by Angela White
Many of us use social media to keep connected with friends and family and to promote causes that are important to us. In our busy lives, social media opportunities offer us quick and easy ways to stay in touch. It’s the same for your potential volunteers and donors.
In a recent blog by Caryn Stein of Network for Good, she references a Pew Research Center study that shows 72% of all adults online now use social media. Caryn notes that even those 50 and older have joined the social media band wagon with about 60% of internet users 50 to 64 using social media and 43% of those 65 and older. The Pew report identifies the percentage of internet users who are on Twitter has more than doubled since November 2010, currently standing at 18%.
As a guest blogger for Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, I recently shared how I use Twitter as donor and volunteer as a source of information that goes beyond connecting me with others and actually helps me make smart volunteer and giving choices.
So here are ways your nonprofit organization can use Twitter to help you attract supporters who are trying to decide where to spend their time and invest their philanthropic funds:
1. Talk about issues that matter to your supporters – Share information that address causes that your audience cares about and be a source by retweeting the latest information in your areas of interest. Tweet links to articles or sources of additional information and share those with your audience. These types of retweets can help you grow your own list of followers. For example, I follow my alma mater, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College @smwc to find out information about issues impacting education, especially women’s education.
2. Share what is happening in your community – Twitter users share information and news in real time. It presents a perfect opportunity to share immediate needs for both funds and volunteer opportunities. This allows your Twitter followers to sample the types of nonprofit experiences your organization offers. They can also respond to an immediate need and then assess their engagement and desire to engage in the future. Make your tweets actionable and allow your followers to feel connected to your community. I follow our community foundation, the Central Indiana Community Foundation @CICFoundation, and our United Way @uwci, both examples of types of organizations in every community that share a broad knowledge of nonprofit needs.
3. Become a local and international champion – I advise volunteers and donors to select leaders they admire and follow them on Twitter to see what nonprofits they endorse. The head of your organization can build a similar following by engaging on Twitter and advocating and sharing information about your cause and the issues surrounding it. Locally, I follow Ellen Rosenthal @museummaven, CEO of Conner Prairie, to learn about the role of history and STEM research (and Ellen tweets very interesting articles from the New York Times!).
So, when you click on that little blue bird, you can be growing your base of engaged and excited volunteers and donors. Send me a tweet @angelajga and let me know what you are doing to broaden your base of supporters.