publication date: Jun 21, 2012
Consultant Dania T.
of Toscano Advisors
buy into some of the hype surrounding social media and fundraising even though
she's an experienced blogger, tweeter and Facebook user herself. Here are five
myths she recently reminded fundraisers not to believe.
Social media is a great way to fundraise
Yes, it can be a great tool to reach potential
donors, she says. But a successful Twitter fundraising
campaign is the exception, not the rule. The more common use of social media is
for donor stewardship: another way to connect donors and constituents to your
charity's mission. Out of that good stewardship, you may see some donations -
but it's an outcome of the stewardship, not the social media.
Social media will get people to do something for us or
drive more traffic to our website
Wrong again, Miwa declares. What drives action in her
experience is someone following up and having actual authentic conversations
with followers and friends. In the social media world, as in real life, no-one
truly likes people (or charities) who talk only about themselves.
Follows and likes translate directly into memberships,
dollars in the door or increased event attendance
A casual Facebook "like" is a long way from engagement and
action. Miwa's very active online. But even she often takes no action beyond
"following" or "liking" organizations that interest her. She's observed, though
that not many of the organizations she's "liked" have followed up in other
ways, i.e. direct mail, email or event invites on Facebook. And that, she
notes, is a missed opportunity.
Social media will fix all problems
Social media is a tool, not a strategy, Miwa says, echoing
the views of others highly knowledgeable in the field. The best social media
plans are part of a complete communications and fundraising strategy, with the
social media component a well-considered portion.
Social media is a fad, and we can just ignore it until it
A channel such as Facebook may die, Miwa believes, but the
principles of social media will resurface on some other platform. Some of your potential
constituents will want to connect with you on a social platform of some sort,
so you'd better look into the options and make an informed decision. Getting
out there is important, she concludes, even if you make mistakes along the way.
The dissenting voice
of Future Fundraising Now
agrees with that last point. "Actually, for fundraising purposes, social media
is largely a fad (actually several rising and falling fads), but it would be
foolish to just ignore it," he notes. Some kind of social media, whether or not
in the forms that we currently know and love (or hate) will become much more
than a fad, he believes. It could possibly be a great way to raise funds in the
future - so dip your toe in now and start getting ready.
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