How to Turn Social Media into a Long-Term Fundraising Vehicle
With a global audience of 3.484 billion users worldwide, social media is a potential goldmine for nonprofits. Imagine if each of your social connections donated just $1 apiece. You could easily meet your fundraising goals. And how hard is it to ask for just a dollar? It’s a no brainer.
So why aren’t you getting the results you want? Simple. It’s probably how you’re approaching it.
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, the majority of nonprofit organizations leverage social media as a means to gain traction by sharing fundraising links and appealing to fans and followers by simply asking for donations. Unfortunately, viral fundraising campaigns like the Ice Bucket Challenge are few and far between. In reality, incentivizing people to give via their social channels isn’t that easy, and it’s rarely that effective.
That’s not to say social media isn’t a valuable resource. It absolutely can be – and not just for one-time donations, either. With the right strategy, you can turn your social networks into a long-term, money-raising solution for your organization. Here’s how to do so in two easy steps.
Gather Contact Information
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, are great for getting more recognition for your cause and gaining a larger following. They are also good tools for sharing information and nurturing relationships – to a point. Here’s where most nonprofits get it wrong.
The real value lies in bringing those relationships to the next level, which is why you need contact information. But how? Sure, you can try to drive some traffic to your website where you can hopefully convince them to sign up for your newsletter, but only a small fraction of your followers will actually do this.
The more effective way, however, is to use a data analysis tool like Social Media Identity Resolution. With this one simple platform, you can:
Identify the direct contact information of your social followers (name, address, email, phone numbers, etc.)
Identify the direct contact information of followers of complementary social media accounts (e.g. someone who follows the National Park Service might be likely to donate to The Nature Conservancy or the Environmental Defense Fund)
Identify the direct contact information of followers of competitive social media accounts or specific key influencers
Now you can start making those deeper connections – the ones that really generate results. Which brings us to step two.
Build Relationships and Increase Touch Points
According to Salesforce, it takes an average of 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable sales lead. The same can be said for getting prospective donors to give. While some may be generous and gladly open their wallets right away, most want to know that the cause they’re donating to is worthwhile, and this takes time and nurturing.
Once you’ve gathered the contact information and other personal details about your target audience, the next step is using that info to start building relationships. In addition to using social media, you should develop a robust and diverse omni-channel campaign that involves creating those touches whenever and wherever possible. This may include sending out emails, staying in contact via text message, delivering direct mail, hosting events, and whatever else makes sense for your particular cause.
The good news is 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action. With the right strategy and technology, you can increase the likelihood of turning your social connections into long-term financial supporters of your cause.