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Nonprofits seem to “get” social media way more than brands. Or at least they have a baked-in advantage.
Brands spend billions trying to get people to feel passionate about them. And still very few, like Starbucks, Apple and Google, actually succeed.
The short-term crush between a customer and a brand can’t compete with the passion between a supporter and a nonprofit. If I’m passionate about Nike, it’s only because I bought their sneakers three hours ago.
When people support a nonprofit, it’s usually for deep, personal reasons. Their mom died from diabetes, or their brother committed suicide after coming back from Iraq. For them, supporting a cause is often a way to heal, give back, and become a better person – things money CAN’T buy.
But brands, like Walmart and Nike certainly try like hell with corporate social responsibility.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure sincerity exists within most corporations. But acting like a good company seems to only become a business goal, if it can help grow the bottom line.
I’ve observed this throughout my years of working at software companies, and think a lot of people would agree. In fact, I’ve concluded that the reason why many brands hire agencies is because it’s cheaper than changing their culture.
Never forget the seed that is your nonprofit. The seed that once exclaimed “I want to make the world and awesome place!”