How to be a WINNER with Social Media for Grants
Social media is changing the way we communicate with funders, the way we engage communities, the way we activate collaborations and the way we seek and win grants. We all know that corporations give to their communities and to specific causes for multiple reasons. Sure, they want to make a difference, to give back to and invest in the communities where they do business. They also want to build their brand, community awareness and networks. This is where Social Media Contests for Grants have taken hold for corporate philanthropy.
By using social media, the general public is in charge of dictating a company’s giving. For sure, this can be a positive thing. Charities with solid missions that haven’t received the support of major foundations can now have access to the brand building awareness that these highly visible programs offer. Not to mention potentially accessing much-needed cash. ~James Epstein-Reeves, Forbes – The Democratization of Corporate Philanthropy
Corporations are using their social responsibility programs to create a ‘win-win-win’ with social media contest for grants.
- Telling compelling needs and success stories.
- Engaging and building their communities, support networks and volunteer engagement.
- Learn about other programs, potential partners and best practices via ‘competitors’.
- Winners get funding and, often more importantly, they get big PR
Communities and General Public Win:
- Learn about potential projects, resources, causes and opportunities.
- Participate by activating and building their network to increase awareness in a cause or organization.
- Invest their social klout in something they feel can make a difference and feel they are part of something relevant.
- Winning communities increase their ability to serve, programming and initiatives.
- Building brand awareness – increased followers, email lists, likes, etc.
- Engaging broad networks in ‘crowd sourcing’ to make better grant investment decisions.
- Market research in a data rich environment.
- Opportunities to be more ‘human’ and engaging.
Social media contests for grants can be a win for all of us. But, there are costs involved – and it is not just money. Our social networks and social media profiles are valuable – very valuable – and they deserve our care and attention. As an ambassador for a nonprofit or grassroots initiative you can turn your network, followers and partners away with the burden of too many requests for support, likes, or votes. Keep in mind, you may be building your own brand and social presence with your social media accounts, so it is important to keep in mind that each post, like, or friend impacts your social standing and the power of your own network. Corporations may get a huge backlash if their social media contests are too difficult, require too many votes or fund only organizations with the largest networks and place no value on the organization’s mission or the on the community’s need.
How can you participate in a social media contest for grants without being a burden on your networks?
Post to your social media outlets, but be judicious about openly asking for votes and support. ~ Micki Vandeloo @lakeviewgrants
Find alignment between your organization, the contest opportunity, and your supporters. ~ Amanda Ripstra @AmandaRipstra
If you rely on interns/volunteers to post on your social media platforms, choose wisely. If you wouldn’t let them pitch to your biggest donor, they shouldn’t be in charge of your public brand. Nora @NoraNoH8
Will we continue to see social media contest for grants?
We continue to see online giving and social media contests rising. In fact, online giving accounts for 13% of all charitable giving. Organizations with strong social media networks and presence see a significant increase in online giving and website traffic. Whether you are using social media for cause awareness, funder engagement, community activism, research, professional development or to raise funds, they key point is that your social media presence is a powerful resource for you, your organization and your communities.
Invest your time and your efforts for engagement in social media with purpose because you have power in each post, with each Tweet, and behind each like. Make it matter!
Looking to Learn More?
Join us with SmartEGrants for an upcoming webinar series on Social Media for Grants! The first is on February 5, 2015.
SmartEGrants Blueprints Webinars: Social Media for Grants: Getting Started
Thursday, February 2, 2015
12pm EST – 1