facebook for nonprofitsSocial media is important, but many nonprofits are not using tools effectively. That means they’re not having the results they should be seeing. Facebook for nonprofits can be a boon for organizations, but charities have to understand the opportunities, as well as limitations.

Facebook is Still King, But…

Facebooks is by far the leading social media platform. However, if you’re posting organically and expecting results, good luck with that. When Facebook made some algorithm changes last year, organic reach (the posts you don’t have to pay for to be seen) took a dive. Nonprofits can expect that only 2.6 percent of their followers who’ve liked their page are seeing their posts.

So, what does that mean? Well, it’s clear that if you want to have your supporters see your posts, you’re going to have to pay for it. If your organization has a limited budget, why not ask a donor to donate to a concerted Facebook social media boosting program? You can boost a post for $5 a day. A single major donor has to only give you a little more than $108 every month to allow you to boost your posts each business day to hundreds of thousands more views. By the way, I would be a little more strategic than boosting every post. I would focus on boosting the ones that have had traction – so it’ll even cost you less, but again, you have a greater reach.

Posts that are boosted are seen by many more people. Whereas a single non-sponsored post can be seen by perhaps a few dozen people, boosted posts can be seen by thousands or even hundreds of thousands.

Align with Corporate Sponsors

Social media is pretty much free, but if you want to increase your reach, you have to pay. Period. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, yes, all the big ones, require you to pay to broaden your reach. And as algorithms get more sophisticated, expect for social media platforms to throttle the puny organic reach that currently exists in favor of those who pay to play.

Well, there is another opportunity here and that’s with corporate sponsors. Corporations and businesses have the financial resources to invest in marketing. They understand that they have to put money into social media. This is an opportunity for nonprofits, because corporations also want something else. They want to be good corporate citizens with their CSR programs.

Next time your grant-writer is drafting a request for corporate sponsorship, consider a program that aligns your nonprofit with their corporation. Perhaps there’s a chance to do some cross promotion. A good lead up to this type of work is to give shout outs to your corporate sponsors on your social media accounts. Show them the love and they’ll likely reciprocate.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Works

Your marketing team has probably decided that you must be on social media to help amplify your brand and message. Like it or not, social media is a necessary component of any nonprofit fundraising and marketing program.

Donors today rely on the words of their social media friends. Many take what nonprofits put out into the public square with a grain of salt. However, they’re much more inclined to trust the words of their friends.

Social media works when it helps engage your followers and amplify your voice and message. As a stand-alone, social media doesn’t work well. But when you couple it with other tools and do multi-channel marketing, social media can be effective.

Peer-to-peer fundraising tools are a great resource because they get your donors fundraising for you across social media. FirstGiving, Classy, and of course, Blackbaud all have excellent peer-to-peer fundraising tools that can help you (and your donors) spread the word and raise money.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)

© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.