3 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to Engage Donors

Social Media can make a significant impact on nonprofit donor engagement.

Social Media can make a significant impact on nonprofit donor engagement.

Social media is proving to be a valuable tool for nonprofits to engage donors. Donors want to be associated with organizations they support beyond giving money, and these associations are what will lead to more donations. Social media is a means to this end. At its very premise, social media seeks to create a dialogue with an intended audience and, more specifically, build a relationship of value between business and customer (or donor and donee).

Philanthropic decisions are based on a myriad of research, including Internet search, and organizations must find ways to interact with these decision makers to capture their attention. So, as the economic recession pressures donors to re-examine relationships with nonprofits, now is the perfect time to engage donors and create a lasting relationship using social media.

Online fundraising tools no longer require a highly technical, web savvy expert. Here are 3 ways that nonprofit organizations can immediately begin to use social media to engage donors.

1. Create a blog. From a nonprofit perspective there are several key reasons to blog. Blogs should compliment your other channels of communication like video, print, and live presentations, but blogs can deliver perhaps the most important result. A well-written blog can deliver strong relationships with an audience. Blogging gives you a forum where your main objective is not to sell, but to grow and strengthen a personal relationship between you and your donors. Blogs are a fast way to join donor conversation, offer tips and insights or receive feedback. You can establish yourself as the expert, strike up donor friendships, feed internal collaboration and deliver content that your audience can directly relate to.

Example:  Beth’s Blog or Tactical Philanthropy 

2. Use YouTube. For the past several years, online video has become as a strategic tool for groups organizing on the web. Developing a short, simple video can express the needs of a nonprofit in a uniquely compelling manner. YouTube has a specially designed program that enables non-profits to create dedicated channels for themselves, making it even easier for people to find, watch, and engage with the organization’s video content. The most important thing is to make a video with a strong call to action.

You can sign up here: YouTube’s Nonprofit Program  

3. Get a Twitter account. Twitter is basically “microblogging.” You get 140 characters to answer the question, “What are you doing?” Fund-raisers use Twitter to engage donors they didn’t even know existed, often way beyond their geographic boundaries. The tool lets you “listen in” to conversations and hear what prospective donors are talking about. This is priceless knowledge for your own campaigns. You can follow other organizations and garner great advice. It’s real time insight and feedback from potential donors and peers.

Example: Charity: Water has harnessed the power of social media to fund its projects. The projected amount raised by Twestival currently stands at $250,000 USD. See Charity : Water or Twestival

As free tools, Twitter and the above are welcomed additions to hard hit budgets.


Professional Mojo is offering an online workshop for an overview of successful social media strategies that nonprofit and faith-based organizations can embrace to maximize donor engagement on June 25.


One Response

  1. […] in left and right.  I know, we’ve been harping on this for a while (see these posts:  3 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to Engage Donors, 7 Social Media Self Assessment Questions, and Repeat after me: Cap-ti-vate me.), but the […]

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