Social Media for NonProfits: Not Strictly Unprofitable

We have some amazing examples of social media campaigns by non-profit organizations. In fact, they were some of the earliest adopters of social media because it was a free platform to spread awareness. However, the only benefits they attributed to social media were more likes and views for their campaigns.

Fast forward a few years and we have some interesting statistics that show that social media is much more than likes and views. It helps not-for-profit organizations to generate awareness, raise funds, keep in touch with donors and volunteers, get more signups for petitions, improve transparency… phew… the list is long.

However to gain all these benefits, you need to take certain actions. This post will show you how to make your social media activities more fruitful, so you get good social ROI.

  1. Measure Benefits

The most important aspect of understanding benefits of social media is to measure them. Let us learn how social media is profitable for non-profit organizations with a hypothetic example of a small non-profit having 30 – 50 employees.

  • Time

Let’s say for example, X organization has two social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter, plus a company blog. They have 1 employee who spends an hour daily on the blog and social media sites, which comes to 5 hours a week. Now let’s attach a dollar value to these hours. Bearing in mind that the average per hour wage for non-profit employee is $20, your total social media investment is $20 x 5 hours = $100 per week

  • Goal

Now let’s say the primary goal of your social media campaign is to get maximum viewers to share your posts so you get more people to adopt or donate. This is a very simple action and can result in great benefits.

(Image source: Author’s own)

  • Conversion

If you have around 100k followers, and your average conversion rate is 3%, approximately 3000 people will see your campaign. Now even if one out of 30 responds to your campaign, you’ll have 100 new leads!

So the cost per lead is $100 / 100 leads i.e. $1

This is considerably cheaper than other promotional activities like sending out flyers, SMS etc. This way you can see how social media helps you cut down expenditure and make your campaigns more profitable!

If however, if the cost of your social media activities is unacceptably high, you can try some of the following tips to generate more benefits and improve your ROI.

  1. Get Social

It’s unbelievable so many SMM experts have repeatedly advised to get more social and yet organizations fail to use it to their advantage. Non-profit organizations are very good a creating good content but when it comes to communicating with the audience, they become tongue-tied, officious or formal.

The key here is to keep fans and followers interested and engaged in a conversation. If you engage in regular discussions and conversations, which doesn’t include ‘thank you or we are glad’ but deep meaningful discussions, you leave a distinct impression on your audience’s mind and they become regular supporters or donors.

  1. Post at Right Times

In the constantly updating feeds, how do you ensure most people see your posts?

There is a simple way to do that. Almost all social media sites allow you to find time your fans are most active online.

For instance, did you know that most Facebook users share content between 9-11am whereas they click on links to read lengthy content between3-5pm. Thursdays and Fridays are the most rewarding days as people open more links towards the end of the week. So if you want more people to read petitions and sign-up for them, it would be wise to post them between 3-5pm on Thursdays or Fridays.

Here’s an interesting read on #GivingTuesday that may shed light on people’s giving behavior.

  1. Call to Action

I fail to understand why so many people post #MondayMotivation and #MondayBlue updates. However, we see so many of these kinds of irrelevant posts that have no CTA whatsoever. If you want to make a positive and lucrative change through your campaign, the most important factor to remember is CTA or call to action.

Compelling CTAs help create urgency to make a donation, click on an article or sign for petition. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure your posts generate more action.


If you want to improve the performance of your social media so that it generates more awareness and results, follow all these tips to the T. Remember, it is not immoral to make your campaigns more lucrative or your social media profitable. Think of all the awesome things you will achieve with that extra support or donation! Many smart non-profit organizations are already monetizing their social media activities, and if they can, so can you!