#TheSocialFrontier: The Digital Donation Era of Nonprofits


Yesenia Reinoso, Founder & Principal, Y Communicate 

Over the last two decades, we have seen the rise of the nonprofit industry. Like its counterpart in the for-profit arena, nonprofits are becoming more specialized in their offerings and positioning. Today, there are nonprofits who have programs that are similar to one another and therefore considered to be direct competition. Look around – environment, healthcare, racial justice, children, education, animals, and many more initiatives for people to invest their time. 

There is a real sense of competitive nature among nonprofit organizations as they try to recruit, engage, and cement supporters and donors. At the end of the day, the goal of nonprofits is to generate donations to maintain the operations across all operational, economic, and programming avenues. In recent years, millennials and Gen Z have done research into the causes they are passionate about. Through word of mouth and data, the younger generations analyze what the cause is about, the mission, values, programs, impact, and everything that ties to the organization’s heart.

Storytelling is a key element for any nonprofit. Telling a story helps current and potential new supporters understand who the company and their main “why.” Storytelling paves the way for donations. Nonprofits encourages the public to donate to a cause(s) through traditional and digital methods. In today’s time, digital donations have taken off and is now the primary avenue for fundraising. Social media added an even bigger layer due to its engagement tools that transmits content into individuals’ palms at a fast rate.

Every July 15 since 2013, nonprofits celebrate Social Media Day. Givver.com, a St. Louis-based company, created the online initiative to raise awareness on donating through social media platforms. Nonprofits coordinate their efforts with other relevant partners and individuals to bring awareness through fundraising. PR professionals who work in communications departments develop innovative campaigns including hashtags to generate traction. Making something memorable that people will share and spread. It also helps when your followers talk about it in the mediums. Building community.

As more nonprofits use social media to push their goals, the competition for clicks and dollars becomes more prevalent. Brands use different kinds of multimedia along with cool features to make their content stand out. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have introduced a “donation” feature where individuals can fundraise for a particular charity. Videos generate about 10 times the impact as photographs.

#SocialMediaGivingDay makes it possible for the public to showcase their support. Consider Social Media Giving Day as a preview to the all-popular Giving Tuesday. In this digital era, people now have the flexibility to decide which organization to give their time. Technology has made it easier. Money, volunteerism, event attendance, and many other areas. The way to enter the nonprofit world is through the following: research – engagement – donation. 

As technology continues its advances, nonprofits must utilize whatever resources they have to make themselves stand out. Depending on what the budget entails, nonprofits must maximize their tools to convince audiences of their attention. Nonprofits are the heartbeats of the community. The public leans heavy on them. Social media can also cement credibility for nonprofits. Credibility is a big part of the messaging game. 

Either way, nonprofits’ use of social media will soon if it hasn’t already been a central focal point to their business ecosystem. All donations have gone digital.

About the Author: Yesenia Reinoso is an award-winning ten-year transformative bilingual storyteller, content creator, public relations practitioner, and entrepreneur. In June 2021, she founded Y Communicate and currently serves as Founder and Principal. Mastering a ten-year plus career in corporate communications, Yesenia worked in industry sectors across the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Previous employers include National CineMedia (NCM), Times Square Alliance and Global Kids. She is also a member of PRSA, contributor writer and the co-host of the marketing and PR podcast “Market or Pitch.”

LinkedIn – Yesenia Reinoso; Instagram – @y.communicate