Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Social Media as a Fundraising Tool

Last week we were very fortunate to have Emily Davis--a nonprofit consultant, speaker and trainer--teach a webinar on social media for nonprofits participating in Colorado Gives Day. Emily penned the book Fundraising and the Next Generation and specializes in multi-generational family philanthropy. If you were unable to listen to the webinar live, we encourage you to listen to the recording and view the slides. Below, Emily shares three of the ten social media tips discussed in her webinar.

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By Emily Davis, President of Emily Davis Consulting

There are plenty of nonprofits out there that have mastered the social media world – leveraging all the right tools, telling their story, and raising funds through the Internet. Then there are those who are slowly chugging along looking for good reasons and ways to start to use social media more effectively. It’s not all about jumping into every social media tool at once, but rather a strategy and an on-boarding process that will help the sustainability of this marketing strategy.

Social media is a tool, not the tool for fundraising. Social media is really another way to steward your current stakeholders, share information quickly, and open up the door to new, prospective donors. Not everyone, including young people, like to be on Facebook or Twitter or even make donations through a website. On the other hand, the next generation of philanthropy has individuals heading online for due diligence more and more.

Having a social media plan will help you communicate throughout your organization and allow more individuals to be involved with sharing through social media. It will also help with consistent messaging online. Think of social media as a plant, if you don’t water the plant by sharing information regularly, the network will not grow. Have a plan to help water the social media plant.

Social media isn’t free. While many social media platforms are free it doesn’t mean that they don’t take time. Be prepared for the time commitment and start with 20 minutes a day dedicated to social media. Be sure you are adding value so that it isn’t a waste of your time – be clear about what you are communicating and why.

What have you tried that works using social media in your organization? What questions do you have about using social media? Share them here.

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