On August 23, 2007, a Twitter user sent a tweet using the very first #hashtag. With Twitter growing so quickly, users needed a way to classify information to make searching for it easier. #hashtags were born. The popular method of communication has spread to virtually every other popular social media site.
So, as a nonprofit, what can we do with this tool? How can we use it to our advantage? The first step is to create a presence on social media. Is your organization active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In? Having a profile does not make an organization an active participant. Be sure to brush up on social media posts and gain a following. Otherwise, any #hashtag campaign is guaranteed to fall flat.
Last year a social media phenomenon took off across the country and the world and resulted in record-breaking fundraising for one cause. The ALS Ice Bucket challenge raised more than 100 million dollars for charities related to ALS and finding a cure.
At the time the challenge began, some raised concerns regarding the method. The challenge was that if you were nominated, you had to make a donation or dump cold water on your head. The concern was that people were only pouring the cold water to be part of the social media trend and were not donating to support the cause. Given the choice between digging into your wallet and dumping cold water on yourself, it was thought that most people were choosing the water. While that may have been true, little did we realize that behind the scenes of each video, millions of dollars were being donated, culminating in 115 million dollars for The ALS National Office alone.
Staff members at nonprofits are notoriously stretched thin. Job descriptions often include “additional duties as assigned”, which could encompass almost anything from taking out the trash to helping write a strategic plan. In the busyness of running a nonprofit, your social media profile needs to become a priority and not simply one of those “additional duties”.
Social media is an ever-changing venue that can have a major impact on your nonprofit, either for the good or the bad. Before beginning the social media journey, invest some time to determine which outlets are the best fit for your organization. You do not need to spread yourself thin by attempting to engage on every social media site. Poll your volunteers and see where they are spending their online time. That may be a good indicator of where you can best reach your current and new donors.
Does the prospect of making a generous charitable donation in addition to the cost of a relaxing getaway this year sound like a stress to your budget? What if there was a way to do both at the same time?
It’s true, you can use your vacation budget to support your favorite charity and still reserve that getaway! This might sound too good to be true, but Geronimo Vacation Rentals boasts hundreds of premier vacation rentals in the United States and around the world.
Fundraising activities for nonprofits are regulated by state laws. But what if they weren’t? What would your nonprofit do to prove to donors and your community that your organization is trustworthy and accountable? The answers might be simpler than you think.
Every nonprofit should follow best practices when it comes to donor relations and fundraising. Showing respect for your donors with a few simple steps goes a long way.
Start with a donor’s gift. Every gift, regardless of size or whether it is monetary or in-kind should receive a thank you and should receive it within 30 days of the gift. The gift acknowledgement should include your organization’s statement regarding IRS deductions.
A Donor’s gift designations should also be respected. If a donor makes a gift designated for specific program, that gift should not be put into general operating funds. Complete the project that the donor has given to and let them know about with an additional thank you and status report.