Grant management involves more than simply plugging a few numbers into a grant management solution and hoping for the best. Effective grant management requires you to track your nonprofit’s grant all the way through the process until it has received approval. Once it has been approved, you will need to ensure that the funds are being used properly, measure the grant’s success (or results) over a certain period of time, and report your findings back to the grantee. It is a complicated and lengthy process that requires many tools and software solutions to be done successfully.
We’ve already discussed in past blogs how grant management software can simplify the grant management process and alleviate the stress many nonprofits experience when it comes to managing their numerous grants. While grant management software is extremely beneficial, we believe that nonprofit organizations can embrace additional tools along with their grant management solutions to help move the grant management process along.
Social media has emerged as a key player in nonprofit management. Social media sites not only help spread the word about nonprofit programs and events, but they also help nonprofit organizations raise funds and win hard-to-earn grants. When used in conjunction with grant management software, social media sites can help nonprofit organizations win and manage the grants they need to keep their organization running.
Using Social Media to Win Grants
The grant management process starts at the very beginning: applying for and winning grants. The grant-seeking process can be a frustrating (and lengthy) one. With so many nonprofit organizations competing for the same funds, it can be hard to find ways to set yourself apart from the crowd. Social media, unlike traditional grant-seeking methods, can help set your organization apart from other organizations and help you win more grants.
Here are some ways you can use social media to position your nonprofit organization for success in the grant-seeking world:
- Join Twitter. If you don’t create a page for your organization, at least make sure that your executive director has a Twitter account and is tweeting regularly about what is happening in your organization.
- Create a Facebook page. If your nonprofit organization is not already on Facebook, you need to get on it now. Facebook is gaining in popularity among nonprofit organizations, and many nonprofits are relying on the social networking site to make stronger connections with their followers and supporters. Simply having a Facebook account is not enough. In order to use it effectively, you will need to engage the community regularly. Share stories from people who have used your services, post information about upcoming events, and highlight the impact your nonprofit has had on the community. The more grantors can get to know you through social media, the better your chances are at winning those grants.
- Use LinkedIn to your advantage. LinkedIn is a great tool for nonprofit organizations looking to win more grants. Make sure that all of the professionals in your nonprofit organization have a personal LinkedIn page. Encourage them to connect with other professionals in their field, as well as with grant program officers. LinkedIn is a great prospect tool to locate not only potential donors, but also possible grantors.
- “Like” or “follow” the pages of possible (or current) grantors. According to a recent poll, only 16% of nonprofit organizations follow their grantors on Facebook or Twitter. Following potential grantors on Twitter and Facebook can help you learn more about what kind of nonprofits they are looking to fund, as well as keep you updated on the most current happenings in the foundation.
- Create videos that showcase the work of your nonprofit. Post these videos on YouTube and share them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Videos will give grantors a closer look at the work your organization does and allow them to see the heart of your organization.
The purpose of embracing social media for grant-seeking purposes is that grantors use social media to make their decisions. You can find out more about grantors through social media in order to decide whether or not to continue seeking grants from that foundation. Just the same, grantors can use social media to learn more about your nonprofit, its mission, and how your vision lines up with theirs.
You don’t have to be a social media guru, either. As long as you get the name of your nonprofit out there, you further your chances at securing more grants. Once you’ve won those grants, make sure you manage them using grant management software, such as Sage Grant Management.
If you have any questions about using social media to win grants or would like to invest in grant management software, contact RBP Methods today at (503) 648-9051.