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Social Media and Your Nonprofit: Creating a Win-Win for Everyone

If you’re a non-profit, you might not think you have much of a need for social media, but you’re wrong. Social media can help you expand your reach while meeting your goals. Here’s how.

Increased Name Recognition

Like any for-profit business, your non-profit needs name recognition. No, you don’t need to sell a physical product, but you do need to sell your cause. It’s your cause that sets you apart from other non-profits, and it’s why people give to you.

Some non-profits use Ad Magic, for example, to brand their organization on custom playing cards. They increase their name recognition every time someone plays a game of poker or pinochle. Other brands use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to raise brand awareness.

Social Media and Your Nonprofit

While promotional items can be used on their own, they work incredibly well with social media, and the fact that you can connect directly with people who are impacted by your organization, or affected by your cause, is amazing.

For example, let’s say you run a non-profit whose aim is to raise awareness and fund treatments for a particular type of cancer. Those people who are affected by that cancer would be your first connections. These would be people you would want to make your fans.

From there, they would spread your message far and wide across the network, helping you boost your brand recognition.

Maintaining Relationships

It’s much easier to maintain relationships with donors on a platform where social interaction is the norm, and where the conversation is two-sided. It also helps that you don’t own the platform. Users often feel that third-party social media sites are “neutral ground,” and that brands are on an even footing with individuals.

That’s important when you need to maintain a conversation, and not a one-way communication channel, with people who have donated to your cause in the past.

Connecting With New Supporters

When potential donors see you interacting with existing donors, they may become inspired to become new donors themselves. A lot of this has to do with the organic and spontaneous nature of how social networking works.

Endorsements from existing donors occur when those existing donors share your message onsite, or when they “like” your status updates. On Facebook, for example, users can share status updates with their friends.

When they do, those friends are introduced to your brand. And, the more they share, the more impressions they make on their friends. This is how an organization’s message spreads.

Share Your Non-Profit’s Impact

You’ve heard it time and again: you need to be routinely sharing your non-profit’s impact. What have you done for your community? What have you done for your cause? Telling this to your supporters, and sharing your message with potential donors, encourages existing donors to keep on donating and it might just earn you new donations.

Social media gives you multiple ways to show off your organization and the impact it has made.

And, donors care about this stuff. One study showed that 71 percent of individual donors want to know the effectiveness of an organization. The second thing they want to know about is the organization’s financials.

Likewise, 78 percent of people aged 20-35 said they would stop donating if they didn’t know or understand how their donation was making an impact. So, if you want your organization to continue, you need to really focus on this, and social media is the perfect platform for it.

Jake Townsend works in a senior role for a nonprofit organization .He likes to share his insights online and has already offered his thoughts on a number of different websites.

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