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Here’s the 7 Ways to Building a Strong Online Presence (through social media) for the Giving Season.

1. Stick to a handful of sites

It’s good to branch out into a social media site for a few months during a trial period. For the giving season, it may not be the best time for a new date with a social media site. Starting a new site may suck more time than you had planned, and your original followers on the sites you’ve cultivated may feel neglected or could miss out on your message.

Stick with what you know, what you have a strategy for, and what you have built throughout the year. Share information, photos, videos, and other content to the donors who are already following you.

2. Photography

As you probably have noticed, photos win the internet. Sharing photos is a great way to share what your organization does and the impact it makes. (Make sure the people you’re posting have signed a media release!).

Here’re some ideas of what/who to photograph:

  • volunteers
  • staff with thank you’s
  • people you’ve served
  • donors
  • a donor appreciation event
  • fundraising event
  • quick slideshow video outlining the accomplishments of the year- visually
  • visual statistics- a photo of someone holding a sign of an impressive stat.

Now is the time to bring out your creativity. It’s also a great way to get volunteers more involved. Photographers or people who can put together video slideshows or who want to share how your organization has impacted their lives are great ways to cultivate relationships with volunteers (and donors).

3. Giveaways

As people are giving to you this holiday season, don’t forget to give back to them as well! A great reason for giveaways is hosting contests.
Some ideas for contests:

  • Caption contest for a photo
  • The first person to correctly answer a trivia question about your non-profit
  • A video contest of why people support your organization or…
  • Video contest of volunteers working at your org.
  • First 20 people to sign up for your e-newsletter beginning in December receive a small token of appreciation (magnet, window cling, pen, t-shirt, mug, etc…)
  • Showing appreciation for people getting more involved will have others wanting to get more involved.

4. Create an awesome website

Depending on staff, talent, and financial resources- this may not be an option at the moment. If it is- get on it! If not, make sure whatever your website is- has information that donors want to see. Content donors want to see:

  • a story of someone you’ve helped
  • photos
  • videos
  • a wishlist- physical needs your organization has
  • a call to action to donate
  • an explanation of what their donation can do
  • accomplishments of the year
  • goals for the year ahead

5. Be an active blogger

This is a great tip- especially if you don’t have the greatest website. A blog is a great way to share more information about topics you post on social media sites.
If your website has a blog attached or you have a separate website for your blog, make sure you’re sharing all the wonderful information donors will be looking for that is posted on your website. It’s a great place to go more in depth about how they can help at the end of the year.

AreaVoices.com is a great place to start if you’re in North Dakota, Minnesota, or South Dakota. It’s a free blog site community based in WordPress!

6. Brand loyalty

Many non-profits may not see themselves as a “Brand” but in fact, you are. Brands aren’t just a logo, color scheme, and unique URL. It’s your story. Your mission.
Having people believe in your organization and becoming engaged online by sharing why they love your mission, signing up to volunteer, to comment on a blog post, etc… is now non-profits can build “brand loyalty.”

7. Make it easy to pay (donate)

Having an easy way to donate online is extremely important. Think about what information you want to collect and the ease of the donor. Can people donate online in memory or in honor of someone? Giving to charities are great presents for family and friends. Is their e-mail address going to be used for the e-newsletter? Make sure they know what their information will be used for if it will extend past the donation. Make sure they have an option of a recurring gift as well. Online is a great way to build your donors from one-time givers to sustaining donors.