Why Nonprofits Should Stop Using Social Media

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Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest offer a seemingly endless opportunity for nonprofits to connect with current and prospective donors, supporters, volunteers, and clients. Other social media technologies such as blogs, forums, wikis, and crowdfunding further extend the reach, frequency, and intimacy with which nonprofits can engage and build relationships with their target audiences.

Never before has it been so easy for such large numbers of people to discover, discuss, promote, and support your organization.

So why would anyone ever consider not using social media to help promote and grow their nonprofit?

Because you may be wasting precious time and effort.

Why Nonprofits Should Stop Using Social Media

You don’t have a goal. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with social media (or are fooling yourself into thinking your goal is increased awareness), how will you know whether you’re making progress. Stop. There are better things to do with your time.

You don’t get out of it what you put in. Seeing a positive return for the time, money, and effort you’ve put into any medium can take time, but if you’ve been using social media for a few years and still aren’t getting more out of it than you’re putting in, it’s well past time to stop and reassess your approach.

You have more effective options.  For most nonprofits, time and budget are absurdly limited, so make sure you invest them wisely. There are many ways to accomplish your marketing and fundraising goals. Be sure to test and measure different tactics to determine which are more effective for your organization.

Just because social media is the best option for other nonprofits, doesn’t mean it’s best for yours. If you find that social media isn’t the most effective tactic for accomplishing your goals, reallocate your time and budget to those activities that are most effective.

You’re neglecting more important activities. Social media can be an extremely effective marketing and fundraising tool, but it should never get in the way of or be an excuse for not doing the more important, if somewhat dreaded, activities like cultivating more personal donor relationships.

If you find yourself putting off writing thank you notes, scheduling coffee with a donor, or sending a client story with a personal note because you’ve got to do today’s social media posts, stop immediately!

This Doesn’t Have to Mean ‘Goodbye’

If any of these scenarios applies to your social media activities, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop completely. You may only need to revise (or develop) your social media strategy. And, it may be necessary to hire a professional to manage your social media or to teach you how to do so more effectively. It may even be time to invest in adding a team member with a proven ability to achieve results with social media.

Once you’ve established a realistic goal for the use of social media that includes achieving a return on your investment, and have determined it can be done at least as effectively as other options and without distracting you or your team from more important fundraising activities, then there is very likely a place for social media in your plans.

These same rules can be applied to all other types of promotional and/or fundraising activities.


 Image credit: hellendor

Fundraising, MarketingLance Leasure