Friday, April 5, 2013

5 benefits of integrating social fundraising into your nonprofit marketing strategy

By Damon Willis

In the modern dynamic world of nonprofit fundraising, social media has become an increasingly effective tool for fundraising endeavors. Social fundraising is a fairly new platform which enables nonprofit organizations to raise funds, increase their number of donors and communicate directly with donors, also save money on fundraising along with the effectual dissemination of information on a worldwide scale, via the internet.

Direct communication with donors  

Direct communication with donors in real time can be a powerful tool, especially in the event of a natural disaster or some other act of God which may warrant immediate funds from prospective donors. The Dixon and Keyes survey of results showed that traditional media (such as television, newspapers, and magazines) are still the way that most Americans learn about causes and social issues (70 percent of respondents agreed that they learn about causes from these sources). But social media and online channels have sizable audiences as well (47 percent of respondents agreed that they learn about causes from these sources)." (Dixon & Keyes)
Although, the majority of Americans hear about social causes from television newspapers and magazines, the 47 percent of respondents that receive news through online channels and social media is very sizable. In the world of Twitter and Facebook where social updates on organizations and individuals is commonplace, it is important to have a social media presence for every nonprofit organization, which gives the organization the ability to incorporate social fundraising.

Instant dissemination of information

The social media platform enables organizations to disperse pertinent information to their stakeholders in real time, whether the communication with followers is a donor plea for funding or a “like” campaign which is near and dear to the heart of the organizations mission. In addition, the Dixon and Keyes article mentions that “It is . . . important that organizations use new forms of media to communicate continuously. Direct mail or even e-newsletters can be valuable conduits of information for organizations, but the power of social media is its ability to provide continuous and timely communications." (Dixon & Keyes)   I would add that monetary transactions online, in regard to donations are very efficient transactions which almost occur instantaneously.

An opportunity to be transparent

In keeping with the perspective of Steve Butz, the opportunity to “tell the whole story” about your nonprofit along with the ability “to be transparent” are “often overlooked” sources “of content that can help to increase nonprofit accountability and transparency. ”  Furthermore, the ability to be transparent on the web could also add credibility to the organization and make donors more comfortable in regard to providing monetary contributions via a social fundraising conduit.

A platform to present different forms of media

The ability to broadcast your cause to your network via a social media platform is phenomenal, here’s a hypothetical scenario; your organization shares a YouTube video with your social media audience which illustrates a story about your mission. In addition, you create something similar to a Facebook “like” campaign which highlights your video. Next, you promote an event for your cause and use instagram to document all photos of your stakeholders and supporters who participated and/or supported your cause. Lastly, the organization writes a blog about the event to share with other stakeholders in the future. Whether you are using video, a social network such as Facebook, a blog, or instagram for photos, you have created four opportunities to engage your audience and cultivate potential donors. This hypothetical scenario illustrates the power of social media as a platform for an integrated social fundraising campaign. The widely popular short film “Kony 2012” comes to mind, as an example of a nonprofit that utilizes social media outlets to disseminate a message to the masses very quickly and also raise a significant amount of capital through social fundraising. See the video here:


Donor acquisition

According to Scott Chisholm, CEO of StayClassy, “Social fundraising delivers more than just donations. Each active fundraiser will have an average of seven donors and, more importantly, over half of those donors will be new ones. That makes social fundraising a pretty great tool for donor acquisition. ”  

 Imagine the opportunity to access the personal networks of you stakeholders and double the amount of donors through the use of social fundraising. Personally, I think that a number of untapped donors are exactly what the future of social fundraising has to offer the nonprofit sector.  

For further information on social fundraising please check out the links below.


  1. Damon, thanks for your organized and informative blog about the benefits of using social media. It makes a lot of sense and you closing was really inspiring. Nan

  2. Thank you Nan, I hope that everyone can take away something from the blog, your comment is very appreciated. . .

  3. Hey Damon,
    I thought you made some great points in your blog. It makes great sense for a nonprofit organization to use social media and to tap into donors that may not have heard of you before they come across your social media sites.

  4. Thank you for your comment Tim. As I stated before, I think that social media is a great tool in regard to cultivating new donors.


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