How to Use Social Media for Donor Stewardship

Tweet some love today.

Tweet some love today.

This post is going to butter your toast with easy ways to add to your stewardship activities using social media. Yes all you Gen Xers and Boomers, even if you’re Just Not That Into Social Media, there is something for you in the depths below.

I’m going to assume that your organization is already following corporate and foundation supporters on Facebook and Twitter. (You ARE doing that, right??) Okay, now grab your passwords and develop a more interactive stewardship approach with these tips.

Good stewardship: Quick and dirty moves from your org’s social media home base. For all those Twitter Quitters out there.

Facebook – Write a little thank you post for them on your page. Tag them so that they see the love. So simple, right? And don’t miss the opportunity to couch the thank you in a story demonstrating the impact of their gift, just like you would with other stewardship touch points.

Twitter – Same idea as above, but you don’t have much room for that story, so why not a picture and caption instead? Or a link to a news release about their gift? Use their twitter handle (“@Joedonor”) so they get a ping.

LinkedIn – Again, post from your page and include their name (linked with “@”). For this channel, you’re using your most business-y voice and related content. News releases, stories, announcements and events are all okay here.

Great stewardship: Get off your site and make a trip to theirs – so worth it!

Facebook – Head to their page and like, comment on, and share their posts. Not everything, just the ones that have some kind of connection to what you do. Don’t worry if it’s not an exact mission fit, just keep your eyes open.

Twitter – Go to their Twitter feed and make like Facebook. Re-tweet and reply to the tweets that represent what you have in common with them. For example, if you do mentorship for youth and they post information about upcoming scholarship opportunities, you’ll want to re-tweet that to your followers.

LinkedIn – Again, go to their company page and comment/share information that matches what you do. Remember to connect to individual donors (especially business people) in addition to their company’s page.

And don’t be shy about linking to people directly. Unlike sending a friend request on Facebook (a no-no for donors unless you are truly drinking buddies!) you are linking to them because you have done business together. This allows you to celebrate their work milestones and keep an eye out for job changes that might impact the relationship.

Awesome stewardship: This is where we start a real conversation with some content marketing! You will look and feel 10 years younger and your donors will fall in love all over again.

Facebook – Post information on their timeline that would interest them. Include a thank you whenever it makes sense. For instance, you might have nominated them for a community award for their support of your ground-breaking research on leukemia. Do you see the two-way props there? Then they can like or share your post without looking like they’re bragging.

Twitter – Tweet to them from their site, using their handle, with something they’d see as valuable to their followers. Maybe you’re a health charity and they funded your nutrition outreach. Tweet them a link to healthy eating tips, thanking them for letting you do this important work. They’ll share it out to their people as a public service that just happens to acknowledge their corporate social responsibility. At this point, you are practically the Bill Gates of online stewardship.

LinkedIn – Remember, you are in the Awesome Leagues now. Head to their LinkedIn group and post your valuable content that a) relates to what they do and b) allows them to build their professionalism, because that’s what LinkedIn’s all about. Maybe you’ll send them snaps about how their great company volunteers have been serving meals to the homeless. Add a request to share the information with others who may be interested in volunteering and thank them for the support.

This gives their group some public appreciation AND talks about your mission impact AND gets them thinking about building their online profiles with information on their community service (where they’ll likely mention your charity’s name). Is there such a  thing as a win-win-win? There should be.

Start slow and have fun with this. It’s more Art than Dork, I promise.



About Siobhan Aspinall

About Siobhan Aspinall: I am a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), passionate about the environment, social causes and surfing. I have been fundraising in Vancouver, Canada for over 20 years and love working with people who have a fear of fundraising. Call me for help developing a first-time fundraising plan, starting up a major gifts program, writing a case for support, or anything else that's keeping you awake at night! Please find me on linkedin and tell me what you'd like to see in future posts! : ) Photo Credit (sanddollar header): Minette Layne via Compfight cc
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