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A Click Too Far: Why Using Social Media Isn't That Great For Fundraising

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Recently NPR had an article on the impact of social media on fundraising. Key points are summarized below, here's a link to the article. "... it turns out that while Facebook and other social media sites can be good at putting issues on your radar, they are pretty ineffective at getting people to click away and actually donate." "It's useful because people are seeing your issue," says Michael Ward, a principal at strategy firm M+R that publishes the Benchmark Study, a nonprofit industry guide to online fundraising and advocacy. "But then to actually get them to divert that knowledge into a donation, it really takes other channels, such as email marketing or even direct marketing to close that loop."
Adobe this week published a review of data the company collected last year from 43 million visits to websites of about two dozen charities and the resulting clicks on their virtual donation buttons. It found that three-quarters of visitors to charity websites arrived there either by doing a Web search or by directly typing in the URL. Only 3 percent of referrals came from social media. "... charities, advocacy groups and political campaigns are naturally captivated by the promise of the booming social networks, but the payout realities are far more complicated." "Social is something that everyone keeps trying," says Simmons, "but in terms of a fundraising success, it's not an easy straight line." The reason is pretty simple: When people are scrolling through posts, say, on Facebook, it's incredibly rare for them to decide to click away to some outside website — let alone an outside website that's asking for their credit card information. Simmons said people posting about donations can go a long way: "The times when you do see social play a role with fundraising is when people want to make a statement about their fundraising."