Last week I wrote an article called “The Ideal Startup Social Media Strategy for Non-Profits.” This evolved as a result of a phone call I had with a small non-profit called Urunji Child Care Trust. They were looking for the ultimate plan to implement through social media to raise awareness of their initiatives and ultimately raise funds. I decided to create a plan for them by following these steps:
- Research similar organizations that have been highly successful using social media
- Choose which platforms you are going to utilize
- Communicate your non-profit’s objective through the platform (s)
- Connect with the people that share your mission
- Create a campaign to raise funds
Research similar organizations that have been highly successful using social media. After a little digging, the non-profits I decided to research were African Promise, A Glimmer of Hope and Ripple Africa. All three have a very strong presence in social and are performing tactics Urunji could benefit from if they followed some of the same practices. (Please note: for the purpose of this article I’ve focused on one social platform per organization).
Choose which platforms you are going to utilize. Urunji currently has a Facebook and Twitter account although they are not very active to date. I recommend they begin a YouTube channel as well because of the connection it brings to those interested in the non-profit (as evident by Ripple Africa’s success). If they have the resources to do all three, I’d recommend Facebook for it’s ability to showcase the work of their organization (through video, photos, descriptions, ongoing updates), Twitter to enable them to broaden their outreach, and YouTube to better communicate their messages to their supporters.
Communicate your non-profit’s objective through the platform (s). The 3 organizations I researched are communicating their organization’s objectives by utilizing various social media channels. I’ve selected which platform each is using successfully and identified which tactics Urunji should utilize for their efforts.
African Promise is a charity dedicated to developing village schools in the rural community of Kasigau, Kenya. Overall they are doing a very good job showcasing their organization through their Facebook page.
Got the Basics: They’ve made it very easy for people to understand what they are about and provide their visitors with easy to find information about the organization. The second you arrive on the page, their cover photo shows a visual of their success. Below the cover photo they give you the ability to follow them on Twitter as well and sign up for their newsletter. It’s all about connection! They’ve connected to visitor’s emotional response through their cover photo and made it easy for people to connect with them through other channels.
Engage with Others: African Promise has liked many other non-profit organizations that are like minded, share the same values, and/or are around their geographic area. This shows they support other organization’s work. This doesn’t have to be financially but by simply congratulating one on a successful campaign, etc… others will see how your values overflow beyond your own initiatives.
Post Current Activity: All their Facebook posts show what is currently happening at their organization. They are very good at showing what they are working on, their successes and communicating what they hope to accomplish in the near future. All keys to their success! Below is an example that exemplifies how they are transparent with their current activities and showcase results. On August 22nd, 2012 they posted about a donation made by Hazel Footprints Trust. They thanked them, and explained what it the money would be used for:
One month later they posted the outcome of this donation showing the successful install of the toilet facilities for the girls.
A Glimmer of Hope is a non-profit organization that helps relieve women and children out of extreme poverty in Ethiopia. They are highly active on Twitter and are implementing tactics worth noting for Urunji to help them improve their current activity.
Got the Basics: Glimmer of Hope has changed their background to a collage of people they are directly working with. Again, it’s all about connection. If you’re charity is working with people, show your supports those people!
Engage with the Community: As many of us know, Twitter can be quite a commitment. By simply promoting yourself you will not get too far. Glimmer of Hope has done an excellent job balancing their own activities with participation in the charity community. Below is an example of how they’ve tied #DayoftheGirl (a trending hashtag on International Day of the Girl) with their own image.
They also are active at retweeting other’s relevant content, responding to comments about their organization and sharing topic related news.
Showcase their Work: In addition to engaging with other’s content, they also cross promote their activity from their Facebook page. This is a great way to help those interested in your work find you in other networks they partake in and so long as this isn’t the only thing you’re tweeting about, it’s a great way to broaden your reach.
RIPPLE Africa is a grassroots charity working to improve local education, healthcare, and the environment in northern Malawi. They are doing an amazing job with their YouTube channel. Through their videos, they’ve been able to tap into the emotions of their viewers and provide a well-rounded image of the organization.
When you get to their channel they have an introductory video that explains the background and mission of the organization. They then have a variety of videos that showcase the following:
Thank you videos: They have personalized thank you videos from individuals that have received funding. This video is of one student whose university was paid for; amazing connection on an individual level.
“Direct Need- Funding- Direct Need Met” videos: They have videos that show a direct need within the organization, explain what is needed to resolve it and how viewers can help. For example, this video shows a student in need of a wheelchair. They provide a background story and how to go about helping.
Showcase Success videos: They show their initiatives and how they are making a difference. This video is about a fuel efficient cook stove they created, how it changes the lives of the people, and impacts the community.
Their video strategy has been to provide a variety of videos that connect their viewers to the organization, to specific needs of the organization, and show the impact support of the organization is making in the community.
Connect with the people that share your mission. I guess I should back up here. It is necessary to engage with your supporters but the question that arises is “how do you find those supporters?” To find those that resonate with the Urunji Child Care Trust’s mission, they need to find communities that have an aligning passion for what they stand for. I’ve written several articles on this topic shown below:
- How to Get the Most out of Your Twitter Strategy
- How to Increase Fans on your Facebook Page
- How to Build a Successful Social Media Campaign: Going Beyond Social Networks
Create a campaign to raise funds. Once Urunji has established itself on these platforms and built a solid follower base, I recommend they start a campaign to help them raise funds. They’ve got a lot of work to do to establish themselves on these social platforms so we will leave this step for another article!