When charity leaders speak about fundraising online using social media platforms, many of their conversations tend to revolve around the biggest websites, like Facebook and Twitter. This makes a lot of sense - these sites have the largest number of subscribers, so wouldn't nonprofits find raising money easier when they have a bigger audience?
The answer is yes, but this also brings about an interesting paradox. While there are more opportunities for gaining new donors on the bigger, more popular social networks, this means that there's also likely going to be more competition for consumers' dollars. As such, it might benefit nonprofit administrators to get more innovative in their strategies.
One way to do this is to look to other social websites, like Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram. Although they might not have as many subscribers as their predecessors, making the most of these platforms could set organizations trying to raise money apart from the rest.
But what should leaders know before they launch new campaigns on such websites? If they follow best practices, they might start seeing donations pour in sooner rather than later.
According to Nonprofit Quarterly, image-sharing website Pinterest has been successfully used by a number of well-known corporations to raise money for charity. As such, this means that there are guidelines to follow.
For instance, the source suggested that nonprofits create their own boards, pins and hashtags, as this will get the word out faster. During this process, search engine optimization still matters, as materials on Pinterest will show up in search results if the right keywords are used in image descriptions.
Moreover, it's best if the charity's account follows other boards from companies that work within the same field or for similar causes. This can lead to partnering up, which Nonprofit Quarterly reported should be a main goal for organizations, as it can get the word out faster about the fundraisers.
Although it's primarily known as a platform on which professionals connect, why shouldn't charity leaders be among those who can reap the rewards of LinkedIn? According to DonorDrive, this should be relatively easy, because many subscribers are in a position where they can extend funds to causes they deem worthy, unlike a lot of people on Facebook.
The news provider recommended that charity leaders try to engage potential volunteers and donors as much as possible on this site. This can be achieved through making connections and obtaining followers. One way to do this is to link to the corporate page from the nonprofit's website, with the call to action including something about subscribing on LinkedIn.
Another way to drive success is to keep the account filled with fresh content and participate in LinkedIn Groups. While starting a LinkedIn Group for the charity's cause is a very good idea, DonorDrive noted, participating in community groups that have already been established can turn donors on to the organization quickly and easily.
Another picture-sharing social media platform is starting to hit it big with consumers - Instagram is something charity leaders can take advantage of. This is a way for nonprofits to show, rather than tell, interested individuals what their cause is all about, Razoo explained, on websites like Facebook or Twitter. This media can be linked to the popular platforms, or it can act as standalone advertising on Instagram itself.
The news source suggested that administrators play around with the filters to get the best resolutions and effects, and pair them with captions using industry-specific hashtags, which is a good way to engage new followers. The news outlet recommended that leaders be careful about how often they post - overdoing it by uploading too many pictures at once can be seen as a blast and turn off subscribers. Toeing the line between featuring new content and being annoying is very important, but difficult.
As foundations tap into emerging digital channels to raise funds online, they can benefit from nonprofit fundraising software that tracks incoming donations and quantitatively measures the success of their efforts.