Since I’ve been working with non-profit organizations, I’ve noticed a definite lack of interest in, even resistance to venturing into social media. At first, I thought it was simply a matter of timing with the new non-profits I worked with. Once they had their feet solidly on the ground and had some experience under their belt, I thought they would certainly jump into using social media to broaden their reach and help to achieve their philanthropic objectives. However, that has not been the case.
I still experience pushback every time I bring up the subject. A couple of years ago, I read the results of a survey reported at nonprofitquarterly.org. The survey consisted of questions posed to 500 non-profit organizations. What I learned from that survey has not changed significantly.
In my experience I find that one of the biggest reasons non-profits shy away from social media is due to the belief that all marketing efforts must lead to a donation. Secondly, non-profits do not see the value of having a dedicated social media staffer. And, thirdly, when non-profits use social media if they use it at all, they pretty much use it only to announce fund-raising events.
I have seen social media boost not only engagement but also donations for those non-profits with the vision and courage and understanding to make use of this powerful tool. Non-profits are begun with an idea to benefit the community or the world at large. However, the leaders lose sight of that when their major focus becomes fund raising.
The best use of social media is to engage your audience. Ask questions that your target can respond to. Start a conversation about your purpose. The very fact that more and more people are also accessing their email on their smart phones makes that piece of technology even more powerful as social media becomes more engaging.
It’s time to expand your mission for good with the most underused marketing tool. If you would like to explore the powerful use of social media for your non-profit, give my office a call.