One of the biggest recent developments in society was the widespread adoption of social media. Today, 79% of Americans have a social networking profile. Hundreds of millions of people login daily to their accounts to see their feed. Philanthropy has felt the effects.. Seeing how social media connects to Philanthropy is important, as the effect has been massive and will increase as time goes on.
There are a number of big social networks, amongst them: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. And the numbers will only increase; recently Tik Tok has made big gains. They all have different designs, target markets and ways of connecting. But one commonality is that they connect people at a far greater scale than old media. Old media (that being television and newspaper) was static. Also, social media is a two way street and is freely accessible by anyone. Only a relatively wealthy person can afford a premium cable subscription while anyone can login at the library and access Twitter.
There are a number of pointers for philanthropic organizations. One of them is to not underestimate social media. The change from face-to-face to online does not mean a lessening in communication. Rather, it’s an increase in connectivity. Train your staff to use online methods as a way to affect the world, not just as a cosmetic procedure. Someone who did not grow up with the internet and social media might think their online activities are just a side effect but it’s really another tool in the toolbox.
The last thing you want your organization to do is to just create a page (say on Facebook) and stop. Social media changes constantly and moves quickly. You must actively use your social media accounts. An inactive page on a social media account comes across as unprofessional. A prospective donor or volunteer would be less likely to contribute if your page had barely any activity.
Once you have that page, it’s an excellent fast and free way tool for public relations. You can post about your fundraising efforts or your volunteers in action. Don’t forget to calculate all the costs though. You might want to hire a professional or even a consultant to take care of it for you.
Philanthropy is a critical part of our society. It’s been greatly affected by social media and seeing the connection is important.