Most of the buzz on line is about using social media–Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, You Tube, and your blog–to support your marketing. But it can be an important part of your fundraising strategy as well.

If you’re planning to do this, make sure first that you have a Social Media policy

Twitter
Especially if you have funding streams from service agencies and corporate/business sponsors, use your Twitter presence to support their objectives. Thank them via Twitter, include them in #followFriday, let them know about chats you think would interest them. Make sure you follow, and interact with, every donor who’s on Twitter, be it foundation, individual or business.

Facebook
Include these agencies in your “faves” list. It’s a little obscure, but you don’t want them deciding to look there one day and not finding themselves. Doesn’t matter how lame or ignored their FB page is. Put them on the list. If they do have an active page, follow or Like it, monitor it and be sure to Share posts that you think your followers would also enjoy. I’m not talking indiscriminate sharing of irrelevant posts. Post content that refers to them. Post content that refers to the latest proposal you’ve sent them. You can post as your Business Page now, which is great, because it allows you to interact as your agency, or as yourself, whichever is most appropriate. (Knowing what’s appropriate is where that Social Media policy comes in.)

Linked In
Your development staff should be linked to foundation and corporate staff at their level. So your Executive Director should be in their Executive Director’s or President’s community; your grants officer in the program officer’s community, et cetera. See what groups they are in; if they relate to your agency or industry, join it. If it doesn’t relate, don’t. Too much like stalking.

Your Blog
You should never send a proposal out without several blog posts planned that put the human interest into the hopper. Do you have some great stories in the narrative? Those are blog posts. Got some interesting people executing your programs? Write about them on the blog. Make sure you alert your fans that you have a blog post up, so that it shows up in their feed, because hopefully, they’ve followed you back. Do NOT post an alert about your blog on their page. Let them come to you.

Their Blog
Read it. Write in the comments, even if it’s just to say “insightful post.” Let them know you are a person who supports their goals, and wants to help them have an impact. Ping them– link pertinent blog posts to your blog, or on your Facebook page.

How have you used social media to support your fundraising objectives?

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