The VPM Blog

3 Ways to Use Social Media to Engage Donors

Posted by Caroline Daley on Oct 5, 2017 12:00:00 AM

When it comes to donor engagement, engaging with donors after their initial gift is just as important as connecting with donors before they ever make a donation. This post-initial-gift engagement is also known as stewarding. You might be asking yourself, “What does stewarding a donor even mean?” Well, we’re glad you asked. Stewarding donors is what an organization does, or should be doing, from the time that the donor gives their first donation until the end of their relationship with the organization. Luckily, the use of social media has made stewarding donors easier than ever. Social media allows organizations to engage, connect, and thank donors in new and creative ways. Today we're sharing three ways that organizations can use social media to engage with and retain donors long after their first donation.


1. Demonstrate impact

As we've mentioned before, people want to feel a connection to what or who they are giving their money to. People won't continue donating their money if they have no idea what it's being used for. Sharing stories of what, where, and who donations are impacting allows donors to see their gifts in action. Illustrating direct impact not only allow donors to feel connected to the cause, but it also helps them understand just how big of an impact their gift has made in the lives of others. Once donors get a taste of where their gifts are being used, they will be much more likely to continue giving in the future.

2. The power of visuals

When social media and visuals are combined, it can lead to powerful results. Whether it's posting a thank you video, sharing behind the scenes content, or hosting a live video stream, there are countless ways that non-profit organizations can use social media visuals to engage with donors. Visuals provide that much needed connection that donors crave by putting actual faces with names. Sharing compelling stories in the form of visuals allows donors to hear and see what their donations have done and will continue to do. The University of Chicago has a great example of this in their thank you video below.

3. Be consistent

Demonstrating impact and using visuals are great ways to engage donors through social media, but they're useless if you aren't active and consistent on your platforms. Sharing helpful resources, highlighting donors of the week, interacting with relevant pages, answering questions, and reposting donor content are just a few ways to stay engaged with your supporters on a regular basis. Combined with powerful content, staying consistently engaged with donors shows them that your organization genuinely appreciates them. 


For nonprofit organizations, social media is a powerful way to engage and connect with donors. Maintaining donor engagement throughout the entire stewarding process is crucial to retain donors long after their initial gift. By sharing impact stories, creating powerful visuals, and staying consistent and active on social media, your organization will keep its donors engaged, connected, and giving for years to come.

There are numerous ways that an organization can engage with their donors, but the most important thing to remember is that there are people behind these donations, and they are giving for a reason. Maybe they're giving because they have a personal connection to the cause, or maybe they're giving because they're looking for new ways to make a difference. Whatever their reason for their giving might be, it is your job as a nonprofit organization to remind these donors that they truly are making a difference in someone else's life. By showing them just how powerful their impact is, you can continue to grow their relationship with your organization for many years to come.

Now that you know how to use social media to engage donors via social media, it's time to take the next step. Put your social media marketing skills to the test by hosting a "giving day" where people can donate online to reach a specific goal. If you're not entirely sure how to get the ball rolling on this one, download our FREE case study here: 

how to execute a successful giving day

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