Social media encompasses a myriad of online technology tools. The first names that come to mind are usually social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, however, email, blogs, and podcasts are all considered to be social media tools. There are some important aspects for nonprofit organizations to recognize about these tools, principally, that they are interactive. In addition, the basis of social media is that it is a user-generated engine that instigates a communication system essential to the fundraising possibilities of an organization. It is also the preferred method of communication for an emerging generation of donors and volunteers, and embracing it allows nonprofit organizations to tap into that source when managing their fundraising campaigns.
It is not enough to simply create a Facebook page, or “tweet” information from time to time. The interactive nature of social media requires that nonprofit organizations enter into an honest and stimulating conversation with their supporters during their fundraising campaigns. This relationship must be maintained with the publication of results and updates on current activities. If managed well an organization can greatly increase its fundraising capacity in addition to extending its member base.
Social media aids fundraising efforts with its autonomy for individuals in promoting the causes they believe in. This method is often called “distributed fundraising” and DoJiggy has capitalized on this strength with its Pledge edition software service. Using DoJiggy’s online fundraising software, participants invent their own personal fundraising pages where they receive donations for their participation in a cause-oriented event. They can easily email friends and family and link to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to solicit support. The independence of the individual in managing their fundraising effort fosters empowerment and takes the burden of centralized responsibility from the event administrators. This type of distributed fundraising has been most common in events like walk-a-thons or bike-a-thons.
Only about half of nonprofit organizations actively use social media. If you’d like more information on how to run an effective fundraising campaign using social media click here to visit our fundraising resource center.