Many nonprofits are standing at the threshold, unsure of whether investing time and money in the “social media thing” is worth it. Nonprofits have important missions to accomplish, so adding something onto their already jam-packed schedules or finding room in an already stretched-out budget makes it less appealing.
With this post, I wanted to help start a dialogue with nonprofits on the fence about social media. Here are 4 reasons why your nonprofit should consider jumping on the social media train.
It’s Where the People Are
Each year, the number of people who join social networks and actually use it on a daily basis increases. For example, the proportion of adults that use Twitter doubled since May 2011, and over 500 million people use Facebook every day. These aren’t people who create accounts and never use them; they are using Facebook and Twitter as a primary way to communicate with their networks—friends, family, and colleagues. Although it’s not as strong as email yet, this is a big and ever-growing space where people go to talk to each other.
Diversify Your Funds
Relying on just one source of revenue makes organizations more at-risk to collapsing if that only source were to be taken away. For that reason, finding sustainability for a nonprofit includes diversifying sources of funding. Online fundraising gives organizations the chance to acquire new donors, cultivate existing ones, and develop new partnerships.
Word Of Mouth Can’t Be Bought
The trust that comes with someone’s recommendation, someone’s share on Facebook or ReTweet, is something no organization can buy. The 2011 Millennial Donor Report says most millennials donated because a friend or family member asked them to. That’s not something money can buy.
You’ll Be More Than a Logo
Think about the last time you picked up the phone when it rang and a machine recording was on the other line. It’s a little annoying to listen to those blanket, impersonal messages right? The same thing happens when an organization acts just like an organization, and not a human. Interacting with people in the social media space can help your organization seem more approachable, warm, and friendly. And then a good friendship can begin.
Now, all of these are things that could happen when you dive into social media only if you develop a strategy that works. But that’s for another time.
Ifdy Perez is the community manager at Razoo, an online fundraising platform that empowers individuals and nonprofits to meet their fundraising goals through online giving campaigns. She’s also editor of Inspiring Generosity, a blog that gives nonprofits helpful resources on online community management and social media tools.