Social Fundraising: Tips to Raise Funds
Fundraising for nonprofits has never been more essential than it is today. That’s why virtual fundraising ideas have become a top search topic for SEO. Still, what’s great about fundraising in today’s world is that you don’t only have to rely on the people on your list. You could prospect and ask for support from those who may have an interest in your cause. And social media is an excellent tool to promote the work you do.
A platform that many nonprofits use, of course, is Facebook. However, nonprofits also use other platforms, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. But there's one mistake many nonprofit marketers make, and that's focusing on all of the social media channels available. A better approach that isn't a time and money-waster is to focus on one or two social channels exclusively.
Furthermore, nonprofit marketers need to remember that Facebook Fundraising, as well as any other social fundraising, should follow specific fundraising best practices. The following are some pro tip ideas to make your next fundraiser the best one yet:
1. Let People Know What Your Financial Goal
Often on Facebook and other social platforms, there’s something that is missing. Professional fundraisers understand that to drive urgency and also motivate people to give, you have to provide a goal. However, nonprofits often forget to share their fundraising goal on social media.
Just as you would do anywhere else, share the amount you need to raise. Put it out there. Help people understand the financial fundraising goal, and as you raise funds, keep your followers updated concerning the target.
2. Fundraisers Know That You Have to Build in Urgency Into Any Campaign
If you have only 30 days to raise the money, let people know. It doesn’t matter how long your campaign is — days, weeks, months — people need to understand when your campaign is supposed to end. Keep in mind that you’ll likely see momentum in terms of gifts from your most active supporters at the beginning.
However, a lot of donations come in as you get toward the end of your Facebook Fundraiser as well, because people see the looming deadline closing and get reminded to give.
3. Use Images
It should go without saying, but it's still necessary to say that you have to use compelling images. As you know, we live in a visual world. Digital marketing and social media are all about conveying a lot in a picture or video, so use that to your advantage.
Take dozens or even a couple of hundred images related to your fundraiser. Curate the best photos or videos, and present them in varying ways. For example, use filters or accompanying infographics. Tell your story with pictures as well as with words. For sizing the images, so they appear correctly on social media, take a look at this guide. And to learn more about image use on social media, check out Hootsuite’s full guide to sharing social images.
4. Give Your Supporters an Understanding of Outcomes
Another item that makes good marketing and fundraising best practice on social media is impact. Sometimes, nonprofits get guarded about the impact they make for a variety of reasons. For instance, some nonprofits are fearful that they don't seem large enough. Other times, nonprofits find it difficult to get “the numbers” about impact in their charity.
However, showing nonprofit impact along with the stories, makes a big difference in your results. So be as specific as possible. For example, how many people will get served? How many doses of medication can you supply? How many whales do you intend to save? In other words, numbers as well as the story matter.
5. Focus on Your Ask or Call-to-Action
Would $10 help you? Would $20 help? I realize every dollar helps, but how many people giving you $10 or $20 would it take to achieve your goal? Are you seeking 100 people to teach kids how to read after school? Whatever it is, thread that into your call-to-action. Being specific with a call-to-action, especially when asking for money, gives people a minimum they should consider donating.
Some will provide more, and others will give less, but by giving people with a specific request, you give supporters a frame of reference. For more information about crafting your call to action, take a look at this article by MobileCause.
6. Don't Merely Make One Post and Then Forget It
As you know, social media is about engagement. You have to be consistent. Let donors and others know what’s happening in your social fundraising in multiple ways. So provide updates in your social media posts. Consider writing blog articles about the cause and your fundraiser, and share those pieces. Create social media infographics, and offer fantastic images with statistics of what you do and the link to your campaign donation form.
Also, ask supporters to please share your campaign with their circle of friends. In other words, there’s a lot you could do to keep your fundraiser top of mind on social. Be consistent and persistent in reminding people of the work you do.
7. Get Your Donation Form in Shape
Finally, you have to make it super easy for people to donate to you. As you know, good digital marketing is comprehensive, and there's a lot to know from mastering Facebook groups to making donating simple. Make giving easy; there's a line of thinking that you should require only the absolute minimum from people when donating (e.g. name and credit card).
So be mindful that you want to lower the barriers to giving. If you lead people to your site, make your donation button exceedingly easy to find and always have it present no matter where someone goes on your website.
In short, there’s plenty you could do to run a successful social media campaign. As a reminder, focus on one or two platforms, and engage with supporters often. Then stay at it, and in due course, you will experience the growth and support you seek.
Kristy Fontelera is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”