Fundraise Smarter

Using Social Media to Build Nonprofit Awareness (and Raise Funds!)

Posted by Jessica Barrett Halcom on Sep 10, 2018 11:35:00 AM

Social media has long ago sloughed off its reputation for being a senseless place where people make fake friends and post pics of their lunch. Most platforms have established themselves in the unique way they each add value. Social media has also firmly established itself as a real part of our everyday lives. In fact, we spend more time on social media platforms than we do eating.

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Topics: nonprofit, nonprofit websites, fundraising campaigns, donations, social media, nonprofit tech

How to Respond to False Attacks on the Nonprofit Sector on Facebook

Posted by Su Sanni on Nov 14, 2016 3:05:00 PM

Ah, Facebook.

That land of political arguments and memes of questionable factual backing, all shared from people you haven’t spoken to in 15 years.

Anytime a post ends with “Please share this with anyone you can,” it should usually set off alarm bells.

Every now and then, a variation of this gem will make the rounds:

Yikes. There’s a lot to break down here.

Arguing on Facebook can be a hopeless endeavour. Most of the time, you’re unlikely to change the person’s mind (after all, they wouldn’t have shared it if their mind wasn’t already made up). But stuff like this can be hard to ignore.

So how do you set people on the right track? The best thing you can do is share some basic information with them to help them understand.

Here’s some things to share to help educate your friends who don’t quite get how the nonprofit world works.

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Topics: social media, nonprofit advocacy

The Best Nonprofits on Snapchat

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 20, 2016 3:42:00 PM

I gotta say, I’m fully hooked on Snapchat.

Like a lot of people, when I first tried Snapchat, I didn’t quite get it. I wrote it off as something that I must just be too old for (oh God no, it’s finally happening!) and didn’t open it for months after that.

But a few months back, I decided to give it another shake.

Now I can’t put it down.

Naturally, I wanted to see how nonprofits were using it, so I started following every single org I could possibly find.

And after a few months of watching their snaps, I’ve come up with what I think are the absolute best nonprofits on Snapchat.

It’s clear these orgs have a well-defined strategy and goals (as you should before diverting resources to a new social media channel). They’re not just snapping just to snap: they’re really delivering value to their audience.

I didn’t throw anyone on this list willy-nilly. In fact, the list was 8 at first, but then I took a hard look at a few and thought “Are they doing something truly creative?”

Simply put: these are the best of the best. At least that I’ve seen.

Here are my 5 favorites, in no particular order:

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Topics: nonprofit marketing, social media

Do You Know Your Visibility Settings On LinkedIn?

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 22, 2016 3:39:00 PM


Last week, we talked about the ethical questions surrounding using LinkedIn and other social media tools for donor research.

One of the big questions here regards privacy settings. LinkedIn allows users to see who has viewed their profile. However, users can also browse profiles with varying levels of anonymity.

But how does this jive with the ethical obligation to identify yourself when asked in the process of researching a prospect? Would anonymously researching on LinkedIn run counter to this?

Should you hide your identity on LinkedIn when researching prospects? If so, how do you do it?

**I'm writing a guide to LinkedIn for fundraisers! Click here to pre-order (it's free)!**
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Topics: donor research, prospect research, social media

Is It Ethical To Snoop On Donors' Social Media?

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 16, 2016 11:56:00 AM

What fundraisers and researchers need to know to avoid donor blunders.

Picture this: you’re going on a blind date. You sit down and order a round of drinks, but before you can say “cabernet sauvignon, your date starts listing off every detail of your life and history and asking you about them.

Uhhhh, check please!

That’s the world we all live in today.

That includes your donors.

Social media and the internet have opened a whole can of worms when it comes to our private lives and it’s left us split between two worlds.

On one side, information is freely available for all on social media. It allows us to share thoughts, pictures, and experiences far and wide with nothing more than a device we keep in our pocket.

However, this rapid expansion of technology has also forced us to question what should remain private and what should be out in the open.

Typically, it isn’t until a piece of data or personal moment from our lives has been abused that our ideas about privacy are challenged. But once that line has been crossed, we realize just how much information is out there, and we question whether those social media status updates were worth it.

This situation becomes even more fraught when brought into the realm of nonprofit donor research.

Social media can provide information that is indispensable for fundraisers, and it’s a nonprofit’s responsibility to do their research on a potential donor so that they can effectively reach out and offer relevant opportunities to potential major donors.

But is it ethical to dig through social media profiles?

As with most deeply complicated issues, there is no simple yes or no answer.

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Topics: prospect research, social media

The Little-Known LinkedIn Search That Will Ignite Your Donor Research

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jan 11, 2016 3:34:00 PM

LinkedIn is severely misunderstood and underestimated donor research tool by many fundraisers.

Even those that use it often don’t take full advantage of its many useful tools.

In fact, there’s a simple little search you can do on LinkedIn that can give you the perfect outreach point for thousands of potential donors that I’m shocked isn’t talked about more in development circles.

I often mention this trick in webinars and it seems like less than half of fundraisers, even those familiar with LinkedIn, even know it exists.

Ready for it?

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Topics: donor research, social media

Our Favorite #NonprofitPickUpLines Tweets

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Nov 5, 2015 4:51:00 PM

You gotta hand it to the nonprofit Twitter community: they can be pretty damn funny sometimes.

Back in September, we saw #MuseumSwearJar explode on Twitter. Now, thanks to the work of the wonderful Vu Le, we have #NonprofitPickUpLines.

Vu wrote a post on his blog (a most follow, by the way) called "10 Rules for Dating in the Nonprofit Sector", which spawned a series of nonprofit-themed pick-up lines in the comments. This spilled over to Twitter, and the hashtag #NonprofitPickUpLines was born. Hilarity ensues.

Here are some of my favs, including some from Vu himself:

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Topics: for fun, nonprofit, social media

How to Use the New Facebook "Donate Now" Button (Effectively)

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Aug 31, 2015 4:48:00 PM

Did you hear? Facebook is now offering a “Donate Now” button for nonprofits!

All your fundraising problems are over!

Uhhh….not quite.

The move was much heralded in tech journalism, but the reaction in the nonprofit world has been decidedly more “...meh.”

The reasons for such are varied, but a big contributor is the fact that for the last year, nonprofits have seen the usefulness of their Facebook pages severely diminish. Without paying for boosted ads, posts on Facebook rarely see any kind of meaningful reach (even for pages with massive audiences).

Bad news: The “Donate Now” button doesn’t solve that problem. In fact, it might just make it worse.

Good news: There are some ways to use it effectively.

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Topics: nonprofit marketing, social media

Should Your Nonprofit Hire a Social Media Manager?

Posted by Brooke Binkowski on Aug 20, 2015 4:19:00 PM

The Digital Age has descended on the world like a tidal wave of information, and with it, a whole new set of rules has emerged.

The traditional methods of fundraising and branding have take a backseat to all things social media. It's common to find yourself floundering in unfamiliar waters, feeling like the revolution has passed you by, especially if you're a small nonprofit.

This may have you weighing your options: Should you hire a social media or email expert?

The answer is – well, maybe.

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Topics: nonprofit marketing, online giving, social media, online activism

5 Membership-Based Nonprofits Rocking Their Social Media

Posted by Su Sanni on May 28, 2015 4:00:00 PM

Membership-based nonprofits face a unique set of fundraising and marketing challenges that other nonprofits don’t typically face.

Namely this: How do you convince someone to be both a member AND a donor?

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Topics: nonprofit, nonprofit marketing, social media

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