Online fundraising requires a blend of social media and seo efforts | Miratel Solutions

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Online fundraising requires balance between SEO & Social Media (part 1)

Nonprofit Fundraising success has at its heart a recipe of providing services that people wish to support and also being found by the donors who want to assist with donations and/or volunteering. We write frequently here about how to best use social media tools to help your charity find an audience and be heard and now it’s time to start exploring some basic concepts of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that large organizations tend to already have in hand but can be a large obstacle for smaller organizations or those just getting started.

In 2014 there are so many ways for someone to learn about a nonprofit organization for the very first time. Telephone Fundraising, Fundraising by Mail and advertising via print, radio and television all remain important parts of the equation. Sometimes overlooked but a huge component in finding new donors is also word of mouth which has more impact online and offline than many people tend to realize.

Beyond these very powerful and traditional methods the most likely ways for someone to learn about a nonprofit are social media and of course online searches. I’ve actually put these in no particular order as there are no hard and fast rules about which is more likely to apply. If an individual doesn’t use social media then of course that’s not going to help that person find your charity, but what are the facts behind that thinking? It’s estimated that about 75% of adults in North America are active on social media with the majority of those maintaining at least one account on either Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. As you know there are many other social media and social sharing channels but these three create an easy to digest starting point.

Of those 75% of adults approximately 55% follow at least one brand, company or organization. If you let those numbers percolate you’ll see that around 40-45% of adults follow companies or organizations online, a large ratio no doubt but it still means that at present social media is still only reaching just under one half of all potential donors. I think that number seems a little low but let’s work with that for the time being.

Take it a step further and it’s just as important to understand the demographics of social media users. The data below is from earlier this year and is based on active (logging into at least one social media account at least three times per week);

  • 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
  • 30-49 age group rests at 72%
  • 50-60 year olds have 60% usage and
  • For the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media

Therefore dependent on age the chance of social media being a very effective method to communicate with your audience and be found by them ranges from 24 percent to 50 percent.

SEO infographic courtesy of gumdesign.com

SEO infographic courtesy of gumdesign.com

For everyone else who is regularly online (which constitutes well over 90% of adults) the value of being found via search engines becomes the single most important measurement of successfully building awareness for your nonprofit organization. Which brings us conveniently to SEO which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. The primary purpose of SEO is to get your website, company, organization or service in front of the eyes of more visitors and if your SEO is successfully worked these are in turn more relevant visitors – those with a genuine interest in your organization due to their search results, according to specialists at Bluehat Marketing.

Over the next two weeks I’ll be providing a brief overview of how you can optimize (improve) your website to enable it to be more likely to be found and ideally help your audience discover the work that you’re doing. For smaller organizations there’s probably nothing as important to consider online as effective SEO can help an organization of absolutely any size.

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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including PCI compliant inbound telephone fundraising, outbound telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery fundraising services, donation processing and receipting and direct mail fundraising services. We are committed to our CSR business

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