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Photo: Gardens for Health
Gardens for Health International, a nonprofit that gives Rwandan families the tools, education and skills to grow their own food and break the cycle of malnutrition, combines social media with DonateNow to increase fan engagement and boost giving. Executive director Jessie Cronan explains that posting lots of photo and video success stories to Facebook and YouTube has been a valuable strategy for connecting with donors. Adding DonateNow makes it easy for their fans to donate on the spot.
Money coming in from DonateNow is my favorite 'feature.'
—Jessie Cronan, Executive Director, Gardens for Health International
Gardens for Health lnternational partners with rural health centers in Rwanda to equip families with seeds, livestock, and know-how for greater self-sufficiency. To date, the group has helped more than 630 farmers and their families feed themselves with healthy, locally grown food. Social media plays a big role in the nonprofit's fundraising and communication strategies.
They are active on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and recently began using Network for Good's online donation tools. Gardens for Health executive director Jessie Cronan shared the group's social media strategies and successes.
At Gardens for Health, social media is important for reaching out to as many different audiences as possible. "We use our Facebook page primarily to inform individual visitors," says Cronan. "We update the page every day with photos or links to interesting articles." They also use their Facebook page for targeted giving, such as a campaign that raised funds for a community lunch program in Rwanda. Their holiday giving program featured weekly staff members' stories about why they are involved with Gardens for Health and their experiences in the field.
The group posts regular updates to their Twitter feed, and they find Instagram useful for sharing pictures. Gardens for Health produces short videos to post on YouTube to offer a deeper look into how their supporters' donations are changing lives for the better.
One key to online fundraising success, according to Cronan: "Pictures, pictures, pictures." Posting at least one new photo every day keeps their fans' attention, develops rapport, and encourages giving.
Gardens for Health recently began using Network for Good's DonateNow service to boost online fundraising. Cronan says it works for them because it is easy to use and implement on their website and social media outlets. "Money coming in via DonateNow is my favorite 'feature’, she says. Overall, their strategy of posting lots of photos and videos on social media and making it easy for people to give with Donate Now is proving to be a winning combination.