Increasing Your Non-Profit’s Donor and Volunteer Base On Line: Part One

As with nearly all things in our current world, non-profit and charitable organizations are increasingly going tech in an effort to boost their presence and appeal to various donor bases. And in our still-recovering economic climate, using online resources to do so is an inexpensive and viable alternative to pricey mailers and print and media marketing.

So what are the best ways non-profits can truly take advantage of online opportunities? Consider this must-do element—the first of three postings on the subject—for a successful campaign.


Leverage Social Media

It’s no lie that using social media channels exponentially multiples an organization’s exposure, raising awareness and, hopefully, donations as a result. The key is to engage with a target audience outside your physical area and reach more people who may be interested in your cause.

One best practice is to use Pinterest to post “wish lists” that your non-profit needs. That list may include tangible goods—clothing, furniture etc.—or merely funds that would go towards purchasing such items or hiring staff. Twitter, on the other hand, is great for giving updates about what’s happening with your non-profit, especially as it relates to events and photos. And of course Facebook is the go-to resource for building an online campaign, and should be the basis of all other social media efforts. You can pair it with a crowdsourcing effort like FundRazr which comes in app form and can be easily shared via eblasts, blogs or on your website.

Another element of the social media campaign—one which has produced great results for many non-profits—is the online contest. Some examples of contests are those involving naming rights. Whether it’s a building, a park or a lion cub, it’s been demonstrated that people are willing to pay a small donation for the chance to contribute to the lasting legacy of a name. Facebook even offers a custom-made “Quiz Contest” that’s easy to use and very intuitive.

Lastly, when you do decide to launch an online fundraising campaign, be sure to chart success and failures, ideally through an A/B split test (such as the one from MailChimp) to see what’s working and what is not.

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