You have to pick and choose your battles if you’re a nonprofit with limited resources, and social media is no exception. When it comes to what works for a nonprofit, there are usually a number of ways in which an organization can leverage social media to engage its donors. Periodically, a major social network will introduce a new feature that shakes up the landscape, and it’s during these times a nonprofit–really, substitute any organization that utilizes social media–sometimes has the opportunity to pioneer a new method of social media engagement.

Google-Plus-CommunitiesNonprofit Donor Retention, by Bloomerang

I believe we’re witnessing the beginnings of just such an opportunity with the announced addition of Communities to Google+, and Bloomerang decided to take advantage. For those who have missed the announcement and press, Google+ now has added a feature for creating places where people with common interests can gather to discuss and share those interests. Think of Communities as a LinkedIn Group, but you have a lot more flexibility with digital content (e.g., photos, video). Also, and no offense to LinkedIn Groups (because Bloomerang has one), the Google+ Communities have a much more visually appealing layout. Here is an example from the Nonprofit Donor Retention Community we created:

The launch of Communities resulted in a sort of “digital landgrab,” where individuals and organizations attempted to snatch up all the names and categories that are relevant to their industry, interests, etc. Whether intended or not, Google did not make it winner take all with the right to name a Community, which means, for example, you will find multiple instances of the “BMW” Community.

While the excitement of the initial launch will wear off, it’s important to remember to “strike while the iron’s hot.” In other words, why not see whether the publicity and heightened curiosity associated with this new feature can be leveraged to your organization’s advantage? Not only could you gain new supporters, but you could also become known as a trendsetter in nonprofit, social media engagement.

Take some time to get to know Google+ and its Community section, and then decide whether this tool is right for your organization. Even if you don’t start up your own Community, we hope you’ll take full advantage of the resources we’re offering over at the Nonprofit Donor Retention Community.


Cody Lawson

Cody Lawson

Product Manager at Bloomerang
Cody is a Product Manager at Bloomerang. Cody holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Rhetoric from Wabash College. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree with a concentration in Health Law from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. He's been a valued member of Bloomerang since the doors opened in 2012.