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How to use social media to boost nonprofit donor retention

Well, you’ve done it; in a world where we are constantly confronted with organizations to stand behind and charities to donate to, you have managed to establish a cause worthy of support, draw in supporters and close the donation. You’ve got new money and new donors, but what will you do to ensure that they donate again? Converting a one-time or tribute donor into a lifetime donor can be simpler than you might think if you use the tools already available to you.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools at your fingertips. Its various platforms span global markets and audiences. It inspires engagement and connection – and it’s free! Read on to learn how to craft a social media strategy to boost donor retention for your nonprofit.

Using social media: an overview

Social media should never constitute the entirety of an organization’s communications strategy, but it should certainly serve as one of its primary tactics. Utilizing social media effectively will educate prospective donors and bridge the gap between public and potential supporter. It can also strengthen the bond between you and your current donors and solidify that mutually beneficial relationship.

In general, social media is an informal channel for communicating with the general public. Your social media messaging can help round out your nonprofit’s image by giving it a more relatable voice and tone than your website or email marketing. To do so…

  • Ensure that the content across your social media platforms emphasizes personal stories and vivid imagery.
  • Highlight personal testimonials from your volunteers and staff that show the behind-the-scenes of your organization and why people want to help your cause.
  • Most importantly, showcase personal testimonials from the people or benefactors that illustrate the impact of your organization and why there is a great need for the work you do.
  • Keep it social. Half of social media’s efficacy is in the engagement! If you are just posting and not interacting, you’re missing out on making a lasting impression on your audience. Post. Tweet. Share. Retweet. Leave comments. Like things. Give “shout outs.” This is an easy way to build lifelong relationships.

Be intentional with your platforms

Every social media platform has different styles, audiences, requirements and message lifespans. Make sure that you are distributing a cohesive, consistent message across all of your channels while still fine-tuning your content to fit each platform.

  • Facebook is the most thorough of the top social media platforms. Your messages can be either short-form or long-form, can have pictures but can also be effective without them. Use this platform to paint the full picture of your organization for your followers. Post about who you are as an organization and what you’re doing, including upcoming events with links to your website and donation page. Feature new donors and tag them, thanking them for their gift. Pay special homage to your recurring donors to also help boost donor retention.
  • Twitter, on the other hand, is entirely about brevity. You have 280 characters (up from just 140 in 2017) to get your message across this fast-paced channel. Use this platform for quick, authentic engagement and bite-sized content that leaves an impression. Some things you may want to tweet about include your charity’s mission, vision, upcoming events, gratitude to specific donors for their gifts, fundraising goals and, of course, your call to action with the link to your fundraising webpage. Remember: Twitter moves fast. Tweets are there one minute and swept away in a sea of other tweets the next. It is okay (in fact, it is highly encouraged) to tweet about the same thing numerous times in the same week.
  • Instagram is a newer (and increasingly most popular) platform that is entirely for photo sharing with minimal text. This platform is where you should really focus on using vivid imagery that literally shows people who you are, who you help and who is helping you. Highlight your donors with special posts about where their money went and what it did.

Associate your donation closing page with a social call to action

Now that you’re on the right path to a solid social media strategy, you can help your donors help your organization by giving them a voice. The truth of it is, people usually want to do good as well as share their good deeds. You can assist with this by making it as easy as possible for donors to share their gift with their networks.

  • Make sure that a “thank you” screen shows up after someone makes an online donation. On this page, thank them for their gift, communicate the impact of their gift, and encourage them to connect with you on your social platforms (if they haven’t already) to follow how their money is being used. This starts that dialogue and keeps people in the know about your organization and efforts, which means a higher likelihood for recurrent gifting.
  • Include as part of your “thank you” page a “share your donation” segment, with links for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other relevant social media platforms that may pertain to your organization.

Tie it all together with your website and email marketing

Social media is an integral component of any organization’s communications strategy, but it isn’t the only part of the picture. If your website is out of shape, (e.g., it is too scroll-heavy, too cluttered, doesn’t communicate impact, or doesn’t make it as easy as possible to donate) that can and will deter people from following through with their online donation.

Once you’ve ensured that your website is effective and streamlined, make sure to regularly link to it across your social media platforms! Keep links to your website and donation page pinned to the top of your Facebook profile. Tweet these links multiple times each week and put them in your Instagram bio. Your email marketing should also always include links to your social profiles. An example of this would be inserting a segment inviting the recipient of your welcome email series to share their first donation experience across their channels.

Properly utilizing social media can lead to a noticeable boost in donor retention, if you take a strategic approach to engage. Need further guidance? 4aGoodCause is here to help. Subscribe to our email list now to have more tools and guides like this one sent right to your inbox. Or, check out our blog!

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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