Today’s fundraisers are being pulled in many different directions, between offline and online appeals and newsletters, events, relationship-building, websites … and social media. How can we post, tweet and share everything we feel we need to in order to maintain a vibrant and engaging social media presence while still managing a robust fundraising program that is bringing in income?

Oracle has produced a helpful tool that is available as a free download: Modern Marketing Essentials Guide – Content Marketing. It’s full of great advice for fundraisers who want to excel in providing content online without becoming frenetic. For example, consider their four questions to consider before creating any content:

  1. How is this relevant to my audience?
  2. What are our success metrics?
  3. How do I maximize my daily efforts?
  4. What purpose does my content serve?

Perhaps their fourth question is the one we should be asking first in our fundraising environment – what purpose does my content serve?

Simply posting content on Facebook or another site will not raise more money or even strengthen your relationships with prospects and donors if it only serves a purpose that matters to you – the organization – and not to your followers. We always need to focus on who we are trying to communicate to with any post — ourselves, our supporters, the public at large, or ?? It’s critical we ask ourselves what purpose does my content serve and also in the context of the audience we are addressing.

Social media should support our overall fundraising efforts, not detract from them. The reality is, most nonprofits haven’t been able to monetize Facebook or any other social platform to the level of their direct mail programs. It’s kind of a Catch 22 – we have to be on social media to be relevant to donors and potential donors, but being on social media may not have any measureable impact on our fundraising.

This means thinking about our success metrics is even more critical. Are we hoping for likes? Shares? Comments? Anecdotal evidence that people appreciate our posts? Simply measuring how often we post is looking only at activity and forgetting that as fundraisers, our activity needs to drive toward our ultimate goal: raising funds and building lasting relationships with donors.

If we get in the habit of asking ourselves these four questions before posting, we’re more likely to have a social presence that supports our fundraising as opposed to one that simply takes time away from our fundraising efforts. And that should be the goal of every fundraiser.