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Offline Donations: Expanding Support for Your Nonprofit

Does your organization rely on social media for engaging donors? Check out these tips for being creative in your approach, then discover how you can mirror your efforts offline for best results.

Today’s nonprofit organizations are looking to share their story in cost-efficient ways. This typically means a heavy reliance on social media, and while its “free” aspect may be appealing, organic social media traffic is not always enough on its own. To get the most exposure on social media, you often have to pay for advertising to extend your reach. And to get the most bang for your marketing buck – it’s important to tie your digital and print marketing together.

Here are 4 ways to think outside the screen and engage your donors:

Be Where Your Donors Are

With all of the options for social media platforms these days, choosing the right one(s) for you can feel overwhelming. The good news is that you do not have to be on all of them, just the ones that your donors are using.

This infographic from Strategic Social Media Lab gives a good overview of what we mean. If you click that graphic, you can see that each platform is designed for a different purpose and has its own unique audience and best uses.

Find Your Voice

Don’t try to be too many things on social media. Define your social media “voice” and your brand standards, and create a branding style guide if you do not already have one. Then, start identifying the types of articles, photos, and videos you want to share, always referring back to your style guide to make sure that your content is always aligned with the mission and vision of your nonprofit organization.

If you have more than one person posting from your accounts, make sure that there is consistency so that no matter who is posting, the same voice is being used. Otherwise, you may risk confusing your audience with unclear and inconsistent messaging.

Put Money Behind Your Posts

We alluded to this in the introduction – it is difficult to grow your social media presence with organic efforts alone. Instead, identify which posts are getting the most attention on their own, and consider putting money behind them to extend their reach. This is great for getting more video views, event registrations, and more.

Look Beyond the Screen

This is where our post title becomes literal – engaging your donors that do not involve a screen. Specifically, with direct mail.
Direct mail has its own inherent benefits from its tangible aspect – it is easy to quickly scroll past something without really focusing on it when you are on a phone or computer, but it is more difficult to ignore something or tune it out when you are holding it in your hands.

Coupling your social media efforts with coordinated direct mail campaigns helps improve overall brand recall and recognition, and works toward the large number of touchpoints that it can often take to reach someone for the first time if you are prospecting, and strengthen your relationships with your current donors if you are just working on retention.

In that same vein, make sure that any emails and other marketing messages are also working together with social media and direct mail in the form of coordinated omnichannel approaches.

The Bottom Line

While social media can be an inexpensive solution for nonprofit organizations, it is not the only solution. Thinking outside the screen and adding social media as part of the marketing mix without relying on it too heavily will help you create a more balanced marketing mix.