Social Media to Tell Your Story and Raise Funds


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These slides are from the presentation Amy Sample Ward made on 4/16/12 in Harrisburg, PA, at the PANO Annual Conference. Learn more at and

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  • This is a conversation!
  • Let’s start with “who”
  • These rings are true whether you are talking about an organization or an individual. You can put yourself in the gray circle.
  • Community – These are people you can share with directly. You know them, you know how to reach them. You probably even know what they like, think, do.
  • To reach the network with a message, it needs to go through someone in the community. Phone tag.
  • The crowd is really the rest of the world, at the largest scope, but usually seen as all those in the city or region or topic area you wish you could talk to but don’t have a connection to yet.
  • The way we communicate with each layer, and what we communicate, is different.
  • Mapping your community helps you identify where everyone is, likes to be, and wants to engage with you. The Community Mapping exercise is most valuable when you can do it as a full organization or a team of people from across the departments.
  • Step 1 – Identify all the groups within your community. As I said before the definitions, community is a huge, nebulous thing. To start mapping the community we need to first identify which groups are within it. Do you have volunteers, interns, or adjunct staff? Maybe you work with schools so you have segments for teachers, administrators, parents, students, and then groups outside of the school. Here are some questions that can help get people talking to start sharing the groups they work with. In my experience, the more diverse group you can get together to have this conversation and work through this planning together, the more complete a picture you can draw of your community. When people who work in services, programs, grant writing and fundraising, for example, all share their view of the groups in the community, not only can you start mapping the network but you can also have really rich discussions about the way different parts of your organization view the community.
  • The next step is to define the goals that match each group. There are two sets of goals to be discussed here: the first are the goals of that group – what do they want from you, why do they want to come to you, what do they get out of it? The second are the goals your organization has for that group – what are you hoping they will do, how will they contribute, what are you asking for from them? Again, this conversation can be really eye-opening as a part of building the community map, but also as far as encouraging dialogue within your organization and providing clarity around the organizational goals and the way they play out with the community engagement.
  • The third step is to identify the tools. This means identifying the spaces, platforms, and applications where each group congregates and where you can communicate with them. Even though much of these will be online social technologies, don’t forget about the offline spaces, too. Identifying the mechanisms you can use to communicate with each group can help you target your efforts, but in many cases illuminates areas where only one or a couple groups use a certain platform, while others use another – not only will this help you figure out where to say things, but can dramatically change what you say where.
  • Here’s what your Community Map could look like. If you’re doing this as a group in the office or at a retreat, you can use a whiteboard or a flip chart, or even have someone do it on their computer so long as everyone can see it in real-time with a projector or something. You’ll see there’s a column for each area we talked about: the groups first, then their goals, your goals, and finally the tools. I also have a template of this chart set up as a public google doc so you can use that link to get the template and save it to your computer for your own use. Before I move to the next section – does anyone have any questions?
  • Content planning! This is where we start to get a little bit more messy as we pull in even more data to make our plan. The questions on this slide are great questions to help you in your content planning. You’ll see as we work through this planning template how you can start to pull in or create answers to all these questions.
  • The first step is identifying all the content. Now, for this content map to be as valuable across your organization as possible, you want to be as specific as you can be with this section. I’ve listed some examples to get you started, but really think about all the various pieces of content you have. Instead of listing “blog posts,” instead, list what those blog posts are about: maybe job openings, volunteer opportunities, news about your work, examples of your services or people you have helped. New grants or new programs. There will probably be a lot of things to list. And that’s okay!
  • The next step focuses on goals. These goals should primarily come from the Community Map where you have two columns’ worth of goals and actions. There will be additional goals as well, but you do want to ensure that the goals you have already identified from the community map are included here. The additional goals could be things like, increase visibility, recruit new funders, find new staff or volunteers, etc.
  • The third step is listing all the possible outlets. Again, you can draw a lot of these from the community map, but you will probably find that this is an opportunity to be really specific, more specific than you were in the community map. For example, the community map may have identified facebook as a platform that one group uses. And in the content map you may list a facebook page as well as facebook events as you can create an event that’s tied to your page but publicizes and manages RSVPs for a one-time event.
  • Here’s an example of what your content map might look like. You’ll see that the goals and the content are listed on the left, and then along the right are all the various outlets. I like to use X, O and blank to denote that x=that content is always posted to that outlet; o=content is posted only if relevant; and blank=content is never posted to that outlet. You can use yes no maybe or any other set of indicators that work for you. Again, I’ve created this template as a public google doc so you can use that link to grab the template and save it to your own computer to use with your team. Before we go ahead with the metrics and tracking, does anyone have any questions?
  • The first step to getting valuable metrics is having access to analytics. I imagine many people on this webinar have used google analytics before or have it hooked up to your organization’s website now. You can use google analytics with a lot of other places you may be investing time and energy online, too! Including blogger and wordpress, wikispaces and even facebook. There are links on the resources slide for more information about how to get set up if you are interested. The point here is that even if the online space isn’t “yours” it is still a place you can and should feel empowered to track and measure.
  • In addition to creating a listening dashboard, you can use all kinds of tools to ensure you get alerted to important actions. These are just a few of the dozens of applications and companies out there. If you aren’t already using Google Alerts, then get started today! You can even set up google alerts as RSS feeds that are part of your listening dashboard! The one I recommend as well from this list is social mention, as it’s free and you can search for any key word or hashtag etc and see what’s happening across the web.
  • Here’s where the big template comes in. Even if you’re using google alerts and google analytics, you may not really be able to look at data over time in a critical way. You will have a good sense of where things are going or how people respond to content and actions, but tracking it like this means you can point to specific data to support your case. This template, like the others, is available at that link as a public google doc that you can save and reuse. It is not intended to be an end-all-be-all template, but it is designed to show you just how much you can be tracking. And get you thinking about where you may have more data points to add in. You’ll notice there are tabs for various platforms so that you can concentrate each view to one platform and measure points over time.
  • This is a question I get asked often. When should I post, how many times a day, etc. There isn’t really a magic number! The best way to figure it out is to track! Make notes about the time of posts and what the responses were.
  • Twitter specific tools – twitalyzer for analytics, 14blocks for best time to tweet, hashtags to learn about hashtags, storify to compile tweets, URL shorteners, tweetdeck/hootsuite to manage and schedule etc.
  • Facebook tools – edgerank for newsfeed ranking, booshaka ranks engagement, use the app from your phone, can post to facebook while posting to twitter, hold a live chat.
  • When it comes to creating great content, there are four important elements, especially with social media. You’ll notice that the goal is in the middle of all three because it is always the core of your success and the first step in any decision. The people you want to talk to are closely connected to the goal and if one changes, the other may react. Your tools are defined both by the goal of what you want to do, but also by the people – are they tools that that audience uses and likes? And the content – is that a platform or application that supports that kind of content? Similarly, the content is defined by the goal, but also by the tools at your disposal and the people who will consume it.
  • In 2012, respondents accumulated an average of 8,317 members on Facebook, and 3,290 followers on Twitter. Compared to 2011’s results – 6,376 members on Facebook, 1,822 followers on Twitter – that’s a 30% and 81% increase in community size on Facebook and Twitter respectively.
  • We investigated nonprofit social networking brand strategy by asking about the number of pages or accounts owned by each organization. Our respondents manage an average of 2.1 Facebook Pages and 1.2 Twitter accounts. The maximum number of Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts managed by an organization was 70 and 100, respectively (both by a very large consumer-focused member association). A deeper dive reveals that the median for Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts is 1.0 and 1.0 respectively, and that just 3% of respondents host more than 5 Facebook Pages, and 2% more than 5 Twitter accounts.
  • A recurring request in 2011 from the nonprofit industry was for financial benchmarks for supporter base-building in Facebook and Twitter. Our inquiry in the 2012 survey on this topic netted the following: The average cost of a Facebook Like was $3.50, and the average Twitter follower required an investment of $2.05. These self-reported figures provide the first real glimpse into benchmarks for our industry. To be conservative, we recommend that you treat these benchmarks as a minimum investment level for acquisition of new supporters on Facebook and Twitter.
  • With the goal of valuing nonprofit Facebook communities, we asked survey respondents about the average value of a supporter acquired via Facebook over the 12 months following acquisition. Clearly the average value of a supporter acquired through any channel varies across organizations and nonprofit sectors (ex. Arts & Culture vs. Animal Welfare).
  • We asked respondents what type of fundraising program they were using to raise money on Facebook – respondents chose all that applied from the following list: Individual Giving, Event Fundraising, Causes, Personal Fundraising and “other”. 54% of respondents said they were not fundraising on Facebook, 46% indicated they were fundraising, with the top category (33% of all responders) were prioritizing Individual Giving – soliciting Facebook supporters for individual donations (e.g. one-time gifts, memberships, monthly gifts). Event fundraising was the second highest category with 20% of all responders. Causes was third with 17%, and Personal Fundraising (e.g. peer-to-peer fundraising linked to a mission-focused theme rather than a face-to-face event) was fourth with 11%. Other forms of revenue-generation on Facebook contributed by respondents include winning the $50K Pepsi Challenge by promoting the charity on Facebook, soliciting in-kind gifts and selling products.
  • Respondent staffing budgets for commercial social networks continue to creep up with the number of respondents dedicating any resources (>0) to their commercial social networking efforts rising by a small but consistent margin to 89% in 2012 from 86% and 85% in 2011 and 2010 respectively. The “getting-started” staffing level category – 1/4 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) – has been decreasing over the last three years as respondents step beyond this initial commitment and add more staff to their social networking team. The percent of groups who report dedicating 1⁄4 FTE went down from 67% (2010) to 61% (2011) to 56% (2012). the next four higher categories each grew slightly, as noted in the “delta” column. When asked about staffing increases for the future, 42% of respondents indicate that they will increase their staffing for commercial social networks in 2012, 55% say they will keep staffing the same, and just 3% indicate they will reduce staffing.
  • We asked nonprofits with a presence on commercial social networks about the underlying reasons for their success, and we received unambiguous, broad agreement on three factors:
  • That formula looks right – get a plan, get buy-in and get an experienced team member to lead the new initiative. For corroboration, separately, we asked survey respondents who did not have a presence on commercial social networks, why not? The top two reasons: no strategy and no staff or budget.
  • With Facebook’s advertising revenue going through the roof ($3.1 Billion in 2011), we were anxious to find out if respondents were leveraging it and if so for what purpose. We found that the top 3 uses for Facebook advertising for respondents are Awareness, Base-Building, and Non-Financial Asks such as recruiting volunteers, signing a petition, etc.
  • After an initial spike in 2009 – 30% of respondents said they had a house network or social community on their own site, 2010 saw this figure drop to 22%, and 2011 a further drop to 13% of charities. 2012 looks to be holding steady with 13% of respondents indicating they have 1 or more house networks. The primary role of these house networks is for program delivery (56% of nonprofits with a house network), with marketing second at 46% of respondents with a house network.
  • If the percentage of respondents operating a house network remains static, the community size of these house networks has seen a steady climb over the last three years, and in 2012, a significant leap forward to 21,790 members compared to 5,967 in 2011, and 3,520 in 2010. That’s a 265% increase year-over-year from 2011 to 2012, and a 519% climb from 2010 to 2012, with negligible increases in staffing.*
  • In 2012, open source social networking software (24% of responses) overtook second-place custom software (18%), with both of these categories significantly out-reaching the nearest commercial solutions – Google Sites (13%), Ning (7%), and Blackbaud (8%).
  • On average, 35% of online revenue was sourced to direct email appeals. The remaining 65% came from other sources, such as unsolicited web giving and peer referrals. At 18%, the international sector had the lowest average share of money raised via email, which may be due to an increase in unsolicited web giving received during emergencies.
  • The starkest change in dollars raised from 2010 to 2011 is in the international sector. Between 2009 and 2010, the international sector saw a huge 163% increase in the total raised online, likely due to two major emergencies – the earthquake in Haiti and massive flooding in Pakistan – that received substantial media attention and resonated strongly with donors. In 2011, online revenue for groups in the international sector dropped by an average of 33%, with number of gifts dropping 27%. However, this change between 2010 and 2011 is misleading in that 2010 was an exceptional year for the international sector. Between 2009 and 2011, the international sector had a 122% increase in dollars raised online, as well as a 93% increase in gifts, far surpassing any other sector’s gains in that same time period. Between 2010 and 2011, rights groups had the highest increase, with the total revenue online jumping by 56% and the number of gifts by 63%. This increase is likely based in part on an especially turbulent year with battles over workers’ rights in Wisconsin, numerous women’s and gay rights issues and the emergence of Occupy Wall Street and the focus on “the 99 percent” – just to name a few.
  • The average nonprofit represented in this study had a total of 19,665 text message subscribers as of January 1, 2012. Those numbers are continuing to see substantial year-over-year growth. Between 2010 and 2011, text messaging lists grew an average of 46%.
  • Based on a survey we conducted with our study partners, almost all nonprofits recruited new mobile subscribers via passive methods like a sign-up box on the main website or mobile opt- in fields on advocacy and/or donation forms. Nonprofits were least likely to promote their text messaging with paid advertising on sites like Facebook and Google, with only 25% of nonprofits reporting such activities.
  • As of November 2011, 89.6 million Americans use their mobile phone to access either work or personal email – an increase of 28% in the last year alone.1 With one nonprofit participant, the Human Rights Campaign, M+R looked at how many people were opening the nonprofit’s emails on a mobile phone. Over the course of a month, mobile phones accounted for 17% of email opens. Interestingly, on the day an email was sent, that number was as high as 24%. These mobile users were less likely to click, donate, or take action in response to the email. It’s hard to blame them. Non-mobile optimized emails are tricky to read, so only the most dedicated of supporters would likely take the time and effort to read something like the image at left. The image on the right is what that same email looks like after it has been optimized for mobile phones.
  • Twitter specific tools – twitalyzer for analytics, 14blocks for best time to tweet, hashtags to learn about hashtags, storify to compile tweets, URL shorteners, tweetdeck/hootsuite to manage and schedule etc.
  • Facebook tools – edgerank for newsfeed ranking, booshaka ranks engagement, use the app from your phone, can post to facebook while posting to twitter, hold a live chat.
  • Can connect apps to linkedin like slideshare for presentations, blogs, etc.
  • Can connect apps to linkedin like slideshare for presentations, blogs, etc.
  • Social Media to Tell Your Story and Raise Funds

    1. 1. USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO TELL YOUR STORY AND RAISE FUNDSThanks to the session sponsor: #PANOAC2012
    4. 4. AGENDA • Telling your story • Raising funds and reaching new people • Building multi-channel strategies • Questions • Tools and resources
    6. 6. COMMUNITYFlickr: efleming
    7. 7. NETWORKFlickr: thefangmonster
    8. 8. CROWDFlickr: SashaW
    10. 10. STEP 1: GROUPS Questions to ask: Do different programs or departments connect with different groups? Do services or products target different groups? How would you describe your community to someone unfamiliar with your work, and if it is relevant to them?
    11. 11. STEP 2: GOALS Questions to ask: Why does the community continuing needing your services, programs or work? What is in it for others to participate? ----- What do you need help with or involvement from the community to do? How can your work improve with engagement?
    12. 12. STEP 3: TOOLS Questions to ask: Where does this group already talk or engage online? Which tools are most appropriate to the kind of message or content? What kind of engagement is required to match the goals?
    13. 13. COMMUNITY MAPPING TEMPLATEGet this template!
    16. 16. STEP 1: CONTENT Examples: Program or service updates/changes Staff announcements Jobs Volunteer opportunities Fundraisers Events
    17. 17. STEP 2: GOALS Examples: Increase visibility of the organization Increase participation Raise funds Build leadership Find sponsors or partners Recruit volunteers Build community
    18. 18. STEP 3: OUTLETS Examples: Newsletter or mailing Email newsletter Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Website Blog
    19. 19. CONTENT PLANNING TEMPLATEGet this template!
    28. 28. ALERTS
    29. 29. METRICS TRACKING TEMPLATEGet this template!
    31. 31. TWITTER TOOLS • • • • • • Twitalyzer • 14blocks
    32. 32. FACEBOOK TOOLS • Edgerank • Booshaka • Insights • Your own tracking!
    35. 35. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    36. 36. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    37. 37. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    38. 38. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    39. 39. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    40. 40. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    41. 41. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    42. 42. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    43. 43. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    44. 44. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    45. 45. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    46. 46. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    47. 47. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    48. 48. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    49. 49. TOP 12 HIGHLIGHTS
    50. 50. COMMUNITY DATA
    51. 51. ONLINE GIVING
    52. 52. ONLINE GIVING
    53. 53. MOBILE DATA
    54. 54. MOBILE DATA
    55. 55. MOBILE EMAIL
    57. 57. FIRST: LISTEN • Create listening dashboard • Identify bloggers, Twitter hashtags, and other key words to follow • Add agenda item to staff meetings for review of highlights or news from social channel listening
    58. 58. SECOND: RESPOND • Post comments on blog (signpost back to your site) • Use hashtags, or join a Twitter chat on relevant topic to the org/work • Encourage all staff to comment and engage
    59. 59. THIRD: CREATE • Add social media and mobile phone fields to your profile or registration forms (within reason!) • Create content for the channel based on your content map • Use segmenting or filtering options wherever possible • TRACK!
    60. 60. QUESTIONS? @AmyRSWard
    62. 62. TWITTER TOOLS • Twitalyzer • 14blocks • • Storify •,,, TinyURL,, • Tweetdeck, Hootsuite
    63. 63. FACEBOOK TOOLS • Edgerank • Booshaka • Insights • iPhone/Andriod/iPad • Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, etc. •
    64. 64. LINKEDIN TOOLS • Events • Groups and subgroups • Organization pages • Volunteering and causes • Slides, blogs, and other apps
    65. 65. GOOGLE TOOLS • Google checkout • YouTube Channel + livestreaming • Adwords •
    66. 66. RESOURCES Templates: Community Map Template: Content Map Template: Metrics Template: Books & Collections: We Are Media: Social by Social: #SOCIALMEDIA NONPROFIT tweet Book01: Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: Reports: eNonprofit Benchmarks Report: Nonprofit Social Networking Report:
    67. 67. RESOURCES“like”-into-lasting-change/