Successful changemakers know that when nonprofits keep their communities and donors informed and engaged, people keep them in their hearts, minds, and financial giving plans. We’re kicking off the charitable giving season on this #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media, by celebrating the ways nonprofits communicate with impact on social media. This list also just so happens to double as a round-up of heartwarming causes and organizations worth your time and money this charitable season.
Here are 15 ideas for social posts, web stories, and videos nonprofits and mission-based organizations can use to spread their message far and wide, complete with real-life examples that work.
1. A mission video that explains your organization
A one-to-two minute mission or explainer video is perhaps the most important piece of content any organization can create. It quickly communicates what you do, why you do it, and provides information on how viewers can get involved or connected to your organization. In this example, the creator of this video tackles a huge subject—the importance of mentoring children—but he grabs our attention by starting with his own personal perspective. Viewers tend to get overwhelmed when presented with a big issue straight out of the gate. But this video slowly builds to his broader message by starting with his own personal story many people can empathize with: wanting the best for your children.
2. Shareable assets your supporters can use.
Sharing your message on social media through graphics and videos is great, but it’s even better if you get your community to do it for you. In order to accomplish that, you have to make it easy, which is why we love this interactive social media tool kit. Stop Hunger Now, a nonprofit committed to ending hunger around the world, made spreading the word about this important cause easy with a Spark-made social media toolkit for World Food Day. The scrolling layout features sample posts with relevant facts and hashtags and clean downloadable graphics, making participation on social media as easy as pie.
Create your own with Spark Page!
3. A visual invite to promote an upcoming event or fundraiser
Broadcast the date, time, and event details — with lots of big, beautiful photos to show people how much fun it’s going to be. Here’s an example by a small business that raised money to build a school in Rwanda.
Make an invite in minutes with Spark.
4. A thank you post for your volunteers
Tell supporters—and the world—how much you appreciate their time and dedication. Post it to your own pages and and tag individual volunteers so their friends can hear about the great work they do.
— City of Hope (@cityofhope) October 6, 2016
5. Informative content that explains the issues and puts your work in context.
— Groundviews (@groundviews) September 27, 2016
Not every social media post needs to be all about your organization. Sometimes the most successful stories simply educate audiences and let them come to their own conclusions about how to take action. You can help by curating important or under-represented stories for your followers. Alternative media and investigative journalism organization GroundViews used #WorldTravelDay to promote a story about the downsides of tourism in Sri Lanka. Share relevant news stories or create your own to keep your community informed about the issue you care about.
In another example, Wilco Forest Preserve used the social media awareness campaign #BatWeek to debunk bats’ ghoulish and creepy reputation, instead highlighting the creatures’ cute, cuddly side and the important role they play in our food system. This informative and entertaining Page (there’s an adorable video of a bat eating a banana you have to see) gets a piece of the social media action and shows that education is often the first step in recruiting hearts and minds.
Keeping a calendar of relevant social media days can help inform your content calendar for the year and make sure you don’t miss opportunities to spread your message when the conversation is at the top of people’s feeds.
6. First-person accounts.
The more human a face you can put on your cause, the better. In the aftermath of the Ecuador earthquake in late 2015, a teacher promoted relief efforts by having her students tell the story from their perspective.
7. A graphic that shows your fundraising progress
— (RED) (@RED) October 5, 2016
Build enthusiasm and pride with a simple message showing your grand total of donations from a recent fundraiser.
8. Testimonials from volunteers and donors.
Get your advocates and supporters to do the marketing for you by highlighting their stories about your organization. For instance, CHOICE Humanitarian, a non-profit that takes volunteers on humanitarian expeditions around the world, creates a shared journal on each trip. After the trip ends, the org pairs the journal entries with photos to create a keepsake for volunteers. These collective journals become something the volunteers want to share and can be used to inspire future participants.
9. A web newsletter
Keep your supporters engaged and informed by sending regular updates about what’s new for your organization and your cause in general. Create a sleek, professional-looking Page to share news, success stories, and staff profiles, and to get the word out about upcoming events and your organization’s goals.
10. An annual report for donors
Transparency and communication with your supporters is crucial to the health of your organization. Spark Page makes it easy to create custom web stories without any actual web development. CIMMYT, which is committed to bringing relief to disaster-hit farmers in Ethiopia and Nepal, compiles extensive information into a robust annual report that acts as a shareable website that looks great on any device.
11. A video explaining the impact your organization has on a micro level
Your organization likely tackles a huge, complicated issue using multiple tactics. CHOICE Humanitarian, for example, is focused on ending extreme poverty in rural areas, but there’s not just one way they tackle this global issue. The average person may not understand how specific development projects contribute to the larger goal, so it’s important for the organization to put their work in context and deliver bite-sized pieces of information. Here CHOICE explains the significance of just one project in one area they work in.
12. A recap of a successful event
Here’s another example from CHOICE, which uses video to highlight the way it works with corporate partners. This one recaps a dental clinic Kool Smiles and CHOICE created in Peru.
P.S. These videos were created with the Spark Video beta app. Want to give it whirl before it’s released? Send us a message on Facebook or Twitter @adobespark and we’ll hook you up!
13. A clear message about one small way anyone can get involved.
You likely want to inspire action from people whether they can give millions or just a bit of their time. Non-profit bike shop Pedal Revolution creates many ways for the community to support its mission of helping disadvantaged San Francisco youth, but perhaps the easiest way to make a difference there is to donate an old, unused bike. After posting the video on their social feeds, Pedal Revolution received 10 donation inquiries in just one day, a sizable increase compared to what it was getting before they started using video on their social channels.
14. A meme that encourages participation
Create a meme that reflects your mission, and ask followers to share on their own Facebook and Instagram pages. In honor of #InternationalDayofPeace, founder of #PeaceOneDay Jeremy Gilley invited the world to share a smooching selfie for peace and explained the campaign in this Spark Page. See the incredible results by following the #MyKiss4Peace feed.
15. Quotes related to your mission
Your followers may not be in a position to contribute everyday to your cause, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay in their feeds everyday. Share quotes and wisdom that reflect your shared values in order to keep the connection going.
Explore more causes worth supporting and learning from in our Inspiration Gallery!