Nonprofit Expert, Marlee Honcoop, Discusses Using Social Media to Inspire Action


Social Media Week

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This post is part of a series featuring Q&As with Social Media Week Chicago speakers and panelists.

Marlee Honcoop, CNP, is the Associate Manager, Member Engagement at Forefront, formerly Donors Forum, the only regional association in the U.S. that represents both grantmakers and nonprofits, as well as their advisors. She works to increase investment in the social sector, develop top talent, and increase organizational capacity. Read her full bio here.

1. HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO INSPIRE ACTION OFFLINE?

MH: We use #ILGive to highlight social media done well by local nonprofit organizations and put language to why that particular post effective. The Illinois social sector picks it up, goes back to their organization, and replicates those best practices.

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN, AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT WAS SO SUCCESSFUL?

MH: One of my favorite campaigns was run by the LAF for #ILGive. LAF leveraged their associate board (young leaders in the community) to engage the public in a virtual gala which raised $35,000 in one day! What made it so successful?  Participating in the campaign was easy, fun, and engaging. This story stands out to me because LAF used their campaign to make a complicated mission easy to understand by capitalizing on the fun factor. To learn more, check out the storify.

3. HOW DO YOU SEE NONPROFITS USING CROWDFUNDING IN LONG-TERM?

MH: I see nonprofits using  platforms like Public Good and We Raise to crowdfund long term because of their social or audience specific elements. Public good has built out the social aspect to their platform which makes it engaging, user friendly, and fun for supporters, philanthropists, and nonprofit. We Raise is one of the only crowdfunding platforms that was created with faith based projects and organizations in mind. Best of all, We Raise inspires donors to give more support by offering a variety of matching gifts for projects using their platform.

4. WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS DO YOU THINK NONPROFITS COULD BETTER UTILIZE?

MH: Instagram is a great place to get conversations started and inspire action — Why, because pictures are powerful. Honestly, who doesn’t want to see positive, meaningful posts amidst the slew of selfies and food?

5. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ORGANIZATIONS MAKE WHEN TRYING TO SOLICIT DONATIONS ONLINE?

MH: The biggest mistake an organization can make is to use guilt or shame as a tool to get support. Monthly supporters are created when giving becomes associated with hope and the feeling that their investment is making a positive impact.

Marlee Honcoop will speak as part of the panel “#ILGive: Mobilizing Donors Online” at SMW Chicago. To learn more about the panel and to purchase your pass, click here. Be sure to check back for more Q&As with our speakers and panelists!



Jordan Troy

Junior Account Executive, JTPR

Jordan joined Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications (JT) after completing an eight-month internship at the firm. She has experience conducting strategic research and grassroots outreach, assisting in event planning and management, and providing media relations for clients. She contributes to work on a variety of clients including After School Matters, the Chicago Innovation Exchange at the University of Chicago, Midtown Educational Foundation, One Million Degrees and the National Minority Supplier Development Council.



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