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‘Pokemon Go’ and Your Nonprofit

July 14th, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Marketing, Social Media

Gotta catch ‘em all!

No, we’re not talking about Pokemon. We’re talking about all these new faces exploring your area in search of Pokemon.

Everyone and their moms are on “Pokemon Go.” (No, really—my mom has it, too.)

And the data backs that up.

According to data from SensorTower, the free, augmented reality game that lets users find various Pokémon out in the real world has been downloaded nearly 7.5 million times from Google Play and the iOS App Store in the U.S., TechCrunch reported.

That is a whole lot of people who are getting outside, discovering new areas and meeting new faces. So how can your nonprofit use this rocketing app to its benefit?

Follow your fellow nonprofits’ lead: Embrace the hype. Getting more people to stop by means you have that many more people to introduce your cause to.

Beth Kanter rounded up a great collection of how nonprofits have been using the game to their advantage. Here’s what we took away from their efforts.

1. Download the app and showcase the Pokémon near your location.

The hunt is on. Wannabe Pokémon Masters are looking for Pokémon wherever they go. Actually, they specifically are going places just to look for them. Posting a picture with Pokemon you’ve found on your own grounds will let gamers know they should stop by (and that you’re hip enough to have downloaded the app).

Who can you nab a selfie with on the National Mall? The Washington Monument has hosted singers like Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Odetta and now… ‪#‎Jigglypuff‬? Come out to sing your own song, catch ‘em all and ‪#‎FindYourPark‬. You never know who you’ll run into!
While you’re hunting Pokémon, we choose you… to take a selfie with your faves and post your pic here! Remember to be respectful of the memorials and other visitors, but share your Pokémon victories with a ‪#‎pokeselfie‬ at the ‪#‎nationalmall‬! Gotta catch them all? More like gotta catch the Mall!


All 92nd Street Y dance classes, art classes and May Center gym classes can safely resume. We captured the Rattata that was outside Buttenwieser Hall. ‪#‎PokemonGo‬

Seriously, don’t you want to visit the National Mall and the 92nd Street Y now? (We also want to go to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and hang out with Pikachu.)

2. If your location is a PokeStop, embrace it.

If your location has been designated a Pokestop, a place of interest where users can stock up on Pokeballs—and snacks and medicines for their captures, you probably already have seen an increase in traffic. Users naturally will want to visit your location. View this as an opportunity, not a nuisance.


The Art Institute of Chicago
Pokémon have invaded the Art Institute! Catch them if you can and find 14 PokéStops in and around the museum. ‪#‎PokemonGO‬
The Art Institute of Chicago's portrait.
The Art Institute of Chicago's portrait.
The Art Institute of Chicago's portrait.
The Art Institute of Chicago's portrait.

Not only are we the stop for all of your community philanthropy needs, but we’re also a Pokestop for all you ‪#‎PokemonGO‬ players out there! Come visit us and stock up!


For those organizations that want to draw extra attention and visitors to their locations—say, for instance, when their hosting charity events or special programs—there is the “Lure Module.” The in-game item is available for purchase and attracts additional Pokemon to the location for 30 minutes. And people go where the Pokemon go.

Not a Pokestop? According to Forbes, those locations were pre-determined by the developer, Niantic Labs, but with the huge, immediate success of the app, it may just be a matter of time before it becomes a new marketing opportunity.

3. Find creative ways to integrate your cause into the game.

Now, your organization probably isn’t Pokemon-centric, but, as you’ve seen, that doesn’t need to stop you from joining the fun.

One of the biggest benefits of the game is that it’s pushing people to be more active. After all, they have to go to the physical location to catch a Pokemon. (“Pokemon Go” players who also wear Fitbits love life right now.)

One Facebook user pointed out that this is the perfect opportunity to encourage gamers (and cause supporters) to download WoofTrax, an app that donates to animal shelters whenever its user walks with or without his or her dog, ATTN reported. While the apps aren’t related, they can be used at the same time—melding the exercise of hunting for Pokemon with giving back.

Two days ago, I received an email that shared a similar sentiment from Charity Miles, an app that let’s users earn money for various charities while on the move. In fact, the whole purpose of the email was to encourage the user to join the “Pokemon Go” Challenge. Through the challenge, not only are users earning money for charities, but when they take a screenshot of a Pokemon sighting on their walks, upload it to the app and share it on social media, they are entered to win a Charity Miles T-shirt.

Pokemon Go Charity Miles

The Durham Bulls, a Triple-A affiliate for the Tampa Bay Rays, also came up with a fun way to give back. Yesterday, they opened up their park for fans to search the stadium for Pokemon, CBS Sports reported. It cost $5 to enter—and all proceeds went to a pet adoption charity.

By Allison Ebner
NonProfit Pro magazine
July 14, 2016

Gmail’s New ‘Block,’ ‘Unsubscribe’ Buttons

November 27th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Email, Marketing, Social Media

Email marketers trying to reach the coveted Gmail inbox are going to have to work a little harder and a lot smarter. On Tuesday, Gmail debuted “block” buttons and this week Android users will see the “unsubscribe” option available in their apps for unwanted email.

“Sometimes you get mail from someone who’s really disruptive,” writes Sri Harsha Somanchi, product manager, in a Tuesday post on the Official Gmail Blog. “Hopefully it doesn’t happen often — but when it does, you should be able to say, ‘Never see messages from this person again.’ That’s why you can now block specific email addresses in Gmail — starting today on the Web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).”

By Thursday, Jess Nelson published five tips on MediaPost for marketers who need to become more Gmail-friendly. “Marketing Tips: Avoiding Gmail’s New Block Button” says marketers can:

  • Provide Relevant Content. Marketing thought leaders have been beating this drum for awhile, but now it’s — ahem — more relevant to them to be clear and concise for recipients.
  • Communicate Only to Recipients Who Have Requested It. Opt-in lists sound good, no?
  • Make the Unsubscribe Process Easy. Make this button easy to find—not buried at the bottom of the message. [Editor’s note: In a seemingly useless metric to many direct marketers, Nelson’s piece says an unsubscribe in a marketer’s message also counts as a click. Well, yes, but … perhaps it’s better to think of it as not being reported as spam. A deliverability and reputation enhancement, rather than a click.]
  • Reputation Matters. This is where Nelson says spam complaints can ruin a sender’s reputation.
  • Study, Learn and Grow. Studying “block” and “unsubscribe” statistics can also help marketers understand which content resonates with recipients and which content ends up being what Somanchi terms “disruptive.”
By Heather Fletcher

5 Reasons Why Social Media Buttons Hurt Nonprofit Websites

November 20th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Social Media, Website

That little row of social media buttons has become a ubiquitous feature of most websites. After all, it’s good to show off that you’re social, and that there are channels where you can interact directly with stakeholders.

But is your website header or sidebar the best place to show that off?

Here are five reasons why having social media buttons on your nonprofit’s website might do more harm than good:

1) They send visitors away from your website

Honestly, I could stop here.

Just think about this empirically for a moment: you spend a ton of time and money driving people to your website. They arrive on your homepage or a landing page, only to have multiple exit paths via a social media button. Is leaving your website really what you want them to do?

Yes, the buttons could be configured to open a new browser tab or window, but they’re still not looking at your website.

And yes, they could visit Facebook or Twitter and follow/like you, giving you the ability to communicate to them, but that’s quite a large leap to assume that conversion is going to happen, even if that is the conversion you want.

2) They distract visitors from where you really want them to go

Websites are built for one purpose: generate a conversion from the visitor. That’s it. For nonprofits, it could be a donation, an event RSVP or an email sign-up form.

Anything that distracts from that purpose is a bad thing. Think of your website as a funnel, with the homepage or landing page representing the top or opening. Every page element should move the visitor through the funnel toward your desired conversion. Social media buttons represent holes in your funnel.

That’s why some conversion rate optimization experts also recommend removing navigation options from pages with forms (like a donation page, for example). The less options you have to navigate away, the better. Having too many options can risk what Unbounce calls The Toothpaste Trance, where a website visitor is given so many options that they end up choosing something at random that will end up being meaningless to them (kind of like when you stare at all the options in the toothpaste aisle).


3) It’s hard to communicate a reason to click them

Look at these buttons:


What do they communicate?

Pretty much the only thing they communicate is that “we are on these networks.” They give no expectation of what kind of content will be found there, or why you should care about that content. They are completely passive calls-to-action.

4) They are non-native to the design of your website

If you have a custom-designed website, those little blocks with varying colors and letters can stick out like a sore thumb. Granted, you can customize them to adhere to the style of your website, but that’s one more thing that you need (to pay) a designer to do.

5) They could send visitors to dormant social media accounts

If your social media accounts aren’t updated regularly with unique and engaging content, they may send a negative signal to a website visitor who navigated away from your site only to see a Facebook page that hasn’t been posted to for a year. If you insist on including social media buttons prominently on your website, be sure to only include your most active networks.

Where you should put social media buttons

There are, of course, appropriate and useful locations for social media buttons on your website and beyond. Here are a few:

  • Website footer (where they won’t distract, ideal if you’re concerned that someone might visit your website for the sole purpose of identifying your social media channels)
  • Share buttons on content like blog posts (where users can share content that they just consumed)
  • Follow/Share buttons on donation confirmation pages (share their philanthropy)
  • Follow/Share buttons on donation confirmation email receipts (follow you elsewhere for future updates)

If you don’t have a dedicated donation confirmation page, you can easily add social media buttons to your donation confirmation message:


Notice that most of these examples are post-conversion. meaning the website visitor has already taken some action on your site. You’ve gotten what you want out of them; now give them the option to follow you elsewhere.


By |September 22nd, 2015|Social Media|Bloomerang

Facebook Adds ‘Donate Now’ Button to Make Giving to Charity Easier

October 26th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Social Media

Facebook for Business announced in a post that it has added “Donate Now” as a call-to-action button available for Brand Pages. These buttons can now appear right on a Facebook Brand Page, or directly within an ad on the site.

“Now, it’s easier than ever for nonprofits to connect with people who care about their causes and encourage them to contribute through the website of their choice.”




Facebook introduced the call-to-action button for Brand Pages in December of last year, which are designed to drive a company’s many fans to take further action beyond Liking a page. These buttons include “Book Now,” “Shop Now” and “Contact Us” buttons, and appear right alongside the Like Button at the top of a Page.

This button also seems like a more permanent iteration of the one found when Facebook rallied users to donate to the Nepal earthquake in April of this year. Facebook offered a pop-up to a blog post that had a “Donate” button, and offered to match up to $2 million. In total, the company says that Facebook users raised more than $17 million to help rescue and rebuilding efforts.

These buttons generally link to an off-site page, so nothing is actually done within Facebook proper. This extends to donations — the “Donate Now” button available on the ALS Association Facebook Page (of Ice Bucket Challenge fame) simply redirects to the donation page on the company’s official site, with a referrer tag in the URL.

Facebook also places a disclaimer on that button, advising its users that the donations aren’t affiliated with Facebook.

This new addition is a boon for charities who are looking to use engagement to drum up donations and capitalize on viral moments, as the ALS Association did last year.


by Lauren Hockenson
August 24, 2015
TNW News

Gen Y increasingly pursuing social entrepreneurship as a career model

October 6th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Social Media

I have spent the past decade mentoring Generation Y, fresh out of post-secondary educations, embarking on career paths. And their abilities and positive attitudes, as well as the passion and determination of many to be lifestyle entrepreneurs and control their own future has surprised me.

Lifestyle entrepreneurship can be defined as a career or job that is chosen to match preferred lifestyle values and activities, rather a career and then arranging your life to synchronize with it.

The old rules of work applied to an economy of factories and offices, a world of “standard,” stable employment with large employers, and careers with more or less predictable trajectories. The new rules belong to another universe — flexible, precarious, and entrepreneurial, less often tied to specific times, places, and employers.

Life entrepreneurs view their decision not as a career but a life strategy to achieve self-fulfillment

The 9-to-5 job may be a relic of the past for Gen Y’ers. A slow climb in a company was once the accepted career path. Today, young people starting their careers are juggling multiple positions. Sixty per cent of Gen Y’ers are switching companies in less than three years, a recent Dan Schawbel’s Millennial Branding report notes, and 87% of companies are reporting a cost of $15,000 to $25,000 to replace each one of them.

Sara B. Markett and her research colleagues at Iowa State University completed a study that explored lifestyle entrepreneurship and its relationship to life quality. They found that changing demographics, longer life expectations, forced or buy-out retirements, greater possibility of quick exits and re-entry into the labour force and the expectations of multiple careers have contributed to the rise of small scale entrepreneurism.

Life entrepreneurs view their decision not as a career but a life strategy to achieve self-fulfillment. They are fueled by a desire to earn a respectable living, find satisfaction in career attainment and achievements, spend quality time with family and friends and make a positive social contribution.

One of the new rules of work is that it can happen wherever you are, anywhere in the world. “Rush hour” is disappearing in New York’s subway system, which reports that weekday growth was strongest outside of the traditional morning and evening rush hours. In many cities in North America, co-working spaces are appearing everywhere, and working from home and remotely is growing exponentially. Upwork, formerly known as Elance-0-Desk estimates 53 million, or 34 per cent, of U.S. workers are freelancers.


Dean van Leeuwen, a strategist, international speaker and co-founding partner of Tomorrow Today Global says: flexible e-workers or “elancers” are a growing trend, supported by mobile technology and the cloud. Projects and teams will be managed much the same way they are on a film set. Leaders will need to become directors rather than managers, guiding resources, coaching players and managing patterns, systems and design. Players with the skills needed will collaborate and compete for projects, work for the duration of the project and then disband. Online platforms such as Kaggle, a home for data scientists, are creating new workplace models — or virtual settings — to find solutions for the biggest and most prestigious companies. Society will see the rise of the professional guild as more and more people work in flexible contract based structures.

I recently interviewed Natalie Sisson, best-selling author of The Suitcase Entrepreneur, and a former client of mine, about the lifestyle entrepreneur trend. Sisson has been at the forefront of the trend for the past 10 years. She argues the core of lifestyle entrepreneurship is around the value of personal freedom. She also says a key reason lifestyle entrepreneurs exist is the explosion of technology that allows for businesses to be automated, online and not geographically specific. In that trend, she argues, Gen Y is tuned in and comfortable, and use it with ease to streamline their work.

Sisson also makes an interesting point about career risks. The traditional way of looking at risk — a job without guaranteed lifetime security — has disappeared in the workplace, even in the public sector. Becoming a lifestyle entrepreneur in a traditional bricks-and-mortar business involves considerable risk from the perspective of financing, capital investment and operational costs. However, lifestyle entrepreneurs are drawn to the kind of businesses that are predominantly online, where costs are substantially lower, so the risk is much lower.

Society is witnessing a slow revolution in the nature of work and the explosion of entrepreneurship. An integral part of that trend will be the number of Gen Y’ers who choose lifestyle entrepreneurships as their preferred career path.

By Ray Williams
June 3, 2015
Financial Post

Ray Williams is president of Ray Williams Associates, a firm located in Vancouver, providing executive coaching and professional speaking services. He is author of a new book, Eye of the Storm: How Mindful Leaders Can Transform Chaotic Workplaces. He can be reached at

Images Rule Social’s Visibility — 10 Ways to Rule Them

July 22nd, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Social Media
Click to enlarge this portion of the Quicksprout infographic about visually appealing content. (

Online content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without it, many consumers are visual learners and Jeff Bullas says visual content with psychological impact “can double your social media engagement.”

In a blog post dated May 5, Bullas says marketers need to use high-quality images that appeal to emotion — not just more photos.

“Whether you’re creating original content, sourcing photographs or shooting your own always consider how it will impact your audience,” he advises.

Quicksprout seconds that statistic from Bullas that content with images get almost double the views and says in April that “the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. Ninety percent of the information sent to our brain is visual.”

This visual is just one example:

10 Types of Visual #SocialMedia Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy #smm #contentmarketing

— Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) May 4, 2015

Here’s what Bullas suggests marketers do to gain those eyeballs:

1. Use High-Quality Stock Photography. Bad stock photos can make a brand look “cheesy,” he says, so use this tip with caution.

2. Use Screenshots. Don’t just say something happened, show it.

3. Infographics. (For instance, see a portion of Quicksprout’s infographic above.)

4. Personal Photographs. “If your business or brand doesn’t have a human face, people will find it hard to relate to,” he says.

5. ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Workplace Shots. “This particular type of imagery is more suitable for Instagram and Facebook, which are often considered the more ‘social’ mediums,” he says.

6. Quote Graphics. Use images that are compatible, but don’t compete with the words. Make quotes short and “easily digestible,” as well as a font that will be legible on mobile devices. Consumers will likely see the images on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

7. Original Designs. “When designing your own images, always create a style guide to ensure brand consistency,” he writes. “This means determining rules for your fonts, color scheme and image personality.”

8. Use the Brand’s Unique Selling Point. Bullas points to VOSS, which always uses its water bottle in its images and works to convey other concepts, such as purity.

9. Action Shots. How do consumers use or see the product or service?

10. Use Striking Colors. “Colors can depict and elevate mood,” Bullas writes. [Editor's note: A previous Target Marketing article about call-to-action buttons in email includes a few color notes, such as "Orange encourages immediate action, so use it to get consumers to sign up, join or buy forthwith. Emma cautions that orange also conveys 'cheap.'"]

Bonus: Can the visual become a game? IBM is among many brands using gamification, which is also a learning tool (Opens as a PDF). For IBM, a game was its No. 1 lead generation tool for one of its brands in 2010.

What else can marketers add to this list?

3 Types of Social Media Your Nonprofit Might Not Be Using—But Should

July 16th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Social Media

In the nonprofit sector, there is a constant need to stand out in order to secure new, young, and diverse donors. As technology continues to be a focal point in society, nonprofits are turning to social media to get missions and campaigns in front of the masses.

Twitter and Facebook have long been the most popular social media outlets. However, in April 2014, the use of Snapchat by the World Wildlife Fund for its #LastSelfie campaign proved to be a wake-up call for organizations that limit their social media presence. Snapchat’s audience is mostly young women in their teens and early 20s—one of the hardest audiences to reach.

In addition to Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram are also reaching millennials when it comes to marketing efforts. So, how could these work for your organization?

  • Snapchat: The trickiest part of this platform is that a video or picture message will permanently delete itself after one to ten seconds (this is sender-controlled). Don’t look at this as a negative, however. Even with only a few seconds of “air time,” organizations should be able to capitalize on the impact. Remember Amsterdam’s stripping billboard from 2011? Think of Snapchat in the same way—each “snap” is your own personal billboard, which viewers will only take in for a few seconds but can lead to a bigger story.
  • Tumblr: This platform has the advantage of an unlimited character count per post and placing visual content front and center. Start out with a graphic or photo that jumps out at the Tumblr audience. Then, once interest has been grabbed, use text to elaborate on the purpose and calls to action.
  •  Instagram: The beauty of Instagram is just that—the beauty. Each post on this platform is specific and can be transformed into a perfectly cropped, uniquely shaded photograph. The purpose should be intimate, where the audience feels personally connected to services or to the organization itself. Instagram is a great way to show the stylish, idealized version of nonprofit work.

Looking at the culture of the organization, the gaps in demographic reach, and the resources at hand will help guide the use of social media in each individual nonprofit.

By Erin Lamb
May 5, 2015


$10 Million Raised for Earthquake Relief in Two Days Via Facebook

July 13th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Social Media

In the first two days after a donate button for Nepal earthquake disaster relief efforts was placed atop Facebook pages, more than half a million people donated $10 million to the International Medical Corps, Mashable reports. The social networking giant also pledged to match up to $2 million in donations for relief efforts.

Social media tools such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Google have become essential to the coordination of relief and recovery efforts after major disasters, making it easier to share images from affected areas, no matter how remote, and to direct assistance to people in need. Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck a remote area northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on April 25, leaving at least six thousand people dead, more than seven million people in the area have used the “safety check” tool to mark themselves as safe on their Facebook profile. Google also launched a “Person Finder” to enable survivors of the quake to look for or share information about loved ones who are missing.

“In times of crisis, the need to connect and share becomes even more critical,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post. “WhatsApp and Messenger are being used in Nepal and across the region to get help. Aid workers are using Groups to coordinate and figure out how to get to affected areas. Journalists and media outlets are using Instagram as their primary way to share photos of the events. It is inspiring to see our community coming together to help people in their time of need. We’re grateful to be serving you, and for all your efforts to support those affected by the Nepal earthquake.”

Facebook Users Donate $10 Million to Nepal.” Mashable 05/01/2015.
May 4, 2015
Philanthropy News Digest

More US institutions turning to social media for fundraising

July 6th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Social Media

More schools, colleges and universities worldwide are using social media to boost their fundraising results, and are experimenting with new strategies, according to survey results released today at the 2015 CASE Social Media and Community Conference.

Some 57 percent of respondents to the CASE/Huron/mStoner social media survey used social media to fundraise in 2015, compared to 47 percent in 2014. A majority of respondents (59 percent) report experimenting with new social media fundraising strategies.

“We’re seeing a steady growth in the use of social media by practitioners who work in educational advancement, especially fundraising and alumni relations, who see these tools as increasingly important to their work,” says William Walker, interim vice president of advancement resources for CASE.

Michael Stoner, president of mStoner, says survey results indicate that institutions are expanding beyond basic use of the tools and experimenting with new ways to engage donors, alumni and other constituencies.

“Many institutions are experimenting with crowdfunding, days of giving and other new social-media-based fundraising strategies,” Stoner says. “I believe that we will see more and more institutions using social media in these ways going forward.”

Other key findings:

  • Institutions are using less text and more images and video. Text decreased from 65 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2015 while images grew from 30 percent in 2012 to 45 percent in 2015 and video use increased from 6 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2015.
  • While nearly 60 percent used social media to raise money from donors, nearly 85 percent of those surveyed indicate that social-media-based fundraising represents 5 percent or less of their institution’s total.
  • Fifteen percent of institutions have held crowdfunding campaigns, and of these, 50 percent earned more than $10,000 per year.
  • Forty-two percent of institutions have held a day of giving. Of these, 84 percent considered the event to be successful with 37 percent raising more than $50,000.
  • Twenty-two percent of institutions use social media ambassadors—often alumni—who are recruited to help promote social media initiatives.
  • Twenty-six percent of respondents rate their use of social media as very successful or a model for success. These same respondents are more likely to plan, have goals and measure outcomes.
  • Respondents are focusing their attention on Facebook, Twitter and institutional websites that aggregate social media.
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents calculate engagement scores for alumni and donors and indicate that they are focused on building sophisticated ways of measuring engagement.

Jennifer Mack, senior managing researcher at Huron Consulting Group, says that measurement is becoming increasingly important as advancement professionals are asked to show a return on investment.

“Survey results indicate a trend toward measuring what is effective,” Mack says. “However, there is still more opportunity for growth in this area as the majority of institutions surveyed use number of followers, website click-throughs and anecdotal evidence as their top forms of measurement.”

The sixth annual CASE/Huron Education/mStoner social media survey, conducted Feb. 19 – March 26, 2015, asked advancement professionals at education institutions about their use of social media. Nearly 1,000 respondents provided feedback to this year’s survey. View the top-line findings and the presentation of those findings below.

Overview of findings: Huron Education and mStoner partnered with CASE for the sixth year in a row to research the social media activities of educational institutions.  Our 2010 inaugural study was one of the first studies of its kind. The overarching goal of this research is to create knowledge and resources to assist education professionals as they assess and implement social media strategies for communication and engagement.
Some of the questions we hoped it would answer include:
• How do professionals in education incorporate social media into their marketing and communication strategies, initiatives, and campaigns, especially fundraising campaigns?
• What are their goals for social media?
• Which social media sites and tools are in use in the education sector and which are most successful?
•What are current best practices?
•How is social media being used in fundraising and crowdsourcing?
•What does the near future look like for social media in education?
We conducted an online survey among a random selection of 28,000 CASE members in the US and abroad. We received 918 responses across all types of institutions – a testament to the interest in this topic.
From Pam Russell, CASE director of communications
April 30, 2015



3 Tips for Social Media Fundraising

April 15th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Fundraising, Social Media
 Only a few months ago I left an 8 year career in fundraising for the LDS Church to focus, for the time being, on starting a social media marketing degree program at LDS Business College.
I absolutely love fundraising. I love meeting with amazing people who have desires to do incredible things with the resources they have. I also loved working for LDS Philanthropies, a department within the Office of the Presiding Bishopric, charged with facilitating gifts to the Church and it’s institutions and programs. I am also mesmerized by the digital revolution we are all currently living through. I read all that I can on the topic. For me it is very exciting as I see that so much more is possible today. Much of this technology can be leveraged to help individuals and organizations fulfill their charitable desires. In fact, my last 6 years at LDSP were marked by a drive to introduce certain technologies and strategies that would facilitate this work.

Over the last 6 months I have focused entirely on social media. Though focused elsewhere I have continued to see even more opportunities for the fundraising world. Here are just three.

Facebook Targeted Ads & Promotions:

If I were looking to get my message out in front of a targeted group of potential donors I would be investing daily on Facebook. In fundraising we spend a lot of money on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. In these solutions we store hundreds of thousands if not millions of constituent records. These CRM’s become the source we look to in order to grow our supporters, build our marketing lists and organize our work. Though the traditional CRM’s are still incredibly important and in my estimation greatly underleveraged, there is yet another incredible “CRM” called Facebook with amazingly detailed constituent data.

Over the last couple years Facebook continues to open these data doors to “advertisers”. This spells big opportunity to those willing to learn how to use the system and pay the nominal fees associated with advertising on Facebook. Three hours spent learning Facebook’s “Audience Insights” tool would pay huge dividends. Understanding this function will help you to “mine” the Facebook CRM. Understanding the Facebook “Campaign Manager” will help you to tweak your ad spend, audience mix, and content mix. Marry all this with your other digital, print and face to face relationship strategies and you have something powerful.

Additionally, I would allocate a healthy amount of creative talent and money to creating compelling content to “promote” or advertise on Facebook. We spend so much money on brochures that few people end up seeing. Consider experimenting with a few thousand dollars in creative on Facebook and you might be pleasantly surprised at your ROI.

YouTube Ads:

Much like Facebook, YouTube has an ad platform that allows you to do some pretty incredible targeting. You can target an audience based on location, what they are interested in, their gender, and age. The cool thing about YouTube is it is a Pay Per View (PPV) as opposed to a Pay Per Click (PPC) model. Additionally, you only pay for the view if they watch more than 30 seconds of your ad.

You have probably seen these “in-stream” ads. They play just before the video you wanted to watch. But it gets better. All of the YouTube ads are powered by AdWords, a very helpful targeting tool. With this tool you can select the type of videos or channels you want your ad to run on. So, think about what your donors watch on YouTube, place your ad there.

Here are three other tips:

  • Build you video around the click or call to action.
  • Grab the attention of the audience in the first 5 seconds, many click “close” as soon as they can.
  • Get them to click before 30 seconds and you don’t have to pay!

The downside to Facebook Ads Manager and YouTube advertising is you are not provided with specific names. They do allow for a very targeted audience but you still cannot discover an individual name unless they “like” or “share” your content. That is where the next recommendation comes in.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

This last summer LinkedIn somewhat quietly announced the roll out of their stand alone Sales Navigator platform. LinkedIn is another very rich CRM. Though not as popular as Facebook the tool allows individual prospect discovery. The cost is $1,200 per user. For this price you gain access to several cool features all designed to get you closer to a face-to-face introduction or a “warm lead” as LinkedIn is calling it.

  • You can prospect and lead generation lists of up to 3,000 leads. (Think donor portfolio)
  • You can receive notifications when prospects have jobs changes, post something online, are written about online, and when new connections have been generated that get you closer to the lead.
  • Unlock profiles of individuals beyond 3 degrees.
  • 25 inmails a month
  • You can connect other Development Officers together, with their donors, and gain access to a social graph that provides suggestions on who might be a prospect for you.
  • You can connect it and share data across Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce CRM’s. This makes the social graph function even more rich!

I am so excited about this tool. So were those who care about LinkedIn’s stock price, which popped 40% in the 4th quarter of 2014. Salesmen everywhere should really take a close look at this tool and apparently many already are. I even read a case study of a bank using the tool to identify high net worth clients to great affect.

So there you go fundraisers. I invite you to take a day, just one, cut it in thirds; spend one third learning all you can about Facebook Ads Manager, then another third on learning all you can about YouTube Ads and round out the day by learning all you can about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. I think you too will see some pretty great opportunities.

If only I had time to have two jobs :)

Happy fundraising!

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