Social Media and the Small Non-Profit
Times are changing. Gone are the days when a non-profit could exist and simply worry about their mission and the good they were trying to do in the world. Competition for donations has never been more fierce. Similarly, competition for the attention of the public has reached epic levels. But the stark reality of life in the world of the non-profits is that without that support, you will struggle and potentially die.
So how can a non-profit, or any company for that matter, remain relevant? How can you ensure that you stay somewhere in the consciousness of the public? The answer, for better or worse, is you must have a presence on Social Media. In a paper written by my 15 year old daughter I read how the younger generations are just as intelligent as prior generations, maybe even more so. This is not due to a greater knowledge of facts but by a greater knowledge of how to use the tools that will give you the answers. No longer are there debates over facts that end with, “I guess we’ll agree to disagree”. Now in a snap the answer flashes on a screen and the debate is over.
This environment of information overload is the one in which today’s non-profits find themselves. A viral Tweet about some cause can translate into significant dollars overnight for whatever issue has caught the breeze that day. People want to help. I genuinely believe that. And a viral tweet rallying them to help gives them the impetus to step in and participate. But while that is great for that cause, it is not a business strategy for an ongoing non-profit.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others have brought people from around the globe together to rally around causes that would otherwise be local problems probably never seeing resolution due to a simple lack of resources. But now causes can be supported by anyone around the world that agrees with your mission and wants to help.
So how does this obvious need for a social media presence get dealt with in small non-profits? Typically these are companies that are operating at break-even and just don’t have the resources to hire a social media expert. Simply maintaining a presence requires ALOT of time and effort. Coming up with content and then disseminating that content through all the media is, in reality, a full time job.
The answer: It gets done. Why? Because it has to. In order to survive, you must be known and have exposure. Whether its the owners, the Board Members, a volunteer, or a staff member. Somehow it gets done. G.R.O.W.E.R.S., Inc. has evolved from a complete media non-entity to having a moderately active website, a Facebook page that gets acceptable traffic, an Instagram account, and now a Twitter account with 2 (yes I said 2) followers.
All of this is to spread the word about the work we are doing and to ask for support. So if we’ve in any way captured your attention and you’d like to support us, I ask that you please go to the donations page and show your support for G.R.O.W.E.R.S.
Maybe some day we’ll get large enough to hire someone who can actually post something more interesting than this.
Thank you all for your support!