Converting Fans into Donors

converting fansSocial media can serve many purposes for a non-profit. It can be educational, bring cause awareness, or raise money. Likely it will be a combination of all of the above. But as many business haves a bottom line of making money, nonprofits have a motivating need to raise funds in order to execute the services for which they exist. Some nonprofits have done a great job building a fan and follower base on social media, but the key is converting fans into donors. Who seems to be doing this well, and who could probably use a boost?

If you take a cross-section of the Top 50 Nonprofits on Social Media and the Top 50 Largest US Charities you will find 13 organizations.

Who is Converting Fans into Donors?

Some of the nonprofits rank far higher in social media than they do in donation size. Some rank higher in donation size than social media base. Let’s assume for a minute that there is a direct correlation between social media audience reach and donor base. Those doing the best job:

  1. Feeding America (jumping 41 spots from their fan base rank to their donation rank)
  2. St. Jude (jumping 20 spots)

What can we learn from them?

Looking at all their posts during the month of February, Feeding American and St. Jude had 86% and 70% of their posts, respectively, driving back to their webpage. Both webpages have big donate buttons easily visible in the top right corner. They also had 52% and 42% of their posts, respectively, containing direct asks for donations of time or money. And they told their story. A lot. Story after story.

Who is not converting fans into donors?

Those with the most room for improvement:

  1. Public Broadcasting Service (dropping 42 spots from their fan base rank to their donation rank)
  2. Metropolitan Museum of Art (dropping 35 spots)

What can we learn from them?

Looking at all their posts during the month of February, both PBS and the Met had very low percentage of asks and neither website had big donate buttons in a bright color in the top right corner.

What is the big lesson?

It may seem extremely over simple, but it is hard not to conclude an obvious lesson from this information: if you want something, you just have to ask.