8 Steps of Your Effective Nonprofit Social Media Routine

8 steps of your effective nonprofit social media routine 300x300 8 Steps of Your Effective Nonprofit Social Media RoutineA routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. Too often, I find that nonprofits engage in social media along more of a catch-as-catch-can program. Nothing fixed about it.

To maximize social media productivity your practices must become habitual. And, of course, your habits must be good ones if you’re to be successful.

I’ve found that successful nonprofit marketers have 8 common social media and content marketing routines that get them valuable actions.

Take a moment to consider whether or not you do you these things systematically.

After all, you don’t spend time on marketing communications just for your own amusement, do you?

  • Hopefully, you know precisely what you want folks to think, feel and do once you’ve messaged them. Check?
  • Then you put consistent strategies in place to achieve your objectives. Check?

If you’re not quite sure you’ve got good social media habits in place, take a few minutes to introspect.

Read this post — and maybe the two posts I contributed to Maximize Social Business on which this is based: 8 Routine Social Media Practices of Successful Nonprofits and 4 Nonprofit Social Media Habits that Unlock Valuable Actions.

Your 8-Step Routine:

  1. Build meaningful relationships
  2. Be constituent-centered
  3. Use psychology of persuasion and neuroscience
  4. Tell a story
  5. Get visual
  6. Connect with influencers
  7. Create a balance of desired action responses
  8. Measure your effectiveness; adjust

Build Relationships with Potential Donors

The first four routines are geared to assure you stop talking at folks and begin building relationships with folks.

What selling and fundraising have in common is relationship-building. Fundraising has always been about building relationships with people who are, or will be, ready, willing and able to give.

Increasingly, nonprofits are leveraging technology to build relationships with potential supporters.

Get the Actions You Seek

The next four routines are about assuring that once you connect you get desired, specific results.

Generally, your goals will fall into one or more of these three categories: (1) create awareness about your mission, (2) drive purchases from those who benefit from your mission, and (3) raise funds to sustain your mission. Each category demands different calls to action.

Stop winging your social media strategy. Decide where you’re headed; plan ahead to assure you’re not wasting your time and energy to get someplace you don’t really want to go. To paraphrase Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll very likely get there.

Ultimately, you’ll achieve success when you align your values with your constituents’ values. When the content you offer is content they can use. When you make your story their story.

That’s the stuff of which successful nonprofit marketing is made.

thinpaperback 237x300 8 Steps of Your Effective Nonprofit Social Media Routine
More than 100 Social Media Tips and Resources!

Hop on Board the Effective Nonprofit Social Media Train!

Grab the Clairification Hop on Board Nonprofit Social Media Guide. Fundraising and marketing have changed more in the past 5 years than in the previous 50 – it’s time to hop on board the train to the 21st century, and beyond. It’s only 10 bucks to get started! Plus, that gets you a 15-minute chat with me. No-brainer, right? Go for it!

Quick Guide to Get Your Nonprofit “Crowd On”

quick guide to get your nonprofit crowd on 265x300 Quick Guide to Get Your Nonprofit “Crowd On”I’ve been thinking a lot about crowdfunding lately.

Bzz… bzz… buzz… buzz… Do you hear it?

It’s the sound of the times. It’s the bees flying around crowdfunding campaigns like honey. Sweet, golden honey.

Are you getting yours?

With the mainstream shift into digital communication, and the advance of technology through online donation and peer-to-peer fundraising platforms, crowdfunding is something I believe you should seriously consider if you’re not already getting your “crowd” on.

Especially if you have…

  • A big campaign going on.
  • Or a specific project that lends itself well to the telling of a compelling story.
  • Or you need to raise a lot of funds in a relatively short time period.
  • Or there’s a strong tie to some big event – anniversary; holiday; news story.
  • Or your current constituents are more inclined towards being ambassadors than asking or giving.
  • Or you’re having a hard time breaking out of the “box” of folks you think might be interested in your cause, and are looking to build your audience in new ways.

So I’ve put together a few resources, and some of my own thoughts, to help you think things through.Continue Reading

Why No Pain Trumps Gain in Fundraising Offers

toddlers fighting over toy Why No Pain Trumps Gain in Fundraising Offers
We really can’t stand to lose things – it’s something bred into us early on.

I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what the “Clairification” blog is all about.

It’s often said that people give to people.  So true.

But people are funny.

People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift rather than the people who show them the good that can be gained.

Seems counter-intuitive, right?

Absolutely. So here’s a little reminder that people don’t always behave as you might intuitively believe they would.  Which is why fundraising is part art and part science. And here’s something we know from the research:

Fear of loss weighs heavier than hope of gainContinue Reading

Whither the Nonprofit Sector in 2015? 6 Ways to Assure Yours Doesn’t Wither

vines growing 300x199 Whither the Nonprofit Sector in 2015? 6 Ways to Assure Yours Doesn’t Wither

Think big to grow and bear fruit; Think small and wither.

I chose the word “w(h)ither” in my title very deliberately. It can mean “Where are you going?” It can also mean “Dying on the vine.” Which does it mean for you and your nonprofit?

If the former, where are you going? You’ll find some “To Do’s” in this article to help you on your way towards a sustainable future. If the latter, how can your prevent this from happening? You’ll find some “don’ts” to help you breathe life into your organization.Continue Reading

Plan a Donor-Centered #GivingTuesday Next Year. Start Now.

world in hands 300x199 Plan a Donor Centered #GivingTuesday Next Year. Start Now.

Your donors mean the world to you. How do you show them?

How did your #GivingTuesday go? I’m hoping it was a great success from your perspective, but what about your donor’s perspective? What can you do to assure your donors feel like the heroes they are for making your mission possible?

Right off the bat, make sure you have a robust gratitude program in place. Thank them. Then thank them again. All through the year. The more consistently you practice gratitude, the better. If you don’t have a documented donor acknowledgment program in place, now’s the time to begin.

Whatever you do, don’t just stuff your “#GivingTuesday donors into your database, send out automated receipts, smack your lips and count up the results to report to your board. Really, truly make sure these folks feel thanked for having done something selfless and special.

Then, next year…Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday – How to Be a Winner

Apple with heart 300x198 #GivingTuesday   How to Be a Winner

Have you considered making #Giving Tuesday a gift to  your donors?

In my last post, #Giving Tuesday, Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control I talked about the origins of the day and all the good intentions that went into its creation. Yet I’ve heard from many, many nonprofits that they just don’t have the bandwidth to develop and promote one more fundraising initiative during this very busy time of year. I’ve been there, and I empathize.

Sometimes the newest bells and whistles are simply a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the end.  But rather than reject the notion of #GivingTuesday out of hand, I began to wonder if there were ways to jump on the bandwagon without cannibalizing other types of year-end fundraising.  Or without burning out staff and volunteers. Or without confusing donors who feel like they’re being asked for this, that and every such thing.

I noted that I love the idea of using #GivingTuesday to celebrate and thank our donors. We don’t thank our supporters nearly enough, so why not have a day dedicated to donor love?

I think there’s a way to make #GivingTuesday about both giving and getting. And I promised to share an example with you in my last post.Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday – Your Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control

Apple with heart 300x198 #GivingTuesday   Your Win or Lose Day? Youre in Control

What does #Giving Tuesday mean to your nonprofit? To your donors?

Giving Tuesday. What’s it all about? Read about the origins here. It’s one of those things that sounds good on paper, but in actual implementation it can be less than ideal. Why? Because it comes right smack dab in the middle of most folks annual campaigns. So there’s often little time to do it right. And it can cannibalize other fundraising efforts.Continue Reading

9 Tricks to Boost Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement – Part 2

9 clouds 300x216 9 Tricks to Boost Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement – Part 2

Ways to acquire and retain donors using social media

In Part 1 of this article we discussed four out of nine tricks to boost your social media traffic and build relationships with your target audiences. They included (1) optimizing your profile; (2) joining different networks; (3) crafting catchy, relevant titles, and (4) creating engaging content. Now it’s time to reveal the rest.

Before I do, it’s worth noting that there’s one dominant strategy underlying all my recommendations: Develop and rock a blog. All of these tricks will work without one, but a blog is the absolute best way to deliver content to your social networks. So make it the hub of your marketing communications strategy. Honest-to-goodness it will make your life easier! If you have numerous excuses holding you back from blogging, read this article to get over them [and see below for some help with implementation]. Got it? Okay. Let’s move on to tricks five through nine. Continue Reading

9 Tricks to BOOst Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement – Part 1

pumpkins scary 300x243 9 Tricks to BOOst Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement   Part 1


Did I scare you with that big BOO!? Aw, shucks. Just trying to get you in the mood for Halloween. I want you to have more than a ghost of a chance at generating leads and converting visitors into supporters. And that’s why I’m offering up 9 tricks to help you make your social media strategy worth the effort you’re putting into it.

In fact, these 9 tricks are really treats. If you use them, no one will end up with rotten egg on their face.  So… fear not! Why the heck not get in the spirit and … go for the ghoul?Continue Reading

8 Nonprofit Lead Generation Take-Aways from the Ice Bucket Challenge

ice bucket champagne bottles 300x199 8 Nonprofit Lead Generation Take Aways from the Ice Bucket Challenge

Celebrate what your nonprofit can learn about social media and fundraising from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Whether you fall into the “it was just dumb luck” or the “whoa… that was brilliant” camp when it comes to evaluating the recent Ice Bucket Challenge social media + fundraising phenomenon, there is certainly much to be learned.

I’m still amazed at the pooh-poohers who are wringing their hands over the fact that it’s highly unlikely ALS will retain more than 30% of these donors because these donors are new and new donor retention rates are abysmal . True, but… they secured over 3 million donors! So, at bare minimum, they’ve got 3 million “leads.”Continue Reading