Top 3 Factors for Social Media Fundraising Success: It Starts with Strategy

A major breakthrough has surfaced for those of us who’ve been struggling to answer the question, “what is the ROI on social media?” According to the recently released Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, a new donor acquired via an organization’s Facebook page can be expected to give $214.81 per year across all channels (online, direct mail, etc). The average cost of acquiring that donor on Facebook? $3.50. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that cost-to-raise-a-dollar ratio suggests organizations are not investing nearly enough in their online and social media activity. Imagine doubling that investment per fan to $7. Or even investing $10 per fan. There’s likely a tipping point, but the question is, “how much more than the current average of $214.81 can we raise from Facebook-acquired donors if we focus on stewarding them online?” After all, they chose to connect with your organization online …doesn’t it make sense to invest more of your communication resources in the same media they used to connect with you in the first place?

The next and probably better question is, “if we’re going to spend more money on digital communication, how do we spend it?” Below is a graphic pulled from the Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report that shows how respondents to the survey (the same group that is, on average, raising more than $200 per Facebook fan) are investing their online communication dollars and energy:

From our observations, the organizations that are raising tons of money online are doing precisely those three things – putting staff in place to manage the online work, keeping leadership in the loop and educating them on why the online managers are doing what they’re doing, and executing an integrated strategy. To be clear, simply having a Facebook page, building a nice online donation site, or occasionally posting to a blog is not an online strategy. If that’s your organization’s approach, you could and should be doing more. For starters…

  • What is your content strategy and how does it meet the needs and wants of your supporters?
  • How do you know what your supporters need and want?
  • What type of posts generate the most engagement with supporters?
  • Does your content encourage your supporters to share information about your organization with other potential donors?
  • How can emails be written to garner the largest number and amount of online gifts?

To answer those questions and more, we’ve crafted our online fundraising consulting services around helping nonprofit organizations use new technology to both add new donors to their database and increase overall fundraising. It’s worked for clients like The Florida State University and is something we’d love to talk with you about. If you’d like to learn more, just click here to find my email address and get the conversation started. Or, follow us on Twitter. We’re excited to help you transform your online philanthropy!

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