You already know that your nonprofit organization’s social media presence is a crucial element of your donor engagement strategy and the promotion of your online giving outlets.
What you might not know, however, is that it’s actually becoming more complicated to grow the reach of your social media pages on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and others.
The newsfeed algorithms of social media platforms are constantly changing the kinds of content and content sources that will be prioritized, meaning your organization’s carefully-curated web presence might go unnoticed without some strategic planning.
For nonprofits, boosting social media exposure is a fairly simple goal to incorporate into their existing marketing and fundraising campaigns. Great social media and online fundraising strategies will naturally reinforce one another because they’re both all about engagement.
Consciously growing this kind of organic donor engagement on social media is the key to successful online fundraising campaigns.
Check out some techniques that can grow the impact of your social media marketing efforts while simultaneously promoting your online giving outlets:
- Conduct a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
- Broadcast some live video content on social media.
- Optimize your site and donation page for mobile use.
- Hold a matching gift donation drive.
- Start some conversations with your followers.
Organic online engagement is not something that can be built in a day. It can, however, be grown with some smart techniques that unify your social media and fundraising goals.
Conduct a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Even if your organization has never conducted a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign before, you’ve almost certainly heard of them. These campaigns have quickly become one of the most popular and effective ways for nonprofits to engage with their supporters online while raising funds.
Best of all, because peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns unify your social media outreach strategy with your fundraising goals, there’s no better way to boost your nonprofit’s success online.
Basically, your volunteers will host their own microsites for your campaign, which they’ll promote to their own online networks. The top peer-to-peer fundraising platforms will offer plenty of customization options and tools to manage and track the entire campaign.
Since peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns rely on the reach of your organization’s extended network, they’re perfectly suited to be shared on social sites.
Because social media can greatly increase the visibility of an effective peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, this is a great opportunity to incorporate some fun elements that will engage your donors and followers:
- Fundraising challenges. Your peer-to-peer fundraising page hosts can compete to see who raises the most over a set period. This will incentivize them to promote their pages heavily and raise awareness of your cause.
- Competition elements for fundraising events. Attendees can “vote” in contests by donating money to their favorite page, or use peer-to-peer fundraising pages to raise pledges for an on-site event.
- Shareable content. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on social media are a particularly great vehicle for your shareable content. Distribute your articles, videos, or appeal messages to your page hosts to increase visibility and attract new donors.
For more creative ways to promote your campaign, check out this list from Qgiv of 10 great peer-to-peer fundraising ideas!
These campaigns are typically the most effective when promoted and shared on social media platforms, so if you think one might be a good idea for your organization, research your options and brainstorm some ideas.
2. Broadcast some live video content on social media.
This technique might seem intimidating if your organization has never before produced campaign videos, but social media live broadcast capabilities have made the entire process intuitive.
Video is already the most effective type of content for spreading your message, and social media marketing trends indicate that live video broadcasts, too, will greatly increase in popularity in the coming years.
This represents a major opportunity for the nonprofit ready to incorporate live video into their fundraising and social media strategies.
Traditional video content is extremely effective at raising awareness and engaging new donors, but the time and financial costs of producing it can often be a deterrent for some organizations. Live video, however, is cheaper (and usually free) to broadcast over social media.
An important element to keep in mind, though, is that live video content should be especially meaningful to inspire supporters to engage with your cause. For instance, you could broadcast:
- Your major outreach events
- Field work and project implementation
- Galas or ceremonies for major donors
- Announcements of new campaigns and goals
- Calls to action with giving instructions
Plus, live video content is a perfect social media tool for your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns. Broadcast your page host training sessions, competitions, and campaign wrap-up events!
Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are also a great way for your supporters to create their own video content.
Let your volunteers explain why they love your organization and want to spread the word. This can be an extremely effective way of reaching new donors within the networks of your existing volunteers!
3. Optimize your site and donation page for mobile use.
How many times a day do you engage with digital content of any kind through your phone or tablet?
It’s crucial that your website be completely optimized for mobile use when conducting an online fundraising campaign and marketing it through social media.
A poorly-optimized mobile website is a huge turn off for web visitors, who will be much more likely to abandon your slow-loading or unformatted page rather than attempt to find the information they initially wanted.
Remember, though, to focus on the entire user experience of a donor who was directed to your site from a social media page. Even if your website looks great on a mobile browser, what about your donation form?
By forgetting to optimize your donation form along with the rest of your site, you can undo the entire positive user experience that you worked so hard to implement. A clunky form full of unnecessary fields will look terrible on a mobile browser and take way too long to complete.
Instead, focus on the bare essentials:
- Donor payment information
- Donation amount
- Donor email address
- Donation suggestion buttons
- Opt-in buttons for recurring gift subscriptions
Your organization likely collects additional donor information, too, which is important, but save this step for after the donation is completed!
Remember that social media engagement is all about speed and efficiency. You’ll only have a short amount of time to catch a viewer’s attention and keep it, so don’t let them regret taking notice of your message and clicking through to your site.
For some inspiration on how to optimize your pages for beautiful design and mobile use, check out the top nonprofit websites from DNL OmniMedia.
4. Hold a matching gift donation drive.
As a major potential donation revenue source for nonprofits, matching gift programs are surprisingly underutilized. This is because so many donors aren’t aware of them.
However, this also means that matching gifts can easily be the basis of an effective and eye-catching social media campaign.
The possibility that their employer will match all (or more) of their donation can be a powerful incentive for all kinds of donors, especially if they’ve never taken advantage of such a program before!
There are some effective tools out there that let your donors search for their eligibility and embed directly into your other web pages. You could also link directly from a social media post to a dedicated matching gifts database page for your organization.
There are a number of ways that matching gifts could provide an effective angle for your next social media marketing push:
- Promote awareness of matching gift programs. Depending on the nature of your organization and its donor base, simply raising awareness on social media can go a long way to boost donations, particularly if many of your donors work for major corporations.
- Organize a special matching gift day or drive. Partner with a generous local business willing to match all the donations you receive in a set period. Time constraints are an excellent donation incentive and will encourage followers to share your campaign info.
Matching gift programs are an especially effective way to build relationships with new sponsors.
After a successful matching gift day, for example, you should add your sponsor to a donor recognition wall or thank them with a special event or plaque, and then be sure to post about it or broadcast live video of the event on your social media page!
Investing in your organization’s ability to accept matching gift donations will not only provide a permanent boost to all of your future fundraising campaigns but also provide you with a great marketing element that will attract donors looking to increase the impact of their donations.
5. Start some conversations with your followers.
You can perfectly optimize your website and donation form for mobile use, create quality video content that promotes your message and fundraising campaigns and integrate your social media and online fundraising strategies in effective ways.
However, there’s no way around the fact that all this work could be worthless without genuinely engaging your online followers!
Even with a flawless website and beautiful social media content, it’s crucial to remember that your social media followers are not simply potential donors waiting to be converted through your website. They’re real supporters who were attracted to your work and see its true value.
Engage your social media supporters in some meaningful ways that can generate further conversation amongst all the members of your community:
- Encourage your followers to ask any questions they may have about your organization’s projects, operations, and goals.
- Field your network’s opinions on developments or changes in your local community.
- Post recent news articles and media relevant to your work and ongoing campaigns.
Staying on-trend and open with your online community is essential to fostering organic engagement.
By building meaningful, engaged relationships with your online supporters, you can ensure that whatever you post on your social media pages, your followers will take the time to read or watch it because they value your perspective.
Not only is organic online engagement a great investment in your future campaigns, it’s simply the best way to stay in touch with your organization’s most important stakeholders.
Social media platforms offer increasingly significant opportunities for nonprofit organizations to boost the impact of their online fundraising campaigns!
Since an effective social media presence and a successful online fundraising campaign both rely on organic donor engagement, use some techniques that allow you to approach all of your online goals in efficient ways. Keeping engagement the center of all your strategies is a surefire way to boost the impact of your online giving outlets.
Abby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator 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.