach the summit and look back on all we’ve accomplished in our endeavors.

The same rule applies for organizations as well as individuals. Be realistic in the fundraising or cause campaigns you plan to launch to make sure you have the required resources. Then roll it out one step at a time.

3. Use actions to inspire more activism

When working to inspire grassroots activism, it’s important to make tangible but manageable requests. Your audience is your most valuable asset. As advocates for your cause, they will be ready and willing to commit their time and energy, though it is your job to ensure your requests are effective. Take specific steps that won’t burn out your supporters. Instead, asking participants to take on small, achieveable tasks ignites them to get even more involved. This is especially effective if you provide a rewarding experience and offer positive reinforcement that highlights the substantial differences their actions are making.

Final thoughts

If you are ready to see change, now is the time to begin. Be sure to give your audiences a clear roadmap. Show them that it leads to a better world, but stress that they can make progress one step at a time. Tell compelling and relatable stories of people who have engaged constructively and how they found it rewarding and impactful. Finally, strike a hopeful tone by highlighting tangible solutions that can make a positive difference right now.

Fortunately, as you would when climbing a mountain, you can manage a big challenge with clear directions, inspiration and encouragement. All you have to do is take the first step.

Eric Anderson is the co-founder of SE2, a Colorado-based integrated communications and marketing agency focused on behavior and policy change.

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Ultimate guide to measuring your video marketing efforts Mon, 01 Nov 2021 05:01:07 +0000 To measure your video marketing efforts, you should gauge the effectiveness of your video strategy and plan to optimize future campaigns.

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video production

Post by Torrey Tayenaka

Torrey TayenakaIt’s no secret that we live in a digital world. So it’s no surprise that video marketing has become an efficient way to reach your target audience, whether you run campaigns for a nonprofit, cause organization or social enterprise.

As with any form of marketing, though, it’s important to know that you’re getting a favorable ROI for your efforts and that you can identify what’s working and what’s not. This is especially critical when working with donor funds and limited resources.

So, how do you measure your video marketing efforts? We’re going to show you exactly how to do that in just a few easy steps. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your video strategy and plan for future campaigns.

First, let’s look at some numbers to show you why you should constantly improve your video marketing strategy. According to a report from Wyzowl, 78% of marketers agree that video marketing has produced a good ROI for their organizations. Also, marketers who used video marketing say they grew their revenue 49% faster than those that didn’t. 

Measuring your video marketing

To know how to measure the effectiveness of your video marketing, you must first decide what the goal of the marketing is so you know what you’re looking for. Your measurements should be based on three goals: engagement & conversion, awareness, and ROI. All of these goals can contribute to your nonprofit’s success, so understanding how to measure them is vital when it comes to optimizing your marketing budget. 

Measuring the engagement of your videos

When you’re producing video marketing in the hopes of increasing the engagement or conversion of your target audience, you’ll want to look at how your viewers are interacting or connecting with your content. Check to see how often they watch your video, if they follow your links, and if they comment on and share your video. 

Depending on the service you’re using to promote your video, you may be able to easily see these numbers, or you may have to do your own calculations. 

Metrics to measure for this interaction are based on several factors, including the following: 

  • Viewing time is the estimated time in minutes that a viewer spends watching your video. If viewers aren’t watching your video until the end, you’ll know that you’re losing their attention. A low watch rate may mean that your content isn’t relevant or engaging enough, so you may need to reevaluate the video and content if you’re seeing this. This is an important metric to keep an eye on, especially if your video is spreading the word about your nonprofit’s mission, cause or fundraising campaign and your audience is missing key elements of your message.
  • Shares are also a good indicator of engagement. If a viewer not only watches your video but also shares it, you know you’re on the right track. Look at this metric as your word-of-mouth referrals. By sharing your video, viewers are not only agreeing with or enjoying your content, they’re wanting other people to see it as well. 
  • Comments and likes are some of the more visible interactions that your video will have. You should make a habit of reading through your comments to see how your audience is reacting. Comments often alert you to issues that you need to address and they improve your SEO ranking. It’s also a good idea to interact with your audience in the comments, when appropriate. This engagement helps build brand and customer loyalty. 
  • Click-through rate is a metric that shows how often a viewer is attracted to a video and actually clicks on it. The CTR is calculated using the total number of video clicks and dividing it by the total number of views. This number will show you if your call to action is working or if it could use some tweaking. 
  • Live video metrics are another thing to measure if you’re broadcasting your video live. If so, you should pay attention to when your peak live views occur in order to know if people are enjoying your video and if it’s too long. 

Measuring brand awareness

If the goal of your video marketing is to create a buzz about your nonprofit or a fundraising campaign and to increase the public’s general awareness of it, there are several key metrics you need to keep a close eye on. These metrics are focused on the groups of people that are watching your video and where they’re located. By critiquing these items, you’ll be able to determine if the people you’re reaching are actually in your target audience or if you need to adjust your efforts. 

Metrics to measure brand awareness include the following:

  • Play rate measures the number of times that a viewer clicks the “play” button on your video. This number is found by dividing the total number of people who play your video by the number of visitors to your page. If your play rate is 70%, that means that 70% of the people who see your video press that button to play it. If this number is low, it may mean your video promotion needs to improve or that the audience isn’t finding it interesting enough to actually spend time watching it. 
  • Viewer demographics will show you if the people who are playing your video are actually the people you’re trying to reach. These metrics will show you the people who are engaging with your content and will allow you to see their location, age and gender. If your demographics don’t show you the target audience you’re trying to reach, you may need to change your marketing strategy. 
  • Impressions show you the number of times your video is actually being seen by the public, even if they’re not engaging with it. This is important to measure because it will show you if your ads or promotions are performing properly. If this level isn’t favorable, you can adjust your ad settings or raise your budget. Your ad settings may need to be widened to a broader area or age range to increase the number of people who see it on a daily basis.  
Some causes, such as protecting herons and other wildlife, lend themselves to video marketing campaigns. (Photo by Tjflex2 / CC BY ND)

Measuring your return on investment

As with any marketing strategy, it’s important to know if you’re spending your budget wisely. This measurement may show you that you need to increase your budget or it may show you that the money you’re spending is simply not worth it. To know which way to go, you have to know how to measure your ROI first

ROI is calculated by dividing the sales from your video conversions by the money spent to produce them. In other words, did you make more money off of the video than you did making it?

Before you can accurately answer that question, you need to make sure that you’re adding up every expense you incurred to make and promote the video. This includes your equipment, time, advertising budget, etc. Next, you need to track how many leads and/or sales you got as a direct result of the video. This can be a more difficult number to arrive at and it may mean that you need to ask customers how they heard about you. 

If your ROI isn’t where you want it to be, here are some things to consider:

  • Does your budget need to be adjusted? You may need to increase your daily dollars in order to reach more customers and increase your conversions. You can adjust your overall budget or your daily budget depending on the platform that your video is promoted on. 
  • Is your video aggravating in any way? If the customer is clicking off of it because of distracting music or annoying visuals, you may need to adjust your video to be more pleasing to the eyes and ears. If the viewer isn’t watching your video long enough to get to your call to action, they may never convert. 
  • Do you have a call to action? If your video isn’t clearly directing your customer to the next step, that may be the key to getting more people to convert. Don’t leave them guessing what to do next. Make it clear and obvious. Have a URL that they can click to follow or put your CTA in the video with text and/or voice. Depending on the length of your video, it may be smart to have more than one CTA. 

Measure your way to success

As with any goal that you set, to know if it’s a success or not you must be able to measure it. Measurements are only accurate when they’re quantifiable, which is why it’s important to know the metrics to look for with video marketing

Before you start gauging your success, set benchmarks throughout your year so you’re reminded to look back and track the metrics. Keep in mind that the metrics you should be measuring are based on the goal of your video marketing. 

Photo at top by Bill Rice (CC BY)

Whether the goal of your video marketing is increasing awareness of your nonprofit, building engagement and conversion, or having a favorable ROI, you now know the ways to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. With a little bit of dedication, a few dollars, and some time, your campaigns will be on their way to success. 

Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO of Sparkhouse, an Orange County based video marketing production agency. He has contributed to publications such as Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with ineffective ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining and useful videos that enrich the lives of its clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse and Forge54.

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How nonprofits can benefit from knowledge management Fri, 15 Jan 2021 09:52:30 +0000 Nonprofits can take advantage of knowledge management tools to create, structure, share and retain knowledge within their organization.

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nonprofit team members
Can your team take advantage of the new breed of knowledge management tools?

Post by Mary Jo Johnson

The biggest asset of a nonprofit or social enterprise is its employees. The knowledge and experience its people bring will determine its institutional knowledge and dictate the direction in which it needs to head. This knowledge is ever-changing and needs to be both accessible and adaptable. So it’s critical to establish processes that determine how knowledge is disseminated throughout every effective organization.

This is where knowledge management comes in. 

What is knowledge management?

Knowledge management is the process of creating, structuring, using, sharing and retaining knowledge within an organization. Or simply put, it is the handling of knowledge and resources in an efficient manner inside an organization. 

Knowledge management has three main components:

  1. Accumulation
  2. Storage
  3. Sharing

By accumulating knowledge from the various experiences of employees and creating a platform to store it with the goal of sharing and disseminating that knowledge to people, you’ll create and enable a learning culture. 

Tapping into two types of knowledge

There are two types of knowledge within the knowledge management sphere. The differences between them is a fundamental concept of knowledge management. 

  1. Explicit knowledge. This is the type of knowledge that is codified and easy to teach. This is what’s found in books, mathematical equations, processes, memos and the like. This type is easily shared. 
  2. Tacit knowledge. According to Michael Polyani, tacit knowledge is “things that we know but cannot tell.” This is knowledge gained through experience and practice, like learning how to balance on a unicycle.

Knowing the distinction between these two types will help greatly when coming up with strategies for sharing knowledge across the organization. 

The cycle of knowledge management

The cycle of knowledge management has seven stages:

  1. Acquisition. Acquiring knowledge either through research, training, and education (explicit knowledge) or through daily experiences and know-how (tacit knowledge) should be done across the organization — individually or as a group. Gathering and exploiting knowledge is the first step of the knowledge management cycle. The tendency of a nonprofit organization (NPO), the vast majority of which have modest resources, is often to pass on this knowledge verbally when it would serve the organization better to codify it.
  2. Codification. This is the process of putting the knowledge that’s acquired into words. Not all knowledge can be translated into verbal or written language, however. This step involves creating job aids, training materials, write-ups, tests and other printed or written material or any form of media for consumption.
  3. Storage. This step is where repositories come in. These can be databases or manuals where people can go to access codified knowledge.
  4. Retrieval. This is the act of accessing stored knowledge. Retrieval should be simple and efficient.
  5. Distribution and presentation. This is making all that knowledge accessible to the people who need it. Knowledge can be presented in different formats and in different ways. This could come in the form of reports or training modules and presentations.
  6. Application. After knowledge is gained through distribution and presentation, it is now time to apply what was learned. This is where an NPO will plan its activities according to the knowledge it has gained.
  7. Creation. Because of the application of knowledge, an NPO can now gain new experiences that will give way to the creation of new knowledge from the new experiences and the cycle starts all over again.

Knowledge management tools

Knowledge management tools are systems used by organizations to share information. These can be customer relationship systems (CRMs) or knowledge bases or learning management systems (LMS). A good knowledge management tool like Slab will allow you to integrate all of the organization’s tools in one knowledge base and allow everyone in the organization regardless of tech-savviness to easily search, access, use and create content.

How nonprofits can take advantage

Revenue generation

As all nonprofits know, fundraising and revenue generation are key to helping the organization function and achieve its overall mission. Having a knowledge management tool allows an NPO to keep track of all its data regarding donations and incoming revenue, as well as to keep track of potential sources of additional revenue, not to mention the knowledge and connections that every fundraising event and outreach program will create for the organization. Knowledge management systems allow organizations to keep their books organized and accessible to the people who need them.

Volunteer and paid employee engagement

Volunteers participate in and support NPOs and their efforts to provide for their causes without expecting monetary compensation, and these volunteers have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Codifying their knowledge into a knowledge management tool can ensure that the explicit knowledge that the volunteers bring can be cascaded across the organization. The same goes for paid employees. Engaging both the volunteers and employees through knowledge transfers will not only broaden their experience but will also develop a culture of learning for the organization. This ensures growth for both the NPO as a whole and the employees and volunteers individually.


Sustainability is not just about going “green.” Sustainability for nonprofits means that the organization will endure changes in economy and political climate. It also means that the founders, stakeholders, donors and volunteers find long-term value in the organization. It also means that the NPO needs to take care of its assets, a.k.a stewardship.

A good knowledge management system will help an NPO achieve long-term viability by making knowledge and data easily accessible. Donors and stakeholders need reports and write-ups about the activities and programs of the NPO they support. They need to see that their donations are going to the right place and that the assets of the NPO are well taken care of and accounted for.


Knowledge management and knowledge management tools play a vital role in helping to buttress nonprofit organizations’ operations by making data easily accessible and therefore easily disseminated.

Take advantage of tools like Slab to enable team members to find vital information fast, without having to use multiple platforms and learning to navigate new tools. This helps foster growth through creating a learning environment in the most efficient way.

Mary Jo Johnson is content marketing manager at Slab.

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How to do social media marketing during the pandemic Tue, 04 Aug 2020 08:54:06 +0000 Here are some principles that nonprofit organizations can incorporate into their social media marketing strategy to keep their user base intact during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Whether your nonprofit’s mission is wildlife preservation or another worthy cause, take steps to keep supporters engaged and involved. (Photo by smarko/Pixabay)

Post by Alma Causey

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, nonprofits and social enterprises have had to rethink their marketing strategies. Nonprofits have been scrambling to develop appropriate communication strategies to approach their stakeholders during these trying times.

With contributors sticking close to home and social distancing in force, it’s harder than ever to conduct outreach for even the most worthy cause.

In this post, we will share some principles that you can incorporate into your social media marketing strategy to keep your user base intact.

Social media marketing during COVID-19

When times are tough, staying connected becomes all the more important. Underscoring the importance of social media, people are turning to these platforms to keep themselves connected, informed and engaged.

Instagram and Facebook saw a 40 percent increase in usage during the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak. But the rise in social media traffic and online activity does not indicate that online outreach is business as usual. You’ll need to adjust your messaging to adjust to the new realities.

Foster relationships

1If you’re concerned about the durability of your nonprofit during these challenging times, you’re not alone. With people retrenching and the economy contracting at a historic 33 percent annual rate in the previous quarter, it may be the right time to focus on relationship building rather than fundraising and revenue generation.

This is a good time to experiment, to host conversations about a variety of subjects of interest to your target audiences, and to create valuable evergreen content on your blog to enhance your organization’s SEO.

Engage with the audience and forge relationships to develop goodwill for your brand and strengthen your position for the long run. Engagement can be driven simply by offering information about your ongoing causes, sharing your plans through visuals or multimedia, and even humor.

Be empathetic

2The ongoing pandemic is affecting everyone in one way or another. People are experiencing lifestyle transitions; some are working from home; others have been laid off because of the economic slowdown.

People are also experiencing a wide variety of emotions during these times. So make sure you double your efforts to be empathetic toward your followers and take care in what you post. Show your human side and share a few experiences about how the pandemic is affecting the people you serve or work with. That builds a bond and gives readers a sense that you understand what they’re going through and that you care about them.

There’s no need to mention the crisis explicitly every time in your content, but take into consideration how your content could be interpreted by a person facing a different reality than yours.

social media for nonprofits
Be sure to use social media thoughtfully during these difficult times.

Consider influencer marketing

3One form of marketing that might prove more productive than paid ads during and after the pandemic is influencer marketing. Influencers are people with a large following on social media and who carry considerable sway over consumers’ spending decisions. Influencer marketing has a human element that can promote organic growth and provide a higher ROI compared to ad spend.

However, do’nt get caught up in numbers when pursuing an influencer marketing strategy. Look for people who share your vision and are ready to give their 100% to help you achieve your goals. You can recruit them to become ambassadors for your cause. You can enlist them to attend virtual events.

Conduct research and use hashtags to find influencers in your niche. You can also use micro-influencer platforms like Fohr and Apexdrop to connect to influencers and bloggers and drive traffic to your social media channels.

Go global

4Although the coronavirus is a global pandemic, it’s affecting some regions worse than the others. For example, Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand have done a better job in containing the virus.

The spread or slowdown of the virus in different regions will affect your social media traffic. So this may be a good time to diversify the regions you’re targeting to increase traffic from abroad.

Platforms like Facebook allow you to run targeted ads and put your product or services in front of new supporters. By targeting consumers in different geographic locations and markets, you can mitigate the risk and improve the returns.

Focus on the audience

5The pandemic has forced nonprofits, brands and businesses to reorient their priorities. Revenue generation has taken a back seat while consumer sentiment is now driving the marketing strategies.

Adding value to the lives of users through your content is now more important than ever as a marketing strategy. Any content that can inform, educate and motivate people is bound to gain traction during the pandemic. Look at what your nonprofit peers are doing — or not doing. Can you do it better or differently?

If you can offer solutions to some of the life problems faced by users, it will go a long way toward fostering goodwill and generating more engagement on your social media posts.

Conduct live streams

6Video content, especially live streams, is an effective tactic to connect with your supporters on social media. This is why it’s not surprising to see Facebook and Instagram Live views doubled in a single week during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Therefore, nonprofits should leverage this medium and allocate resources to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Live, as well as webinars. Can you organize an online gathering of stakeholders or thought leaders in your sector? Perhaps host a weekly Zoom call or check-in. It can help you create content in a way that users are coming to expect.

Final thoughts

While the current crisis has impacted nonprofits on an unprecedented scale, we believe that organizations can weather this storm through smart social media marketing. Engage your users across a number of online and offline channels and use this time to build a community that will help you achieve long-term success for your cause.

Alma Causey is is an editor, architect and mother in the Netherlands as well as a blogger for setalks.

The post How to do social media marketing during the pandemic appeared first on Socialbrite.

How nonprofits can skyrocket SEO rankings with backlinks Wed, 29 Apr 2020 08:44:32 +0000 Your nonprofit probably has a worthy mission you’d like others to find out about.   Post by Nancy P. Howard SEO might not seem like something that’s top of mind for many nonprofits. SEO … isn’t that something that tech or marketing firms do? Well, if your goal is to get your campaigns and your […]

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Your nonprofit probably has a worthy mission you’d like others to find out about.


Post by Nancy P. Howard

SEO might not seem like something that’s top of mind for many nonprofits. SEO … isn’t that something that tech or marketing firms do? Well, if your goal is to get your campaigns and your organization’s mission to show up in the search rankings, then search engine optimization needs to be a priority.

Below we outline a time-honored strategy that explains how to make your website or blog’s home page and key pages turn up higher in Google search results and in other search engines. The key trick is strategic use of backlinks.

What is link building and why is it important?

Link building or growing a backlink profile is the process of collecting links from other websites that are directed to the nonprofit’s website or blog. So, for example, Forbes could be citing an article with expert opinion from the nonprofit’s website and linking to this article.

If a certain nonprofit’s website has a good backlink profile, it is likely to rank high in search engine results for different keywords. Higher search rankings mean that there will be more traffic with the click-through and conversion rates improving as well. There are different tactics that can help build a good backlink profile.

Now, easier said than done. How do you accomplish that?

Here’s a classic 3-minute awareness video from The Girl Effect with more than 2.4 million views.

Blogging and content creation

1One of the best ways to attract attention to a nonprofit is by having a blog on the nonprofit’s website. A blog will then have to be populated by articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts and so on. It isn’t necessary to have all of the types of content, but variety can still be quite beneficial.

For example, a video about the importance of protecting wildlife can bring awareness to the issue. It will also help a nonprofit dedicated to protecting tigers living in the wild generate more traffic to its website and encourage more people to support the nonprofit by sharing the video or donating even a small amount that could help out a lot.

Understanding what every content type is for will allow the nonprofit to better structure their strategy that will make the content’s impact bigger. Here are some ways to use content more effectively and efficiently:

  • Articles: Create high-quality and informative articles that become cited by reputable websites or online outlets.
  • Videos: Videos have the potential to go viral, potentially drawing traffic and tons of backlinks.
  • Infographics: There is no easier way to break down a process to its core elements than by using an infographic. If the infographic clearly explains how drugs impact a person’s life, it will often be used by different relevant websites and blogs to support their content — and will link back to your nonprofit’s website.
  • Webinars/podcasts: Though webinars and podcasts are not as common with nonprofits (it depends on the niche), they can still be very effective for bringing awareness to the cause and to the nonprofit hosting the webinars or podcasts.

Collaborations and partnerships

2As a nonprofit, you know that you can’t just always be asking for support from donors or other stakeholders. Sometimes you have to extend a hand and work with others.  Collaborations and partnerships have the potential for offering advantages for all parties involved.

The best way to find organizations or individuals to collaborate or partner with is by searching on social media platforms. This ensures that the potential partner has a sufficiently large online presence that will benefit your organization’s need for greater exposure online.

Once a list of potential partners is finalized, reach out abuot the prospect of a collaboration. Mutual shout-outs, hosting an event together, or other ways to partner should all be on the table. And an easy win-win is to get a backlink to your site or ongoing campaign as part of the collaboration.

Gaining backlinks

3An interesting way of gaining backlinks that has recently become more popular involves contacting the website where the backlink will be located and asking for the backlink directly. It seems a bit unusual, but from an SEO perspective it makes sense:

  • Content research: First, it’s necessary to do some research and find the highest-ranking articles on a certain topic. The best situation is when these articles are a few years old. Then, it is crucial to locate the backlinks these articles got from other websites because these will be the websites to contact in the end.
  • Content creation: The next step is content creation when the nonprofit creates similar articles to the one it located during research. The articles created by the nonprofit need to be the better versions of the originals with such things as extra research or statistics, improved visuals, more timely content, and so on.
  • Contacting: Once the articles are published on the nonprofit’s website or blog, the final step is contacting the websites that linked to the original article and asking them to change their link to a backlink to the nonprofit’s improved article.

Donorbox wrote a guest blog post for Socialbrite that included some of its notable campaigns, including one for the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Aid Foundation.

Guest blogging

4Last but not least, guest blogging is somewhat similar to tactic No. 1 above, but in this case, the content is created for other websites instead of for the nonprofit’s website or blog. Then, this content is used to link back to the nonprofit’s website, as long as the website where the content is published allows the guest post to include backlinks.

It’s important to understand though that guest blogging can only be effective for collecting backlinks if the websites where the content is being published are relevant to the niche of the nonprofit itself. So, for example, if the nonprofit is concerned with lifting the ban on certain dog breeds, guest blogging is appropriate on websites that are connected to this cause (e.g., a website dedicated to the joys of big-game hunting probably won’t be suitable).

Backlinks are only as good as the websites they come from, which is why approaching the process of selecting websites to guest blog for should be done with rigor. It’s crucial to check the policies of the website, its rankings in search results for different keywords, and the relevance of the topic the guest article will be about.

Increasing online presence

5To put it simply, the more online presence the nonprofit has, the more backlinks it can get on a regular basis without having to use any special tactics. The problem is that to increase online presence, all the tactics covered in this article have to be used in the first place.

But once the nonprofit has a big enough online presence and perhaps even a healthy social media following, it’s much easier to continue getting backlinks regularly just like big brands usually get backlinks because of their reputation.

Final thoughts

All in all, using backlinks to improve the SEO rankings of your organization’s website is not only possible but likely if you use all the necessary online marketing tactics sketched out in this article and create an effective digital marketing strategy.

Nancy P. Howard has been working as a writing expert at Online Writers Rating for a year. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, IT and marketing. She loves traveling and photography and always is eager to meet new people.

The post How nonprofits can skyrocket SEO rankings with backlinks appeared first on Socialbrite.

The complete guide to social media listening for nonprofits Wed, 25 Mar 2020 04:11:33 +0000 Editor’s note: Awario is offering 50% off its Pro and Enterprise plans to any nonprofit. Head over to and let the team know that Socialbrite sent you. Post by Julia Miashkova Social Data Analyst, Awario Doing good requires goodwill — plus the right tools. Without either, doing good is not as good as it […]

The post The complete guide to social media listening for nonprofits appeared first on Socialbrite.

Take advantage of social media monitoring tools to advance your nonprofit's cause.
Take advantage of social media monitoring tools to advance your nonprofit’s cause.

Editor’s note: Awario is offering 50% off its Pro and Enterprise plans to any nonprofit. Head over to and let the team know that Socialbrite sent you.

Post by Julia Miashkova
Social Data Analyst, Awario

Doing good requires goodwill — plus the right tools. Without either, doing good is not as good as it could be. This is especially true to the nature of nonprofit work. To mobilize the public and inspire change, nonprofits need the right tools, and this goes for social media marketing more than anything.

There’s enormous potential in making the most of social media’s potential. Social media is there to build bridges — to local communities, mass media, donors, volunteers, influencers and everyone involved in helping to spread the word your cause. Meanwhile, social media tools are there to help nonprofits with all of the above.

How nonprofits can use social listening

Social listening tracking and analyzing mentions of any keyword online — is one of the biggest buzzwords in social media marketing. Listening in on social media conversations around a cause brings a slew of insights important for the success of nonprofit campaigns. Here’s what social listening tools can do for social good:

    1. Reputation management
    2. Community outreach
    3. Influencers and media outreach
    4. Fundraising
    5. Surveys, polls and research of any scope

The best part is, social media listening is automated to near perfection. All there is to do is pick one of the many social listening tools available today — the rest is pretty much left to the impressive technology behind them. Let’s see how it’s all done.

Reputation management

1Step 1 of social media listening is setting up a mentions monitoring alert. This usually takes as much as a keyword (a name, topic, hashtag, etc.) and preferences such as languages, regions and social networks to monitor. Once the alert is there, nonstop reputation monitoring is underway.

By looking at all mentions of a name or organization, as well as the sentiment behind them, nonprofits can get an instant and reliable assessment of their reputation. Over time, this translates into continuous reputation monitoring and clear insights into any fluctuations.

A sentiment graph showcasing a reputation crisis. Screenshot from Awario.
A sentiment graph showcasing a reputation crisis. Screenshot from Awario.

Social listening is all about real-time results. Whenever there’s a spike in negative mentions or just a negative mention against largely positive feedback, the tools are there to enable instant interaction with the user. This way, reputation management boils down to joining all relevant conversations as soon as they pop up online.

Community outreach

2Social media is the place to connect with communities. By knowing what drives engagement and inspires action across target audiences, nonprofits can better plan their messaging and activities with communities’ needs in mind.

What kinds of posts resonate best with local communities and beneficiaries? What are the biggest topics buzzing at any given moment? What social networks are most effective in spreading the word? With social media listening tools at hand, all of these insights, and then some, are available in a couple of clicks.

Sources of mentions. Screenshot from Awario
Sources of mentions. Screenshot from Awario

Social listening is how nonprofits get to know their communities. From there, it’s growing social media following, raising more and more awareness of the cause and getting people involved.

Influencers and media outreach

3One of social media listening’s many use cases is finding and monitoring niche-specific media outlets. Whether it’s staying in the know of what’s being done to help the cause globally or securing the support of relevant local mass media, social listening tools provide a comprehensive overview of the media landscape.

Top mentions of climate change. Screenshot from Awario
Top mentions of climate change. Screenshot from Awario

Finding and connecting with influencers is another basic application of social listening. By filtering all relevant online conversations by reach, it’s easy to see the biggest names that are already talking about the cause and could become advocates of specific nonprofits.

Interacting with influencers and transforming them into goodwill ambassadors doesn’t have to be a massive headache. Social listening tools allow for instant in-app engagement with the posts, which makes influencer marketing a tangible objective.


4Securing the funds might be one of the most time-consuming and stressful tasks all nonprofits need to do to keep their operation going. Luckily, social media listening is there to take lead on this one as well (and then, ironically, bring leads).

Leads are the people looking to contribute to the cause but lacking the guidance and resources to do so. Social listening tools have baked-in features meant to analyze the entirety of online conversations around a topic and detect potential givers.

Leads feed. Screenshot from Awario

In addition to identifying individuals willing to get involved in the good work, social listening can be employed to discover grant announcements and other sponsorship opportunities. As always, all that’s needed is a mentions monitoring alert with keywords specific to the nature of the grant.

Surveys, polls, and research of any scope

5Social media is the world’s biggest database of audience insights. Whatever there is to discuss, chances are somebody has already started a corresponding discussion online. Hence, in the age of social media listening tools, conducting a survey, a poll or research is only a matter of fetching the data that’s already there and applying inbuilt analytics to it.

The best part is, there’s virtually no limit to the research scope. Social listening tools process huge chunks of data in no time at all, which translates into effortless, reliable research with no additional resources needed.

word cloud
Word cloud for mentions of Greta Thunberg

The efforts put into tracking shifts in public opinion can be reduced to daily emails or instant notifications on Slack. Social media listening tools will be on duty 24/7, which ensures real-user feedback on any issue related to the cause.


Behind the overwhelming billions of social media posts are people who want to do good but don’t always know how. Social media monitoring and listening is the way to tap into all of the online conversations and guide nonprofits to their target audiences, opinion leaders, media outlets and potential givers.

By using social listening tools, nonprofits get access to all the goodness social media has to offer without hiring an entire social media marketing team. I hope this guide serves as an inspiration and how-to for transforming online conversations into valuable aids for doing good.

Image at top: Vox Efx
Julia Miashkova is social data analyst with Awario. She has a background in public relations and SEO and is currently focused on social media listening, data journalism, research and analytics.

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How Donorbox powers these nonprofits’ fundraising Mon, 09 Mar 2020 04:28:10 +0000 Post by Lylene Corado Donorbox Nonprofits today have a variety of options when it comes to online fundraising. More than 30,000 organizations from 25 countries now use Donorbox’s fundraising software. Donorbox is a powerful and efficient next-generation fundraising system that allows organizations to raise more donations, implement smooth donation management, promote fundraising campaigns in a […]

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Post by Lylene Corado

Nonprofits today have a variety of options when it comes to online fundraising. More than 30,000 organizations from 25 countries now use Donorbox’s fundraising software.

Donorbox is a powerful and efficient next-generation fundraising system that allows organizations to raise more donations, implement smooth donation management, promote fundraising campaigns in a variety of ways and establish lasting relationships with donors.

Thousands of fundraising professionals have turned to Donorbox to raise more than $250 million in donations. From nonprofits to churches, organizations have launched onlilne campaigns on behalf of a variety of causes using the company’s donation platform.

While they all have different hints and tactics for success, there is one thing they all share in common: They’ve incorporated donation software into their arsenal. The fundraising software facilitates tracking your donors, accepting online donations, creating social campaigns around your fundraising activities and more.

Here are some of the campaigns run with Donorbox:

Some of the kids helped through the Shanti Bhavan Children's Project.
Some of the kids helped through the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project.

Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project

Shanti Bhavan (“haven of peace” in Hindi) is an Indian 80-G and U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Bangalore, India. The organization runs a pre-K-12 residential school in Baliganapalli, Tamil Nadu. The school enrolls 12 girls and 12 boys (at age 4) each year for its entry-level preschool class. From then on, students are in school throughout the year, except during the summer and winter holidays.

Students go to Shanti Bhavan at no cost and are given nutritious foods, shelter, education, medical care, clothing, and emotional and mental support.

The organization is accredited by one of the strongest academic curricula in India, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and conducts the ICSE and ISC exams for students in grades 10 and 12. After 12th grade, Shanti Bhavan also covers their university education.

As a non-profit organization, the main barrier organizations face is securing sustained and long-term funding. Donorbox has been able to meet their needs and has raised more than $1.44 million through the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project.

In addition, with the great features that come with the software, Donorbox also connects them with new sponsors to achieve fundraising goals.

Charles’ fundraiser for


Truthout is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) news organization whose goal is to deliver independent reports and commentary on a wide range of social justice matters. Since its founding in 2001, the organization has based its advocacy work on the tenets of transparency, accuracy and independence from partisan forces and corporate influence.

Truthout portrays itself as a form of journalism seeking justice. The organization relies on its audiences and contributions from foundations that are committed to its work. Individual readers’ donations have amounted to an average of 81% of its yearly budget over five years. Some major areas of interest for Truthout are mass imprisonment, climate change and social justice.

Combined with an evolving scale-up strategy, Donorbox remains a pivotal tool in Truthout’s quest to strengthen its sustainable funding sources. So far, it has raised more than $1.2 million and procured more than 45,000 donations through the Donorbox platform.

Project Charley’s newest device, the Trexo Robitics device, allows a child to walk independently.

Project Charley

Project Charley was established to provide state-of-the-art neurological rehabilitation facilities in Austin, Texas. The nonprofit shares stories of those who have been impacted to increase resources and promote awareness in our community.

To bolster its cause, Project Charley has built strong relationships with strategic partners, found an operating partner in Austin and formed an advisory board to help lay the groundwork.

Donorbox continues to be the organization’s first choice for fundraising. The software has powered campaigns to help it raise more than $436 so far.

El Salvador schoolkids
Schoolchildren in El Salvador, young constituents of the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Foundation.

Salvadoran American Humanitarian Aid Foundation

Salvadoran American Humanitarian Aid Foundation (SAHF) is a nonprofit non-sectarian tax-exempt 501(c)(3) that operates in El Salvador through its affiliated foundation FUSAL in the country and other agencies. Since 1983, SAHF has disbursed nearly $600 million in in-kind support to more than 550 health-related programs and institutions across El Salvador.

SAHF and FUSAL are dedicated to supporting education, health and human development programs that seek to improve the well-being of all Salvadorans. Collectively, SAHF and FUSAL harness the kindness, social responsibility and goodwill of their supportive supporters to promote the sustainable well-being of the people of El Salvador.

Despite the challenges in raising funds for these causes, Donorbox has been a breakthrough in helping them generate $152,112 in a short time.


For several years, organizations have been turning to Donorbox’s donor management software to leverage solid relationships with donors, increase engagement, conduct more effective campaigns, raise more money and expand their reach.

To be effective, a nonprofit needs to optimize its  fundraising. A philanthropic organization needs to meet the right donors at the proper time while keeping track of donors on a reliable tracking system. Head to Donorbox to learn more.

Lylene Corado is on the outreach team of Donorbox.

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