This article’s goal is to provide you with a basic overview of the available online communication systems for charities and at the same time to give you and your Board some hints on developing them. So, let’s start with:
• Organization’s website: if you do not plan on promoting your organization through other sources of social media, you should at least have a website. The majority of the nonprofits’ websites bring the following information: mission, services, management, and ways to contact and donate. Depending on what your organization is doing you can also include some information on upcoming events, ways to volunteer, share pictures and stories of success. Some nonprofits not only share pictures of their Board of Directors, but of their employees/volunteers, as well. This is a good way of showing what is behind the scenes and who is actually fighting for the organization’s charitable cause.
• Instagram – if you’d like to post some pictures and share videos, Instagram is the right online social media platform. One of the features is that you can connect your organization’s Instagram Account to the Facebook account; you can also use hashtags and see other organization’s pictures, as well. One of the greatest advantages of Instagram is that you can see what your followers “like” best and use this information to continue promoting your organization’s services.
• Facebook – you need to take advantage of the Facebook features and create your organization’s page. The company page is very common to the personal account, however the information that you need to include should be about your nonprofit corporation. This is not the place where you can post your personal pictures or thoughts, unrelated to the exempt purpose of the organization.
• Twitter – nowadays, Twitter is the fastest developing communication system. Its hashtag function allows companies to share short messages, aka “tweets” in up to 140 symbols. The goal is the tweets to reach out more and more supporters to your organization’s cause who will follow your organization and spread the word about it (retweet the messages).
• LinkedIn – if Facebook and Twitter are the friendlier and more entertainment-oriented online platforms, LinkedIn is considered to be the Professional one. Here is the place where you can share information on the organization’s accomplishments, goals, mission, information about the legal status, such as incorporated with the state, obtained its 501c3 tax-exempt status, etc. As all social media specialists strongly suggest each LinkedIn account to have a picture, this is another reason for your nonprofit to come up with a logo.
• Pinterest – it’s an interactive online platform where users can share ideas, events, hobbies, etc. Some nonprofits say they get inspiration from Pinterest when organizing a charitable event and promoting their services.
All of the above social media platforms are just an example of the different options for your nonprofit organization to spread the message about its charitable cause and reach out to donors. There is no need your nonprofit organization to have an account in each social medial platform. It’s always better to have one or two regularly updated and well-maintained social media pages than just having an account and not updating it. Social medial platforms provide a lot of opportunities; however they also create lots of responsibilities and require full engagement and regular updates.
Are you ready to start your social media journey?