darianAt the 13th Annual Non-Profit Seminar, keynote speaker Darian Rodriguez Heyman spoke about trends in the nonprofit sector and the impact of social philanthropy.  His personal anecdotes and published work provided a great backdrop for the tools he shared to help nonprofits navigate through the developing market of social media.  In addition, he provided fundraising and mobile device recommendations based on his experiences and research.

Management & Social Media Tips for Non-Profits

  1. Avoid the “Leadership Vacuum” by engaging youth (those under 30) within the organization and the board to take on leadership roles, collaborate and optimize social media.
  2. Ask questions in your social media interactions that will attract conversation.  No more than 50% of posts, tweets, blogs, etc. should be about you or your organization; instead, provide communications about the cause in general or other talking points to position you as a thought leader that others will see as a resource.
  3. Share the social media responsibilities among a small group of people instead of one individual.  This can be facilitated through the use of an editorial calendar of topics to be shared on certain dates through a specific social outlet. As a rule of thumb, Facebook posts should be made 1-14 times/week and Tweets at least once a day.
  4. To make something go viral, the social media message must be compelling ( the “so what” to get your followers to care), concise (Twitter messages no more than 130 characters and Facebook posts no more than 80 characters) and credible (explain how you’re different and how you can effect change).
  5. When submitting a grant, it’s important to create a connection with the agency and secure an invitation to participate.  This will significantly increase the odds of grant acceptance.
  6. Have you put much thought into your “Donate” button on your website?  Changing the color, size, font, location, etc. can have a significant impact on the amount of online donations received.  Try out different options for 1-3 week periods and see which raises the most!
  7. Google provides advertising grants to nonprofits for $10,000 month of free advertising space on their website.  See www.Google.com/grants for more information and application process.
  8. Donors often get calls from nonprofits requesting contributions, but rarely do they get calls just saying, “thank you.”  Schedule an annual Thank-a-Thon for your Board members to give this much-needed appreciation to donor.  You might find these same donors will give again the following year, and for possibly a higher dollar amount.
  9. Make sure that your website is friendly for mobile device usage – nearly 30% of all website traffic is through a cell phone or tablet and continues to increase.

For more of Darian’s practical insights for nonprofits, follow him on Twitter!