Have I Convinced You Yet?

I’ll admit at the beginning of this semester I was skeptical of social media’s role in my life much less in anything else. All I had ever thought social media was about was wasting time or trying to make yourself look good. So for this post I decided to look up some statistics for what role social media played in nonprofits. Here are the results of my findings.

  1. 41% of nonprofits attribute their social media success to having developed a detailed social media strategy.
  2.  92% of nonprofits are using social media, blogging, email, and videos for their content marketing efforts.
  3. 47% of Americans learn about causes via social media and online channels.
  4. Animals, children, and health & wellness are the most shared and talked about causes on social media.
  5.  56% of those that support nonprofits on the Social Web confirm that compelling storytelling is what motivates them to take action on behalf of nonprofits.
  6. 55% of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action.
  7. The number of followers nonprofits have on Twitter grew by 264% in 2012.
  8. The average social media donation is $59 and growing each year.
  9.  Using Twitter during fundraising events can result in 10X more money raised online.
  10. 59% of people donate after becoming a follower of a nonprofit’s social network.

 

So these are my top ten facts that I found that were most interesting about social media use and nonprofits. Some of them shocked me others I was not surprised at all. My information came from NonProfit Tech For Good, Techimpact, and HubSpot.

Curious about ways to display stuff like this? Check this out.

What do you think? Find anything surprising? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

 

The Roles We Play

community

Source: EAW

This post I want to talk about the various roles that nonprofits use social media for. The internet and social media have made a huge impact on the world as we know it today and there are many ways that nonprofits are utilizing the world wide web.

One of the first ways and probably one of the first ideas to jump in your head is fundraising. Fundraising and social media have a long history together compared to some of the items in this list. There are many companies, apps, and articles dedicated solely to fundraising or organizing a nonprofits funds.

Another facet of social media use is awareness. Many of the sites that pop in your head when you first think social media are very popular for promoting or spreading awareness for a cause. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are very popular for spreading the word about causes and nonprofits.

An increasing trend is creating online resources or how-tos for nonprofits. These blogs and websites are collecting resources for volunteers, directors, and workers alike showing nonprofits all kinds of skills from how to get started to how to market themselves effectively.

Now, there are also sites that connect volunteers to nonprofits. Sites like Volunteer Match allow someone to type in or search a cause they care about in the city they live in and find a nonprofit where they can volunteer. Possibly some of the newest ways that social media is being used for connection is through disaster relief. Organizations like the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are using tweets and other social media data to MicromapMicromapping involves many people doing a small task. Anyone can become a MicroMapper because there are no special skills or a large time commitments required. People use apps called clickers to help do tasks that are still better suited to be done by humans rather than machines.

Social Media has been integrated into practically every person’s life in one way or another and now it seems to have found a home in nonprofits as well. Is it a good idea to integrate nonprofits with social media? To what extent?

Questions? Comments? Comment Below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

Blogs!

This post I am going to look at some online resources that I found that have been helpful in my search for how social media interacts with nonprofits. Some of the most helpful resources that I have found have been the blogs. Some of them are closer to more traditional side while some lean more towards a website format.

The first one I found was Nonprofit Hub. This website has multiple contributors that post quick and helpful tips on a variety of topics. They has a lot to say about social media and you can search tags to find articles that are relevant to you. They site their goal is to “educate and empower nonprofits” and they are part of the Digital Community Foundation.

Another blog that I found very useful was Bloomerang’s blog. Bloomerang is a company that helps nonprofits, fundraise. In their words “We have pooled together the latest in best practices for fundraising, loyalty, engagement, and retention to create a simple donor database solution that helps nonprofits decrease donor attrition and increase revenue.” The blog section of their site has many helpful tools and tricks as well as some free downloads.

A third blog that I found immensely helpful was the Nonprofit Tech for Good. This blog is awesome. It is very easy to read and well organized as well as very connected to the social media world. There are specific tags for Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn , Mobile Media, Youtube, Fundraising and Webinars.

These blogs are helping bring the internet community together and showing that it can be harnessed for good. By connecting resources from hundreds of professionals these blogs give a comprehensive look at some very helpful tips for running nonprofits.

I chose to look mainly at blogs integrating social media but this list has a number of helpful resources too.

Questions? Comments? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

Social Media: A Strategy Not a Shot in the Dark

Now that I have discussed several topics regarding social media and nonprofits I’d like to clarify my definition of social media. I have  discussed some social networks, social bookmarks and social video sharing sites and to day I’d like to share about strategizing social media presence. But first things first my definition (and by mine I mean my lovely professor Mrs. Ashley Blair). Her definition is forms of electronic communication through which user create online profiles. Pretty vague huh? That’s because the term social media is actually a lot broader than some may think.

An illustration.

social media infographic

Source: Council for Nonprofits

This infograph is a look at the scale of what social media entails. If you’d like to have your mind blown check this out. What is the point of me showing you this? To make you freak out and realize you aren’t doing enough? No! I point out these different types of platforms to show the different ways of getting your nonprofit out there. Is it possible to reach all of these platforms well? Probably not. However, by picking key platforms from different parts of the wheel there is a much higher likelihood of reaching a broader audience.

So before you start randomly making a Facebook page consider some key points first.

1. Know the goals of your social media presence. Do you want to spread awareness? Update followers on what is happening? Promote events? Knowing what you want to do before hand can help you pick the most effective sites to use.

2. Keep a consistent presence. While it is important to update regularly, I mean it is important to keep the content of your posts on the same level. There is nothing wrong with using one site for multiple uses but keep it organized or follow some sort of pattern so your viewers are less like to get confused.

3. Make your platforms transparent. No I don’t mean as in opaque. I mean social media allows people to connect on a level they other wise may not be able to. Use your platforms to humanize your nonprofit.

Using these tips can transform a nonprofits social media presence. For more helpful advice check out this article.

Questions? Comments? See something you’d like to add? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

Pinterest for Nonprofits?

pinterest_logo_red

Source: Pinterest

If you are like me you may be a little late to jump on Pinterest. I was hesitant that I might end up wasting way too much time there. So when I finally made an account I was surprised at how much was on the site. I figured it was mostly for things like clothes, recipes, and home decor tips. So when the term social bookmarking was thrown around I was surprised it included Pinterest.

Also if you are like me at this point you are going social bookmarking? What is that? Social bookmarking is a way to organize or manage bookmarks for online resources on the web. So by pinning to a board you are bookmarking a site for later.

Now that we know what social bookmarking is why is it important to nonprofits? Are people even using it that way? The Answer is yes. Many nonprofits are on Pinterest and here’s why.

1. It increases Traffic. Pinterest was named the world’s fourth largest referrer of website traffic. With that kind of traffic  awareness  will be much further reaching than some more traditional methods.

2. You can Fundraise. There is now an option for retailers to put a price tag directly in the corner of a picture so people can buy directly off of a Pinterest link. Which leads me to my next point…

3. It is one of the most trusted social media sites. According to a survey by BlogHer outside of blogs Pinterest is the most trusted platform beating out Facebook and Twitter. When getting out information or fundraising trust is a huge deal especially if  a nonprofit is in its infancy.

4. There are many ways to utilize it. There are many great ways to utilize Pinterest including thanking donors, selling merchandise, updating donors on what is happening with your nonprofit, and showing the history/brand of your nonprofit.

Pinterest is a great tool for marketing that is much cheaper than using some other resources. When used correctly it can greatly enhance a nonprofit’s presence on the web.

Questions? Concerns? Did I leave anything out? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

Thinking Outside the Box: Apps for Giving

Today there seems to be an app for everything. Need to keep track of your sleep cycle? There’s an app for that. Need to make sure that your banking is on track? There’s an app for that. Need to remember to text your girlfriend? Apparently there’s an app for that tooLast time I talked about Twitter and how to make your tweets stand out. This time I want to talk not only about what makes apps stand out but also what an app for a nonprofit looks like.

There are several ways for fundraising and making an app is one that is becoming popular. However, there are currently several kinks involved in the process. For example as outlined in The NonProfit Times one of the biggest players involved in the app game Apple, has placed some restrictions on charitable giving and apps. “Since 2010, Apple has banned charitable donations made through apps on its iOS platform, the software that powers iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. Apps can suggest that users donate, and can direct them to the nonprofit’s website, but cannot explicitly say anywhere in the app or its description that some or all proceeds will go to charity.” The article goes on to further note that even if Apple did allow it they current take 30% of payment made on an iOS device. All of this makes it difficult for users to donate by simply pushing a button. They are redirected to a mobile website and must fill out a donation form on the mobile site.

Another issue is that stand alone apps are very expensive. Nonprofits have to fund and build apps for each platform or they may lose valuable donations. Experts estimate a nonprofit should expect to pay at least $30,000 per platform to create a mobile app. Considering many nonprofits choose to use multiple platforms that number adds up very quickly.

So how does a small nonprofit effective use apps? Do they stay out of the game? Use an outside party?

One of the most effective models I found was from the group Charity Dynamics. They help nonprofits come up with an effective plan to fundraise among other services. One of the models that I found most interesting was the work they did for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Through a Facebook app and the Boundless Fundraising iPhone App the Relay for Life raised 180% more and received three times as many gifts when compared to general participants and social sharing generated over 1,200 donations.

Image

Source: Charity Dynamics

The moral of this story? It looks like using a simple donate now button isn’t the best option. Donation apps involve complex systems that may be too expensive for small nonprofits just trying to get off the ground.

Want to hear about what apps are out there for the self starter? Check out my next post!

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @MollieTranum.

 

Looking at What I Know: Awareness and Donations

For a class project  I am looking at the implications for social media as related to nonprofits. This blog is a big part of that and as I dig deeper into the social media nonprofit world I hope to give some tools, tips, and realizations for those looking to see what part social media can play in a nonprofit but also as an educational resource for students such as myself.  I will look at some examples of nonprofits as well as the different models out there.

For my first post I want to look at what I already kind of know about social media and nonprofits and that is the awareness/donation method.  As the world moves more and more online many nonprofits are jumping on the band wagon and using social media as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness. This article by The Nonprofit Hub highlights some  excellent use of social media by organizations like the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Water is Life. Most people are very familiar with the first two organizations but may be drawing a blank on the last one. How did this organizations make it on a list with the so called big boys?

With a video like this.

Most people are familiar with the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems and Water is Life capitalized on the already popular phrase in this powerful video. By using Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube Water is Life got out their message and were able to put a link directly to their donation page.

They were able to spread awareness and incite change by using what one Water is Life Representative called a hashtag killer. The Rep goes on to state ““We call it hashtag killer. Not just an attempt to end a hashtag, but to use social media to affect a real change in our world.”

Social media clearly has a strong pull in our world today. The question is to what extent should nonprofits be involved in social media? The organizations listed above had some great campaigns, but what are the long term implications? Does this type of campaign have longevity? Or is it like the medium being used? Limited and always competing for the next big thing.

I love social media and thing it is a great tool but I am interested in exploring both the strengths and limitations of social media in nonprofits.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Let me know in the comment box below or on Twitter @MollieTranum.