Aug
15
2013

10 Pointers for Using Social Media to Fundraise

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Businesses of all sizes — whether you are a vacation resort chain like Bluegreen Resorts or a one-person start-up — use it to promote their products and services. People use it to connect worldwide. Why can’t fundraising organizations benefit from the use of social media? Actually, they can.

Fundraising organizations that use social media as part of their efforts to increase awareness and donations raise their final totals by approximately 40 percent. To use social media effectively as a fundraising organization, it’s important to consider the target audience and the desired results.

These 10 tips can help raise donations and awareness for a particular cause, whether the efforts are on behalf of a local Girl Scout troop or for a nationwide charity organization.

1. Start with Venues Already in Use.

Begin by using the social media venues that are already part of the organization’s promotions. Opening new social media accounts during a busy fundraising campaign makes no sense.

2. Consider the Organizations Values.

Before connecting with potential donors or businesses, be fully aware of the organization’s values so the connections made are in keeping with them.

3. Speak with Instead of To.

Engage followers in conversation rather than speaking at them.

4. Provide Evidence of the Impact Made by Donations.

Include photos, anecdotes, and information describing how previous donations have helped the organization’s cause and recipients.

5. Tell a Story

A story that people can relate to is often more meaningful than a lot of statistics and boring information. Use a combination of concise text and images to relay the story.

6. Explain the Fundraiser

Don’t assume that followers will know about the organization, the fundraiser, or the cause. A concise but thorough explanation should be included with other basic information on the organization’s social media profiles.

7. Ask People to Spread the Word

It’s perfectly acceptable for an organization to ask followers to share their posts so more people will become aware of the fundraiser.

8. Thank Donors Publicly

People enjoy being appreciated; a public thank you lets donors know they’ve made a difference, while also catching the attention of those who’ve been thinking about donating.

9. Include a Call to Action

Always include a call to action that lets followers know specifically what they should do. Make it easy and clear, such as “Press the button to contribute today.”

10. Post with Consistency.

Drive-by posting will eventually get lost among all the other social media posts out there. An organization that wants to use social media successfully must commit to posting at least two to three times per week to maintain interest.

Social Media — Part of the Process

Social media marketing is an excellent way for an organization to extend its reach to potential donors around the world. As fantastic and effective as they can be, social media venues shouldn’t be the only method used to get the word out about a current fundraiser. Letter and email campaigns are still effective, as are word-of-mouth techniques.

Fundraising organizations that use social media marketing as part of their campaign will increase awareness and funds for a more successful effort. A long-term benefit of incorporating social media is that donors who’ve been reached for the first time will have an awareness of the cause or organization that they didn’t have before. In this aspect, the organization has built its donor list for future fundraising efforts.

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