Get the Word Out: Event Fundraising Using Social Networking
Fundraisers know the key to successful special events is good attendance. A well-attended event garners not only more revenue from registration fees or ticket sales, but also broader exposure for your cause to your community and its networks.
But, event fundraisers are on a hard deadline. Unlike an annual campaign or endowment drive — which can be ongoing throughout the year — in order for supporters to participate in your special event, they must be aware and take action before the big day.
How can you best spread awareness to as many potential supporters as possible when you have limited budget and resources? Leverage social media to get the word out quickly and efficiently throughout your nonprofit's network.
In "The Networked Nonprofit," authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine write, "Networked Nonprofits work as social networks, not just in them." According to Kanter and Fine, by connecting individuals with common interests and goals, nonprofits create an ecosystem of organizations and people eager to help.
And, by utilizing "free agents" — individuals working outside the organization who can organize and raise funds — nonprofits can capitalize on the power of social media to get the message out.
Social networks disseminate information
Individuals are more likely to support a cause when asked by someone they know, even if it is not a cause they would have otherwise supported. This is especially true if the audience you are trying to reach is millennials.
According to the 2011 Millennial Donor Survey, a recent study from Johnson, Grossnickle + Associates and Achieve, 56 percent of donors ages 20 to 35 report they get information about organizations to support from their peers.
The same study found that 33 percent of donors in the same age group learn about organizations to support from Facebook. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed report giving to nonprofits in 2010. The power of social networks to disseminate information and motivate supporters to act is clear.