How Development Directors Should Utilize Social Media

Vol. 12 No. 2


In the private school world, social media objectives are commonly the responsibility of the Admission Office. However, social media is just as powerful for the Development Director as it is for the Admission Officer. If you’re not taking advantage of social media with your school’s constituuents and fans for fund raising and volunteering, then you’re ignoring one of your strongest sources for support.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again—your school should be using its social media platforms to showcase, highlight, and discuss what’s happening on your campus and in your classrooms, alumni activities, and, yes, even how your donor dollars are being spent. Your channels should encompass the core mission of your school, including its forward visions. Your community follows you because they want to stay connected. If you’re only using social media to connect to alumni, interest potential families, or get your Head’s blog wider readership, you’re not using your media to its full potential.

Here are a few ways Development Directors can share with their schools' communities—and help meet and exceed goals.

Acknowledge your donors. You don’t have to name drop those whom contributed to your new gym or to your annual fund, but you should be giving your donors the impact they desire. They support your mission because they believe in it. Now show them how they’ve made a difference. A video or picture of a student using new technology, your school’s basketball team winning the division, or the new science wing full of future biologists can go a long way.

Pin your interests. Pinterest can be a powerful tool for fund-raising awareness. Build a board of inspirational images that relates to your efforts. For example, if you’re campaigning for a new science wing, create a new board under your school's Pinterest account filled with students learning, state-of-the-art science equipment, student projects, experiments, famous scientists, etc. You know your donors and what inspires them to give—you can appeal to them visually through Pinterest.

Connect with bloggers. Search for people who are writing about similar campaigns and development topics. You don’t have to limit yourself to bloggers in the education world. Expand your search and invest some time in learning what other nonprofits are doing. You’ll find not only inspiration, but also establish a network of powerful colleagues who can support your efforts with advice, guidance, and other connections.

Launch a Facebook campaign. Facebook allows nonprofits to fund raise by building a social campaign. That’s right, you can take donations right through Facebook! But, don’t forget that the most important thing about Facebook and all social media channels are the opportunities to keep your donors informed of your current campaign's progress, efforts, and events.

Track who’s saying what. There are several social media management tools available that combine your school’s pages into one feed. Your school might be currently using one such as Hootsuite or SocialOomph. By creating hashtags for your current campaigns and messages, you can easily search to see who is saying what about your efforts. But, even without hashtags, you can use one of these management tools to track conversations regarding your school.

Additional ISM articles of interest
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 10 No. 8 Let Your Students Tell the Story to Inspire Donors
ISM Monthly Update for Human Resources Vol. 11 No. 8 Social Media: An Opportunity for Conversation
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 10 No. 2 21st Century Development: It’s All About Engagement
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 10 No. 3 A Little Bird Told Me: Tweet Strategically
ISM Monthly Update for Business Officers Vol. 10 No. 7 Should Your School Invest Time and Resources in Pinterest?

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