Making Event Participants More Successful With Social-Media Tools
The popularity of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has given rise to promising new ways for event participants to raise money online for nonprofits. While some industry observers doubt the fundraising potential of these platforms, participants in special events continue to be an exception and have shown strong success by tapping in to the power of social networking.
Research conducted by Charity Dynamics and Blackbaud further confirms this trend. We investigated data from more than 1,750 events that implemented social-media tools for participants in 2009. The insight gained by this new data should be kept in mind by all nonprofit organizations as they gear up for their future events and consider the use of social media tools to support their fundraising efforts.
Twitter and Facebook as solicitation tools
According to Nielsen Online’s Global Index, December 2007-December 2008, people now spend more time on social-networking sites than on e-mail. As such, utilizing these sites for event fundraising may become just as important as personal e-mail solicitations. Facebook and Twitter have seen tremendous adoption over the past two years and now boast more than 344 million combined users. To more closely analyze their impact, the research compared returning event participants who did not have the advantage of integrated social-media tools in 2008 but did have access to them in 2009.
In all cases, our research demonstrated that participants using social-media tools set higher fundraising goals, reach more donors and raise more money.
Twitter users increased their personal fundraising goals at least three times more and raised nearly 10 times more online than their peers who did not use the microblogging service. Additionally, participants who sent multiple tweets achieved stronger fundraising results than those who sent only one tweet. These results align with those of e-mail solicitations, an area in which participants are encouraged to send multiple personalized messages.