Social Media and Non-Profits- A Perfect Match


Social media for non-profits

Non-profits need financial donation to survive.  Before the web, non-profits would mainly raise money by holding fundraising events, telemarketing possible donors and marketing through snail mail.  Social media has changed that.  The use of social media has created high impact and relatively low-cost opportunities for non-profits.  Many non-profit companies have embraced social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and even Snapchat.

How Social Media Can Help

  1. Engage communities
  2. Increase awareness about their mission
  3. Obtain new donors
  4. Positively impact society


140819-ice-bucket-challenge-1949_899e03e1c58b45b56812f96bc79680a6In 2014, The ALS Association started a social media campaign called the “Ice Bucket Challenge”. The social media campaign went viral world-wide on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  More than 28 million people participated in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” on Facebook (comments and likes), including over 17 million videos. 4.4 million tweets included the hashtag #Icebucketchallenge. YouTube had more than a billion views from Ice Bucket challenges. According to CBS This Morning, the social media campaign raised over $114 million for the ALS Association in two months.

How To Get Started

Social media is a very powerful platform and I believe all non-profits should be using these highly engaged marketing tools.  It’s fairly easy to get started by creating a Facebook page or Instagram account.  First companies should understand their target market and choose the social media platform (s) that make the most sense.  Like any other company, it’s important to integrate social media with your overall marketing strategy.  There are various online learning seminars and even conferences that can help non-profits understand how to build, execute and analyze how social media can work for them.  One in particular, Social Media for Non Profits, is a great organization that offers online learning, conferences, consulting and a community.

Follow my blog and Twitter at @Sara_Given for more info on Social Media Marketing.

5 thoughts on “Social Media and Non-Profits- A Perfect Match

  1. After reading your blog it got me thinking, “What makes some videos or fundraisers go viral, while others don’t?” I did a fast research and found an interesting read (see below for url), which outlined four steps in helping an online fundraising effort to go viral: (1) make small asks, (2) enroll influencers, (3) make your messaging clear, (4) aim for frictionless giving. Whatever the reason – they’re almost always for a good cause!


  2. Social media is a great way for non-profits to get the word out. One, social media is so popular that there is potential for many followers, and two, it’s free! Any possible way for a non-profit to save money is a win. Acting on a limited budget can be a difficult feat. Now that technology is so prevalent, there is no need to throw money at a newspaper for a full page ad to inform the public about an event. Could you image someone trying to do the ice bucket challenge before the internet? I can’t. It maybe would have gotten around the original town, but never to the entire world of social media. As much as some hate technology because of the changes in lifestyles currently happening, technology has done a lot of good in the world. It will be fascinating to see what comes next!


    • Haha Ashley, that is pretty funny to imagine people dumping ice on their head without being able to share it and get an immediate reaction from others.


  3. Thank you for sharing. Your example about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge really made me realize how powerful of a tool social media can be. I remember when this movement took social media by storm, and I just recently heard on the news that the funding helped to discovered a gene that is partly responsible for the disease. This discovery may not have ever happened without the awareness and funding associated with the Ice Bucket Challenge social media campaign. That is truly amazing!


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