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March 24, 2020

5 Ways to Leverage Social Media During the COVID-19 Pandemic



How do you connect with donors when social distancing is the new normal? As schools and businesses across the country are closing to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s a question that nonprofits must answer.

While a multichannel fundraising approach is still doable and needed, social media is an especially important channel to leverage right now. People are spending more time at home and using social as a way to stay connected with the world around them.

So how can nonprofits take advantage of this increased screen time?

  1. Show how COVID-19 is affecting the people you serve
    The effects of COVID-19 are going to be different for every nonprofit. Use photos and videos to show your supporters what is happening at your organization.
  2. … And how they can help
    Let your followers know exactly what you need. Are you running low on non-perishable food donations? Do you need more volunteers? Is a financial donation what you need most to keep up with increasing demands? Make it clear what would make the biggest impact and give an easy way to act on it, like linking to a donation form.
  3. Bring some light content into the mix
    This is a serious time, but everyone needs something to feel good about as well. Where you can, add some happy or funny content into people’s feeds. Has your organization experienced a “win” in the past few days? Have you seen any fun (but still on-brand) memes? Is anyone with your organization doing something creative to stay engaged while staying home? Be sure to mix that in with your more serious content.
  4. Check in on your supporters
    Everyone is struggling right now. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers how they’re coping. (Phone is also a great channel to use to check in with your donors). Ask your social media followers to comment with what they’re doing to make this stressful time a little easier. As comments come in, make sure that you’re ready to respond. Take the opportunity to develop some relationships.
  5. Try out different features
    Now is a great opportunity to test out some features that you don’t typically use. Hold a Facebook or Instagram Live to talk about what’s happening at your nonprofit and some of the changes that you’re making to keep your communities safe. Use polls, questions, and quizzes in Instagram Stories to engage with your followers and learn more about them. See what works best for your audience (and don’t be afraid to ask them!) while everyone is spending more time on their screens.

Everyone, including your most loyal donor, is looking for human connection during this isolated time. With a little thought, and some fun, your charity can give your followers the engaging content they’re looking for on social media while building strong relationships with your donors.

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