By Simone Puccinelli, Founder, Simone’s Kids
Simone Puccinelli is the founder and current president of Simone’s Kids, which is a non-profit working in Uganda. She is 23 years old and a recent graduate of Lee University where she studied business administration.
Simone’s Kids is a non-profit that I started in 2010. Social Media has helped me reach people that would have never heard my story otherwise. It has also helped people get to know me on a deeper level, and, in turn, helped them get to know the kids I am serving on a deeper level, too.
The single greatest paradigm for Social Media is the ability for donors to see immediate impact of their donation. Social Media can create a world where donors can feel the direct effects of their donations. And, better still, social media is free, so more money can go to where it’s needed.
What follows are some things I’ve learned about using social media in the non-profit world. I hope you find them helpful.
Make Your Donors Part of the Story. One of the most important things you can do for a non-profit is to make your donors a part of your organization’s story. It’s equally important to make your organization a part of your donor’s story.
Social Media can definitely help you do that, but it’s key to remember that no status, tweet or blog post will matter unless someone takes a real interest. Just because people know about your cause doesn’t mean they’ll give, talk about or get involved. What makes people care is if they can be a part of the story.
There are several ways to help people be part of your story. The first is to be transparent and help them get to know your charity. Try to think about things that are different from the predictable charity announcements — it will help you come across as more personal, and less like a business just wanting their money.
You do not need to tell them every time you raise a dollar. Instead, you need to tell them what a dollar has done. By telling a story about the impact their donations have made in others’ lives, you’ve accomplished the most important thing, which is to make them part of the story.
Tell Them Three Times. A second aspect to telling your story is to repeat yourself—yes, repeat yourself. Do people remember something if they have only been told one time? The truth is people are overwhelmed with advertising messages and aren’t going to remember your campaign if they only see it one time.
In the world of direct response, they say people ignore the first message, notice the second message and act on the third message. That’s good advice. After all, people are busy and, even if they intend to donate, they often forget. Don’t pester them, just remind them — kind of the way you remind your spouse that your birthday is coming around.
Give Back to Your Fans. A third and final piece of advice is to care and give back to your fans. If you don’t give something back to them, eventually they’ll stop caring about you. Figure out their interest and use that as a way to connect with them. Imagine if someone came up to you every day and told you something that you cared nothing about. Would you still want to be a “fan” of theirs?
Those are just some of the tips I’ve come up with on how to use social media to promote a non-profit. What are your suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.
Simone Puccinelli is the founder and current president of Simone’s Kids, which is a non-profit working in Uganda. She is 23 years old and a recent graduate of Lee University where she studied business administration. Her work and knowledge has allowed her to speak at events all over the east coast. You can learn more about Simone’s Kids at www.simoneskids.com