leaky bucketThere are great minds on both sides of this debate.  Make no mistake about it, a large presence in social media is critical and will only help your nonprofit’s growth.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are critical to building brand and name i.d., but they rarely drive people to give AND GIVE AGAIN.

The “ice bucket” challenge was an anomaly for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all forms of social media.  ALS is going to be left with a huge hole to fill because most of these donors were one time event givers.  I was excited to see Facebook recently raised $12 million for Nepal earthquake relief, but once again they have created one time event givers.

Today, social media is producing primarily “One-And-done” new donors.  While this kind of funding helps, it is very risky to build a future on.  Charities are wasting vasts amounts of time trying to come up with the next “ice bucket”.

What successful charities do on line is very different than the “ice bucket”.  They focus on tools that procure the donor name, email, mailing address and cell phone so that they can get A SECOND GIFT and gifts into the future from the internet responder.

The primary tools used today for internet fundraising (digital/online) are SEM (search engine marketing), retargeting (serving up adds based upon a visit to your website) and integration
with other channels that are driving DONATIONS to the website giving page.  These “drivers” are mail, phones, TV and radio.  In 95% of all cases social media integrates with these “drivers” to boost second gifts and multiple gifts in other channels, but not first time gifts in the social media itself.

Social media is important for how it helps the other channels, but it truly is not a funding channel by itself with predictable, repeatable, measurable results.

My position will drive the App Developers and website builders using

Roy C. Jones, CFRE

Roy C. Jones, CFRE

social media crazy.  I WOULD LOVE FOR THEM TO PROVE ME WRONG, but I still believe we are years away from “social media” becoming a stable income producing channel.