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The 4 Social Media Habits Nonprofits Need to Fix to Thrive Online

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Do your social media platforms generate significant donations for you year-round?

Have you tracked the amount of website traffic that comes from your social media channels?

When’s the last time you had a one-on-one conversation with one of your followers on social media?

Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for nonprofits when strategically used. From my experience, it’s often the last aspect of a business to be considered in budgets, in boardroom conversations and event planning.

$511 million was donated on GivingTuesday in 2019. $120 million was donated on Facebook alone. On one day. 

People are hungry for kindness, meaningful engagement, and impactful storytelling – you just have to know how to reach them with your message.

Here’s four mistakes I often find with nonprofits and their social media habits:

Lack of Investment In Social Media Staff

  • I know this can be difficult when nonprofits have small budgets, but the truth is – if you don’t have a dedicated person managing your social media efforts, you won’t see significant progress. Social media is not a 1 day/week job. It’s a full-time position that deserves a seat at the table when discussing development ideas, fundraising, programming – you name it.


  • It’s so important to provide your social media manager with goals, tools, and a budget to succeed.

Not Listening

  • Social data is SO incredibly powerful and underutilized. I recommend nonprofits use third-party tools, like SproutSocial, Keyhole, etc. to research what people are saying about your cause, your cause area(s), and specific conversation you want/should be apart of.


  • If you’re a nonprofit working to help the environment, you can set up search terms for climate change and environmentalism to be active in the conversation that’s already happening. You can lend your credibility and move an already existing and active audience to your cause.

Platform FOMO

  • There’s no reason to be active on every social media platform. It’s better to focus on one or two where you can build a solid community and serve them with great content.


  • Each platform has a different purpose and should have a unique strategy. What you post on Facebook isn’t necessarily what you’ll post on Instagram or Twitter.


  • Look at your data insights to see where you’re receiving the most engagement, website traffic, and donations. Focus your efforts there.

Lack of Budget

  • Tools: In order to be proactive and strategic in your social media marketing efforts, I highly recommend using a third-party platform to schedule content, review analytics, and listen. Providing this tool for your social media manager will give them the ability to create weekly, monthly, and annual reports to assess the work they’re doing.


  • Ads: Having a small budget doesn’t mean you can’t see a great return with social media advertising. Facebook and Instagram have become so saturated with content that it’s difficult to make sure your content is seen. Creating very targeted ads are a great way to pinpoint exactly who you want to see your content and test content.


When you align the business goals of your charity with a digital strategy, your impact can become much more powerful.

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