Social Media & eFundraising

Social media and efundraising is a growing area for nonprofit organizations. It is only going to get larger and more important. There are more social media that anyone would want to see listed here. They run the gamut from online special interest clubs to crowd funding .

Electronic or digital fundraising—efundraising—can make effective use of social media, email, websites, or any aspect of what is becoming called the sharing economy. Money can definitely be raise by even smaller organizations in this arena, but where social media and efunraising excel for even the very smallest of nonprofits is in the process of communicating with a community of donors and prospects.

Nonprofits who are slow to get on the bandwagon of social media and efundraising are failing to take advantage of opportunities that can grow into significant contributed income sources as well as a major pipeline delivering future support. The millennial generation will soon be entering its prime years for those seeking support for nonprofits, and for millennials, giving online may be the avenue of first resort.

Articles about Social Media & eFundraising

Building a Small-Gifts Campaign Landing Page

Website pages are an important part of any fundraising campaign. When the fundraising effort is made online only, the online campaign landing page (OCLP) can be the difference maker. It can speed or impede the giving process. As things stand now all online fundraising campaigns should be small-gift campaigns. The amount of money asked for should be scaled to the size of a common everyday purchase such as lunch in a restaurant. A gift of that size, requires no consideration by donors of its impact on their budget. It will be an impulse gift. The trick is not to get in the way of that impulse. People are infinitely more likely to walk away from making a $10 gift because of a slow cumbersome process than because of the impact the gift will have on their personal finances. The OCLP is called a landing page because that’s what happens. People land there after coming from somewhere else. Think of it like an airport. Everybody who has ever gotten off a plane at some large airport for the first time does so with a look of bewilderment. Where do I go? Left, right, straight? After leaving the secured area, comes the line of people holding name cards. Even if you’re one of the names, you still have to search for it among the 10 to 20 others. Then there’s baggage claim. Which one of 78 near identical black suitcases is yours? Let’s not even think about what happens when your bag doesn’t show up. How much better would it be if your private plane were landing at an airport where everything was set up for you to... read more

Single Women Fundraising Sweet Spot

Nonprofits should reach out and develop a base of support among single women, and a social-media strategy should be an important part of that effort. The evidence for both the importance of unmarried women as donors and social media as a key way to interact with them lies in a mashup of data from three sources: US Census Bureau Lilly School of Family Philanthropy 2010 Women Give study Website Magazine report on social media use by men and women In its broadest sense, a mashup is the combining of content from different sources to reach a new or deeper understanding about a subject touched on in part by each of the original sources. The three sources used in this mashup provided the most recent data and conclusions readily available. And while some of the data may be six or more years old, I have no reason to doubt its continuing validity. Taken together, the three sources support the conclusions that: Single men and women are a major segment of US population. Single women are more inclined to give than single men. Single women who give will generally give more than single men who give. Significantly more women than men use social media, use it more often, and engage with it more deeply. The underlying data that support those conclusions make an unassailable argument for developing and nurturing an identified donor base of single women and for using social media to do it. Single Women Are an Important Group and There are More of Them than Single Men According to the US Census Bureau 44.1% (103 million) of the adult... read more

It’s a Brave New Digital World
But Will This Strengthen Relationship?

As the 20th century drew to a close, we had come to think of fundraising as a mature, well developed discipline. But then came the emerging technologies of the 21st century. These game changers have already given us communication and transactional media that could barely be imagined by most fundraisers three decades ago in the 1980s. They present engagement opportunities and channels of giving that were only dimly visible on the horizon of fundraising in the early 1990s. Traditional Areas of Expertise As we move more deeply into the second decade of the 21st century, we can see clearly that fundraising has changed in ways many would not have expected. Looking back, it can be argued that the 1990s were the last decade in which a successful fundraising operation could be based almost exclusively on varying levels of knowledge and expertise in such traditional fields of endeavor as: Accounting Marketing Direct mail Communications Public Relations Law Advertising Selling Event management Organizational management I’m sure the list is missing one or more areas of expertise that effective fundraising has relied upon, but the point is that since the turn of the century new fields based on new and emerging technologies have forced their way onto the list. The impact of these arrivals has been to substantially enlarge the areas of expertise needed by professionals who dedicate themselves to assuring the financial security of nonprofit organizations. There is no doubt that we previously have seen important additions to the expertise needed. Telethons and phone campaigns, for example, when they entered the scene in the mid 20th century made use of then... read more

Use of Social Networking Sites on the Rise

If you are managing a nonprofit or some aspect of a nonprofit’s fundraising and have not yet found yourself faced with the question of what to do about online social network participation, you will be—and more likely sooner rather than later. Year after year the data keeps piling up, and it says social-media use just keeps growing. No organization can afford to ignore the constantly growing reach, power, and peer-endorsement clout of social networks. The latest study to reinforce that conclusion—Social Networking Sites and Our Lives—was released June 16, 2011 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Among its findings: In 2008, 26% of adults used an online social network; in 2010, it was 47%. In 2008 only 18%of Internet users over age 35 used a social network; in 2010, it was 48%. Average user age in 2010: My Space 32. Twitter 33. Facebook 38. LinkedIn 40. Percentage of users who check a social network site at least once a day in 2010: Facebook 52% Twitter 33% MySpace 8% LinkedIn 6% It’s hard to extrapolate exactly what all this and the rest of the far more detailed data to be found in the study mean to nonprofit organizations. But, the amount of time and the level of involvement that social media is garnering makes them a major conduit of communications and places to build awareness of an organization and its mission. For those who figure out how to turn that awareness into action, social media can become important sources of contributed income. Others have done it to the tune of millions of dollars—depending on the scale, appeal, and... read more

Micro Gifts & Impulse Giving Online

How the Smallest of Gifts Combined with the Impulse to Give Can Yield Real Results Micro-giving is most often thought of as the charitable donation of small increments of money from individual donors to a specific recipient. As it has developed in the past decade, it can be seen as a marketplace where philanthropic needs are offered to a “customer base” in search of opportunities to support, or invest, in causes, societies, and endeavors in which they believe. Micro-giving can be seen as having grown out of Nobel-Peace-Prize-winner Muhammad Yunnus’s Grameen Bank initiative begun 30 years ago to provide micro credit to individuals in Bangladesh. In its short history, micro giving has been largely the province of aggregating philanthropic websites offering a wide variety of giving opportunities. However, micro-giving can be an important fundraising tool for individual nonprofits in search of additional support for specific programs and institutional needs. Overall it should be thought of as part of a small-gifts program that reaches out to donors willing to make smaller donations. Traditionally, most nonprofit organizations have been inclined to concentrate fundraising efforts and resources primarily on seeking large donations and cultivating major donors—both individuals and foundations. Historically about the only ongoing effort to obtain smaller donations has been as part of annual fundraising campaigns to meet operational deficits. Micro-giving is a newer way to seek smaller gifts, but it should not be thought of as an alternative to a traditional annual fund appeal. The annual campaign is the tool for offsetting operational deficits. Micro-giving campaigns are best used for soliciting small gifts for specific purposes. They are a form... read more

Fund-Raising with a Net: the Internet

The excitement surrounding Internet fund-raising and its hoped-for windfall of support for non-profits reminds me of when direct mail and telefunding were new to the fund-raising scene. However, Internet fund-raising is causing an even greater stir in the non-profit world for a couple of reasons. A listing on a host fund-raising website costs a tiny fraction of the expense to mail appeals or telephone prospective donors. The Internet’s all-encompassing penetration is an almost irresistible lure. What non-profit wouldn’t like to enlarge its base of potential donors to national or even global proportions? The promise of new and increased fund-raising opportunities through the Internet is being made by many organizations and touted by numerous individuals. These early adopters see a cyberspace frontier that non-profits must explore. I agree, but it is an exploration best undertaken with a healthy degree of caution. Not every breakthrough, to which those first to adopt new technology rush, proves to be a winner. And even if the underlying concept is sound, its first implementation might not be the way to go. Remember Betamax and eight-track? When it comes to fund-raising, the Internet has yet to prove that it can deliver substantial rewards to the many types and sizes of non-profit organizations that makeup the philanthropic world. While online fund-raising may work for some, it just might not be the ticket for all. A crisis-driven Internet appeal can net significant amounts of money following a hurricane, flood, earthquake, or other disaster. The response in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11 is proof of that. However, an enormous number of non-profit organizations and agencies... read more