In recent years social media has become widely popular as both a marketing and consumer engagement tool. Businesses, both large and small, have added it to their marketing to turn prospective buyers into life-long customers.

PaySimple is fortunate to have many non-profits using our receivables automation tools to accept donations and scalably grow their donor base. Many actively deploy social media as part of their outreach, member communication, and fundraising strategies. Others are hesitant to dive in, as for some this is a brave new world. We’ve received lots of questions about social media for non-profits and we decided to answer a few in this post.

On Which Social Media Sites Should My Nonprofit Focus?

Dozens of social media sites exist across the web, but you have only a limited time to devote to them. If time and money are a concern, there is no better bang for your buck than Facebook and Twitter. And, if you choose only one, choose Facebook. Both are extremely popular among non-profits (over 90% of the largest 50 non-profits have both a Twitter and Facebook account), and they are the largest social networking sites in the world. If you are just getting started, don’t be afraid to sit back and observe. Search and follow accounts that are relevant in your sector and see what they are doing. Great examples of nonprofits actively using social media are Livestrong, the Red Cross, and one of our own clients, Develop Africa.

How do I Engage with Potential Donors Without Being Pushy?

It’s important to remember that social media is just a new channel of communication. It isn’t a new language or encrypted with a secret code. Communicate to your audience as you would at an event or in any promotional activity. And most importantly, be authentic. People gravitate towards authenticity, and if that shines through in your social media presence you will have a win. Remember, trust doesn’t come from brands, it comes from interacting with real people. It’s salutary for your staff members and your organization to be real.

How Do I Promote an Upcoming Event or Fundraising Campaign with Social Media?

Two words: Plan ahead. Social media takes time, and using it to promote an event is no different. A month before any event, begin to post related content on your social profiles. Create an event on Facebook and invite your followers to join. Create email outreach about the event or campaign and recommend your members and donors stay up to date on Facebook or Twitter. Set up a hashtag (i.e. #eventname) on Twitter and encourage conversation before the event even begins (ask what your participants are most looking forward to).

What Free Social Media Tools Can I Start Using Today?

Each of these tools can be used for free and put your social media presence into hyper drive!

  • TweetDeck & Hootsuite :: Monitor, search and schedule posts across all of your social media accounts.
  • Bitly :: Shorten URL links and track engagements like ‘clicks’ and ‘shares’.
  • IFTTT :: Create ‘recipes’ that automate your social accounts and let them work for you.
  • Google Alerts :: Set alerts regarding your brand to your email or phone. Never miss a conversation or mention of your brand online.

Just like the web itself, social media is constantly growing and changing. If you have any social media questions related to your nonprofit, feel free to contact me at And, to show that we practice what we preach, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Mat Vogels

Mat Vogels

Hi there! I'm Mat, the social media manager here at PaySimple. I love all things tech and media, including in the areas of gadgets, startups, social media and marketing. Have any questions, or just want to chat? Feel free to reach out! You can find him on

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