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Episode 45: Re-Opening After COVID-19, Giving Tuesday & How to Get More Facebook Followers

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As a nonprofit organization, you deal with multiple audiences – your staff and volunteers, your donors, and the people you serve. In today’s episode, I’ve got three quick tips to help you with ALL of them!

  • The conversation you need to have with your staff and volunteers before your organization opens back up in these coronavirus times
  • Giving Tuesday coming up May 5th and your feelings about asking for money at this time
  • And a little trick that you can use every day to get more of the people you want to serve or people who support you to like your Facebook page… It’s so simple, but SO GOOD. 

Let’s start with that conversation with your staff and volunteers. A lot of states are opening back up again… It’s SUCH a confusing time with what we’re all supposed to do with this coronavirus stuff…some states are opening back up for business, while others are on lockdown until June. There are conflicting instructions on what we’re supposed to actually do, it’s hard to… well… KNOW WHAT WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO! Everyone – including the government and health officials – are all just figuring it out. 

Disclaimer – I am not a doctor or an expert on the coronavirus. I do not work for the CDC. Follow the recommendations for your state. What is your state doing? What are the recommendations of your governor? Those are the guidelines you should be following.

If going back to work and opening back up at your nonprofit is on the table, the first thing you need to do is have a conversation with your staff and volunteers. I read a statistic this week that said 1 in 3 volunteers is 55 years old and over. I know a lot of nonprofits have a lot of volunteers that are over 60. So, if you’re the leader of your organization, you have to take this into consideration – if your volunteers cannot, should not or don’t want to come to serve at your organization, how will you adjust the way you serve, how will you adapt?

Get the pulse of your volunteers and staff. A great way to get honest feedback is by asking them to all weigh in with SurveyMonkey. You can sign up for a free plan.

The beauty of using SurveyMonkey is you can get clear honest feedback from your volunteers and staff to your clear questions. You can ask them questions like: when will you be ready to volunteer? Next week, in a month, or decide later. Then you can adjust your services based on how many volunteers will come in, and how you can incorporate social distancing. It’s not going to be business as usual, but you can start inching a little closer to normal.

You know your organization’s specific situation. Get feedback from your volunteers and staff, pay attention to what your governor is recommending, and take into consideration the details of how you nonprofit can operate – if you think about those things, you’ll feel a lot more confident about what to do and how you’re supposed to do it. 

Ok let’s shift gears and talk about your donors…

This year, there will be not one, but TWO Giving Tuesdays. In addition to the original Giving Tuesday in November, there will be another Giving Tuesday May 5th, which is next week at the time of the release of this episode.

I’ve been hearing a lot of nonprofit leaders voicing concerns and feeling conflicted over the idea of asking for money right now, especially if they don’t necessarily need it. 

First of all, I just want to say, yes, a lot of people have lost their jobs or have had to shut down their businesses. But not everyone. Not everyone is out of a job. On top of that, people realize that now more than ever, nonprofits need support. That’s why there are two days of giving this year on the calendar! 

It’s OKAY to ask for money right now during these “giving events.” and here’s the truth about it all: If you don’t ask, somebody else is going to. You might not be on the brink of closing your nonprofit’s doors, but you don’t have to wait until you’re on the edge to ask for money. Remember what you do! You are helping your community. You are helping people in need. You do good for others! Nonprofits help so many people in every community and at this time lots of people need help. So yes, absolutely, you should participate in Giving Tuesday and any other local day of giving event coming up in your area. Those donations will help you to continue to help people in your community.

Here’s what you’re going to do to make it successful for your organization:

  1. Tell people the facts about your organization. Make sure your website, your Facebook page, and if you have an actual profile with your local day of giving event states clearly what your organization does. That first sentence in the “about” section should state in the plainest of terms what you do.  For example, “We are an after-school mentoring program.” Make it SO easy for people to understand how you serve your community. Lay out the facts.
  2. Use your Facebook, Instagram and email list to prepare your donors for the day of giving.  Start warming up your donors – you don’t have much time if you are just getting started, but a few social media posts and a couple emails to your donors can go a long way. Let them know when to donate and give them the link to where they can donate. Remember when talking to your donors, make them the hero – let them know your organization couldn’t do it without them.
  3. In your social media posts, use a picture, a sentence and a call to action with a link to the donation page. This is an absolute MUST. 

Check out this episode for a deeper dive. Even if you only raise a few hundred dollars – that’s a few hundred dollars more than you had yesterday!

OK, so we’ve touched on how to get a pulse on what your staff and volunteers are able to do and about your donors. 

Let’s focus on the people you serve. This is a little Facebook trick that you can use every day to get more of the people you want to serve to like your Facebook page… It’s so simple, but SO GOOD. It’s a tiny thing you can do that over time, can pack a big punch.

Have you ever gotten a notification on Facebook – that little bell at the top of the screen on Facebook – and it says “Wilma Jones liked your organization’s Facebook post. Help her to see future posts by inviting her to like your page” – you’ve seen that one, right?

Have you ever DONE IT? Have you ever invited someone to like your page through one of those notifications? Here’s what you do… I find it easier to do this on a computer rather than your phone, so get to a computer to try this.

Next time you get one of those notifications, click on it. This will bring up the post that Wilma Jones, or whoever, liked. When you see the post load, click on the little number next to the reactions – the little number next to the thumbs up or the hearts reactions. A list of Facebook users that have liked your post will pop up.

Next to their name, you will see a button – if that button says “Invite” – I want you to click it! Invite everyone on that list to like your Facebook page. 

If the button says, “Liked” or “Invited” that means, they either already like your page, or you already invited them and they haven’t accepted your invitation to like the page yet, and you won’t be able to invite them again.

Now, here’s the next level…where you can REALLY grow your organization’s Facebook page.

Get a really good post on your organization’s page and boost it so that more people in your area will like it. Then, during the boost, invite people who like your post to like your page.

If someone likes your page, send them a message to say, “Thanks for liking our page! Let us know if you have any questions!” You can start building a relationship with them right away with this simple little trick – and build your Facebook audience.

It’s such a small thing to do – but before you know it, you can grow your Facebook followers exponentially. Try it! Try it one time this week and see what happens!

Links I mentioned in this episode: 

Stats on Senior Volunteers


Episode 2:  Anatomy of a Good Post

QUIZ: What’s Your Secret Spice?

For additional help, listen to these episodes:

Episode 10:  Three Step Plan for Event Marketing

Episode 44: It's Never Too Late to Start a Facebook Page

Episode 13:  5 Things You NEED to Know About Email Newsletters

Remember to subscribe to Unlocking Your Nonprofit Potential wherever you get your podcasts.

If you have any questions – I’m right here for you! Ask away! Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram or send me an email and I’ll happily write you back with an answer! 



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