How to Use Social Media to Fundraise for Your Non-Profit

The economy is tight and the future uncertain. Small business owners are unquestionably feeling the pinch, but non-profits and charities have been especially struggling.

Adding to the dismal situation is the prospect of new tax rules further limiting deductions taken on charitable giving, and so 2013 could be even rougher than 2012.

To help prepare for an even tighter economy, and to help boost giving before the end of the year, non-profits need to ensure they have every avenue and method of brand marketing covered, and that especially includes the internet.

Website: Make sure that your website is up-to-date and professional looking. Also make sure it can be found in difference search indexes, like Google, Bing and Yahoo!

A very important element on a non-profit’s website is a mechanism for people to give. You can set up an account with PayPal, and if you have a 501(c)3 status they will lower the amount they deduct from every transaction. You can find all of the instructions on their site that will show you how to accept credit card donations directly from you own website.

There are also a number of third party organizations that serve nonprofits by accepting donations online, and like PayPal they take a small percentage of each transaction. Do some research to find the one right for you, but just be sure to give people a way to donate when they are on your website.

Also, don’t forget a call to action on that same website. A page or story needs to be dedicated to telling people why to give, how much you need, and what you will do with the funds received.

Social Media: Ensure your organization has a Facebook Page at the very least. Recruit friends and family to like the page and ask them to do the same with their own friends.

Don’t be bashful in growing the page as much as you can, but do be careful about using it to simply ask for money.

Instead, post news about what you do. Create a compelling story and reason for people to contribute. Post about how many people you helped this month, week or day. Post about how much you spent on this charity.

More importantly, post pictures that create this story. Picture of the people you help, the activities you carry out, the things you accomplish will do so much more to spread your message than simply writing about it.

You can certainly pepper your posts with occasional calls for action, like asking friends to contribute directly. When you do, ensure you post a picture as well as the link to the donation mechanism.

After a donation is made, in whatever form, use your social media channels to thank the person or organization that made the contribution. Tax write-offs are only part of it for businesses, they also want people to know how much they’ve contributed and to whom. You’ll notice many of the big box stores prominently post their charitable contributions at the very front of their store for all to see.

The more prominently, consistently and pervasively you thank donors, the more other potential donors will want to likewise be thanked by you as well.

Charities and non-profits have an important mission in our community. And fundraising is by its nature (unfortunately) very competitive. But by using all the tools available, especially online tools, you can gain your organization an edge over others.

Word One Consulting
clint @
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Las Cruces, NM 88005