How the social media effect can increase giving to nonprofits

Effectively leveraging social media can help increase charitable contributions to nonprofits.
Date Published
06/17/2014

Many nonprofits and other charities have begun capitalizing on the advantages of technology as a way to help increase giving. Donation management software can help monitor all of the funds given by donors and identify the areas where the money can be allocated. Additionally, many charities have begun creating online portals to make it easier for charitable giving to take place.

However, one of the main challenges that nonprofits and other organizations continue to face is ways to attract more attention from donors. According to a report from the UB Reporter, a publication from the University at Buffalo, social media could be a tool that charities use to drive more donations.

Gregory Saxton, an associate professor in the university’s department of communication, recently penned a white paper titled, “The Social Network Effect: Determinants of Giving Through Social Media,” which outlines how nonprofits can influence more giving and raise the profile of the organization through the use of social media.

“This paper is innovative in several ways,” Saxton told the UB Reporter. “It is the first to look at the predictors of donations in a social media setting.  It also appears to be the first study of donations on a crowdfunding platform.”

Some of the strategies for nonprofits in the white paper include increasing the quality and reach of the organizations website, employing individuals who are strong in the use of technology and are savvy when it comes to the creation of social media strategies, and making it easier for donors to give using their mobile devices.

Other tips to help increase donor contributions
However, despite the use of social media as a way to encourage more donors to give, charities still have to be strong in their operational functions as well. In a recent article from Memphis-based publication The Daily News, the newspaper lists several areas where nonprofits often fail, resulting in the alienation of donors and decreased giving.

Several examples include not sending out ‘Thank You’ letters after a donor makes a contribution, using money given for a specific purpose on another project, and not having a solid outline for growing the operation while seeking additional investment capital. All of these can severely cripple a charity and make it difficult to serve the purpose it was created for and reach its organizational goals.

Nonprofits face a number of challenges that are unique in comparison to other organizations. However, there are a number of different strategies, tools and resources that can be utilized that help strengthen a charity and increase its ability to help people as well.

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