Thursday, November 8, 2012

Still think your organization doesn't need social media?

Think again. For those of you that haven't lately, try going through a hurricane, flood, gas shortage, election and a nor'easter without it...

I know some of you are saying stop whining, nothing could be further from the truth. Through it all, through the scary nights and unsure days the one thing that has kept me going was people, but the tools that kept me connected weren't my phone or a latter in the mail, text messages didn't even work... Social media was it.

The power of social media has even profound during these weeks. It has helped loves ones find each other, allowed photos to emerge, held reassuring messages through the height of winds and rains, found gas and other resources in real time, aided a mayor (Cory Booker) in helping his citizens at all hours, and allowed millions of dollars in donations to pour in during times of need. It informed me who won elections, how bad the snow was and even allowed for a great night in a bar in remoteish Massachusetts with colleagues and friends. All without fail, all without a hiccup or a blip. I have been able to send messages to our constituents and aid those who needed it as well. The value of social media these past 10 days cannot be measured or its importance understated. 

So if you're still not helping your organization find its place and your place in the social media realm, if you still aren't operating a smart phone, I'm imploring you to wake up. For those of you who are already connected, I challenge you to do more. Recently I was speaking at a conference on the modern fundraising campaign. I drove home the fact that you CANNOT run a modern campaign without integrating social media from the start. The resources are out there, you just have to tap into them.

This week amidst all the election and storm hoopla was a great announcement, Facebook is now going to help nonprofits raise money through its platform in a new tool called Facebook Give. You can read about it here.  While only starting with a few organizations, I can easily see this developing into a powerful tool, especially for peer to peer fundraising, by far and away the most powerful ask out there.

Here's the thing, before you get to Facebook giving you need to build your following and social network! YOU need to invest in your constituents where they communicate and in the manner in which they speak. You need to take action now. Need help? Call me up! Yesterday I spent some time sending new Linked In invitations and was shocked and aghast at how many people didn't even have profiles for me to link with! Come on already! Linked In is a great way to score visits and meetings with donors in business. Enough of my lame attempt at preaching the social media gospel, I'm here to help and serve as a resource anytime.

Oh wait, I just have to pause and stop answering my cell phone... A little anecdote for you in the two days following hurricane Sandy when my city and I was devastated beyond belief, when nothing was normal, I received 3 solicitation phone calls from nonprofits asking me for money. I was aghast and dumbfounded... REALLY?? Lets have some sensitivity and common sense here folks. You might wanna cut us a break from your solicitations for a minute.

But in better news, I received two emails and 3 Facebook posts from the lovely development team at the University of South Carolina asking if I was ok and seeing if there was anything they or their Gamecock network could do for me. BRAVO! A class act I tell you. Don't think that the next time we talk turkey/donations I won't remember that. It made me feel loved and warm inside no matter how bad or cold the day. That is donor relations at its finest folks, it's about awareness and relationships. And, they knew that I was a digital girl, reaching out to me via social and digital media. A great example for others to replicate.

Still not convinced? Watch this video.

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