Fundraising with Social Media

In the March edition of Associations Now, Andrew Lang highlights a social media success story titled Tweeting for Dollars

He writes, “Most of us know or have heard of associations that use tools like Facebook or Twitter to promote conferences or other products and services, thereby increasing their sales. But reports of associations creating net income directly from these tools have largely proven illusory. Finally, I am pleased to report that I have found just such an association—and it turns out it has been succeeding at it for three years already.”

The program he highlights is run by Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) using Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts to request donations to fund scholarships for their annual conference. For each donation made, the responder got a vote on what video would be produced for the conference.

“The resulting campaigns have raised an average of approximately $10,000 each of the last three years.” Lang reports, and “because NTEN has a corporate sponsor that provides matching funds, the total raised comes to $20,000 a year. While this is only a small percentage of the organization's overall budget, it is nevertheless a useful sum for the purpose intended.”

Social media is still in its infancy compared to other more mature marketing channels, but over time we will see innovative approaches that will help it become part of a predictable and projectable marketing tool. Keep watching.

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