How to Use Social Media in Philanthropy: Knows How

20 Jan

Run4PhilippinesIn the wake of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan, Utah philanthropic organization Run4Philippines sprung up to help the people of the Philippines recover. By promoting their January 25th 5 and 10K Provo, Utah running event through social media, the organization hopes to generate enough funds to help with reconstruction and food donations.

You may be asking, “What does a 5K have to do with new media?” When it comes to humanitarian causes, Run4Philipines’ use of social media is exemplary. You philanthropist’s should take note.

Here’s the take away message in a nutshell: Run4Philippines uses social media how their potential donors would want them to use it. With three out of four young donors liking, retweeting, or sharing nonprofit content on social networks, listening to how millennials expect a non-profit to approach them through social media will increase their likelihood to interact with it. Interaction spurs donations.

As part of its 2013 Millennial Impact Report, Achieve asked 100 millennial donors to review a number of non-profit social media pages. Based on their honest feedback, I’ve listed four ways to improve your use of social media to effectively market your philanthropic cause.

Post Content That Builds Credibility

This is the age of content marketing. People want to see additional content on your social media pages that will give your cause and organization credibility. Try providing articles, educational blog posts, case studies, or content from humanitarian organizations that support your cause or have a similar cause.

The Run4Philippines Facebook page currently shows a blog post about the 5 and 10K run event written by the Mayor of Provo, Utah; the city where the run will be hosted. It also shows an article from the local newspaper about the event and its organizers.

Post Content that’s Sharable

If you can, try and kill two birds with one stone by making your credibility building content sharable. As we all know, people love sharing content online. This is because sharing content allows people to fulfill basic motivations, one of them being the desire to spread the word about causes—all the more reason to purposefully make your cause related content sharable.

Some of the most shared content on the Run4Philippines Facebook page includes video. One video is about the cause, made by Run4Philippines and the other shows Utah State Senator, Mike Lee promoting the January 25th event.

Video is a great medium to promote sharing. In fact it’s the 4th most shared content format behind pictures, links and quotes.

Provide Website Access

This might seem like a no brainer when setting up your organizations social media presence but donors who visit these pages know that the most information about the cause and its associated event is on your web page. Make sure the link is prominently placed so they can get all the info they want.

Run4Philippines has their URL as their Facebook page title ( and has also placed it prominently in the “About” section.

Clearly Show What Your Organization is about

Just like a product on the shelf, your donors will make a split second decision as to whether they want to invest their time and money into supporting your cause. For this reason it’s important to concisely list what you’re offering (the cause to be supported and the event) in a prominent place on your social media sites.

The fact that so many 5 and 10K runs are organized to support causes and that the typhoon event is still fresh in people’s minds allows the Run4Philippines name to convey a lot of clear meaning as to what the organization does. It doesn’t hurt that they placed their name throughout the header of the site and that they provided their mission statement in the “About” section.

With so many people willing and wanting to interact with companies through social media these days, it’s crucial for philanthropically focused organizations to use social media to their advantage. Following these four donor suggested tactics will surely help your cause.

With nearly 6,000 people dead and over 4 million displaced, the Filipino nation needs your help. Register for the Run4Philippines 5 or 10K run up until event day, January 25th, 2014. Register at Enjoy a concert, hot air balloons, Polar Bear Plunge, food and many other fun activities.

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in New Media


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