Guest post by Abby Jarvis, Nonprofit Education Manager for Qgiv
These days, it’s not enough for your nonprofit to just have a compelling mission and an inspired base of support.
You need to be able to spread the word about your mission and expand that community!
With so many new strategies for getting noticed online floating around the internet, it can be difficult for organizations like yours to pick the right strategy and get the kind of attention you need to acquire new donors.
This is where your nonprofit’s “brand” competes for attention with for-profit companies who have bigger marketing budgets and more robust social media teams.
However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost!
When used correctly, social media can be one of your most powerful tools for donor acquisition.
With these best practices, you can get started attracting new donors and growing your community faster than ever!
If those are your goals, your team should:
- Define your nonprofit’s social media brand.
- Share engaging social media content.
- Promote social media-friendly fundraising.
- Learn from your community’s behavior.
- Make social media engagement a part of giving.
Capturing your supporters’ attention online has always been challenging, and, without an effective social media strategy in place, your nonprofit risks getting lost in the shuffle.
If you’re ready to revitalize your social media donor acquisition strategy and ramp up your nonprofit fundraising, it’s time to dive into these effective tips.
Let’s get started!
Define your nonprofit’s social media brand.
One of the biggest struggles nonprofits face when figuring out how to acquire new donors is defining their organization’s online brand.
Your social media branding strategy needs to both personify the people behind your nonprofit and establish the necessity of your fundraising goals.
With this in mind, try out some of these effective ways to define your nonprofit’s online identity:
- Set the right tone for your community. You know your target donor audience better than anyone else, so be sure your social media output is appropriate for those individuals. This may affect the formality of the language you use, the frequency of your posts, and the kind of content you share (like posts, videos, news stories, etc.).
- Choose the right social media sites. While your nonprofit should keep a social media presence on all of the major sites, it’s likely you’ll prioritize one platform over the others. This will serve as the “main hub” of your social media engagement, so pick a platform that makes sense for the functionality you need and your target audience.
- Clarify how followers can get involved. Instead of simply trying to amass followers and hoping they decide to donate, continually share calls to action that direct users to your fundraising forms, volunteer sign up pages, and nonprofit website. Part of establishing your digital identity is making it obvious what exactly you want supporters to do.
When people understand your nonprofit’s identity and needs, they’re more likely to give back to your cause. Your social media brand serves as the front lines of your online identity, so leverage these platforms to help people understand your cause.
Share engaging social media content.
One effective way to acquire new donors is to curate interesting and engaging content on your nonprofit’s social media profiles.
You’ll need to share content that offers value to your supporters while also engaging in some social media best practices to boost the visibility of your posts.
Try out some of these effective ideas for sharing content on social media:
- Post pictures and videos of your community. Sites like Facebook and Instagram place a higher value on visual content, meaning that your image and video posts are more likely to be seen than text-only posts. Share fundraising calls to action, impact testimonials, and other important content through visual media to maximize their views.
- Interact with supporters on their posts. Instead of simply hoping that your supporters will like, share, and click on your posts, be sure to build up a social media relationship with them by engaging with their own content. For example, you can repost content and tag supporters in messages to draw their attention to your social media presence.
- Share educational content about your cause. Another useful kind of content your nonprofit should share on social media is educational resources. Instead of just sharing your fundraising form or volunteer sign-up sheet, create posts or share outside resources explaining key concepts like matching gifts programs, mobile giving, or peer-to-peer fundraising. For example, consider sharing this powerful guide to corporate giving and show your donors how they can get further involved.
The more often individuals encounter your content on their feeds, the more likely it is they’ll convert to donors.
Be sure to share interesting, valuable, or actionable posts that steer your followers toward giving opportunities.
Promote social media-friendly fundraising.
Fostering an active social media following is important, but you still need to consider your supporters’ user experience when offering them fundraising opportunities.
In other words, when your nonprofit provides a streamlined and convenient giving experience for social media users, it’s more likely that they’ll decide to donate.
Consider some of these best practices for boosting fundraising among your followers:
- Create mobile-responsive fundraising forms. Since most social media users access platforms via mobile browsers or social media apps, you’ll need to ensure that the fundraising forms you share are mobile optimized. Choose an online fundraising solution that enables your team to create and publish mobile-responsive forms.
- Add social media affiliations to supporter profiles. To learn more about how your supporters like to engage on social media, flag their constituent profiles with social media affiliations. Then, you can cross-reference key supporter segments with social media accounts to better strategize how to acquire or upgrade donors.
- Try a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. P2P fundraising is one of the most popular virtual fundraising methods, and it especially thrives on social media. Since this type of campaign requires individuals to share fundraising pages with their personal networks, P2P fundraising is a great way to engage more donors on social media sites. According to Qgiv’s guide to peer-to-peer fundraising platforms, having the right social sharing tools can make all the difference.
It’s important that you don’t use the same old fundraising strategy for your social media supporters.
Instead, keep in mind how they use social sites, which platforms they prefer, and what fundraising methods make sense for them.
Learn from your community’s behavior.
One of the benefits of using social media engagement to acquire donors is that your team can tap into your community’s data to strengthen your acquisition strategy over time.
Since your engagement with social media followers is completely digital, you’ll be able to determine what kind of content inspires supporters and drives giving.
Keep these essential social media data strategies in mind:
- Track engagement trends. On most social media sites (including Facebook and Instagram), your team can access engagement analytics. Track trends such as “Liking” and “Sharing” rates, as well as views of your content, subscriber growth, and other social media metrics you can use to strengthen your strategy.
- Monitor CTR v.s CR. With many fundraising software platforms, your team can keep data on your online fundraising forms’ click-through-rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR). With this data, you can learn how to optimize your giving forms and pages for social media donors to more effectively acquire new givers.
- Poll your followers. Even though it might not be perfectly scientific, your nonprofit can run polls surveying your social media followers about their preferences and experiences. Ask for direct feedback to help improve their engagement experience or inquire about how your team can make donating more exciting and convenient for followers.
With the right social media tools, your team can easily keep an eye on your community to learn what makes them tick.
Once you gain a better understanding of your audience’s behavior, you can incorporate that knowledge into your social media strategy.
Check out AccuData’s guide to data marketing for more tips on how to create a data-based marketing strategy for your social media accounts.
Make social media engagement a part of giving.
One of the most effective ways your nonprofit can reach new donors on social media is to incorporate engagement tactics into the giving process. This means you’ll introduce opportunities for donors to share their experiences with your nonprofit online as part of completing their donation. It’s a great way to increase your visibility online!
For example, your nonprofit should:
- Include social sharing tools on your fundraising forms. As your team designs its fundraising forms, be sure to add social sharing tools to both your donation forms and your “Thank You” pages. Call on your newest donors to share that they’ve made a donation with their followers or ask them to share your form with friends or family members that might also be interested in your mission.
- Offer social media post templates to supporters. If you do call on new donors to share your form with their own networks, they may not know what to say or how to say it. You can simplify the process by including text templates for how they should frame their messages. Your team can either give them a generic template or ask them to fill in the blanks with personal reasons for why they made a gift.
- Offer fun incentives for giving. Once new donors have given to your organization, enter them into a contest to win a fun prize. Then, you can livestream your announcement of the winner, post a video with the winner, or otherwise publicize their win. This will boost your marketing efforts by energizing supporters still on the fence about giving! This is an especially great method for smaller campaigns.
When donors give, they show you that they’re inspired by your cause and excited to show support for a mission they love.
Make the most of that feeling by steering them towards sharing your fundraising forms and other social media content to reach more potential donors.
Making your mark on social media sites as a nonprofit can seem daunting. But, with the right strategies, you can establish a healthy presence while acquiring a whole host of new donors.
Now that we’ve reviewed these essential acquisition strategies for social media, you’re ready to start growing your numbers and making a bigger impact for your mission. Good luck!
About the author: Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and Nonprofit Education Manager for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry-leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge-watching sci-fi shows on Netflix.
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