Social media has proven to be a success at helping NPOs reach their goals. They provide free tools like– blogs, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare– to promote their image, to recruit new volunteers and high profile workers, to raise money to direct to their mission and raise awareness. Social media allows a conversation between a nonprofit organization and the people they are reaching out to. It has improved the way both communicate and has allowed many fights to be led, many issues to be treated. Many NPOs are overall happy that they have included social media in their everyday life because of all these benefits it is providing them with. For example, the American Red Cross is overall happy it has integrated social media in their everyday life because they have seen the results that follow.
Social media includes a number of tools such as the internet, mobile device, applications, websites etc. that can be used in order to convey a message by creating a shared meaning. The most popular forms of social media used today in the world and mostly by Nonprofit Organizations are: blogs, social website like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, video and media sharing platforms such as YouTube and more. These tools are free of charge, which makes them more attractive to NPOs to use them because they allow them to get their work done at low cost. Social networking sites have given non-profits an incredible portfolio of free tools to use to raise awareness, boost their public image, garner new volunteers, and raise money.
Companies are continuously launching marketing campaigns in an effort to promote their brand and boost their sales. However NPOs cannot afford to launch huge marketing campaigns using traditional marketing tools because of their cost. This is where Social media marketing comes in. Most social media marketing ‘tools’ are free to use and can provide the same amount of marketing exposure whether you are just starting out or are a giant conglomerate. Since NPOs budgets are so tight, they turn to these tools that social media provide to do their own marketing whether for the sake of public image or for the sake of raising money. NPOs, by using social sites like Twitter or Facebook, reach out to more people in an interactive way, which allows them to get feedback on what they are doing and to improve areas in which they are not doing so well.
Volunteers are the greatest resource that a charity can have. There are some great social sites that can help swell your volunteer numbers, including Facebook and Twitter. The biggest social networking sites reach the greatest audiences and therefore the greatest amount of volunteers. However, other social sites have popped up with a specific focus on volunteering. For instance, sites like Idealist.org and Volunteer.org can help you find motivated, socially conscious and talented volunteers. Raising money for charities and causes is another reason why nonprofit organizations turn to social media. It is a known fact that NPOs do not make money and do not have money to spend on achieving their mission unless they ask a third party for money. Usually, they turn to philanthropists to get money, but sometimes they need more money than what philanthropists can provide. Therefore, they have to turn to anybody who can donate money to help them achieve their goal. The traditional marketing methods used to reach out to people are so expansive that NPOs cannot afford at the same time using them and continuing their mission because it will cost them more money than what they can get. This is where social media intervenes by providing free tools that allow NPOs to get more donations for their causes. Charities like the Direct Relief International and the Natural Resources Defense Council have raised millions of dollars with Google’s AdWords and YouTube non-profit program and tools. Google’s portfolio of non-profit tools includes up to $10,000 monthly worth of AdWords clicks (generally used to find more donors) and free or highly discounted Google Apps .