Non-profit (charitable) organizations serve a much-needed role now, more than ever. Amid COVID-19, these organizations have taken on the role of caring for those who have been hardest hit in the wake of this pandemic. As people suffer from unemployment, food shortages, and in some cases not having access to proper medical services, non-profits have stepped in a huge way. Non-profits at their base level are organizations that operate for the collective, public, or social benefit.
This is in contrast with businesses that operate for the sole sake of profit. Charitable organizations like these provide financial assistance, food, medical assistance, and even educational help for those who require it. In 2019, the revenue for non-profits topped $84.7 billion, which was 5% higher than the previous year. In the wake of COVID-19 (which is creating a strain on the abilities of non-profits to perform to peak capacity), non-profits are trying to figure out ways to raise their brands, and grow. Below are a few tips on how to use social networks to grow a non-profit.
Utilize social network technology to grow your online presence.
Technology has become extremely useful for those organizations seeking to build a presence online. There’s a host of computer software that has made it easier for businesses and non-profits to complete their day-to-day activities without any interruption. For non-profits, this can be a lifesaver as they need to stay at peak performance to serve people who truly need their help.
An example of such technology would be Engaging Networks. The great thing about this software is that it was created specifically with the needs of non-profits in mind. The organization provides a flexible, completely customizable, and innovative software platform for non-profits. It helps you to customize web pages and emails to your desires, helps you to raise more online funds, can assist with building online notices about events, and also has Facebook functionality which helps with spreading the word about your brand online.
Brainstorm your social network goals.
Social media can be used for much more than making funny TikTok videos (though those can be hilarious at times). We live in an age where social networks have inspired social change in ways unheard of and provide a voice to the voiceless. This platform can be extremely useful for those nonprofits who are seeking ways to grow their organization’s reach for a platform (the internet) of 4.66 billion users.
What you’ll first want to do is determine what your social platform goals are. Figure out a plan of action, and move on from there. With the social network component of the internet being so vast, it’s best to have a game plan before making any moves with establishing your social network footprint.
Begin by asking yourself what you want your charitable organization’s social platform strategy to accomplish? Are you seeking more financial donations? Does your group need more volunteers to man the phones during an upcoming food donation fundraiser? Are you needing blankets to be donated during the height of a cold spell for the homeless? Figure out where you want to direct your social platform strategy by first figuring out what needs to be taken care of.
When you have a better idea about what your social platform goals are, it allows you the chance to also keep yourself safe from possible online scams. When you cast too wide of a net across the digital space it increases your chances of possibly coming across online scammers. Rather than having to learn what is a common method used in social engineering, try to keep your social platform goals in check. You don’t want your organization to become the victim of common scam social engineering tactics like phishing, spear phishing, phishing email, vishing, pretexting, baiting, tailgating, and quid pro quo methods.
Focusing on a smaller social platform goal can help to keep you off the radar of online scammers who unfortunately would take advantage of your charitable organization’s online efforts. You don’t want any sensitive data taken from your organization like confidential information, private information, and personal information that suggests a certain digital vulnerability for your non-profit.
Try to reach the right audience.
As with every online business, you want to try your best to find out who needs your services or wants to help you succeed. Define who your target audience will be. Figure out who those supporters will be, or those people that need your help. Build demographic information based on people that you’ve helped in the past, in addition to checking in with your board members and volunteers. All of this information will help you to build an idea of the people you’ll be attempting to reach with your social platform presence.
In cases like this, it might be helpful to think like a business. Consider a company that has created a revolutionary photo storage device. Their customer base is looking for a place to store iCloud photos, that also allows for unlimited photo storage. This business is going to do its best to try and aim ads about this to social platform networks where photo sharing is huge. They’ll also be looking for a host of people who practice digital photography including professional photographers looking for a photos app (iBi, Flickr, Google Photos) where they can have unlimited photo storage.
You’d expect to find ads like this on places like Facebook and Instagram, where image sharing is a huge component of those social media platforms. When potential customers see these ads on their social mobile apps the hope is that they will then reach out to connect with an unlimited photo storage provider like iBi, Flickr, or Google Photos. The same goes for non-profits and social media platforms.
If for instance, you want to raise money to help families purchase groceries. You’ll utilize social platforms to check those demographics of people who care about hunger-related issues across the United States. In addition to that, you’ll want to focus your social platform’s presence on reaching those people who like to give money to non-profits. Most, if not all, social platform tools allow ways to reach a specific audience/demographic when promoting your organization across social platforms. Use these tools to grow the reach of your non-profit.
Develop a comprehensive social media strategy.
When you utilize social media to spread awareness about your non-profit, you’ll want to create a sound strategy, that hits many points. You’ll first want to find which social media platforms your potential audience utilizes the most. You don’t need to attack every social media outlet. Only focus on those where your potential audience can be found in great numbers. Do this once again by conducting surveys with your board members, and volunteers to get an idea of where they reside on the social media landscape.
You want to then determine how to maximize your posts to reach more potential backers and those that might need your assistance. Follow the lead of someone like Hayes Barnard with his GivePower’s Solar Water Farms organization. Create focused posts that can help to boost donations and reach a target audience as in the case of an organization like GivePower. With these posts, you can advertise for upcoming donor events, spread volunteer stories, and even highlight the successful projects which your organization has taken on. Developing a comprehensive social media strategy can help a lot with growing your non-profit.