In this day and age of “social media” this and “social media” that, it can be easy to forget sometimes the best way to connect with people is to do it the old-fashion way: personally send your prospective donor a donation request.

I’m all about the connectivity of Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare and the resources at my fingertips that RSS feeds, Blogger and LinkedIn provide. And the best part is it’s all conveniently located on my iPhone 4.

No one is more surprised than me to realize that my newest pet peeve is when my Facebook Newsfeed is filled with friends’status updates asking me to consider making a donation to their next Run/Walk/Ride fundraising event.  The art of the personal ask has been reduced to less than 200 characters and a hyperlink.

The times are tight, and if you want me to donate to your cause I don’t want to get the ask while looking through my Facebook feed.  I want you to take the time to send me a letter (email, snail mail, carrier pigeon –I’m not that picky) and tell me what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how I can help.

I have no doubt that we’re on the cusp of some amazing things because of social media.  It has allowed your constituents to tap into people who may not normally donate to your nonprofit organization or may have never been contacted to participate.  With all the networking advantages that social media allows, I think it’s worth encouraging your constituents to consider using all avenues possible when trying to fundraise for your nonprofit organization. 

You never know which method of delivery is going to resonate most with a donor. Consider the donor’s personality when deciding how best to connect with them.  Would they prefer a face-to-face meeting? Maybe a letter in the mail with a hard copy donation form (for those electronically challenged)? Or a phone call to share your story of why you are participating. 

If there are people who are ignoring your Facebook requests, take the time to send an email or drop a letter in the mail. As we all know, the worst someone can do is say no.

Status updates (via Twitter or Facebook) are just one way in which your constituents can raise money. But the ease of social media should not ignore so many other methods of communication that have worked for years.

You can find Molly on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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