Over the years, social media has evolved from something so much more than college students just having fun and reconnecting with old friends. Social media had created a network of individuals from all ages and backgrounds around the globe. Social media allows these individuals to create, share and discuss a wide-variety of content. Social media has to potential to be an extremely powerful tool for businesses of all sorts including nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations can use social media to reach out to millions of individuals without ever having to cold-call individuals for donations. This can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in operating expenses as well as man hours. Social media can open the eyes of many individuals to a cause they never knew existed.
With each passing year, social media is becoming more and prevalent in the nonprofit sector. In a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts’ Darmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, researchers found that 90 percent of the United State’s largest charities have turned to the use of social media since 2009. This was a 17 percent increase from 2008 and an astounding 64 percent increase since 2007. Social media is helping to increase awareness of a number of small, yet important causes as well as solicit donations, plan fundraisers and recruit volunteers.
Technology and social media have combined to create a very powerful means of communicating with the general public has well as existing donors. Here are some ways, nonprofits can use technology and social media to their advantages.
Fundraising and MicroFunding. Fundraising through social media and technology can have a large number of benefits. Twitter, Facebook and SMS are all great ways to solicit for donations. An organization is able to entice donors by emphasizing that donations of any size, even a donation as small as a dollar, can go a long way in helping an organization obtain their goals.
Increased Audience Interaction. With mobile technology and social media, organizations are able to maintain closer contact with their donors and volunteers more than ever before. Donors and volunteers are also able to interact with one another. They can comment, respond to polls and most questions about fundraisers and events various nonprofits are having. By being able to reach out to large numbers of individuals at once, nonprofits are now able to reach a larger crowd at once than ever before.
Recruitment of Volunteers. Similar to job posting sites, nonprofits can use technology to find employees and volunteers. Positions, with the use of social media, can be filled at virtually no cost to the nonprofit organization.
As an Educational Tool. Nonprofits can use technology and social media to make their organization stand out from the others. Blogs, tweets, videos, status updates, links and polls are all valuable tools in promoting the beliefs of an organization.