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Media for Mission

Leveraging Social Media Tools for Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits: Money Lacking for Mission

We have all heard of the many different nonprofits that exist today in our world serving a variety of needs. Some of these are incredibly unique, such as The Critter Connection that is dedicated to “the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned and neglected guinea pigs (1).” Others serve a very practical cause, including The Environmental Defense Fund whose “mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends (2).” What often gets lost within the scope of all these nonprofits is the competition for the resourcing and funding within their respective missions. Unfortunately, with attention given to some organizations over others, many of these missional endeavors fade as momentum begins to wane for many of these nonprofits. The good news is this: There are other possibilities as it relates to sharing and spreading a mission to benefit nonprofit organizations!

Photo: https://andrewpegoda.com/2015/03/27/9-problems-with-money-in-2015/

Budget Cuts

Every company feels it… the time or cycle within the business where the news breaks on how budgets were not met for the fiscal year. Staffing is cut along with supplies that are needed in order to accomplish the mission or get the job done. It would seem that it impacts nonprofits more because of the nature of how much they depend on finances for the mission. Having founded, worked, and led a nonprofit for the past decade, it’s been my experience to know how to handle different budgetary cycles. The hope in all of this is that there are many incredible opportunities and ventures for all charitable nonprofits that cost little to nothing at all. In other words, it’s possible to become frugal with your finances if you happen to lead or influence the budget decisions of your organization. 

Photo: https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2011/03/music-exec-watches-personal-music-budget-decline.html

Endless Possibilities

Nonprofits have an incredible amount of opportunity to communicate their voice and mission to the masses. Platforms for advertising are no longer reserved for traditional media outlets. The landscape has changed and continues to undergo development and maturation. It’s important to know where your target audience is and utilize this particular space and platform to share your mission. The dynamics are in the favor of nonprofits because more people are seemingly looking for deep meaning connections and conversations. While there are some wonderful opportunities, it is important not to become bogged down by this endless landscape. Focus your message and efforts through one or two channels. Remember: You do not need to become overwhelmed by the changes and options available to you. So… where’s a good place to start sharing the mission and the message?

Photo: http://www.bennettgraphics.com/for-all-of-us-in-printing-marketing-and-sales-there-are-now-endless-possibilities

The Trifecta – InstTwitFace

Establishing a social media presence on these platforms is a pretty safe place to begin any efforts for the growth of your nonprofit. All three are well known, established, and are pretty distinctive within the marketplace. There are advertising opportunities, but those efforts can be experienced later on as your organization gains more traction. Having personal friends and followers is a great way to begin, but Facebook also allows you to have a group or fan page. These places begin to populate and become online cyber communities in their own way. In a sense, it’s like the modern “word of mouth” networking that is incredibly vital to any business. These platforms provide branding opportunities, missional messaging, story-telling, and ongoing dialogue with a global constituents. The greatest news is that the only cost involved in this stage of things is your organization’s time. But wait, there’s more…

Photo: http://chittagongit.com/icon/twitter-facebook-instagram-icon-4.html

Ground Zero

Building off of the idea of having a social media presence is knowing other resources that are available to you at absolutely no cost. Looking to develop a webpage? You’ll need to purchase a domain name (which is unavoidable), but hosting can become an additional cost incurred if you are not careful. Nonprofits can develop a webpage through free software such as  WordPress along with hosting the site on a platform called A Simple Orange. According to their customer service team, nonprofits can submit their credentials and information in order to receive a free hosting package (3). Check out WordPress and A Simple Orange to develop your own hosted website. 

Perhaps you might be interested in developing a podcast for your organization. Head over to Anchor to see how quick and easy it is to share your mission over the radio waves of the Internet. They also connect your broadcast  with several podcasting services including Apple, Google, and Spotify. All of this is also available to anyone for free!

One final note on using social media outlets… Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter’s Periscope are all useful to leaders of organizations that are willing to go live, engage and have interactive time with constituents, and share a message or story relating to the mission. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to connect with those that are currently a stakeholder, inquisitive members looking at the latest events, or to invite others to join in with the missional experience. 

Photo: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/business/05suits.html

Pay to Play

Unfortunately, not everything in life is free… to nonprofits. If your team is looking to have an App available for iOS or Android mobile users, there are developers such as My Mobile Fans that can provide assistance to your effort in this area. For a nominal setup fee and monthly maintenance hosting, your nonprofit can benefit from having a presence in the App store (4). Depending on your level of involvement, the different social media outlets allow you to extend your reach and promote your group’s material by advertising on their respective platforms. One can do this with reasonable rates and without breaking the bank of their budget. The easiest way to begin this would be to check out Facebook Business that oversees advertising and marketing on Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp (5). 

Photo: https://me.me/i/insert-coin-to-continue-the-original-pay-to-play-1184527

Apply It

This ought to give you a good foundational understanding of what is available to you and your team. While financial resources may be difficult to come by, there are other means available to accomplish the mission. I encourage you to go for it and apply this information to your messaging. There will be trial and error moments, but keep on incorporating some of these online strategies into your efforts. You will find that once you will get into a regular routine of posts, updates, and podcasts that your mission will gain the traction it needs. Remember, you are not alone and others want to see the mission that you part of succeed!

Photo: http://smartappspro.com

Footnotes:

  1. Taken from http://www.ctguineapigrescue.org/aboutus. 
  2. Taken from https://www.edf.org/our-mission-and-values. 
  3. Interview with A Simple Orange support team member on 5/17/2019.
  4. Initial cost is $399 – https://mashable.com/2012/05/09/building-cheap-mobile-app.
  5. According to https://www.facebook.com/business manages these respective outlets. 

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