You’ve just launched your small nonprofit or are looking for ways to expand your online presence, but you don’t have a budget to work with.
Here are five quick things you should do right now that won’t cost you a dime and will help grow your online presence (and help fundraise online).
1) Sign up for Google Alerts on your organization’s name.
Google Alerts are free email notifications anytime a specific word or phrase appears in an article/webpage. This tool allows you to easily (and at no cost) monitor news stories that may appear about your organization.
Depending on that story, you can use it to fundraise or just share on social media.
Another way you can use Google Alerts is to follow specific topics that are important to your organization. This will help you cultivate content for your online platforms.
2) Use a social media content management system like Buffer or Hootesuite to schedule content ahead of time.
You’re busy and you don’t have time to sit in front of your computer posting things throughout the day. Having one platform that allows you to schedule content at one time saves you time and the frustration of getting to 5pm and realizing you missed posting several items.
3) Monitor your mentions on social media (and respond)
Did someone just tweet at you? Or comment on your recent Facebook post? If someone said something to you face-to-face, would you just ignore them? Of course not!
Then why would you not engage with your potential supporters online? According a survey conducted by Twitter, 77% of users who receive a reply from a brand feel more positively toward that brand. This can apply to your organization too!
4) Get MailChimp’s “Free Forever” plan and start sending fundraising emails today
Even in today’s age of social media madness, “old school” email still raises money with some reporting a $40 return for every $1 spent on email fundraising. Therefore, it is up to you to start growing your email list no matter how small your organization is.
Luckily, Mailchimp offers a free plan that allows you to send 12,000 emails a month to a subscriber list of 2,000 or less. If you’re just starting to grow your email list, start here and then price out other systems when you reach the point you’ll need to start paying.
5) Play the long game online
The return on investment for your online activities won’t be immediate. However, if you continue to steadily invest in them, you will get a return down the road.
Key thing to remember is to not overcommit. Pick the right platforms and pace that your organization can handle. Don’t try to do everything at once and at an unsustainable level.
Can you only handle Facebook and Twitter posting? Great. Don’t commit to Instagram just yet.
Can only do one post every other day? That’s fine. Start there and see about working toward doing more.
If you start with these 5 things, your nonprofit will be on the path to expanding your online presence, increasing your supporter base, and ultimately growing your small nonprofit organization into something bigger.