Non-Profits should embrace Facebook changes

Non-Profits should embrace Facebook changes

Changes are coming to Facebook. According to a recent announcement, in the near future, Facebook will favor posts from friends and family and individuals over posts from business pages and non-profit pages. I think these changes are actually a good thing for the non-profit organizations and here’s why:

  1. Employees will have to embrace social media. Executive Directors, Board Chairs, Volunteer Coordinators, Development Directors – everyone will have to become a spokesperson for the organization. And this is a good thing! Every non-profit should train their staff in social media usage, encourage sharing, and be creating content for staff and volunteers to share. Leadership should consider themselves public figures and use their pages as such.
  2. We’ll rely more on our core supporters. We will have to have volunteers, donors, and board members talking about our organizations, our impact, and our need for support. We will need to give them content to share and use our pages to tag them, highlight their good work, and communicate with them.
  3. We will have to WOW our donors and volunteers. We are going to have to think harder about how to get people talking about us beyond just asking people to participate in fundraisers. How can we make thank yous, volunteer experiences, and events “share-worthy?”
  4. We can stop the constant stream of announcements. These changes will force us to think before we post. Rather than getting our reach up by posting frequently, we can think more about engagement. These changes will force non-profits to be more interactive, more conversational, and talk more about and to individuals.
  5. More boosted posts. These changes will make non-profits very strategic about buying ads and very focused on the return on investment of these ads. I’ve seen too many non-profits post content with no call-to-action because social media is “free.” If we need to pay to reach people, we will get very clear on what we want people to do.
  6. We’ll move more people to our email lists. Since social media is becoming an unreliable way to reach people, non-profits will have to find creative ways to get people to sign up for email lists. This is a good thing because email is still the best place to ask for a donation. This will also force non-profits to create better regular communication (ie get rid of that newsletter!).

Get tips like this via email. Just sign up here

Serious About Donor Engagement? Do This in January

Serious About Donor Engagement? Do This in January

Usually, January is a fundraising dead-zone. We’ve spent all our energy on our December campaigns, we’re playing catch-up on email, and our donor lists are exhausted from repeated appeals, asks, and “Last chance to make that year-end gift” messaging.

But January is actually a great time to be valuable to your donors.

See, one of the main issues in fundraising is finding ways to connect with donors that aren’t needy (“We need your help”), self-centered (“Here’s how we are fulfilling our mission”), or time-consuming (“You’re invited to our annual gala”).*

So, grab some coffee and dig deep to find that last bit of post-holiday energy, because January offers you a great opportunity to connect with your donors in a way that is valuable to them:

Send your donors a summary of all their gifts and a copy of their tax deduction letter for the past year. 

They’ll need it in about a month for tax-time and it will remind them of their commitment to your organization. Make the subject line something that speaks to them like “Here’s your tax information” or “You might need this.”

Feeling fancy? Make it even more powerful:

  • If you have donors that are automatically contributing on a monthly basis, you can include a small upsell for them to increase their gift this year.
  • Build a way for donors to access their entire donation history on your website.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you haven’t tried it before, re-send those tax letters and show your donors you care. And, oh yeah, don’t forget to say thank you!

*All those parenthetical examples are actual subject lines from non-profit emails I’ve received this year. They aren’t bad, they are just more about the organization than about the donor.