Why social media isn’t a good fundraising tool

By Jake Mosbach

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There’s no secret that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. can be very helpful tools for nonprofit organizations to spread their mission and values.  Social media can reach all corners of the globe, so why not utilize it, right?  But, are you thinking about using your nonprofit’s social media sites for fundraising?

Don’t.

According to a recent study, it was found that less than one percent of all nonprofit funds have been raised on social media platforms.  According to John Haydon, author of “Facebook Marketing for Dummies,” there’s a pretty simple reason why.

“People are going on there to be social, to connect with friends and family, and to relieve boredom,” Haydon said.  “It’s not about making donations.”

But there are a couple other reasons why social media (mainly Facebook) is a lousy fundraising tool:

1) Social Networks have made recent changes that alter which posts appear on users’ timelines.  They’re much more selective.  Thus, your nonprofit’s posts might not even be visible to your target audience.

2) When researchers ran a “donate button test,” seeking to find just how many people were willing to donate on social media, they found that their donate button didn’t show up on any mobile app.  Today, roughly 78% of Facebook users access the social site on the mobile version, and would be unable to see your donate button.

Social media can be a great tool for nonprofit organizations to spread awareness of their cause, that much is very true.  But should you use it to raise money for your organization? It appears that it may not be worth your time or effort.

Jake Mosbach is a junior at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor in Sports Studies.  He plans to graduate in May 2016 and start a career in the world of sports journalism.

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