Thoughts on social media marketing from Grand Junction

By Collin Lessing, JVA Consulting

This week, I had the opportunity to spend some time in Grand Junction, where JVA’s Senior Consulting/Planning Associate based on the Western Slope, Lorne Naegele, and I hosted a full-day social media workshop for nonprofits. We covered several topics and had an amazing group in attendance. There were a few highlights from open discussions that I wanted to share with our readers on Nonprofit Street:

Converting fans to donors on Facebook Causes

There were many questions about how to effectively turn Facebook fans into donors using Facebook Causes. We continue to hear this is a common struggle with nonprofits using Causes. One strategy that nonprofits are finding success with is by using the Facebook Causes Birthday Wishes app. The idea behind the app is that people passionate about your cause can request donations for your organization in lieu of gifts when their birthday comes up. One workshop attendee offered the idea that the donor’s age can be the suggested donation amount.

foursquare for nonprofits

foursquare has been gaining momentum as a social media platform over the last couple of years. If you’re not familiar with foursquare, it’s a social networking site that allows users to “check in” from their smart phones at a location-based business and to connect with their friends who are also using foursquare. According to an article on, there were 381,576,305 foursquare check ins in 2010. For nonprofits like cultural and arts institutions or direct service providers that attract clients, patrons or members to a specific location to provide services, there may be opportunity in foursquare.

Responding to criticism on social media

Always an interesting topic for discussion, we asked what participants would do in a hypothetical scenario in which an angry, critical post lands on its Facebook wall. There were mixed thoughts on how an organization should go about responding, or not responding for that matter, but one attendee shared a real-life example. An organization received a critical message on one of their social media pages. While the tone of the criticism was harsh, the organization decided to respond calmly and publicly on its page. They were also able to demonstrate through action that they take feedback from their stakeholders seriously. As the response played out for the public to see, the original poster’s tune changed and the person became a happy, vocal supporter.

There were several other interesting ideas and topics brought up during our discussions but these are just few. If you have any thoughts on new trends or tools, or if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.


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