The framework of social media is constantly changing, which always leads to different outcomes for its future and what it means for nonprofits and for-profits alike. Technology can play a part in how social media changes: digital water marks being introduced into a magazine publications, and of course the ever expanding uses of QR codes.
On the forefront and in the know of how social media is evolving and how it will evolve is Social Media for Nonprofits. Coming off of their latest stop in NYC on their conference tour, Social Media for Nonprofits provides attendees with some of the best tools and tips in the nonprofit industry, as well as speakers with the most influence in nonprofits using social media. If there is anyone that can speak on the future of social media for nonprofits, it would be this group.
Darian Rodriguez Heyman is Social Media for Nonprofit’s Co-producer and MC. With a dedication to service and improving the well being of the nonprofit industry, Darian has years of experience working with nonprofits and has served on enough councils and boards to make a run for the 2016 presidential election. Named a “Vital Voice” for nonprofits by Independent Sector in 2007, Darian is a guiding light for nonprofits.
When asked about what the state of social media is in the nonprofit world, Darian mentioned that it is in its adolescence still. While 92% of major nonprofits are on Facebook, along with Twitter (as stated in an infographic from Craig Newmark), nonprofits still don’t have a grasp on social media strategy or how to use it properly. As Darian can attest, a nonprofit’s communication with its donors greatly affects their fundraising efforts and retaining donors from year to year. And as more and more of the population moves to online communication, nonprofits need to follow suit.
The future for nonprofits and social media is all about creating a strategy around your efforts. Luckily, there are plenty of webinars, tutorials, conferences (Social Media for Nonprofits) and other events that can help nonprofits work through a social media strategy. Make sure your nonprofit doesn’t get left behind.
Nonprofit Hub has mentioned before that social media is evolving and will continue to evolve for some time. Along with that, Darian said online giving is starting to see a surge of growth (35-55%). Larger nonprofits are starting to see the greatest effect from this, in the form of larger gifts in excess of $1,000. Make sure you are optimizing your social media presence to open yourself up to potential donors.
Darian also goes to mention that with this growth, donors are becoming more accustomed to reviewing a nonprofit’s website before they jump to mailing a check. If this is the case, nonprofits should be putting more effort into their websites to better engage their donors, and making sure their website and social media presence are working together. Read over this article from The Daily Egg for some tips on how to accomplish this.
Social media is also evolving into more of a visual field with the growing popularity of Pinterest and Tumblr. And with the trends and numbers mentioned by Darian, what will social media look like five to ten years from now? And what will that mean for nonprofits and their missions? We do know that as nonprofits inch further and further into the future, social media will become even more vital to their success. It could eventually be the #1 priority for fundraising efforts and volunteer recruitment. It is an online world that we live in, and it will only progress from here.
What are your thoughts on where the future of social media lies?
Great article, and links…thanks. What I’ve noticed in the nonprofits we represent, specifically in the grants we’ve written and managed for our clients, donors aren’t the only ones looking at websites. More and more, foundations are turning to websites for information on the charity, above and beyond what they find in the grant / proposal. In some cases, foundation representatives have told us outright that they have shied away from giving money to certain nonprofits with disorganized websites, or websites that had not been updated in months. It’s not enough to have a twitter account or a facebook account, they need to be completely integrated with the website, which must be timely and organized in an efficient manner.
Thank you for the comment, Craig. And I couldn’t agree with you more. Some organizations may think that because social media is becoming a dominating force that their website is becoming irrelevant, but that isn’t the case at all. If anything, the social media platforms that nonprofits are using are driving more traffic to their websites. So that is why it is important for nonprofits to form their website and social media strategies cohesively so they work together to increase donations and spread awareness for their mission.