D Pershad MSM blog - Social Media for Non-Profits


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Suggestions on how non-profits can better leverage their social media efforts.

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D Pershad MSM blog - Social Media for Non-Profits

  1. 1. Deepak Pershad’s BlogSocial Media for Non-Profit Organizations – Challenges and OpportunitiesNon-profit organizations face many of the same challenges as business enterprises today, e.g. effectiveplanning, revenue growth, a declining economy, limited resources, and a crowded competitivemarketplace. Perhaps one of the greatest low-cost tools for growth for NFPs (Not-for-profits) is socialnetworking. While this post focuses on the Canadian marketplace, many insights may be translatable toother markets as well.It’s a crowded marketplace.There are about 80,000 charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. The 72,926 charitableorganizations are comprised of, in descending order, Religion (31,757), Welfare (12,620), Benefit toCommunity (12,404), Education (11,801), and Health (4,340).1Nearly 80% of registered charities are located in Ontario (35%), Quebec (20%), British Columbia (14%),and Alberta (11%), with the remaining charities distributed among the other provinces and territories.2Resources are limited.Over 40% of charities have no staff at all and 37% have 1 – 5 employees. Almost half have annualrevenues of less than $50,000 and 64% of charities operate in communities with a local mandate.The majority of Canadian charities are small, grassroots organizations that are governed by volunteersand, in many cases, run by volunteers.3A depressed economy is negatively affecting charitable donations.In addition, the recent economic downturn has taken its toll on Canadian charitable donations. In 2009,Canadian tax filers reported a total of $7.8 billion in charitable donations (see Table 1). This was downapproximately 5.4% from the $8.2 billion reported for 2008.41 The Charities file.ca2 ibid3 ibid4 ibid Page | 1
  2. 2. However, Social Networking is a fast-growing sphere for charitable and cause-related donorengagement.In the first three and a half days after the 2004 Tsunami, Canadians donated $20 million to the CanadianRed Cross, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, UNICEF Canada and World Vision. Of that amount, $12 million(60%) came in over the Internet.5While most NFPs use social networking, there is room to grow in the social networking space. Relative toleading consumer brands, many NFPs have low social visibility scores, as illustrated by the examples inthe table below. While NFPs clearly do not have the resources of a Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, or Apple,there are still opportunities to extend and further leverage their social networking presence.5 The Charities File.ca Page | 2
  3. 3. Examples of Social Visibility ScoresBRAND SOCIAL VISIBILITY SCOREMultiple Sclerosis Society of 99CanadaUnited Way of Canada 97Canadian Cancer Society 81Heart and Stroke Foundation 67Autism Canada 56Loblaws 168Kraft 1218Coca-Cola 2092Apple 5770 Source: www.howsociable.comCaveats: The scores shown here are meant to display relative, not absolute values. Other social mediamonitoring tools may display different results, due to different methodologies.Some simple, low-cost suggestions for NFPs.Here are some simple, no-cost or low-cost suggestions for NFPs to extend their social networkingpresence beyond their website, Twitter and Facebook accounts, if they aren’t already doing so. Page | 3
  4. 4. Some Suggestions to Better Leverage an NFP’s Social Networking PresenceGOALS SUGGESTIONS RESOURCESExtend current reach Create accounts and submit blog www.digg.comand awareness of NFP posts, white papers, and event www.stumbleupon.comcommunications information to : www.slideshare.net • Digg www.scribd.com • Stumble Upon www.youtube.com/create_account Create accounts at: • SlideShare • Scribd • YouTube (If video content is availableBroaden and engage Create a Google Account for non- www.google.com/nonprofits/the corporate donor profits and leverage the new Google + www.google.com/nonprofits/tips.html#community features googleplus Create a LinkedIn account and www.LinkedIn.com Business Page • Engage existing corporate donor network, and extend it through introductions to new potential donors • Post updates • Post eventsBuild awareness of the Develop and run test campaigns on: www.Facebook.com/AdsNFP and broaden • Facebook Ads www.linkedin.com/Adsdonations base • LinkedIn Ads www.google.com/ads/adwords27/ • Google AdWords Begin with modest budgets (can be as little as $200 per campaign) to assess if such campaigns can be self-fundedMake the NFP web Consider optimizing the NFP websitepresence more visible for SEO (search engine optimization)to search enginesThere are no doubt many other ways in which an NFP can increase the effectiveness of their socialnetworking presence, and your suggestions would be welcome. Page | 4