Most nonprofits have both a board of directors and an organizational staff. The board determines plans and policies, while the organizational staff is responsible for implementing those plans. The board is crucial to maintaining focus, direction and keeping an eye on the future for the organization.
This means that any effective board needs to be concerned with:
– Interacting with the public to promote the organization
– Participating in effective fundraising
– Strategic planning, including policy development and oversight.
With the advent of social media, traditional strategies of marketing for nonprofits become increasingly ineffective. For example, a direct mail campaign can be costly and time consuming, with a response rate of only 2-3%. However, a digital campaign, relying on existing donors to help promote the causes they support to their social circles yield a higher return at a lower cost.
Non-profit boards who ignore the power of social media as a way to engage the public and raise funds are ignoring one of the most powerful tool available to them, and risk stunting the growth of their organizations.
The social media numbers don’t lie. The average contribution made through a social media has been increasing each year, and donations made through social media prompt engagement on some level in nearly 90% of the donor’s social media circle. In fact, a single Facebook “like” is valued at $161 over a year for a non-profit.
Projects like Kickstarter and social media campaigns like #GiveTuesday have shown again and again that crowdsourcing help non-profits by, you guessed it, increasing both public interaction that promotes awareness,and donations.
So what can nonprofits do to help take advantage of these digital opportunities? The answer — BEGINS with the board. An effective nonprofit board with an eye for the future will understand the crucial and amazing impact social media can have for an organization. Unlike traditional methods of public promotions social media can be an inexpensive option that shows higher returns.
A survey of 2012 non-profit organizations who saw the most success with their social media credited it to one of three things:
– Coming up with detailed social media strategy
– Having executive management that prioritized social media
– Creating an executive position dedicated to social media
All of these fall under the direct purview of the board. Making social media a deliberate priority and incorporating it into a nonprofit’s mission is the best way to bring your organization into the future, and see growth in awareness and fundraising. Ignoring the power of social media to advance your organization belies a lack of vision in upper leadership that could sink any organization.
A great example of social media helping a non-profit is BizJournal’s Social Madness campagin. BizJournal motivates business to mobilize their social media audiences on behalf of the charity of their choice. We here at Bumblebee PA have decided to reach out to our network connects to help Pause 4 Paws.
Help us help Pause 4 Paws! To vote for us, please click here. Bumblebee is under the medium category, so click over to that tab, and then click to vote. You may have to register your email account (don’t worry, you won’t start receiving unwanted emails from BizJournal, they just want to make sure you only vote once per day!). Once you’ve registered, click to vote for Bumblebee PA.
For some more stats about the effectiveness of social media on behalf of nonprofits, spend sometime with this infograph, from Mashable.com