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The social media challenge facing every nonprofit

2 min read

Social Media

Nonprofits and traditional businesses aren’t always as different as they appear. Sure, they’re going to do different things with their revenue. But on the road leading up to making a sale (or securing a donation), they’ve got a lot of the same worries. They both want to get their names out there, shape their brand identities and convince people to part with their hard-earned money. They’re both worried about the economy, the competition and a changing marketplace.

Social media isn’t a push-button solution for any of those concerns — but it can be a useful tool for coping with all of them. More and more nonprofits are starting to wake up to that fact.

The trick for nonprofits is realizing that their identity and their ability to convert a prospective donor are much more closely connected than they are in the business world. You may hate a certain store’s image, but you might still shop there if they’ve got the best deal. Nonprofits have no such buffer. No one ever says, “I don’t believe in your organization, but I’ll give you money anyway.”

Having a social media presence is another way to reach prospective new donors, make calls to action and get people involved in non-financial ways. But its mightiest power comes from its ability to create and shape a public image on a shoestring budget. If your organization isn’t doing all it can to build its brand, it might be in more trouble than you think.

Do nonprofits need to approach social media differently than other organizations? What’s the tactical difference between securing a donation and making a sale?

Image credit, PinkTag, via iStock