How nonprofits can benefit from social media.
Nonprofits need to invest in social media and there are many reasons why. First of all, social networks are free to use. Some of the tools used to post content and analyze efforts may come with a small cost, but nonprofits usually receive discounted rates for these tools. For most organizations, time is the biggest investment. However, investing time in social media provides a return on that investment.
Let’s start with the obvious first. Raising money is the life blood for any nonprofit. Social media is a cost-effective solution to reach a large number of people. The hope is that people then pass the information along to others in their circle and spark an interest in the nonprofit. Ideally, this leads to additional donations.
Educating people about the nonprofit’s cause is a core goal. Social media allows nonprofits to share a lot of information in bite size, easily consumed pieces. For example, on Instagram, nonprofits should post pictures with a short caption related to their cause. While, on Twitter, the same or similar picture should be shared with a short caption and a link to an article that has more detailed information. Finally, longer descriptions with links to the site and links to an article should be shared on Facebook. Ultimately, all of these educate people.
Growing a volunteer base
Volunteers are instrumental to many nonprofits. Without volunteers, most charities would not be able to function and grow. By spreading the word through social media nonprofits are able to reach a lot of people and recruit new volunteers. Since the various social media channels attract different types of people, nonprofits need to tailor their messages for each platform.
Gifts in kind
In addition to cash, another type of donation that nonprofits receive is gifts in kind. Gifts in kind are products or services that are donated in lieu of cash. Airline miles are a good example of this. People often donate their air miles to a nonprofit, with no out of pocket expense. Nonprofits save a tremendous amount of money by accepting gifts in kind.
Case Study: Schools for Salone
Cindy Nofziger, Executive Director for Schools for Salone, (schoolsforsalone.org) sees the importance of using social media. “We are able to reach people that may not already be familiar with our organization.” For Schools for Salone, it is also important to raise awareness and educate people about their organization. Social media is an ideal channel to use for this. Additionally, through social media posts, their supporters can see exactly where their donations are going and therefore, are more likely to continue to support their organization.
Cindy also points out that social media makes it easy to reach people for special fundraising events. Through the use of hashtags related to special days and events, such as #givebig or #givingtuesday, nonprofits are able to connect with large audiences and raise additional money. This significantly helps their bottom line.
Schools for Salone raises money to build schools in Sierra Leone. They also provide children with uniforms for school and menstruation kits for girls.
For more information about all that they do check out their website: schoolsforsalone.org.
In conclusion, for-profit businesses aren’t the only organizations that can benefit from social media. If you run a nonprofit and are not already utilizing social media to raise awareness and money, it should be a serious consideration.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you to make that leap painless, please Contact Us.