Giving through Social MediaWritten by: Anica Samleit
Posted: 20th August 2012
Anica Samleit shares her experience of what betterplace.org does to leverage interest and attention for the projects it is crowd-funding …
“We always tell project managers: Nobody will find your project in the world wide web if you are not showing them how to find your project page. Most projects get their first donations from people that are close to the project: employees, volunteers, friends, family, colleagues. Then friends of friends and so on. They have to spread the word in places where they will find supporters. We offer them tools to share their project page via betterplace.org on various social networks.
Then we at betterplace.org start sharing that project on our social media channels. That way it is a best-practice example for other project managers – one part of our audience. The other part of our audience are potential donors. Nobody donates to a project that can’t convince people. I rarely make a direct ask to our fans and followers actually to donate to a project. Instead, I introduce them to a project by sharing an interesting blog post, a cool video, a nice picture or a specific need. We don’t try to convince the donor, the project itself has to be convincing!
There are exeptions, of course: a very innovative idea, a newly registered NGO, an urgent situation, an almost fully funded project. Then I do post a call to action: Make a difference! Be the first to donate! We need your help now! Chip in 10 Euros!
I am trying not to overdo it. Fans and followers don’t want to be asked for money all the time. They want to know who is behind a project, what the role of betterplace.org is, what progress a project made, what the money is used for precisely and what difference their contribution makes. Besides that fans and followers are a great resource to help you – ask for their opinion, their ideas, their favorite project and learn what kind of content they want.
Timing is important as well. Many people use social media as a news feed. We try to be up to date on what is happening in the world and feature related projects. Sometimes our projects match hashtags – of course we are taking advantage of that. Besides that we make sure to post project links in the evenings – a survey amongst our Facebook fans has shown that they are more likely to donate when they are at home.
Every project is free to post on our Facebook page - we share some of their posts. We also retweet links to projects – being active in social media as a project manager pays off – not only to reach out to the existing supporters, but also to everybody who’s a fan or a follower of betterplace.org.
To summarize: The more active the projects are, the more I feature them on our social media channels. They can share the link to their project page via Facebook and Twitter easily and we remind them to do so on their project page. betterplace.org is basically just spreading the word – the project managers have to make the first step.”
Anica Samleit – betterplace.org Associate – “Community”
Anica is currently taking a Master degree in Nonprofit-Management and Public Governance at the Berlin School of Economy and Law. After having spent a couple of months in Latin-America, an internship in a Fair Trade organization and volunteering in several NPOs she started working at betterplace.org in June 2010.