Many businesses have a difficult time justifying the cost of a social media strategy that is set up to succeed, meaning you have dedicated the time to research your audience and have staff that can monitor and communicate with your customers. Non-profits in particular, with very limited resources and obligations to be fiscally responsible with donor’s money have an even harder time pulling the trigger when it comes to social media. Small or locally based non-profits without the man-power struggle immensely.
Yet, non-profits more than most businesses are set up to succeed in social media. The two things non-profits and social media have in common are consumer engagement. People volunteer and donate to non-profits when they are engaged with their mission. Social media is all about generating engagement with a brand. So why are so many non-profits hesitant to change their focus?
For most companies, measuring ROI in social media is extremely difficult. Tracking increases in donations might be possible, but there is likely not a direct correlation between the two. You have to attempt to measure how much more engaged, or how many new members you have acquired through your campaign. For a company that can live or die off of donations, shifting budgets away from direct fundraising campaigns and into online marketing or social media seems like suicide. However, I would argue that if you spent the same amount of time and resources on a social media campaign than on planning a quarterly fundraising event, the financial return would not only be greater (maybe not immediately) but more sustainable. If you have a community actively engaged in your message, you’ll have them emptying out their wallets.