The Science of Going Viral and Its Impact on Your Fundraising
The world has dramatically changed for all of us over the last dozen years. Opportunities that exist in digital media (social media, mobile media, online communications, and crowdfunding/crowdsourcing) represent unprecedented fundraising opportunities for the nonprofit community.
There’s a catch: Older communications tactics are not as effective as they once were in today’s digital media/viral media landscape. Further, most organizations have not experienced anything even close to “going viral.”
Rather than envy the occasional incredible fundraising success story you have no doubt seen in recent years (remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?), we’re going to make it our mission to unlock as many of the secrets to going viral as we can. And with that, we are pleased to announce the introduction of a new TAG service focused on the intersection of viral media and social media fundraising.
Highlighting our work in this regard, we will continually introduce new, relevant resources to help you succeed in digital fundraising. Through a series of articles, eBooks, infographics, short videos, webinars, speaking engagements, and association education we will help you understand:
- What is meant by viral media
- Why things tend to go viral
- How these strategies can apply to your varied fundraising initiatives
- Nuances of viral media across the digital platforms (referenced above), plus traditional “touch points,” including direct mail, events, and corporate sponsorships
- New ways in which your board members, heretofore “untapped spheres of influence,” can be part of your going viral
- And, from time-to-time, ways in which you can maneuver toward strategically updating your overall cross-media fundraising plan
By Way of Explanation
When something goes viral it grows on its own – often far beyond the reach and geography of the nonprofit.
When positioned properly, this can have monumental impact on new sources of donors, overall funds raised, volunteers, and active advocates. This latter group, the active advocates, should be known as your “digital ambassadors.”
Think of them as your key to mobilize a national or worldwide army at a moment’s notice.
Some attributes you should quickly pick up on include:
- The fact that your viral fundraising messaging will probably not mirror your mission statement
- We will make distinctions for why being digitally bold or provocative does not necessarily equate to shock value; rather we will depict the why and how you’ll get “digitally noticed”
- Changing the sources of where your content gets generated from
- How the angles of conversations will shift slightly so they’re more likely to be two-way interactive conversations between you and your constituencies
- Various ways in which those that care most about your work can make significant contributions on your behalf (hint: it’s not as simple as re-posting you on their Facebook wall)
If you think your story is the kind that should go viral click here and we’ll do a quick, complimentary evaluation to determine if your organization is in a position that others can learn from.
The Digital Media Age Fundraising Opportunity
To get this new educational series rolling, we’ll start with an overview of the digital media age fundraising opportunity, (things we’d want your board membership to be aware of), as well as foundational elements of the master plan, aka, components of the strategic cross media fundraising blueprint makeover.
Thereafter, we’ll delve into various cross-media and other “touch point” initiatives starting with social media. This illustration should give you an idea of what’s to come and hopefully broaden your horizons to the concept that viral media extends way beyond social media platforms.
Don’t hesitate to engage with us on this topic. No one person or firm knows everything. Digital media is fluid and constantly evolving. There are common denominators behind things that tend to go viral, and there are several steps you should take to replicate those tendencies.
While you can and should continue to maintain your traditional initiatives, be prepared for net-new fundraising strategies and tactics. After all, your donor and prospect base has already evolved their behaviors. Play your cards right and the philanthropic impact may be unlike anything you’ve experienced before.