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Fundraising is one of the constant challenges faced by charitable organisations for a number of reasons, not least of which is the depressed charitable sector stemming from a general lack of available funding due to the difficult economic climate we’ve been experiencing.

One of the marketing strategies that many organisations continue to use is direct marketing, which includes direct mail campaigns, flyers, cold calls etc. This can be costly and with the sheer volume of organisations continuing to adopt this approach, it can very often be viewed as unfavourable particularly when donors are receiving large amounts of unsolicited literature. That being said, there is a place for offline strategies as part of a well-balanced marketing plan. However organisations run the risk of missing out on increased reach, resulting in increased donations, if they fail to incorporate digital into their overall marketing plan.

Using social media as a marketing tool has become very popular amongst many charitable organisations, including large-scale organisations like Greenpeace, UNICEF and PETA. With more and more people using social media daily, social media engagement allows charitable organisations to widen their net and reach a larger audience on a relatively limited budget. Effective social media usage provides a platform to tell the story of the organisation and engages those who support and appreciate the work done by the organisation.

To create a successful social media strategy, start by following these steps:

  1. Brainstorm and outline your social media goals
  2. Identify and reach the right audience
  3. Develop a comprehensive social media strategy
  4. Use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep your audience informed
  5. Fundraise online using crowdfunding

According to Marketing Sherpa, 95% of adults aged between 18 and 34 are most likely to follow brands through social networking which makes it imperative for charitable organisations to have an effective and active social media strategy in place. International disaster relief charitable organisations have used social media to raise funds for their emergency work in countries which have experienced devastating natural disasters but that is not to say that smaller organisations can’t translate the same techniques for their own causes.

Using social media can also provide the opportunity to make deeper connections with people across the world by showing them the good work that the charitable organisation is already doing. It is imperative that donors are kept informed of the work that has been undertaken using donated funds as it encourages repeat donations. It also provides the opportunity for people to offer their services to assist your organisation; this is useful when you require a specific skill set but also encourages people to get involved in organisations they feel passionate about. This in turn eases the pressure on the people running the organisation and allows individuals to feel that they are contributing in a meaningful way.

In conclusion, by leveraging the power of a comprehensive non-profit social media strategy, charitable organisations can experience a boost in donations, brand awareness and active volunteering. When your social media accounts are used to meaningfully share the story of your organisation and how it makes a difference to those the organisation is helping, you can cultivate a supportive following, expand your reach and connect with high-value, loyal donors.