While engaging with supporters has always been important, we have never had so many options for doing so. From events to mailers to digital platforms, nonprofit organizations have a multitude of ways to engage with supporters. However, today social media is arguably one of the easiest and most important ways to share your purpose with both existing and potential donors.
As news of a possible recession surfaces, it’s more important than ever to continue your fundraising and engagement efforts. Research shows that organizations that ramp up their efforts during times of economic uncertainty survive and even thrive. Social media is a great place to start to ensure your supporters stick with you through tough times.
Here are eight ways you can energetically steward your social media supporters:
1. Let Them See the Impact of Their Support.
Whether they are a regular donor or have contributed to a specific campaign your organization is hosting, donors want to see the impact of their support. While it’s important to send individual thank-you emails and updates to your regular donors, take the opportunity to share impact updates on social media as well. Not only will existing supporters appreciate the information and share it with their networks, but you could also attract new donors who are invested in the work you are doing.
2. Share Peeks Inside Your Work.
While sharing your purpose with supporters is important, one of the most compelling ways to engage social media supporters is through glimpses into the work you’re doing. This could be a story from someone who benefitted from your services, a video featuring a behind the scenes look at a new facility you’re building, or a day in the life of one of your volunteers. Sharing real life stories with your social media following helps donors put themselves in your shoes.
3. Thank Them Often, as a Group and by Name.
One of the most important elements of fundraising is thanking your supporters. Scheduling regular thank-you messages on your social media calendar ensures you are expressing your gratitude regularly. Additionally, take the time to thank individual donors by name or thank a group of donors who contributed to a specific project. Going the extra mile to thank these donors publicly will go a long way with your supporters.
P.S. Build a step into your donor engagement strategy to ask for permission to thank donors publicly. While many will not have an issue with this, some donors do not want public recognition for their philanthropic efforts. Use Network for Good’s donor management system to tag donors who do not want public recognition to ensure you are able to respect this boundary.
4. Ask Them to Donate or Give.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to ask your social media supporters to donate to your nonprofit. Whether you are promoting a specific capital campaign, looking for donations of specific items, or asking for general donations, social media is a great tool. Plus, depending on how you craft your post, you could attract new donors or even convert lapsed donors into recurring donors.
5. Ask Them to Sign Up for Your Email List.
Social media is a great way to promote your organization’s email newsletter. Share details on the kind of information supporters can expect to receive via email and drive them to a page where they can sign up for updates. Many donors want to stay up to date on the organizations they support, and email is a great way to do that.
6. Ask Them to Share Your Posts with Their Communities.
Encouraging your social media followers to share your content is a great way to raise awareness for your organization. We see this deployed most often during capital campaigns, giving days, and other large-scale fundraising efforts. However, this tactic can be used year-round to get the word out about your latest accomplishments, share stories of impact, and more. People love to see what their friends and family are passionate about, so sharing your content could attract new supporters of your cause.
Value Add: Encourage your existing social media supporters to host a peer-to-peer fundraiser through Network for Good during your next campaign. Not only will this allow them to raise awareness for your cause, but it will attract more donors to help you reach your goal!
7. Partner with the Accounts of Your Business Supporters to Build Audience.
Another great way to build your social media following and make local connections is to highlight local businesses that support your organization. Has a company coordinated a volunteer event for their employees to support your organization? Maybe a local business donated to your organization for their annual philanthropy program? Work with these partners to highlight those great stories on social media and enhance your connection to the local community.
8. Partner with Other Community Organizations.
Do you share a similar cause with another local nonprofit organization? Consider if there is a way you can work together to host a joint campaign to create greater community impact. This could be a co-hosted event, an online fundraiser, or co-sponsored posts that you promote through social media. You may even have connected stories of impact that you can share with your followers. The more your nonprofit community works together, the greater collective impact you can make.
It’s clear that social media is an awesome tool for raising awareness for your cause and engaging with supporters. Establishing a social media presence for your organization allows you to proactively tell your story, promote fundraising efforts, share stories of impact, and build connections with supporters. Plus, during challenging times, social media provides a free and versatile way to engage with your community.
Interested in learning more? Download the 6 Key Strategies Nonprofits Can Implement to Weather Economic Uncertainty.
Published: December 21, 2022