2017 is the final year of free webinars for nonprofits (view final schedule). To date, Nonprofit Tech for Good has trained 49,000 nonprofit, charity, and NGO staff worldwide on how to succeed in online communications and fundraising. Each webinar has a central theme, but the 10 random tips below are outliers and haven’t yet been integrated into the webinar content. If you can not attend the final webinars due to scheduling conflicts, you can still register to receive a comprehensive set of notes that are emailed to registrants after the webinar is over.
1) Coordinate Tweets and Facebook Posts with e-newsletters and fundraising appeals.
Some subscribers to your email list will visit your nonprofit’s Twitter Profile or Facebook Page to retweet or share a story or call-to-action that is featured in your e-newsletter or fundraising appeal. Before you send out emails, ensure that you have pinned the featured story or call-to-action of your email to your Twitter Profile and Facebook Page.
2) Prominently feature call-to-follow icons in your e-newsletters and fundraising appeals.
Make it easy for your subscribers to find and follow your nonprofit on social media by adding call-to-follow icons at the top of your email templates.
3) Never release an infographic as a PDF.
A very common mistake made by nonprofits is releasing infographics for reports and campaigns in PDF format. Infographics should be embedded in image format so that your supporters can easily share your infographic. PDFs are document files and therefore do not pull up thumbnails on social media which significantly decreases user-generated traffic and exposure.
4) Create social media graphics for reports and fundraising events.
Any type of online campaign, project, or publication that has a release or launch date needs a corresponding set of social media promotional graphics. Ideally, a square version (1200 x 1200) for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest and a rectanglish version (1200 x 630) for Twitter.
5) Buy giving day and signature event domains years in advance.
If your nonprofit launches annual giving day campaigns or hosts a signature event each year, it’s smart strategy to buy domains for those campaigns and events years in advance. For example, bsr16.org, bsr17.org, and bsr18.org. 1) Buy short domains that work well in print and online. 2) Use the domains either for a stand alone website or for auto-forwarding to a page on your website. 3) Consider using the new .ngo domain. Your first choice is likely still available and it’s only $.99.
6) Use only one or two hashtags per tweet.
Using multiple hashtags on Instagram works, but it doesn’t on Twitter. Use only one or two hashtags maximum in tweets. More than that and your nonprofit has entered the realm of hashtag spamming which is rewarded with less engagement and lower click-through rates.
7) Add a hashtag to your Twitter and Instagram bios.
During special fundraising and advocacy campaigns or in the months leading up to a special event, add your nonprofit’s campaign and event hashtags to your nonprofit’s Twitter and Instagram bios. Doing so helps build awareness for your hashtag(s) and provides your followers with quick, easy access to the discussion occurring on your hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
8) Allow staff to link to their LinkedIn Profiles in their online bios on your website.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and it reflects well upon a nonprofit employee and the nonprofit they work for when their staff have well-written, active LinkedIn Profiles. Featuring a link to their LinkedIn Profile in bios on your nonprofit’s website also helps your staff increase their connections in the LinkedIn community.
9) Write a simple, two-sentence statement about your nonprofit’s purpose and programs.
Most mission and vision statements are loaded with jargon and flowery language and should not be the content most prominently featured on a nonprofit’s “About” page. Mission and vision statements are ineffective when trying to communicate to online readers the purpose of your nonprofit and the programs it operates. For online readers, your nonprofit needs an extremely simple, two-sentence “About” statement that summarizes the work you do (such as these 25 simple, two-sentence statements) that can be featured on your social networks, in your email newsletters, and on your “About” page.
10) Link screenshots of videos in e-newsletters and fundraising appeals to donate pages with the video embedded.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare consistently sends out e-newsletters with screenshots of videos, but rather than linking the screenshots to their YouTube Channel, the IFAW links the video screenshots to donate pages where the videos are embedded. Thus, after watching and hopefully becoming inspired by the video, the viewer is already landed on a donate page where its easily to give.
Based upon the survey results of 4,908 NGOs worldwide, the 2017 Global NGO Online Technology Report is groundbreaking in that it is the only annual research project dedicated to studying how NGOs use online technology on a global scale.