May
31
2012

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Dreaming big, experimenting, and not fearing failure are part of what’s moved our civilization forward since mankind’s first breath. Social media has become a major conduit for change, an accessible platform that channels our progressive behavior—wherever we are in space and time. That’s why we need to be fearless about social media adoption.

There’s no question that nonprofits can use social media to push its mission forward to produce change, similar to how the Hellenic phalanx, the strongest infantry before the rise of the Roman Empire, used to do. Adopting a social strategy that works means you have to be willing to think outside the box and take risks. This will make your cause stand out in the eyes of the right audience.

Dream Big

Jean Case made a great point in her kickoff of the Be Fearless campaign: “The easy road in any undertaking is to set comfortable, realistic goals.” That is what most everyone is doing, so why should your organization do the same?

Practicality and big dreams don’t have to conflict, so if it’s possible for your organization to make a sweeping change, set that as your goal, find the way(s) to get there, and identify what you need to start. Once you do this, use social media to let your community know, and invite them to take part in your journey. Show them how their online donation will get you there.

Experiment

Unfortunately, social media doesn’t have a scientific formula or cookie-cutter template that works across the board. But there are tried-and-true best practices that come from experience, and guess what else—experimentation! Trial and error isn’t a waste of time if you watch closely to see what works, and make changes to improve.

This is the road less travelled for most organizations, so “unfollowing” the norm to make your own way will surely grab attention. Fundraising contests, like the upcoming Twive and Receive competition on June 14th, have been used by nonprofits as their debut into social media fundraising. They took a leap, and look at the payoff: 58% of survey respondents reported new donors after the campaign.

Don’t Fear Failure

The fear of launching a bad campaign or even issuing the wrong Tweet is paralyzing. You put yourself and your organization in a box, and that shows you’re limiting your own potential. Shake off the fear of screwing up, and start planning your strategy. Get others you trust to give you some input. And when you’ve done all you can, go for it. If it doesn’t work, pick yourself back up and move on. But when you do everything you can, what else is there to do?

As a citizen of the world, my best argument against fear is this: if your nonprofit is all about fixing a big problem in my community, why is your fear going to get in the way of giving my community what it needs?

Now go. Take that first step and start using the power of social media to fundraise. And if you don’t want to do it alone, please join me as I work with 200+ nonprofits across the nation by fundraising for or donating to a favorite local-serving charity for Twive and Receive on June 14th. Check out some of the fearless people and organizations already signed up.


Ifdy Perez is the community manager at Razoo, an online fundraising platform that empowers individuals and nonprofits to meet their fundraising goals through online giving campaigns. She's also editor of Inspiring Generosity, a blog that gives nonprofits helpful resources on online community management and social media tools.

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