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Social media has become so prevalent, nonprofits and associations that don’t integrate this phenomena into their donation process and overall communications won’t be competitive.
Over the next five years, the amount of online donations is estimated to grow from currently $30 billion to more than $90 million, out of the overall $300 billion donated every year, according to Casey Golden, principal of Small Act Network, a company that helps nonprofits meet their philanthropic missions via social media.
“Even as of today, more than 70% of the donations given are influenced by the organizations online presence and community,” Golden said.
Couple that with the fact that more than 30,000 people join Twitter every day and that the US presence on Facebook is nearing over half the population, the need for associations and charities to establish a presence and interactive community in social media is an obvious must.
Because more people are now going to an organization's Facebook page than to its website, Golden said nonprofits should make donors comfortable in this space.
“Being 'fancy' is not important at all,” he said, but what potential donors should encounter in your organization’s social media outlets are:
1. The stories or value that the organization brings
2. The financial credibility and stability of the association, through links to your GuideStar profile or the association’s Form 990, as well as to the accredited bank and accounting firm that the organization employs.
This is what “will assuage donors’ reluctance to trust your organization and will truly get them engaged with your mission and be willing to make that donation online,” Golden said.
The key to building a community of donors and others is constant engagement. Deliver the association’s “story” and then ask questions of your online community daily, so that they can become part of the campaign or mission.
Harnessing the question, “What is it that your audience would want to share with their friends/colleagues?" will help your current audience become your best advocates, which then builds your audience with new prospects, Golden said. Details: Twitter: @SmallActGuy; www.smallact.com.