[Publisher’s Note: From time-to-time, I invite a published book author, with valuable insights, to write a guest post. If you’d like to learn about how to be a guest blogger, click on the “Authors” tab above.]
Would you like to understand why your nonprofit organization should embrace Facebook? Would you like a free book that’s full of tips that will help your charity get the most from Facebook? If you would, you’ll really enjoy this post.
This week, I have invited Richard Santos, Founder of Fundlio, to share his insights. Fundlio helps nonprofit organizations collect donations online by providing a mobile-friendly, secure and free platform. Fundlio also maintains a blog where the company shares tips and how-to information on a number of topics including fundraising, thank-you letters, collecting donations online, and creating organization awareness.
Richard has also written the book The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing for Nonprofits: How to ATTRACT SUPPORTERS & Receive More CONTRIBUTIONS for Your NONPROFIT Through FACEBOOK. While the Kindle version of the book is available for purchase on Amazon, Richard has kindly made his e-book available to the readers of Michael Rosen Says… for FREE! To download your free e-book copy, simply click here.
Richard’s book is a quick and simple-to-follow guide aimed at helping you create and develop an effective Facebook marketing strategy that will translate into attracting donors, increasing supporter engagement, and receiving more contributions for your cause. It’s based on proven tactics and strategies that will allow you to leverage the Facebook community and accomplish your nonprofit organization’s goals.
In addition to the terrific information and helpful tips Richard provides in his book, he now offers 10 important reasons your nonprofit organization should be using Facebook:
There are numerous online tools available for nonprofits and charities, allowing organizations like yours to use the power of the Internet and social media to its full potential. Facebook for Nonprofits is a great way of creating more awareness about your cause and eventually raising more funds to fulfill your mission.
However, I know that a nonprofit leader’s time is limited and that it’s hard to squeeze one more extra activity into your tight schedule. Whenever someone makes a suggestion on a new marketing tactic, the first question that pops into your head is: “Why should I take the time, effort, and budget to implement this?”
Let me provide you with an answer to the question in 10 straightforward points:
1. A large percentage of your audience is on Facebook.
Facebook has almost 1.6 billion active users all over the world, which means that many of the potential donors you are targeting are using Facebook. One more interesting statistic: 31 percent of all US senior citizens use Facebook – this shows the huge impact that Facebook has on people from multiple categories. If you want to use the one channel where most of your audience is active, Facebook is the solution.
2. You can raise awareness.
Having a compelling nonprofit story on your website is not sufficient – many potential supporters may not reach your website and you will lose donors and volunteers. On the other hand, your nonprofit is much more visible on Facebook, either through advertising or through page suggestions. Someone who’s interested in your cause just needs to hit “Like” and from that moment on, you will appear in their newsfeed. Better visibility means more awareness for your cause – your fans will develop an interest in your organization without even noticing.
3. You can attract new supporters.
Facebook allows you to increase your visibility, aside from just communicating to your loyal audiences. Try the following features and your fans’ friends will also have contact with your page: similar page suggestions, adding the physical address so fans can check-in, and creating Facebook events. These features allow you to become visible to people who have not liked your page yet and to encourage them to become your fans.
4. You can build a community.
Although there are many people passionate about the same idea, they rarely have time to meet in a physical location and develop relationships. On the other hand, interacting on social media is easier and helps them save time. Audiences use Facebook groups to gather around the causes they support – here they can discuss various issues, connect to other people, and organize events.
5. Facebook allows you to engage supporters.
The secret to a successful fundraising campaign is supporter engagement. It’s recommended to implement multiple creative ideas rather than just featuring a “Donate” button on your page and just waiting for money to pop in. Some methods you can use to attract donors on Facebook are the following: running contests, setting mini-goals, using storytelling, implementing a matching gift campaign, asking supporters to give up a pleasant activity and donate the money, or inflicting silly punishments on your nonprofit organization leaders to encourage donations.
6. You can maintain communication with donors and supporters.
Many nonprofits fall into the trap of one-time donations, and this is a terrible waste of resources. You invest time and effort into attracting a donor, and then you let them go before they reach their full potential. What if you could keep in touch with them without considerable effort? With Facebook you can be present in your supporters’ newsfeeds every day – you just need to prepare the posts and communicate to your audience constantly.
7. You can inspire people to take action.
The desire to get involved or to give to a cause we deeply care about is latent in each and every one of us. Cultivating relationships on social media and updating supporters with the latest developments is never a waste of time – there always comes a moment when they are ready to take action. Make sure they are familiar with your cause and make the request at the right moment in order to collect more funds or attract volunteers.
8. You can raise funds on Facebook.
Now it is possible to run effective fundraising campaigns on Facebook – besides inspiring your supporters and motivating them to participate, you can ask for donations on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if you are already collecting funds on your website; adding the “Donate” button to your Facebook page as well will help you raise more money.
Instead of interrupting the flow of your nonprofit experience on Facebook by asking supporters to go to your website to donate (and they can abandon the process in the meanwhile), fundraising can become a natural extension of your Facebook campaign. This allows you to make the most from giving impulses and attract more donations.
9. You can solve donors’ issues immediately.
Let’s say someone has a question about your nonprofit’s activity or giving process; you need to provide them with a fast tool for solving their concern, otherwise they can lose patience and shift their interest and support towards similar organizations. Let them ask questions on your wall or through private messages and answer as fast as possible. Facebook even displays how fast you respond to messages, and a page whose owner “typically replies within an hour” instantly becomes more trustworthy in visitors’ eyes.
10. Facebook allows you to build a powerful brand.
It’s difficult to make a website look very professional, but on Facebook you have the chance to build an authentic brand because you can be spontaneous and interact with people in real time.
My advice is to communicate with audiences and show the human part of your organization, in the first place. It’s about engagement. Another important aspect when it comes to building your brand on Facebook is content: inbound marketing will help you establish an authority’s reputation and make people trust you.
Limit promotional content to 10 percent and make sure that more than half of your posts represent valuable content — that’s content of value to readers. The rest of the social media communication mix should contain links to other people’s posts and conversational updates.
How many of these 10 benefits does your nonprofit organization need? My guess is that almost all of them – who wouldn’t like to be more visible to audiences or to encourage action in supporters? Start using Facebook to its full potential today and see the difference!
Do you want to learn more about Facebook for Nonprofits?
Here are two resources I highly recommend:
The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Marketing for Nonprofits by Richard Santos. With this free e-book for readers of this blog, you’ll learn how to attract supporters and receive more contributions for your nonprofit through Facebook.
Facebook for Nonprofits – Facebook for Nonprofits gives nonprofit organizations the tools and ideas to engage people in their causes and amplify their goals. This is the official Facebook information site for nonprofits.
That’s what Richard Santos and Michael Rosen say… What do you say?