The Case (Studies) for Social Media
What transpired was remarkable. After initially instituting the widget in 2009, Hill Country sourced 41 percent more donations in 2010 from the widget than it had the previous year. Riders who downloaded and used the application raised 45 percent more money than those who didn't, were 22 percent more likely to hit their fundraising goals and enticed 61 percent more donors to make gifts. In all, 46 percent of all riders used the application, including 56 percent of team captains; and 1.1 percent of the event participants were sourced from the widget.
The data clearly showed that participants used the application, and that those who did raised more money.
Similarly, the Austin affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure used this strategy for its annual Race for the Cure. The organization implemented a customized widget in 2008, promoting it each year in all registration thank-you pages and confirmation e-mails, as well as on the Komen Race Center page, allowing participants to immediately implement the Facebook widget.
The 2009 results showed that event participants who used the widget set higher fundraising goals, reached more donors and raised more money:
- More than 14 percent of participants used the tool — individuals are not required to fundraise in order to participate in the race.
- For those participants that did actively fundraise for the event, those using the widget raised on average 40 percent more than those who did not.
- More than $31,000 was raised directly through the widget.
- 39 new participants joined through the widget.
The success of these widgets on participants' social-media profiles goes right back to the heart of fundraising.
"It's all about the people, the donors," Wilkins says. "We hear people say all the time, 'I got a donation from somebody never in my wildest dreams would I have expected.' It'll be a grade-school friend, someone who you didn't know was impacted by the cause.