Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Social Media Still Lacks Political Fundraising Power

Political and nonprofit causes eager to leap into social media fundraising are likely headed for disappointment, according to NPR's All Tech Considered report on digital fundraising. The article cites a new Adobe study showing that, of 43 million visits to about two dozen nonprofit websites, three-quarters of visitors arrived via web search or by directly typing the url. Only 3% followed a social media link. A Red Cross 2014 survey delivered similar bad news for social fundraising: While online solicitation and engagement helped to influence giving, donors said they were more motivated by in-person requests, e-mails and direct mail. Social media is "useful because people are seeing your issue," Michael Ward, a principal at strategy firm M+R that publishes the Benchmark Study, a nonprofit industry guide to online fundraising and advocacy, explained in the NPR story. "But then to actually get them to divert that knowledge into a donation, it really takes other channels, such as e-mail marketing or even direct marketing, to close that loop." One reason social lags in gathering dollars is that when users are scrolling through a social site like Facebook, they are unlikely to click to an outside website, especially one asking for credit card info. However, digital fundraising experts see crowdfunding, based on financial appeals for small sums from friends instead of organizations, as a social approach with promise. In fact, Facebook recently facilitated crowdfunding donations with the rollout of new fundraiser pages, which allow a nonprofit to describe a specific campaign and collect donations directly through Facebook, and to promote the pages via ads and shared posts with donate buttons. Available to select nonprofits for the holidays, fundraiser page signups are set to expand in 2016. For more: http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/12/02/458008461/a-click-too-far-why-social-media-isnt-that-great-for-fundraising

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