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Four things to remember about social media donors for year-end giving

This year is more than halfway over – and, as the weather starts to cool down, we are all marking our calendars for holidays and planning the final quarter of the business year. Additionally, if you work for a nonprofit organization, you should be getting ready for the end-of-year giving.

The end of the year, whether it’s because of Giving Tuesday or donors being in a charitable mood, is one of the most relevant fundraising times for nonprofits. During this time of year, nonprofit employees should tailor their fundraising strategies with their donors in mind, especially the ones who are on social media.

When considering social media appeals to donors, nonprofit employees need to keep a few important things in mind. I want to give a special thanks to Network for Good and Julie Campbell, founder and principal of J Campbell Social Marketing, whose tips for building a solid social media fundraising strategy appear in this post as well.

1. Donors of many different age groups are using social media.

One common misconception about social media is that only people from the millennial and Generation Z generations are using these platforms. While the millennial generation is going to be the largest age group of potential donors (check out Sara Lundenberger, our director of nonprofit consulting’s, blog post on millennial donors for more information), this is not the only generation you should be appealing to on social media.

This is because most people, no matter their age, are on at least one social media site.

When preparing social media content calendars or developing paid content for year-end giving, remember to think about your donors beyond their age. Consider all aspects of your donors’ demographics when tailoring your messages, including location, occupation, gender, etc. And remember to be inclusive with your language, even when targeting specific donors.

2. Social media donors are not giving big dollars through platforms – but, this doesn’t mean they won’t make a big impact on your organization.

Individuals who give for the first time to your organization through social media are probably not going to donate hundreds of dollars. They are more than likely making small contributions, whether it is because they were inspired by a birthday fundraiser or wanted to take part in Giving Tuesday.

Do not let this deter you from appealing to donors through social media, especially at the end of the year.

Donors on social media can benefit your organization in a variety of ways. First, many people who have donated to your organization on social media will want to learn more about the organization they gave to. If they find your mission and messaging compelling on your social media and other digital platforms compelling, they will more than likely be inspired to give more or even volunteer during the giving season.

Additionally, social media is a wonderful tool for individuals to communicate with others and spread messages. By sharing more information about your nonprofit, whether it is a post about their donation or their approval of your mission and services, social media donors will inspire other followers to donate to and learn more about your organization.

So, when preparing your year-end giving strategy, remember to think about ways to engage with and thank donors on social media. Every dollar counts – and so does every donor.

3. Social media donors like visuals.

It is not surprising that visuals tell a story and appeal to donors. This is why many nonprofits use visual elements in content they distribute to donors at the end of the year, including year-end appeal letters, postcards and e-newsletters.

And social media allows nonprofits to continue to leverage the power of visuals for year-end giving.

When creating paid or unpaid content for your social media channels for the end of the year, make sure to incorporate visuals. Use dynamic photographs, whether they are from your organization or stock photography. Display sharp graphics that both catch users’ eyes and also exemplify your nonprofit’s brand.

And, of course, include elements of the holiday in your visual social media content.

4. Donors on social media like messages that represent the quantity and QUALITY of their donations.

Social media donors like messages that are specific and focus on the potential impact of their donation. For example, donors on social media would be more inspired by a message that says, “A donation of $5 would help feed a rescue animal for a week” as opposed to, “Your donation can make a difference for our humane society.”

Nonprofits use very similar messaging when appealing to donors at the end of the year – and social media content should be no exception to this practice.

When developing messaging for donors on social media at the end of the year, consider how your donors make an impact. Think about how their dollars make your organization survive and grow. And then communicate this to your donors.

Trust me – they want to hear about their impact.

It is not too early to start planning for year-end giving. When you are preparing your fundraising strategy for this time, remember to include social media in your plan and tailor specific messages for that audience.

And, if you need any help with your fundraising or social media marketing strategies, we are here to help.


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