Steps to using social media in a nonprofit marketing plan

Published 10:46am Monday, July 9, 2012

As the nonprofit leadership column continues discussing Marketing for Nonprofits, the next several articles will focus on the social media marketing strategy/plan.
In the last article we discussed the pros and cons of using social media for a nonprofit’s marketing strategy or plan. We also identified selected tools to use for a variety of applications within the social media marketing plan. In this article we will discuss the steps to getting started using social media for the nonprofit marketing plan.
The first step comes from the most popular question that I am asked all the time: Why should our nonprofit be interested in social media. The response is simply if your nonprofit is interested in raising donations, creating awareness and recruiting and engaging volunteers, then you should implement a social media plan within your marketing strategy.
Raising money is one of the most sought after aspects of social media, especially given today’s economy. In raising money social media helps the organization by giving its donors and constituents an easy way to donate, tell others they have donated and why. It also allows them to ask their friends for money to help support their cause. In the fundraising world we all know that while people chose to give to a charity for the cause they represent, the real reason people continue to give of their time and money is the common rule – people give to people. For those of you reading this, I would encourage you to stop and think about the reasons you continue to give to the nonprofits you do. You will likely uncover that the nonprofits you give to are for a wonderful cause, but the reason you continue to give is because of the board member, staff member or volunteer who keeps you involved in the organization.
In recruiting and engaging volunteers social media helps nonprofits with the following tools; providing services where knowledge is the volunteers contribution, education and training for staff, volunteers and clients, friends asking friends to get involved by volunteering and self-service scheduling and participation. For many nonprofit leaders recruiting and engaging volunteers is a full time job. The number one reason a volunteer leaves a nonprofit is they feel that they did not have a specific enough job duty and they did not feel they contributed or were involved in the nonprofit.

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