Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the world is connected on an unprecedented level. As social media has flourished, more universities have been turning to social media to not only share news and content with potential donors, but create a community where relationships can be built and maintained. However, your audience is probably only spending time on one or two social channels. In this case, it would be strategic for your university to focus on digital fundraising where your audience is found. By creating trust and cultivating relationships with potential donors online, your university will be in a better position to ask for donations during your major gift campaigns and Giving Days.
Ideas to help improve your university digital fundraising today
Focus on one or two social media sites
Social media is the most dynamic medium for engaging students and alumni across all demographics. Not only can you promote your university brand, but you can make deep, lasting connections that paves to path for future donations. Today’s social media influencers use YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram in order to reach their audience. However, without a large staff to manage accounts, it would be more strategic to choose one or two social media channels to focus on growing and engaging with your followers. While Facebook is easily the most well-known and used social media site, according to a Rival IQ study, higher education brands dominated Instagram in 2018 with very high engagement. In this case, it makes sense to tailor your digital fundraising strategy to go where your audience prefers to enjoy content.
Keep your online content fresh and interactive
Before you can ask for donations, your university needs to build a community atmosphere online and engage potential donors by posting interesting content and creating an atmosphere that is conversational, fun and light-hearted. For instance, tell human-interest stories about current students. For alumni, tap into their nostalgia of the days when they were a student. Promoting school spirit on social media will make potential donors feel like they are part of the community. The goal is to make an emotional connection with your audience that gives people a reason to care about the university, as well as open their wallets. An emotional connection will create the relationships and trust your university needs to be in a favorable position during gift campaigns and Giving Days. Your followers will be familiar with the work of your university and be more than ready to support the school when asked.
Provide updates on how the funds are used
Donors also like to understand how their money is being used to make a difference. Use social media to provide updates on how the funds are being spent on any major projects. If it’s a new dorm, you can show updated pictures of its construction. If it’s a new outreach program, show videos or pictures of the program events. However, to be truly transparent with donors, use data visualization software to transform your university’s budget into easy-to-read charts and graphs. Questica’s OpenBook transparency solution works seamlessly with Questica Budget to bring your budget to life with charts, descriptive text and informational pop-ups. Your donors can deep dive into the budget and learn how donations have been allocated towards university programs.
Social media is increasingly proving to be an important digital fundraising tool for universities. By choosing the social channels where your audience can be found, your school can regularly engage potential donors with content that creates an emotional connection. Promoting your school spirit through an online community will help build relationships and trust one like or retweet at a time. An established relationship with your potential donors will put your school in a favorable position for asking for donations during gift campaigns and Giving Days. To help donors understand how their donations are making a difference, and provide the incentive for future donations, provide regular progress updates on social media. Better yet, share easy-to-read charts and graphs from your university budget using Questica’s OpenBook visualization software. The visually appealing graphics will not only impress donors, but will make them want to retweet and share the information with their social networks.
Questica Budget is a powerful, multi-user budget preparation and management software suite that helps your public sector organization run operating, salary and capital budgets with accuracy and efficiency. Integrating with dozens of financial systems, Questica Budget has everything you need in one place to develop, track, monitor and adjust your budget, plus generate custom reports and create what-if scenarios. Imagine no longer having to enter data into error-prone Excel spreadsheets, and having time to analyze and plan for the budget. In addition, Questica’s OpenBook transparency and data visualization software makes sharing financial information effortless. Your stakeholders will have a better understanding of your budgeting goals when the budget is brilliantly visualized with descriptive text, informational pop-ups, charts and tables. To learn more about Questica’s products and how our software solutions can help you manage the budget with confidence – watch a product video, read one of our case studies or request a demo today!