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5 Ways For Nonprofits To Win on Social Media


5 Ways For Nonprofits To Win on Social Media

Getting noticed on social media can be a challenge for any nonprofit. Social media is noisier than ever! How are nonprofits supposed to compete with the 24/7 crisis headlines and viral animal videos? Rather than seeing social media as an obstacle (or necessary evil), think of it as an opportunity to connect with supporters in real-time. With that in mind, here’s a list of five ways for nonprofits to win on social media.

1. Go Live

There is no more attention-grabbing social media strategy than livestream. When your nonprofits hits the ‘go live’ on Facebook or Instagram, all followers immediately get a notification. That’s not something you get when posting text, pictures, or videos. You can capture and keep the attention of your supporters on livestream in a unique way by fielding their questions. This way, supporters really feel like they are a part of the conversation. Livestream is an interactive way to do anything from broadcasting events to sharing client testimonials. Other ideas include:

  • Q&A: interview your Executive Director or Program Director so followers get to know (and trust!) your leadership even more

  • Behind the scenes: followers love to see how you run your events, programs, and normal days at the office

  • DIY: teach your followers something related to your mission, vision, or program

  • Celebrate: Have your nonprofit’s Executive Director or CEO give a quick thank-you message to celebrate organizational milestones

  • Updates: Keep your followers up-to-date by sharing the content of your newsletter updates with supporters

  • Survey: Hop on and ask supporters what they want to see more of from you on social media

2. Utilize the Donate Button

We all know about the Facebook ‘donate’ button, but did you know Instagram allows eligible nonprofits and their supporters to raise money directly on Instagram? Instagram allows nonprofits to add a profile donate button, donation sticker in Stories (now used by over 500M daily), and Live donations. This is a smart way to set your nonprofit apart from the pack because most charities don’t utilize this feature on Instagram. To receive donations through Instagram, nonprofits must complete three steps: 1. sign-up for charitable giving tools, 2. link your Instagram and Facebook accounts, and 3. switch your Instagram to a business account.


3. Create original content

When you think of viral content on social media from nonprofits over the years (think: ALS ice bucket challenge), they all have one thing in common: originality. Viral videos and images are typically first-of-its-kind stories or ideas. Inspire your followers with posts that have never been done before. Think about what makes your mission and impact unique. Brainstorm ways you can create pictures, videos, live streams, stories, competitions, and more based on that. The organization charity: water are pros at this. This year, on World Water Day, they invited their followers to take a quiz to see how much they knew about the water crisis and unlock clean water for more than 1,500 individuals.


4. Create Shareable Content

Before your nonprofit posts anything on social media, the question should be asked: is this shareable? Meaning is it something you think followers are likely to share? Shareable social media content is usually inspiring, eye-opening, or heart-warming. For example, success stories, statistics about the problem you’re trying to solve, impact statements (e.g., infographics), or quotes. When your followers see something that moves them, they are more likely to want to spread the news with their networks so they can benefit as well. When you think of “shareable content” think of Pencils of Promise. They frequently share inspiring quotes with high-quality images that consistently earn high engagement.


5. Create Memorable Hashtags

Hashtags are an easy way to source content for your social media channels. Supporters LOVE to have their voices heard. Plus, it’s an effortless way for you to gain more followers when their network sees them tagged in your post. Here’s how:

  1. Create a memorable (and concise!) hashtag

  2. Use it consistently for a period of time

  3. Invite your followers to use it when they talk about you on social media

  4. Re-post on Stories, re-share on Twitter, and share on Facebook – just make sure the picture, video, and copy is good quality and on-brand

Still not sure where to start? Go to Twitter and follow “Nonprofits & Foundations” to see how some of the largest nonprofits in the world are using hashtags to capture the attention of followers. Speaking of connecting with donors, ZGIVE’s proprietary Text-to-Engage feature enables nonprofits to help donors stay connected to your cause. With this feature, nonprofits can seamlessly text regular updates, share stories, videos, and send additional donation requests via mobile to their existing donor base.


ZGIVE is a giving platform intuitively designed to engage today’s mobile-centric donor. Every aspect of our platform is engineered to encourage more frequent and more generous giving…and it only takes about 30 seconds to donate!


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