Tips to Get Started Using Social Media to Fundraise

Last year, Nonprofit Tech for Good reported some of the following statistics:

* Fifty-five percent of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action.

* The average nonprofit crowdfunding campaign raises $9,237.55.

* Online giving grew 13.5 percent in 2013.

Social media is here to stay and nonprofits need to become more aggressive in incorporating its use into their overall outreach strategy for courting their current and prospective donors. The vast majority of organizations say that their websites and email is the most important communication tool that they use. Fully, 97 percent of nonprofits are using Facebook.

Nonprofits exist not only to fulfill their respective missions, but in order to accomplish their work, they are also looking to promote their organizations and obtain financial support, in effect fundraising dollars. As noted in a Nonprofit Quarterly article 74 percent of organizations use social media to announce events and activities, and only 53 percent, “follow the best practice of posting issue-centric content to establish thought leadership… ”

That point is one that should not be taken lightly. The reality is that nonprofits should not be in the business of simply using social media to promote their activities. The most successful organizations (for-profit and nonprofit) are the ones who consistently become thought leaders in their respective fields. Individuals and the media want to know that your organization is an expert in the field and this is not acquired by simply publicizing your own events.

In order to be effective at using social media, you need to regularly communicate with your followers. This means with tools such as Facebook, it should be approximately 5 to 10 times per week. Since Twitter is a micro-blog, nonprofits can certainly tweet more often than Facebook. One of the key best practices to keep in mind for this particular platform is to build up your followers. To accomplish this, your organization can look into Tweelow, @NonprofitOrgs and WeFollow. And, on Twitter or other similar platforms, in order to have a good conversation, remember to follow back those who follow you.

Most nonprofits are very good at being able to communicate what they do, but many forget that there should be a regular call to action in your conversation. There are several means to accomplish this:

* Ask a question and target your message to influencers on varying social media platforms.

* Tell followers what you need via a wish list or if you have implemented a campaign, let people know how to get involved and why.

* Ask people to share or retweet (RT).

* If publicizing an event, promote early-bird tickets.

A great practice to promote your cause that people will remember is to post great photography and images on the social media platforms you are using. People may notice a picture more than text. Infographics are also another approach to get your message across in a simple to digest and visually memorable fashion.

Finally, get messy. Some nonprofits don’t use social media because they are afraid of doing something “wrong”. There are no hard and fast rules. The reality is that the more your organization uses social media, the more you will see what the best practices are around that specific platform. Start out using one or two tools and as you gain more confidence and success, add other social media.

© 2015 Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.

10 Secrets to Help You Save Money Groceries Shopping

Are you looking for some not so obvious ways to save money? Have you already cut back on those trips to Starbucks and your cable bill but still need to save more? Great, how about groceries?

Yes, you can save money groceries shopping. It isn’t always easy or obvious… but it is possible. Here are 10 secrets to help you get started.

#1 – Get Organized

This sounds basic but the very first thing you should do to save money groceries shopping is get organized. Super organized. Like OCD.

Start by making a meal plan. Knowing what you’re going to eat each day will ensure you don’t buy extra, unnecessary ingredients. After you compile your meal plan, make your shopping list.

#2 – Know Your Sales

Check weekly circulars from stores to know which items are marked down. If you don’t get a local paper, most stores publish their sales ads online.

Use your list from secret #1 to hone in on just the items you need. You will not save money groceries shopping if you just buy stuff because it is on sale.

#3 – Price Match

It wouldn’t be good to save money groceries shopping just to blow all those savings on gas… which is exactly what will happen if you have to run all over town to take advantages of all the great sales you found.

Instead, choose to shop at a store that price matches (ex. Wal-Mart). That way you can take advantage of all those weekly sales without wasting all your gas. Simply bring the circulars from other stores with you and present the sale prices to the cashier at checkout.

#4 – Be Social

Sometimes, being a social butterfly pays off. Follow your favorite stores and brands on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). They will often post special deals or coupons there.

#5 – Check Your Facts (Er, Receipt)

Look, we’re all humans and we all make mistakes… this goes for the person behind the cash register at your local grocery store as well. Once you leave the store, carefully review your receipt for accuracy. Did everything ring up at the right price? Did all your coupons get scanned in?

If you find a mistake, don’t hesitate to either call the store or go back and ask for an adjustment.

#6 – Bulk Buying BFFs

If you’re single or a small family but want to take advantage of the discounts bulk stores offer, then buddy up with a friend to share. Buy products together at big warehouse stores and split them. This will allow you to save money groceries shopping without wasting food.

#7 – Avoid Convenience

Convenience products, like pre-sliced fruit, are well, convenient but they also come with a hefty price tag. Skip these items; put in a little extra time and effort in order to save money groceries shopping.

#8 – Go Digital

Our high tech world offers you more opportunities than ever to save money groceries shopping. Take advantages of digital coupons from your local store (ex. Krogers) as well as money saving apps such as Checkout51 and Ibotta.

#9 – Get a Green Thumb

Produce can be one of the costliest items at the grocery store. Save money groceries shopping by growing your own produce if possible.

#10 – Get Creative

All you need to do to save money groceries shopping is think outside of the box. A little creativity will go a long way. For example, make every Monday “meatless Monday”. Doing so will allow you to save a bundle by buying less meat. Need a little inspiration? The Intranet is filled with recipes for fabulous meatless meals.

Kelli Bhattacharjee, the owner of http://www.FreebieFindingMom.com, is a former investment professional with nearly ten years of experience. After graduating the top of her class in finance she decided to pursue her passion of empowering others to better manage their money via her savvy financial blog.