The basics of fund raising has not changed but the delivery for the prospect and investor has changed. Have you noticed that fewer prospects and investors won’t take a face to face meeting, they don’t answer your emails and they often don’t even return your phone calls. Social media may not be your preferred method of communication; however, if you want new prospects and increasing giving from your existing investors, move into the 21st century.
It is time to become investor-centered, integrating your marketing and fund raising concepts to bring your development professionals to start thinking about inbound marketing which means using social media to your advantage. Your constituency wants to know “what is in it for me?” More and more people are looking for a great fund raising venue that can provide a real value for their prospects and investors. Social media is quick, snappy, and motivating. The real trick is to figure out what your constituencies preferred channel of social media communications means for them.
If your investors are on LinkedIn, ask to be connected to them. Many of your other investors will be on Facebook and any tidbit of knowledge about a program or send a holiday card or birthday wishes is very well received. Some of your younger constituents will be on Twitter. Retweet some of their comments, become a fan to show you are paying attention to them. You may even have a group of prospects or investor who are involved with Pinterest. Repin their pins from Facebook or even start a Pinterest account for your organization and get them to follow you. How do you find out which group wants to be involved in which social media? Easy enough do a survey. Survey Monkey or even Google Doc is an excellent location to start your survey.
Other creative and innovative ideas is to create a 2-5 minute You Tube video about an interesting story or even an event that your organization promoted. Use social media to blast your campaign materials and keep your investors updated on the progress of the campaign. Create a virtual event online to supplement a project that is needed or run a contest for your constituents. These are all new and exciting opportunities to engage your various groups by giving them what they want. One other social media tip is to write a blog at least twice week. It should be generic but interesting enough to engage your investors.
This sounds like a great deal of work and depending on your in-house staffing you might need to consider an intern doing some of this work, or if your fund raising staff is divided into groups, one person from major gifts, principle gifts and annual fund can each take a social media concept and work on creating then best venue for each group. It is time to put social media front and center when building your fund raising relationship strategies.