The Art of Asking…On Social Media

I can’t say enough about reading Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking from a fundraising perspective, so we will continue talking about it this week.  

Amanda strikes another nonprofit fundraising chord when she talks about how important your social media presence is in getting your message out to your fans (donors).  Near the dawn of the Twitter era, Palmer sent out a tweet calling people to meet up for a pillow fight on a street corner in Austin.  Expecting ten people to show up, she was overwhelmed when more than 100 people did. After the feathers had flown, Palmer’s amazement continued: she learned how to search mentions on twitter and saw that her feed was flooded with videos, pictures and comments about the battle.

Here is my summary of the power of twitter, per Amanda Palmer’s experience, in 140 characters:

Twitter’s an exchange: you ask for help, people answer. You send appreciation/provide info, supporters identify w you. Twitter connects us.

Realizing the power of social media is the first step and while our sector can be out ahead on many things we are luddites in this realm.  Neither The 2016 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Conference nor the Association of Fundraising Professionals Massachusetts Conference have a workshop that focuses singularly on effective use of social media for nonprofits.  Avoiding social media is inexcusable in 2016.  The world moves very fast and there are simple things your organization can do to get impactful returns in terms of donations and good-will from SM platforms.

Approach social media like you would fundraising: with a STRATEGY. Like any advertising, it only works if you are targeted and have a goal for the return on investment. Set measurable goals, and then use tracking tools such as insights and Google Analytics to access the data.

If you are a technological snail, sit down with the Millennials in your office and ask them how they use social media, what is currently trending, and what would appeal to them and then use this info to stay relevant. Social media is not one size fits all, and it certainly works differently for different organizations. Some causes may work well on instagram while others may not use instagram at all.

Everything changes rapidly, but talking about the role of social media for your organization and implementing a digital strategy puts you light years ahead of some of the sector.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about DSA’s social media management services, contact Also, stay tuned for the announcement of our second Let’s Get Social! Social Media Workshop that will occur in early December, 2016 at our Arlington, MA office.

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