Video Campaigns that Drive Huge End-of-Year Fundraising Results

57 percent of everyone who watches an online video produced by a nonprofit will go on to give to that nonprofit. (Google, 2013)

Keep that in mind, then go look at the number of views you have on some of your strongest Facebook or YouTube videos. And imagine 60 percent of those views becoming donors. Technically, that should be the case.

If only it were that easy …or maybe it is?

The following are three tips to build a video-driven content strategy that leads to your organization’s strongest ever end-of-calendar-year fundraising push.

Facebook Live – do it and do it often in December

Launch an end-of-year Facebook Live telethon. On New Year’s Eve or the week before, invite your best supporters who are also digitally active (your online ambassadors) to a special end-of-year party. Be sure there are plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment …and an experienced Facebook Live crew.


During this event, conduct several interviews with attendees and have them talk about why they gave back to your organization in the previous year and why they will continue giving in the new year. You might also interview a person or two who has been positively impacted by your mission. This could be a student, a patient, or a dog-in-waiting to be rescued …you get the idea.

To increase the audience for your Facebook Live, make sure everyone you’re interviewing shared the Facebook Live with their friends and family as soon as you go live.

And of course, throughout the Facebook Live event, be sure to frequently remind donors they “can give to support your mission by clicking ‘donate now’ in the Facebook post.

We call this the “modern Facebook pledge drive.” For more details on how to conduct a Facebook pledge drive, click here to watch our webinar.

Keep it simple for more video

You might have heard from various digital experts that lower quality, more authentic video is more effective for fundraising.

At least in some cases, that’s true.

According to Thankview, lower-quality, webcam-recorded videos are watched to completion 61 percent of the time, while higher-quality, uploaded videos are watched to completion only 47 percent of the time. More importantly, webcam-recorded videos lead to call-to-action clickthroughs on an email link 15 percent of the time, while uploaded videos only lead to CTA clickthroughs 10 percent of the time.

If you’re sending 10,000 emails, that’s an extra 500 people who go to your gift form from the lower-quality video.

That’s not to say high quality video doesn’t have it’s place. (Wait until you see what Groundwork is doing with virtual reality and major donors) But we should never avoid sharing videos with our donors, because we feel the quality is unbecoming of our mission. Can you see the video? Can you hear the video? If you answer “yes” to both and the message is on point, then share that video with your donors and prospects. Especially via year-end appeals. This approach will lead to more video messaging and, ultimately, more gifts.

Sell virtual seats to your holiday season gala

If you’ve experienced virtual reality, then you are aware of the medium’s transformative power. VR can place a person in a different time and space while giving them an emotional experience similar to being present (in the literal sense).

VirtualRealityPurpleImagine using this technology to democratize your high-priced, end-of-year donor galas. Of course, nothing beats the real thing – actually being there – but for $50, a donor can experience the event virtually as opposed to paying $5,000 for a table. Access to watching the speakers, hearing the musicians, enjoying the celebrity keynotes… can all take place from the comfort of home and at a more approachable price point. This gives the annual fund donors unique access to high-end experiences without cheapening the experience for large gift donors, because the large gift donors still have the exclusive benefit of literally being there.

This tactic could also be used as a leadership annual giving tool by moving the $50 up to $500. Especially if you’re concerned about cheapening the high-price live gala experience.

Using VR to widen the reach of a gala could be done through Facebook Live or could be recorded and edited for later use. For example, gift officers could carry VR headsets with them to donor visits and allow those who couldn’t attend in person to watch the next best thing.

Is your development operation ready to transform your fundraising outcomes with video? Groundwork Digital builds sophisticated digital strategies and produces award-winning videos for clients. Ask us about it by emailing me at or clicking here and completing our contact form.


Age Breakdowns for the Biggest Social Media Networks and What it Means for Your Strategy

More than half of America uses social media regularly and Facebook is still the king when it comes to number of users. And while the share might shift between social networks and demographics, there is no indication that use and growth of social media is going to stop any time soon.

For the full report from eMarketer and Adweek on who is using which networks, click here.

We frequently see reports and studies telling us how many people, in which demographics, use social media. But how can we take these usage numbers and apply them to our digital strategy? Below are a set of tips, based on data from the above eMarketer strategy, for the three biggest social networks — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Facebook is a behemoth of a social network with more than 1 billion people worldwide and more than half the U.S. population actively using the site. Facebook’s user base is getting older, but that’s more of an opportunity than a drawback for fundraisers. To understand why, think major gift work.

Did you know that:

The third point is from our work with clients at BWF_social. In our two most recent giving day campaigns, 42 major donors gave online gifts of $1,000 or more during one giving day, while 26 gave gifts of $1,000 or more during the second effort. In both cases, the gifts were unsolicited beyond the mass marketing work that reached all donors, primarily through email and social media.

In short — your major gift donors are online and the majority of them are using Facebook. Considering the above mentioned data about major donors and this eMarketer data which shows a large and growing number of older Facebook users, your major gift officers should know the network and be leveraging it to better connect with their major gift donors and prospects. Your communications team should be producing content that reinforces giving at all levels, especially the major gift level. Finally, you should be looking to Facebook and all social media as a way of prospecting for new major gift donors.


Twitter users are mostly a bunch of kids, right? Sure, nearly half of all Twitter users are under age 35, but more than a quarter are between age 35 and 54. And it might surprise many to learn that about 13 percent of Twitter users are over age 55.

But really, when it comes to Twitter, age doesn’t matter as much as functionality. For most people, Twitter is a news source. So a good Twitter strategy should be built around sharing a good deal of relevant content. Both relevant to your organization and, most importantly, to your audience. An aging but still accurate HubSpot study from Dan Zarella tells us Twitter users with the most followers are those who often post links in their tweets. Another study from Zarella and HubSpot tells us posting a picture via your tweet helps engagement.  In other words, don’t just tweet about your lunch — tweet about your lunch using a picture and including a link to the recipe.


Instagram is the king of social media networks when it comes to audience engagement.

Instagram is the king of social media networks when it comes to audience engagement.

On Instagram, it is (mostly) about the kids …and engagement. In fact, Instagram has, by far, the highest engagement of any major social media network. If you’re looking to connect with and market to people age 45 and under, Instagram is where it’s at.

You can’t post links on Instagram, so don’t bother using it as a direct marketing resource. Instead, think of Instagram more like traditional advertising. Can someone give a gift directly through a TV ad? How about a print ad? No. But both television and print have value for raising the awareness and improving the perception of your organization. At a minimum, Instagram — and all social media, for that matter — is no different. Especially if we’re talking about engaging the younger audiences who heavily use Instagram and who really don’t watch TV or read much print.

Justin Ware is the Director of Interactive Communication at Bentz Whaley Flessner where he helps clients build digital engagement strategies for every aspect of fundraising — from the annual fund to major gift work. Click here to learn more.

Online Ambassadors and the “Death of Organic Reach” on Facebook

Facebook_LogoFacebook’s ever changing algorithm now means that, unless you have a paid ad strategy driving content, the vast majority of your followers will never see the posts you share from your organization’s Facebook page(s).

The “Death of Organic Reach,” as some call it, is detailed in this post from SocialToaster’s Brian Razzaque. In the post, Razzaque highlights just how low your Facebook reach can go, while also offering some tips on how to combat the decline in eyeballs on your posts.

So is Facebook worth the effort if you’re not laying down enormous ad buys every month? Yes, but it depends on your strategy.

First, there are the basics of good content marketing – be valuable to your audience, not overly promotional, and connect with current events and other issues the Internet is talking about at the point in time when you’re publishing. That approach still helps, but truth be told, good content isn’t enough for Facebook anymore. Just take a look at your page’s posts over the past two years. On average, Bentz Whaley Flessner’s page sees roughly 10 percent the organic reach of content shared just one year ago.

But there is one other option if you still want to avoid Facebook Ads — and it will help drive reach and engagement on all your digital and social media channels, not just on Facebook alone. When people like, comment on, and/or share your posts, Facebook rewards those posts with a higher ranking value on your followers’ Newsfeeds. In other words, more of your fans will see the content you post when you post it if some of your fans are sharing that content. Which means, online ambassadors are the option B for anyone who wants to avoid Ad spends.

If you want to beat Facebook’s tightening Newsfeed algorithms without big ad spends, find ambassadors and work with them to share your content. That requires more than simply asking your online ambassadors to like and share content. For the best results, find out what your ambassadors want from you and what they like to share. Always be analyzing this data to inform your content marketing strategy. If you ask ambassadors to share content that matters to them, they will share enthusiastically and your organization will enjoy much greater reach on Facebook. (Plus, you’ll have more effective content for email and other social networks like Twitter and Instagram)

As effective as ambassadors can be at driving content, laying ads on top of the content ambassadors share does significantly increase reach and engagement. BWF_social client Santa Clara University began social media marketing with ambassadors in late 2012. They quickly discovered ambassador-led Facebook posts typically brought in about three times the engagement as those posts in which ambassadors were not leveraged. However, when Facebook Ads + ambassadors were deployed to share content, the reach was often as much as 40 times higher than average and engagement was 10 times higher than average. Staggering numbers that might be even more severe in 2015 as they were in 2014 when those numbers were recorded.

So yes, Facebook is still valuable. There are simply too many active users on the network to ignore Facebook if you’re truly interested in a multi-channel communication strategy (and you should be). To make your investment in Facebook and Facebook Ads worthwhile, be sure you have a healthy group of online ambassadors ready to help your content reach the masses like it did in 2012.

Justin Ware is the director of interactive communication at BWF_social where he helps nonprofit clients produce online and social media communication and fundraising strategies.

Include “Trending Topics” in Your Facebook Posts for Bigger Audiences

A little while back, I blogged about the importance of meshing your social media content with pop culture and current events. As it turns out, that’s not just a communications strategy – it’s a technical approach to boosting your FNFO (Facebook Newsfeed optimization …patent pending on that acronym).

Facebook now rewards posts with Newsfeed prominence when those posts include a trending topic.

Facebook Trending ListTrending topics are those topics listed on the right hand column of your Facebook profile. They’re often predictable and, for those organizations with a news savvy social media manager, are items you can leverage to help get more eyeballs on your content by mixing those topics into your content. Not just because people like seeing content that gels with the news of the day, but because Facebook’s algorithms are searching for content that connects with current events.

So how do you make the most of Facebook’s leaning toward the popular posts of the day? Below are a few suggestions:

  • Building current events into your content marketing will boost your FNFO (Facebook NewsFeed Optimization).

    Building current events into your content marketing will boost your FNFO (Facebook NewsFeed Optimization).

    Hire well. Whenever we’ve been involved in the hiring process for a social media manager, I always recommend placing former journalists’ resumes on the top of the pile. Journalists do everything you need a social media manager to do – they think quickly, produce massive amounts of content at rapid speeds, and they understand the news cycle and what an audience wants. With a former journo leading your social media charge, you’ve taken a big step towards establishing a timely and relevant content marketing strategy.

  • Budget time to react nimbly to breaking news. Everyone should have a content calendar that extends at least 12 months out to cover the big events and campaigns. But sometimes, your audience (or, more accurately, the news cycle) doesn’t care about your calendar. You need to plan for the unexpeted and be ready to jump on the news of the day so that you can integrate it with your organization’s message when appropriate.
  • Consider Facebook Ads. Let’s face it, Facebook wins – they’ve forced us to pay for exposure on their social network. Which, in the general history of how advertising works, makes perfect sense. For this and all your Facebook content, consider paying for Ads and promoted posts to get the greatest exposure.

Justin Ware is the director of interactive communications at BWF_social where he helps clients build online and social media strategies for fundraising.

Facebook for Development Pros – Get Personal

Last month, we wrote on tips to help fundraising professionals get in the game on LinkedIn. In that post, we suggested (implored) gift officers – or anyone with a donor facing role – establish a strong presence on LinkedIn. If LinkedIn is the bare minimum, there are other social networks that can open your fundraising work up to new and highly-capable-of-giving audiences.

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. According to a recent Pew study, a whopping 71 percent of Americans have a Facebook account. And while this social network is highly personal for some – for others, it’s yet another platform to share their lives with the world. In fact, millionaires are disproportionately more active on Facebook than the general public at large.

So, if you really want to expand your reach as a gift officer, alumni relations pro, grateful patient manager, or annual giving director, you might want to consider putting a professional effort toward Facebook. Here are some tips…


Facebook friend lists allow you to organize your professional and personal friends. A benefit for you and them.

Create lists to separate your personal connections from professional. (Click here for a link with instructions for creating lists of your friends) This will allow you to communicate with your professional friends while not driving your personal friends nuts. It will also keep silly pictures of your dog and kids from clogging your professional friends’ News Feeds.

Connect your personal Facebook content strategy with your organization’s content strategy. (Your organization does have a content strategy, right?) Content marketing is best through a multi-channel approach. This means a great YouTube video gets the most traction when it is shared on Facebook, through email, on Twitter, at events, and through the personal social networks of your staff. Just as is the case with online ambassadors, sharing via the personal accounts of your staff greatly increases the reach of the powerful content you put so much effort into producing to tell your organization’s story.

Be responsive and engaged. It should be obvious, but when people comment on or share something you post to Facebook, respond to them! Thank them, answer their questions, provide more information …use Facebook as a virtual coffee shop to meet your donors.

Ask your Facebook friends questions. While images are hugely important for getting your content noticed on Facebook, sometimes the highest engagement comes from a question. It could be something fun – “Who is your favorite actor to play Batman?” for example. Or, you could ask something about your work – “Which childhood disease would you most want to see cured in the next 10 years?” Either way, a simple question that sparks conversation goes a long way toward building online relationships with your supporters, which ultimately leads to stronger relationships overall that leads to gifts.

I know, I know …for some people Facebook is a deeply personal space that you absolutely wouldn’t want to share with the world. That’s more than fine. Unlike LinkedIn and to a lesser degree blogs and Twitter, Facebook – in part due to its highly personal nature – is far from mandatory. That doesn’t mean it’s not also an enormous opportunity for those willing to jump in professionally. Consider this – do you want a personal relationship with some of your organization’s biggest donors? If you answered yes, then you should consider using Facebook to engage them.

Justin Ware is the Director of Interactive Communication at BWF_social and helps clients build online and social media strategies that lead to fundraising success.

Facebook Ads Strategy for 2014

Facebook Ads LogoOnline communicators tend to harbor love/hate relationships with Facebook Ads. On one hand, no other form of online advertising – quite possibly no other form of advertising, period – allows a marketer to hyper target their message to the precise audience they’re looking to reach for such a small investment. In other words, Facebook Ads are efficient.

On the other hand, Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm so that posts you make from your page that aren’t “promoted” (read: Ads you pay for) have very little chance of being seen by your fans. In other words, if you don’t have cash to spend, Facebook may no longer be a worthwhile investment of resources.

The latter, more negative, “hate” view of Facebook brought about by its recent focus on selling Ads is a gut reaction by many of us. But to ignore Facebook and its more than 1 billion users is a recipe for disaster. If you want to grow your nonprofit base while staying connected with your current supporters, Facebook is a must. So, knowing that, here are two things you can do in 2014 to make the most of the world’s leading social network:

Unlike this Facebook News Feed Ad, your Ads should be image driven and look like content a person's friend would ordinarily share.

Unlike this Facebook News Feed Ad, your Ads should be image driven and look like content a person’s friend would ordinarily share.

Content is (still) King: Facebook Ads are most effective when they’re set up to appear in a user’s News Feed. To optimize clicks and impressions, you should create content that looks like it belongs in the News Feed…

  • Images and/or video are a must.
  • Something that hooks into pop culture and the news of the day is very helpful.
  • Donor-centric is always best.

Really, all the rules that apply to good content also apply to Facebook Ads, because Facebook Ads are set up to look like content people share on a daily basis.

Leverage Online Ambassadors: As we’ve written about in the past, there is a way around Facebook’s increasingly restrictive algorithms – don’t rely solely on your page to share content about your organization. Instead, work with your online ambassadors to deliver content to their networks. Content means more when it comes from a trusted peer …which online ambassadors are to a large number of people. More importantly, Facebook’s page algorithms don’t apply to individuals. So, when online ambassadors share your content, far more people will see it. Use ambassadors to either directly post content from their profiles or share content posted on your org’s page.

Facebook is too intertwined in the daily lives of your donors to be ignored and Facebook Ads too effective to forego. Be sure when you’re making the investment in Ads, you’re doing so in a strategic, content-driven fashion to help ensure your dollars are well spent.

Justin Ware helps nonprofits develop online and social media strategies for fundraising. To connect with Justin, click here.

Facebook Unveils New Donation Feature for Pages

Finally, Facebook is making it easy for (a small group) of (select) nonprofits to raise money directly on their pages. While this initial roll out includes only about a dozen nonprofit organizations (click here for the list), you can bet the ability to accept a donation through Facebook’s market place will be much more widely available in the near future.

The ASPCA is one of the first organizations with giving setup through Facebook's new service.

The ASPCA is one of the first organizations with giving setup through Facebook’s new service.

So, all the more reason to invest in a strong Facebook presence in the New Year. We’ll be writing more about this in the coming months as BWF gets ready to launch a product that will help nonprofits find, learn more about, and work with Facebook users to raise more money. Stay tuned…it’s going to be an exciting 2014 for online and social media fundraising!

To learn more about the Facebook donation tool, click here.

To stay connected with BWF’s online and social media engagement services and tools, connect with Justin Ware on LinkedIn here and at here.

3 Tips for Targeting Donors Through Facebook Ads

A very common and great question social media philanthropists are often asked is “how do we raise money using Facebook?” Short answer? “Very creatively.” But a more serious and useful answer is “through a smart Facebook ad strategy.”

If you know your donors’ email addresses, then you can send an ad directly to their Facebook News Feeds, even if those donors haven’t “liked” page. This allows for incredibly targeted messaging via the world’s most popular social network and provides an excellent opportunity for reaching current and lapsed donors. Interested in learning more? Check out the video below from John Haydon that goes into detail about how to set up Facebook ads to reach your donors or just go to his blog post by clicking here. (Then continue reading below the video for tips on what your ads should be asking of donors)

So now you know how to get your nonprofit in front of your donors through a Facebook ad. But how do you get them to click on the ad? For this, I would suggest the same rules apply to Facebook ads that apply to all content on social networks – stay appropriate for the space. In other words, produce ads that are in line with what your donors expect to see when they log in to Facebook. So what do they expect to see or what would they consider appropriate on Facebook? Are they planning on looking at pictures? Checking up on their friends or kids? “Liking” things? Probably all of the above. The key is creating an ad that fits in seamlessly with that activity. For example, your Facebook ad might:

  • Alert donors to a new photo album from a big event that was recently uploaded. You control what your Facebook ad says and what it asks users to do. So after that big donor recognition event, or football game, or disaster your organization responded to, make a Facebook photo album and post it to your organization’s Facebook page. Then, link to that album via a custom Facebook ad. Next, share that ad with your donors by including their email addresses in the audience for the ad. Boom. Your awesome photo album is now shared with all your donors who have Facebook accounts connected to valid email addresses.
  • Tell donors which of their Facebook friends have given an online gift to your organization. You do have a custom Facebook giving app, right? Because if you do, you could write really clever code that would send a Facebook ad to your donors that tells them which of their friends have given an online gift. The ad could go on to ask the donor if they’d like to join their friend and make a gift, as well.
  • SaveShelterPetsAsk them to “like” your page. “Liking” your organization’s page is a simple action, but again, it’s very appropriate for the space. People are comfortable with “liking” things on Facebook, so it’s not too much of a stretch that they would see the opportunity to like something in an ad and take that action. And it’s not a trivial action either. When a lapsed donor who throws away mail, doesn’t have a landline, or is unresponsive to any other attempt communication attempt on your part – but is active on Facebook – “likes” your page, you now have a new way of consistently stewarding them and eventually asking them for their support.

So there you have it… One of many ways in which Facebook can be leveraged to raise money for your organization.

To learn about how BWF can help your organization raise money using social media networks, contact BWF’s Director of Interactive Communication Justin Ware by clicking here.

Attacking Social Media “Slacktivists”


Courtesy of The Atlantic

UNICEF Sweden is taking shots at its online supporters who “like” activity the organization posts on Facebook. A recent ad campaign from the Sweden branch of UNICEF is rather bluntly telling its supporters that so-called vanity actions on social networks – the likes, shares, pins, retweets, etc. – do nothing to further the mission of the organization. Literally. (Check out the full story in the Atlantic by clicking here) The ads say a like on Facebook will “vaccinate zero children against polio.” (See the bottom of this post for a UNICEF YouTube spot along the same lines)

The objective of the campaign is to help supporters understand that donations are the lifeblood of the nonprofit organization. Which, of course, is true. The trouble is, donations come from a general awareness of a problem that a nonprofit solves. And awareness – as multiple studies now show – comes from activity on social networks.  Perhaps UNICEF Sweden hasn’t seen the recently released joint study from Georgetown University and Waggener Edstrom that shows social media is, by a vast majority, the primary way digitally active supporters and donors learn of new causes – even for those donors who give money offline.

“Likes” = awareness. Awareness = more donors and dollars

Let’s consider the mechanics behind some of these vanity metrics that are, by and large, worthless according to UNICEF Sweden. For example, a Facebook like. When someone “likes” a post on Facebook, that activity is sent to a large number of that person’s network of friends via their newsfeed. Go ahead, take a second to look at your Facebook feed. In the lower left, you’ll see a constantly-updating scroll of activity your friends are liking. Occasionally, that liking activity appears as a major news item in the News Feed. That leads to more exposure which leads to more new donors joining the cause. Knowing that, it would appear that mission awareness is something UNICEF Sweden does not value.

Know Your Data

Beyond the awareness building capacity of social media, there is evidence that suggests “slacktivists” are less slackerish than one might expect. According to another joint Georgetown study – highlighted in this Mashable article – slacktivists are:

  • Three times as likely to solicit donations on behalf of a charity’s cause.
  • Twice as likely to volunteer their time.
  • Equally as likely to donate as their non-social-media using counterparts (in other words, clicking “like” is not in place of a gift, but in addition to the gift).

All of the above would suggest that Facebook “likes” do, in fact, help organizations vaccinate kids against polio. As a matter of fact, a good argument could be made that a strong Facebook approach could be more effective than the ad campaign against slacktivism that UNICEF Sweden likely paid well into the six figures to create and implement.

To be fair, in the interview with the Atlantic, UNICEF Sweden’s Director of Communications Petra Hallebrant said “We like likes, and social media could be a good first step to get involved, but it cannot stop there. Likes don’t save children’s lives. We need money to buy vaccines for instance.”

Trouble with that statement is, if you look at the data, it would seem that Facebook “likes” actually do lead to money for those vaccines.

To be fair part 2, it’s certainly possible that UNICEF Sweden is trying to use the classic “shock value” approach to advertising as a way of drumming up awareness and support. And you could argue by the attention this campaign is getting in well-respected publications like The Atlantic and far less respected publications like this blog, they’re shock and awe campaign is working. Plus, the YouTube video below has been watched more than 38,000 times at the time of this post’s first publication. That is, of course, also awareness. So Maybe UNICEF Sweden is just much sharper than this author. That said, I would advise against any strategy that openly ridicules your slacktivists social champions. As the data tells us, those highly active social media supporters might just be the key to your organization’s future.

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.

3 Tips for Producing Visual Facebook Content for Your Nonprofit’s Page

With the new Facebook News Feed, not having an image associated with your post means not being seen. Not being seen, means not being clicked on, and not being clicked on means EdgeRank will make it so few eyes other than your own ever experience the content you post to your organization’s Facebook page.

So, long story short, it’s important to ALWAYS include images when posting from your org’s Facebook page. The following are some tips to be sure that happens…

The new Facebook News Feed puts a major emphasis on visual content.

The new Facebook News Feed puts a major emphasis on visual content.

When blogging, include a picture – For the sake of your blog you should be doing this anyway, but it’s especially important with Facebook. For every blog post you type, include an image that’s relevant to the post. Why? When you post a link to Facebook, Facebook will search that link for images it can place as a thumbnail in the News Feed. If Facebook doesn’t find an image, then your post appears in News Feeds with only a link (if at all). At best, this creates a bland post that looks about as interesting as a status update about a person’s choice of food for lunch. Worst case scenario, the post gets discarded by EdgeRank and is never heard from again. This is true of all content – whether a blog post, web page, or otherwise – include relevant, attractive images in whatever it is you produce.

Use your phone’s camera! – Where ever you are, if you see something that’s even marginally interesting and in any way related to your organization’s mission, take a picture of it. Thanks to smart phones, we now have a camera attached to our person at all times. Use those increasingly high-quality camera phones to capture images that can be added to posts or simply uploaded to your timeline. You can always delete a photo if you don’t like it, but you can’t create one if you never snapped the picture in the first place. Communicate this message across your staff – if they see something cool happening, and it’s even remotely related to your organization’s mission, take a picture of it! Then decide later if it qualifies as good content. The point is, you need more image-driven content and nearly all of us are capable of producing that content with the phones we carry in our pockets. Provide basic photography training if resources allow, but bottom line is – help everyone who cares about your mission understand that they can all be valuable content producers, regardless of their other roles.

Share photos from other users and organizations – Don’t put all the content pressure on your team. Use the image-driven content your fans, followers, and other organizations are posting by sharing that content on your Facebook page. First things first – ALWAYS GIVE CREDIT WHEN SHARING. Now that we have that established, make sharing a common content generation practice. If you see someone in your personal networks post something that works for your organization, ask them to post it to your org’s wall. If another nonprofit posts something you think your community might appreciate, click the “share” button and add it to your wall. If you see something on Instagram, ask the user if they’d be OK with you sharing it from your org’s Facebook page. Not only does this approach give you more content, but it will help strengthen your relationship with that follower. Asking to use their photo is a an enormous pat on the back and point of pride for many online and social media users. So you’re sharing great content with your Facebook fans AND strengthening a relationship with the original producer of the content. Win-win!

Justin Ware is a fundraising consultant who specializes in online and social media engagement at Bentz Whaley Flessner. To contact Justin, click here.