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Joelle Wyser-Pratte’s Approach to Social Media for NonProfits

Social Media appsI’ve followed nonprofit organizations on social networks and usually what tends to happen is that I don’t see any posts for months and then suddenly around Christmas or during their active campaigns, I tend to get bombarded with messages.  Donating money is usually the focus of those messages and while, I like helping as much as I can, I don’t like being hounded every day until the season is over.

So, I end up un-following or unsubscribing and then I wonder… how many other people are doing the same thing?  And what kind of impact is that having on the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts?

I think that it would make a big difference if instead of being MIA for most of the year and then broadcasting like crazy for a short period of time, it would be better if they did a few things differently.

Joelle Wyser-Pratte is taking a different approach

Joelle Wyser-Pratte has begun using social media for nonprofit fund-raising and raising social awareness about her nonprofit organization that was created to help foster change through education.  These strategies can be applied to increase awareness for any nonprofit organization.

Here are some strategies that can be used:

Create Content that Highlights the Need

Joelle Wyser-Pratte gets the word out about what her foundation is doing to educate girls via social networks by creating videos and other content that doesn’t just immediately ask for donations.  Instead, the content shares information about the problem that the organization is trying to solve.  It starts by highlighting the need first and then invites the viewer to help.

Keep People Updated – Especially about Success Stories

People want to know how their donations are being put to use.  They want to feel that what they’ve given has made a difference.  Joelle Wyser-Pratte has assisted with a range of education needs around the globe from girls’ education to aids clinics for children to transportation to school in Nicaragua. She uses social media to show the world that their donations are making it possible for girls, HIV positive or other disadvantaged children to gain access to an education that is otherwise not readily available because of health, social assumptions or financial hardship.

When people read the stories of these children that have been helped, they’ll want to continue sending aid.  In addition to using Facebook and Twitter for updates, create a blog and use it to post more in-depth updates.

Teach Followers How they Can Help Spread the Word

Aside from donating money, there are other valuable ways followers can help.  Teaching them how to spread the word about the organization, especially during a campaign, could bring in new donators and ultimately help raise more funds.  This works more effectively if followers share the stories that highlight the need rather than simply asking their network for money.

Don’t assume followers already know how to do this.  When you share stories with followers, ask them directly to share the stories with their network and then make it easy for them by ensuring Tweet buttons and Facebook Like buttons are easily accessible.

These are a few strategies that can help nonprofit organizations use social media more effectively.  I’m sure there more helpful tips these organizations can use, so please share them in the comments section.