Social media won’t solve your nonprofit’s problems
Many nonprofit organizations subscribe to the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy.
If you host an event, people will register.
If you add a Donate Now button to your homepage, people will donate.
If you create a Facebook page, people will Like the page and share your content.
The problem is that none of these fundraising and marketing strategies can exist in a vacuum. They all need each other to succeed.
Without a robust contact list, you will have a hard time establishing a social media audience.
Without one-on-one meetings and phone calls, you will have a hard time getting major gifts.
Without advertising your event, you will have a hard time getting attendees.
Everything that your organization does is symbiotic, from programming to planning to fundraising to marketing. One strategy cannot succeed without others back it up, augmenting and igniting it.
My advice: Stop thinking in silos. Stop searching for that silver bullet that will solve all your problems. (Hint: It doesn’t exist.)
Successful nonprofit development departments and professionals know that in order to survive, the correct mix of online and offline tactics is required.
No amount of tweeting and pinning can make up for an inactive, disengaged Board of Directors.
No Instagram filter can substitute for an impactful, thoughtful thank you letter.
Your donors and supporters need you to be where they are, communicating with them on their terms. That might be Facebook, that might be a blog, and that might be in a quarterly paper newsletter. (None are mutually exclusive.)
Social media is wonderful, and there are many effective ways to use it to accomplish your mission. But just setting it up doesn’t work. Fix the things that are broken within your organization, and then add new tools to the mix.
What are some ways that nonprofits can use social media in addition to other strategies?
Julia Campbell helps nonprofits raise money and connect with supporters using websites, email marketing, social media and other online tools. She is the Principal and Founder of J Campbell Social Marketing, a boutique digital marketing firm in Beverly, MA. Find her on Facebook and Twitterat @JuliaCSocial