Nonprofit Leader (NL): We need to be on Social Media. Which ones should we be on?

Me: Okay, what is your organizational goal Social Media will support?

NL: I don’t understand.

Me: Everything you do should be supporting an organizational goal- programs, financial, strategic plan- otherwise it’s just busy work and I haven’t seen a nonprofit that has time for busywork! So, why do you want to be on social media?

NL: We need to do those online fundraisers. I see birthday fundraisers on Facebook that do so well.

Me: Okay, so, your social media will be an element of your fundraising plan which supports the organization’s financial goals. That’s good. You’ll need a donor funnel to move people from liking your page to becoming a donor and getting on your donor list. Who is your ideal donor?

NL: Well, I don’t really know.

Me: Okay, that is something that is really important to figure out, While you do that let’s get started on Facebook. Generally, people who give are women, age 50+. Facebook has the most of that demographic using the platform compared to any other. Once you know your ideal donor, you can add other platforms that your ideal donor hangs out on.  This will also keep it manageable and in six months, you can expand to another platform if you have the bandwidth.

I have this conversation often. A new or small nonprofit wants to be on social media, drowning in social media to-dos, or they have given up and quit posting. Why?

They haven’t connected their organizational goals to their activities. When nonprofits understand social media is a tool to help them accomplish goals, they can use my formula- consistency + intentionality + focus to achieve those goals.

Today, I’m going to share the first part of the donor funnel for social media to get people from liking the page to becoming a donor.  Since I recommend Facebook to be your initial social media platform, I’m going to talk in terms of Facebook.

AIDA- Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

AIDA is short for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action and is an advertising structure in business to gain sales. I’ve modified the formula to apply to nonprofits and fundraising. When we combine the modification with social media, you get a very effective social media donor funnel.


On Facebook, reach measures the number of people who have viewed your post. It is the measure we use to evaluate attention. When we have reached a person, we have gotten their attention. We can still use the 4-1-1- content strategy we are just taking our posts one step farther and making them work for our goals.


How Do We Get People’s Attention?

There are two ways we get people’s attention on social media- content and scheduling.

Your content should be created with your ideal donor in mind. Use your impacts, thank you to your donors, appreciation of volunteers and staff, and client stories to get people’s attention to your cause. Once you know what content you want, it’s time to create a content calendar. This can be a Google calendar with your intended posts on it.

Scheduling is another important element to get people’s attention. Social media experts know consistency is key to reach. Posting on a regular schedule no matter if it is once a day or many times a day, gets your posts in front of people.  You can also use your page insights to determine when your posts will be seen by most people. To do this, go to your page insights and click posts. This will tell you how many people look at your posts on any given day. When you click on the day, the graph will break down the number of people by time. Look at the peaks on the graph and write down those times. Usually, there are two peaks- one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. Do this for every day. You are now able to schedule your most important content on the highest volume days and at times that more people will be looking at your content.

Once we have a consistent reach that is about 10 percent of your followers, you are ready to move them to the next level in your funnel. Let’s take a look at the next level.


Interest refers to having people engage with your nonprofit in some way. It should be no surprise that we measure interest through the Facebook metric engagement. For Facebook, engagement is the number of people who like, comment, or share your posts.


How Do We Get People’s Interest?

Your posts have to be crafted in such a way that people want to like, comment, or share. This means you have to know your ideal donor and talk to them. Tagging relevant people in your posts will also help with reach and engagement. When you tag someone, the person you tag gets notified and it shows up in their friends’ news feed. When the people seeing the post see their friend, they are more likely to like or comment.


Next week, we’ll finish up the funnel with desire and action. This week, focus on the first two levels of the funnel.

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