SOCIAL MEDIA

Mar 4, 2015 - fundraising efforts will become archaic – which leaves social media as the ... most popular with 65% using, then Twitter with 40% and YouTube with. 32%. 2 ... For example, there has been more innovation in technology in the past 10 ... campaigns have involved physical mailings, telemarketing, and a small.
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FUNDRAISING & MARKETING WHITEPAPER

Last revision March 4th, 2015.

Social Media and the Future of Fundraising

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For many years, fundraising has been conducted through mediums such as mailing and telemarketing. In recent years, fundraising has expanded online in the hopes of raising contribution levels amongst its millennial population. Over the next decade, the industry will see a contribution gap between Generation X and the Millennials, and eventually an overall decline in fundraising efficiency. The use of landlines and physical mailings for fundraising efforts will become archaic – which leaves social media as the only option in securing the future of fundraising.

The discussion of social media and its applications in fundraising is nothing new. Many organizations have shied away from the opportunity to expand online, while others have slowly begun to accept it. Glasspockets, a philanthropy transparency group, conducted a survey in which they gathered information regarding social media and its use by fundraising foundations in the United States. They found that 45% of foundations utilize social media, but 71% of those foundations do not have a properly developed social media strategy.1 Along with this information, the organization gathered data on which social media platforms foundations use. It turns out that Facebook is the most popular with 65% using, then Twitter with 40% and YouTube with 32%.2 This same survey found that out of the organizations using social media, 74% found social media helpful in furthering philanthropic work online. This entails personal involvement and financial giving.

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Glasspockets Survey (http://glasspockets.org/glasspockets-gallery/foundations-and-social-mediainfographic) 2 Ibid.

Social Media and the Future of Fundraising

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The issue present is the fact that, out of the 1.5 million fundraising organizations within the United States, only 675,000 involve themselves with social media. From those same 675,000 organizations, only 196,000 actually have a fully developed social media strategy. The development of social media and its application in social marketing becomes an absolute necessity, given the strong movement towards online-everything. As the millennial generation moves closer to handling almost all aspects of professional life online, there will be a significant decline in traditional fundraising efforts. Over 41% of millennials currently do not own a landline.3 Looking at physical media sales in 2013 as an indicator of the desire for physical products, CD sales dropped by 13%, while digital formats increased by 9.1% - correlative evidence that physical mailings are also in decline.4 With an inevitable, overall decline in traditional fundraising tactics on the horizon, there needs to be a remedy to this problem. Through technological advancements and the birth of the internet, millennials have caused this industry to turn upside down in a matter of years. That’s why social media is this industry’s ultimate salvation.

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AARP “12 Things Millenials Refuse to Do” (http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-082013/12-things-millennials-refuse-to-do.html#slide3) 4 Hubspot “Adjusting Traditional Marketing” (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/adjust-traditionalmarketing-tactics-millennials-var)

Social Media and the Future of Fundraising

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Developing a greater social media presence becomes the only option available for fundraising organizations. Throughout the next decade, fundraising will drastically change due to this rise in a millennial audience. For example, there has been more innovation in technology in the past 10 years than at any point in history, and it all began with word processors on 64K IBMs instead of typewriters. Social media will have an incredible impact on the fundraising industry, due to the fact that it cultivates a whole new genre of online giving.

As social