How to Maximize Your Nonprofit’s Social Media for Online Giving

By Logan White, marketing and social media student assistant at UF CJC Online

October 1, 2020

As many nonprofit fundraisers have come to realize, social media is becoming more important when asking for a gift. For most donors, visiting your Facebook or other social platforms is the first step in considering whether or not to donate to your organization. It’s crucial to set your organization up for success with a well-crafted social media presence. 

To several organizations, simply having an account on social media is a benchmark for success. However, maintaining a consistent posting schedule, sharing engaging content and providing value to your online following can open your organization to more giving opportunities. 

When creating social media posts on behalf of your organization, keep in mind it’s okay if you aren’t a social media guru! Allow your passion for your nonprofit to shine through in your posts. Just in case you’re still unsure of taking over your organization’s social media, here are a few general best practices to follow that will create an authentic online following that’s willing to reach into their wallets.

Keep your Followers Engaged

The organization’s mission is what attracts individuals to follow your accounts, but it’s your content that keeps them there. Creating engaging content to share on your social channels is vital to your organization’s social media presence. 

    • Hold creative contests for your followers. Invite your followers to enter a contest through liking, commenting or captioning a post to win swag. Not only are you keeping your followers engaged, but their activity on your content is being shared with their network and possibly increasing your following. 

  • Include visuals with every post. To help your message stand out to followers, include an engaging picture, video or graphic with every post. Several platforms, such as Canva, offer free and easy to use graphic design software that will take your content to the next level. 
  • Respond to your fans. It’s common for followers and fans of your organization to comment and share your content. Rather than leaving them hanging, respond! Even a simple “Thank you for your support!” shows your followers that they matter and that you recognize their engagement. 

Be Transparent and True to Your Mission

Social media exists to provide your fans with behind the scenes insight into your nonprofit that they might not typically see. Use your social platforms as an opportunity to showcase the secret sauce of your organization. Highlight staff members, volunteers and board members. Provide value in following your social media that will set your organization apart as a leader in your subsector.

Don’t Be Afraid to Have Some Fun!

Use your social media as a reflection of your organization’s personality. Use funny hashtags, participate in internet challenges and make your organization stand out! In 2017, zoos across the nation partook in a #CuteAnimalTweetOff by sharing their most adorable animals on their social media. The hashtag quickly went viral on Twitter, bringing tons of publicity to participating zoos. 


Connect Data to Organizational Goals

One final social media best practice for those in the nonprofit sector is to connect data to your organization’s goals. Take note of any increase in followers, likes, comments or shares and see if there is any correlation to an increase in gifts. Keep track of how long an individual follows your organization before donating. These types of insights can demonstrate what is working well for your nonprofit when it comes to social media and what content seems to fall short. A great way to begin accessing your social media analytics is through Facebook Audience Insights. This analytics platform is built into Facebook and allows page admins to see reach, engagement, likes, page views, actions on page and more. 

Though social media can be daunting to many, it’s a great tool to gain an online following for your organization. It can be easy to get caught up in the number of likes and followers, but I can assure you, as long as you provide value, keep your followers engaged and track your progress, your organization will gain loyal followers willing to financially help your organization when they can.

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