03 Jun Five reasons to use social media in fundraising
Last month, I (Melissa Keating, new consultant at MPS, more about me at the bottom) was privileged to go to Rome to help at a training for Catholic missionaries. My talk was on social media and fundraising. We had some great discussions, and it made me realize that we need to talk more about these important topics. If you work in grant applications or project management, here are the top five reasons you should be using social media in fundraising:
1. The world has moved to online giving.
The number of online donations increases every year, with a 12 percent increase in 2007 alone. This rise shows no signs of stopping. More importantly, over half of young donators say that the ease with which they can donate is a major factor in determining where they give. They want to be able to give online. Remember that these are your future your major givers. You need to be where they are.
2. Online giving is only going to grow.
Right now, Facebook is the easiest site for donations. It allows groups to register as non-profits and put donation buttons directly on their page. But did you know that Facebook owns Instagram and Whatsapp? Whatsapp is especially important for those seeking international donations, as it has over 1.5 monthly average users around the globe. Neither Instagram or Whatsapp are optimized for donations yet. However, Facebook announced earlier this year that they are adding a donations sticker to Instagram. If this is successful, it stands to reason that they would add a similar feature to WhatsApp. Non-profits should start to build an Instagram following now in anticipation of this feature. It would also be a good idea to become familiar with WhatsApp.
3. It helps potential donors know and understand you.
I process scholarship requests for MPS. My first action, even before I read the complete proposal, is to google the religious order to make sure they’re legitimate. Having an online presence confirms to donors that you exist. Furthermore, it helps them to see how your message benefits your community. Your grant application will include your assertions about what you do, but it adds credibility for them to see how your community interacts with your posts.
4. You’re already doing most of the steps.
You have to keep records of the work you’ve done with your grant. Why not post that information online? Take those reports and pictures of how that school used their new desks and turn it into a social media post! This has the added bonus of giving you a free online backup of all of your progress and photos. Just be sure to protect the privacy of any children pictured, unless you have their parents’ permission to share their likeness online.
5. We need your stories of hope.
Your work for your non-profit makes the world a better place. The Internet needs more of these hopeful stories! Social media users crave a break in the doom and gloom. They want to know that outside all of the silly memes and celebrity feuds, good people are working to make the world better. You can bring hope to people you may never even meet simply by posting your good work online.
Melissa Keating is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based out of St. Louis. She began consulting for MPS in January 2019. You can learn more about her here.