That photo montage of Sister Mary Francis working in a garden with the Guatemalan orphans got over 300 likes on Facebook (in less than 24 hours)! Naturally, you quickly switch tabs to the crowdfunding website and check if participation in your Feed A Few campaign has skyrocketed, and… nothing. You’re only $15 closer to the goal than you were yesterday.
The Development DilemmaIt’s a real challenge to get beyond the “Like”. You find yourself wondering if nonprofits ever get real results from social media efforts on Facebook. Not to mention the added difficulty of being a Catholic development professional whose mission is less...jazzy?... than some other nonprofits out there. Some of the predicaments you find yourself in are:
- Deciding how to translate the Church’s corporal works, which hold eternal weight, into quippy, pop culture infused witticisms
- Trying to keep up with modernity’s too fast lifestyle when the long-suffering, slow work of faithful Christians doesn’t quite move at that pace
- Attempting to attract followers who actually care (read: advocates), because unlike the Facebook user who just posted adorable pictures of her 11-month-old baby, your organization needs followers who will do more than “Like”
- Dealing with the short-staff problem. Should your only intern spend his morning coordinating with the Archbishop who might be the speaker for your fundraiser luncheon or should he make a Pope Francis meme?
If Catholics nonprofits are going to use social media as the powerful tool it can be, they need to build authentic online community rather than a shallow following of semi-interested acquaintances.
A New Resource for Religious Revenue Raising
NCDC is launching a series of new online resources to help you do just that. The first one is a web-based eBook called Beyond The Like that focuses on giving you tips and helpful tools to improve your social media marketing and get “beyond the like.” This is the first of many beneficial resources.
Why online? Here are a few of the reasons.
- Web resources are easy to access from any device, so you can pull them up on your phone during a business lunch or use them during an organization wide presentation.
- Friends give friends fundraising advice and digital content that is easy to share with other fundraising professionals, at no cost to either of you.
- Creating an online archive will achieve our long-term goal of developing a comprehensive library of resources for Catholic fundraisers.
Thou Shalt Use Facebook for the Glory of God
Social media success doesn’t need to be an enigma that only the experts can use, leaving the rest of us blindly hoping that our posts go viral. A HubSpot survey found that a majority of nonprofits spend less than two hours per week on social media marketing, as compared to for-profit businesses spending at least six hours per week.Of course, not everything the B2B and B2C industries do is a best practice for nonprofits, but I think we can all benefit from improving our social networking tactics.. Social media networks are the perfect way to engage and connect with your supporters, extend the reach of your mission, and build new audiences. Having a strategy, however simple, will optimize the limited time and energy of your workers.
From learning which social media tools your target audience is most likely to use to becoming familiar with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ social media guidelines, Beyond The Like is a wealth of information that can revitalize your social media effort into a robust and irreplaceable part of your work as a Catholic development professional.