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Using Social Media for Good: How to support your cause on Facebook and beyond

By NOW Marketing Group

Doing good and being good is a key component of relationship marketing, regardless if you run a for-profit business or a non-profit charity.

We want to be a magnet—not a bullhorn—not only in our marketing but in everything our businesses do. Creating a brand which people understand and trust is how we build a strong magnetism to our audience. One way we can do that is by supporting initiatives we care about.

Even if you aren’t non-profit yourself, or collecting donations internally, if you use your platform for good, people will start to know and understand your brand more and what it is you and your team support.

If you’re looking for ways to support a cause that is close to you, you need to start with the passion. People are going to need to understand the why behind the cause. Otherwise, they won’t get behind you.

Have a clear passion

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Possibly the best quote ever because it’s just so dang true. Why you do what you do is going to make such a huge difference in getting people to back you up. Without passion, there is just not a reason for people to love what you do and give you their money to do it.

So what are you passionate about? What situation makes you so mad you just have to do something about it? What problem would you love to find a solution for? The answers to these questions will determine what kind of non-profit you should run or support.

Have a clear cause

For businesses who want to do good, it can be helpful to look into your “triple bottom line.” AKA: being profitable, being environmentally friendly, and doing good in the local community or globally. When companies align with these things it says a lot about their culture and can be a competitive differentiator.

Having a clear cause you’re aligned with gives people another reason to choose you over a similar company.

So, choose a cause that matches your passion and then get involved. If you have a team, get them involved and get their ideas. What cause matches your company values and culture?

Have a clear plan

If you have a passion and you have your cause, now it’s time to craft your clear and convincing message.

You need to be specific on:

  • Who you serve
  • Why you exist
  • Why someone should care
  • How someone could support you

Other best practices include having visuals created that people can share and give them lots of opportunities to link back to your site. You should have the frequently asked questions answered somewhere on the site, either as a dedicated page or as posts on a blog. Don’t forget to create a PayPal or Stripe account to collect the funds you’ll need to see your mission through.

Tell your story on social media

You’ll also need some sort of web presence, or what we like to call a home base. This can be its own website or some sort of splash page like a GoFundMe page. It could even be a Facebook page. Whatever you choose, it will need to talk about your mission and tell your story. Video and images are great ways to do this, alongside your written content.

Talk about who you are, why you are passionate about it, and how someone can get involved. By how to get involved, we mean how can you make the reader feel like the hero. Through their support, they make the difference. Being and feeling like a hero is what will convince people to support you.

And how they can talk about their support makes a difference, too. Saying “I just helped build five wells for a remote village,” makes a much bigger impact than saying “I just donated money.” Help them connect the dots to see what their money will really be doing.

It’s also helpful to have a progress report, whether it’s through an email campaign or a dedicated social media page or group.

Bottomline:

  • Pick your message
  • Pick your platform
  • Know your audience
  • Have an ongoing plan

Your social media presence is how you’re going to gain ideas and grow a marketing army who can help you share out your message. You can post updates and videos and ask for collaboration from followers and other businesses who would work well with your great cause.

How to accept donations on Facebook

Donations on Facebook are a great feature, but can have some pitfalls if you don’t set everything up correctly. Yikes. On one hand, it’s great that they already have the platform built in. It’s really easy to collect donations right on your Facebook page or to create a fundraiser.

But, you have to be sure to fill out all the steps before you start collecting money, otherwise your money may be held in limbo for up to a month. That’s definitely not good. And, if you are not a 501(c)3 charitable organization they will take a cut of the donations. If you have 501(c)3 status, you must put that info into Facebook.

There are two options on Facebook:

Fundraisers

  • A short-term campaign to raise money
  • Will keep everyone in the loop easily
  • Not great for business, better for personal fundraising

Donations

  • Long-term campaigns to raise money
  • Great for businesses looking for ongoing donations

Check out these great charities and how they run their campaigns:

If your charitable organization meets these criteria, follow these steps to be able to accept donations on Facebook:

  • Make sure that the charity's Facebook Page category is 'Nonprofit Organization’ or 'Charity Organization' and that its address is included in the ‘About’ section of its Facebook Page
  • Sign up for Facebook Payments from a Page admin account
  • Accept Facebook's terms of service
  • Accept the terms of Business Manager (for organizations that use Business Manager)

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Are you currently running a non-profit? What have been some of your challenges? Let us know in the comments.

Are you a listener, not a reader? We have you covered. Watch Jessika Phillips and Mike Gingerich talk about non-profits during #TrainingTuesday.

Tags: relationship marketing

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