Furthering Engagement Through Creative Use of Social Media

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Grant Thornton's 2017 State of NFP: Social mediaSocial media is changing the way we give to charity — the success of the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge made other not-for-profits want to be the next ALS Association, as over $230 million was raised and awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis significantly increased. Contributions continue to be 25% higher than before the challenge, and the organization’s donor base was broadened to include a younger generation as the average donor’s age dropped to 35 from over 50. In 2016, the ALS Association announced that money raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge financed discovery of a new gene that is a common contributor to the disease.1 There are numerous reasons why the challenge was so successful — the element of competition, the peer-to-peer aspect and the celebrity participation. However, what facilitated each of these individual aspects and, ultimately, was the strongest reason for its success was delivery via social media.

By utilizing social media tools selectively and creatively, not-for-profit organizations can engage and re-engage donors and volunteers while educating the public about their mission. Social media has always been more than just another way to disseminate information; it is about listening to what others are saying, engaging in dialogue and encouraging participation.

With so many users and so many kinds of social media, the question is no longer whether to be on social media, but how to be on it in a meaningful and effective way.

Read the full article for insights recently shared by Chris Clarke, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Habitat for Humanity International (Habitat), and a focus group of social media-savvy millennials can help your organization leverage social media to stay relevant, creative and engaging.

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Visit the report overview for more articles: The State of the Not-for-Profit Sector in 2017

Read Shelter: A Springboard for an Improved Life for more about Habitat for Humanity's work to build foundations for new lives and Grant Thornton's sense of responsibility in serving this valuable organization.

Contact Randy Shrum
Managing Director, Audit Services, Not-for-Profit and Higher Education Practices
+1 404 475 0010

1 The ALS Association. “Breaking Research News: Ice Bucket Donations Find New ALS Gene!” accessed on Feb. 17, 2017.