No matter what your opinion is about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s initial decision to pull funding for breast cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, one fact cannot be denied: Social Media is important… very important, to a non-profits viability in 2012 and beyond. Facebook and Twitter played a crucial role in Komen reversing their decision. Below are links to a few articles you might find interesting related to the role social media played in this specific instance:
Planned Parenthood raised over $3 million in donations in 3 days for its breast health care fund due to the reaction to this news, and social media played a very significant role in this event. Typically Planned Parenthood receives $500,000 – $700,000 in grant money annually for these breast cancer screenings and preventative education. These numbers are so amazing to me to think about. So if you are not dedicating staff time and dollars to social media efforts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, then you are simply missing out on a great way for prospects to advocate for your cause as well as donate to your organization. That is not to say that a controversial issue like this one isn’t going to have a larger impact on social media response as well as dollars raised. It certainly will, but the awareness it caused alone just shows you how important a role social media can not only play in allowing “followers”, “fans”, and those who “like” your organization to let their opinions be known, but it also makes it very easy for these same people, along with their friends, to give money, right there while they are on-line while they are tweeting, liking you, posting comments, or uploading a video.
So if your non-profit does not have a line item on your budget for social media, just like you may have for, let’s say, prospect research, website management, direct mail, etc., then you should certainly look to add this. You will want someone who not only manages your social media process but looks into adding the necessary tools available to help enhance your fundraising. Below are links to a couple websites discussing various tools within social media specifically for fundraising efforts:
Just simply educating your staff about social media is important. Blackbaud has resources you can access right from our website, and they are below:
*Carol Belair is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.