Branding. Marketing. Selling. There are countless reasons why you would use social media for business. And if you’re a nonprofit organization, one of those reasons is fundraising.
In fact, as direct mail, telemarketing and other traditional methods of acquiring and retaining donors give way to digital communications, nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are jumping on the social media bandwagon. And many of them are working the crowds on these online channels as well or even better than their commercial counterparts.
Not only are they on social media to ask for financial support, they’re on it to mobilize their advocates, recognize their volunteers, illustrate their needs, report on their progress and much more. Good for them. And good for the worthy, charitable causes they represent.
Here’s how 10 nonprofit brands, in no particular order, roll on Twitter:
1. Operation Smile
The before-and-after picture included in this tweet is not just a moving testament to the transformative work done by Operation Smile – which provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children – but also a powerful appeal for support.
With your support, we’re changing lives of children, like Sidonie from Antananarivo, Madagascar, one smile at a time. pic.twitter.com/uAKFepLTY1
— Operation Smile (@operationsmile) April 10, 2015
2. Rainforest Alliance
One of the slowest moving animals on the planet, a sloth like this is easy prey for jaguars, not to mention hunters; it’s got enough decreasing its chances for survival, never mind the fact that its habitat is threatened by deforestation.
— Rainforest Alliance (@RnfrstAlliance) May 1, 2015
3. Robin Hood Foundation
Donors want to know that their money is being spent wisely. They want to see the results of their financial support. The Robin Hood Foundation highlights its financial savvy in less than 140 characters, recapping the year with a link back to its most recent annual report.
— Robin Hood (@RobinHoodNYC) April 6, 2015
4. Room to Read
Don’t be surprised to see this organization that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education tweeting in near real time about a natural disaster. Because the Nepal Earthquake had such a big impact on the communities Room to Read serves, the nonprofit has good reason to be all over this story, even going so far as to set up the Nepal Education Fund.
— Room to Read (@RoomtoRead) April 30, 2015
5. Gates Foundation
Add an image to a tweet and the chances of it being shared increases. Here’s a great example. Not only does the Gates Foundation illustrate the potential result of donor support, it includes a personalized messaged from Bill Gates himself and not one, but two strong calls to action. No wonder they received so many RTs and favorites, not to mention how much money they may have raised for their cause with this one tweet alone.
— Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) April 30, 2015
6. Central Park Conservancy
Besides the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping others, there are many benefits to supporting a nonprofit organization. Some are exclusive to you and other donors, while others may be available to the general public as well. In this case, the Central Park Conservancy is announcing one of its many free tours.
— Central Park (@CentralParkNYC) April 24, 2015
Of course, the primary goal of most nonprofits is to raise funds. But that’s easier said than done on Twitter, as many followers, even if they support you, will shy away from a direct pitch. That’s why I like this tweet so much. In it, RED offers their audience a nice choice of Mother’s Day gifts in support of the fight against AIDS. It’s a win-win proposition.
— (RED) (@RED) May 7, 2015
8. The Jimmy Fund
Emotion goes a long way on social media. People are pumped to see the lengths others will go to fight for their rights, demand justice, provide shelter to the homeless, feed the hungry, save animals from suffering or, in The Jimmy Fund’s case, conquer cancer. Followers are more likely to get behind a cause if you can strike an inspirational chord in them.
— The Jimmy Fund (@TheJimmyFund) April 20, 2015
9. Christopher’s Haven
Thanking their donors, whether it’s everyday people like you and me or wildly popular celebrities like Chris Pratt and Chris Evans, is critical for nonprofits. Christopher’s Haven does a great job thanking some celebrity supporters in this tweet, which just so happens to have been retweeted more than 2,000 times.
— Christopher’s Haven (@chris_haven) February 6, 2015
10. World Wildlife Fund
Having a legion of followers is one thing. Getting them to pay attention to you is another. Ask them anything. Stimulate audience engagement by posing a good question, as the World Wildlife Fund demonstrates here with this true or false pop quiz.
— WWF (@WWF) April 30, 2015
Election 2016 is already like no presidential race before it, and one of the most striking aspects of this year’s race is the disparity ... read more
Can Snapchat make tech-enabled glasses cool? It’s going to try. Last week, it was revealed that the company behind the ascendant social app ... read more
This month saw the release of the handbook: Going global with Facebook. It’s a useful body of research for budding social media marketers ... read more