Friday, 13 September 2013

How Non-Profits Can Embrace Social Media To Expand Their Reach And Increase Donations

Non-Profits
The financial crises of the last few years have caused a serious blow to many industries and it has affected none as much as it has the non-profit and charity industry. With cuts in all government spending the funding to non-profits has in most cases been drastically reduced. This has meant that non-profits need to maximise all other fundraising possibilities and one of the ways that this can happen is by embracing the possibilities that social media have to offer. It can increase exposure and fundraising potential, but it needs to be used to its maximum potential.

The most popular social media networks, Facebook and Twitter, can be used to wonderful effect if you know how. So here are a few tips on making the most out of social media. Many of these suggestions may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how much of a difference they can make. At the moment most non-profits are using social media as a simple communications tool, rather than using it as a tool of engagement and leadership.

In order to take advantage of social media and use it as a marketing and mobilising tool it needs to be about more than passive communication between the non-profits and its followers. It is not enough to aim to have a certain number of likes on your page; what you are looking for is actual engagement whether it is in the form of comments or sharing. This kind of interaction actually helps to build a community of active participants, rather than passive followers.

So how do you go about building this community? Firstly, you have to identify exactly who your non-profit and social media page is aimed it. Once this has been decided you can begin to tailor the content of your page to interest and entice participants and donors, and from there begin to encourage action and engagement.

This is achieved by giving the members content that moves them emotionally or entertains them. By giving your members something to talk about and share you are creating active participation, excitement and interest in your non-profit. The questions you should constantly be asking yourself about the content of your page are "what do my members care about?" and "what kinds of posts would they be interested in sharing?". With these simple questions you can keep the content of your page interesting and the participants active.

Don't limit yourself to words, your participants will be eager to watch videos or listen to podcasts if they are interesting and you post them. It can also become tedious to visit a site that only offers written content. Keep your members interested by varying the content types that you post. People's attention spans are limited and you have a short period of time to get their attention, so make sure that every post is deliberate and considered, and be it funny, emotional or informative, it has to be eye catching and worth reading and sharing.

Once you have the kind of members who are commenting on posts, sharing posts and taking about your non-profit it is time to encourage further action in your members and participants by developing outreach projects that your members can get involved in. Take suggestions from your members, you can even put particularly interested donors and participants in charge of aspects of an event or outreach.


About The Author: Richard McMunn is the founder of How2become.com, the UK's leading training and recruitment website for public sector careers. They focus on providing students with knowledge they need to prepare for and pass selection processes for specific careers such as the police and fire service. The website currently offers over 150 different titles. You can also find How2become on Twitter.

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