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Giving through Social Media – What a Charity Should Consider

Charitable and advocacy organizations today face a particularly daunting challenge – how to continually raise money for their organizations in a fast-paced, ever-changing landscape. With the rapid evolution of technology, organizations have to be ready to adapt to reach those who might be willing to give. Moreover, they are competing with thousands of charities worldwide that demand the public’s attention and resources, so it is important for an organization to find creative ways to make its voice heard.

One tactic that has taken off in recent years is the use of social media to reach potential funders. Including social media tactics in a charitable campaign provides ample opportunity to increase donations. It is a quick, inexpensive, and simple way to reach many people at once–especially since more and more people are embracing social media in their daily lives.

However, using social media in your advocacy or charitable efforts is not as simple as just posting a plea for donations with a link in your bio. Here are some tips for effectively engaging your audience to convert “likes” to donations.

Create a Road Map

When planning tactics for your next campaign, take the time to set up a broader social media strategy. A comprehensive social strategy should include ensuring your profiles are filled out and updated; determining how many times per day you plan to post; deciding what content you plan to generate for posting; designating who will be in charge of the social accounts; and figuring out not only what you want to post but the tone of the organizational voice behind the conversation.

It’s important to ensure that your social media strategy is integrated with your organization’s general communications strategy and goals. Any communications planning for the organization definitely should incorporate social!

Reach out and Grab Their Attention

One of the most important facets of a successful charitable social media strategy is to create posts that are engaging and encourage conversation. This is especially true when trying to reach millennials. In one study from the Case Foundation, more than 60 percent of millennial respondents liked it most when nonprofits shared stories about successful projects and the people they help. Instead of publishing a steady stream of posts asking for donations, consider posting conversation-starters about the issue your organization is trying to address. Or highlight individuals that your organization has helped, along with a compelling story. This approach will be more likely to capture the attention of your audience.

Picture Perfect

Use images and attention-grabbing graphics to accompany your posts. A vast majority of social media posts that are “liked” and shared include some form of visual. Including graphics, polls, or videos that highlight the great work your organization is doing will generate more eyes, more “likes”, and, ultimately, more traffic to your site or donation page.

Success is Measured

Measuring your campaign’s success is one of the most important steps in the process, but unfortunately, it is typically one of the last steps considered. By addressing this part of the process at the start of planning, you can set benchmarks and measurable objectives. This will provide you with a starting point to be able to analyze your success, which is useful when presenting to future donors or planning for future campaigns. Just keep in mind that it is crucial to think about this step first, otherwise, you may not be able to truly measure anything.

About the Author: Kathleen Petty is a Senior Account Executive at The Reis Group. She provides overall support for the day-to-day management of clients and leverages her strong writing and agency communication experience to bring ideas into action. Read more from Kathleen here.

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