Put a Donate button on your site
It’s free and easy to put a “Donate” button on your site. Make it as easy as possible for people to give you money! You never know what they may see or read on your web site that spurs them to make a donation, and you want that button to be prominent and visible as soon as that urge hits.
The easiest way to make a donate button is to use Paypal. Set up a free Paypal account, and people can donate to you via credit card or a bank account transfer. The best part is you never see or handle their credit card information; it’s all handled by Paypal.The downside to this is that Paypal charges you a transaction fee for every donation (around 3%), but no matter what, if you accept credit cards, you are going to be charged fees in one way or another. Paypal makes it very easy (and free) to transfer your donations from your Paypal account into your bank account, too. If you don’t know how to create a Paypal donate button, see the video tuturial on how to create a Paypal donate button. Best of all, you can put the donate button on your Facebook page as well.
Make your “List”
We would all be shocked if we added up the time we waste looking for passwords, trying to remember passwords and login information, sending requests for lost passwords… So take a few moments to write down ALL that information in one place. Do it for your own personal information, as well as anything for work, and for your animal rescue site stuff.
Do it in case something happens to you. I took over a web site for an organization whose webmaster died (age 42) of a freak infection he got after a routine teeth cleaning. It was a nightmare to get access to their web site and other accounts because nobody else knew the login information. You never know what’s going to happen…so take a few minutes and record this information somewhere.
Set up a Google Alert
Google alerts are extremely cool, free and easy. Basically, you’re letting Google do all the heavy lifting on searches for you…while you’re sleeping! You can set up a Google Alert for absolutely anything. Right away, set one up for your shelter name, in several different iterations. For example, for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, I set up Google alerts for the phrases “Central Oklahoma Humane Society,” “OK Humane,” and “Oklahoma Humane Society.”
What the Google alert does is it searches web sites all over the world, all the time, and as soon as it sees something with that phrase, it sends you an email to let you know (you can get the emails as frequently or rarely as you wish; I signed up to get mine once daily). What’s the advantage? Whenever someone mentions you on a blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. you’ll know. If someone is talking about you in a chat room or message board or Craigslist, you’ll know.
You can also set up alerts to follow topics of interest to you. For example, “anti-tethering legislation Florida” would be a good one if this is something you’re interested in. If your executive director is someone in the media a lot, keep tabs of the mentions of him or her by setting up a Google alert on that person’s name.
Keep in mind that you want it to be pretty specific. If you just type in “New Jersey dog” you’re going to get a lot of stuff to wade through that probably isn’t applicable.
To set up a Google alert, simply go to www.google.com/alerts and fill in your search terms. If you’re not sure of the terminology, go to Google and do a few test searches to make sure you get the kind of results you had in mind. You will need to have a Google account set up, but that just takes a few seconds, and you should have one anyway to take advantage of all the tools Google offers.
Change your Attitude (can vs. can’t)
This doesn’t specifically relate to social media or marketing, but it’s HUGELY important. When we started to change the way we looked at our situations, we underwent a major paradigm shift. We started saying, “What can we do to find this animal a home? How can we help this person become a more informed adopter? How can we help this person overcome barriers to adopting this animal?” Instead of looking for reasons why we COULDN’T do something, we used language that helped us find ways that we COULD. It’s amazing what a small shift just in the types of words we were using caused us to change our outlook. Try it for a day and see what it can do for you!
Get a Hero
We all know of people in our industry who are doing this right. Why not make them your role model? It’s a whole lot easier to model (okay, even copy) what someone else is doing successfully than try to reinvent the wheel.
Besides, the great thing about our business is that we aren’t in “competition” with each other! If my shelter is in Oklahoma and yours is in Florida, we can take ideas from each other, and it doesn’t matter one bit! of course, it’s nice to ask for permission, and you have to be mindful of any copyright or trademark infringement. But it’s all about saving lives. If somebody in another state has a great idea, see if you can use it!
Subscribe to my newsletter
This is definitely the easiest one! You can sign up for The Social Animal newsletter here. I’ll never sell or share your email address, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I send out a newsletter about once a month with helpful information about non profits and social media.