In all the hullabaloo about Facebook’s recent IPO falling flat, one thing is abundantly clear – Facebook is here to stay, and with this the knowledge that the plethora of data and continuing security issues will be with us for years to come. So what is a fundraiser to do given the present and future state of this incredible information resource? Facebook continues to be an excellent resource for prospect information, but how do you utilize it for identifying, qualifying, and engaging your prospects? Below are some suggestions:
- Look at your top major gift prospects and their “Friends”. It is likely there are some prospects in there that would be potential prospects. For example, you could look at their Facebook Friends who are also alumni of your institution. They may have been friends or acquaintances while they were a student at your college. Another example is that your donors may have colleagues they stay in touch with via Facebook because they are on mutual nonprofit or for-profit boards. Then if you are “Friends” with this donor, ask them to make an introduction to some of their Facebook Friends by suggesting you as a Friend. They could also create a post on their Wall asking their Friends to take a look at your organization’s Facebook page or “Like” your organization. These may be potential ways to connect and possibly identify potential donors.
- Gather valuable and relevant information to help qualify a major gift prospect. If you and your donors or prospective donors are “Friends”, then there is a wealth of information available. If not, then only the pieces that they have elected to share with the public, and not just those they are friends with, will be available to you. You may find some useful tidbits of information at this level to help with some initial qualification.
- Ask your donors to include a Wall Posting about an event they are attending at your organization and a means for their Friends to find information on this upcoming event. This can also be applied if they are participating in an on-line auction. They could also create a post to challenge their Facebook Friends to make a donation to your organization that they will in return match.
- Engage your donors by posting a story about how their gift made a difference to your organization and then ask them to post to their Wall a link to this story, asking their Friends to “Like” your organization or visit your website and Facebook page.
These are just some ideas that might prove helpful to your organization’s efforts to identify, qualify, and engage your prospects. Some other blogs about utilizing Facebook on our ProspectResearch.com website are as follows:
- Where to Find Information Regarding Social Networking ROI
- Can We Truly Steward Donors on Facebook?
- Facebook and LinkedIn – The social media personal and professional go-to tools?
- Facebook and Prospect Research – Too Big Brother?
- Shades Of Gray: Social Media and Prospect Research
*Carol Belair is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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