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Success Or Failure: Best Social Media Practices For Nonprofits and Foundations

Dear nonprofit and foundation leaders,

The organizations that tap into their voice and provide value by leveraging social media will grow their impact. And those that don’t will struggle to keep up.

We want to see and feel your success reverberate throughout our communities by way of all the good work you do.

Community members gathering fruit in a cart

You do GREAT work.

Organizations like yours feed people, help house the houseless, provide financial workshops, and support afterschool programs. 

But you aren’t the best at telling the story of your impact to your community.

Your community is on social media.

Your stakeholders are on social media.

And yet, your organization is quiet.

Or your organization speaks, but the messaging is inconsistent and confusing.

OR WORSE YET, every post is asking for donations! 🤦🏾

It’s rare when I come across a community-based organization, Foundation, or even government agency that consistently provides actionable value on social media to the people they serve.

Instead, I witness what I call “Look At Me” posts. These posts don’t create value for their community but rather highlight a message about the organization.

Think about it. Community stakeholders need dire help, whether it’s to afford school, food, or housing, and they’re primarily interested in how to better their personal situation.

Organizations have the biggest opportunity to connect directly with stakeholders consistently, yet many have not fully incorporated effective social media practices into their models.

Best Social Media Practices for Nonprofits and Foundations:

1. Provide Value: This is by far, above all else, the #1 tip of all of them. If your organization does nothing else, this would drive success. Share tips, resources, and educational content relevant to your audience. Your community will grow to know you as a reliable source for information and aide.

2. Engage with Your Community: Respond to comments, ask questions, and encourage dialogue. The best way to do this is to create content that raises questions for the community to answer. Organizations DON'T have all the answers. It's up to each organization to decipher the needs of the communities they serve. Asking relevant, current questions is a great way to drive engagement.

3. Use Visual Content: Photos and videos can be powerful tools to illustrate your impact. Most often, a sincere face looking directly into the camera is enough to allow people to feel seen. Recording a simple video saying "good morning", and outlining your mission for the day, allows your community to get to know the faces of an organization and its mission.

4. Consistency is Key: This is a close second place behind providing value. Maintain a regular posting schedule with clear, cohesive messaging. Consistency is often the killer of almost every social media page (few notable exceptions). Without it, you will fall behind the algorithm, and thus fall off your audience's feed.

By leveraging these strategies, nonprofits and foundations can significantly enhance their storytelling, build stronger relationships with their community, and ultimately drive greater impact.

Reach out if you have questions about how your organization or business can create a system that works well for your situation.

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