If you are trying to raise funds for a specific campaign or even for your organisation as a whole, then social media can help you to maximise your fundraising potential.
Things you'll need
- A Facebook page and Twitter account
- Access to the internet
- Strong cup of coffee
What's the point of social media?
When it comes to fundraising, social media is normally about information sharing.
Those are sites where you can set up giving pages through which people can donate money or sponsorship.
Social media lets you tell people about those other pages, and help you to give them a reason why while expanding your media reach as far and wide as possible.
Gone are the days when the members of a charity were decided by word-of-mouth or geographical proximity.
If you've got a message, you can now tell it to the world.
The more people you reach, the more people are likely to donate.
That's the theory.
Customise your profiles
Make sure that your profiles on each social media channel includes:
- key messages about the difference that your organisation makes
- a link which makes it easy for people to do what you are promoting, eg donate or sponsor.
Cover the basics, then you can think about doing something more fancy, like creating a facebook tab which can embed content from another website into your organisation's facebook page (definitely a page rather than a group or personal account).
In the research for this HowTo, a commenter mentioned a Facebook page called the Soi Dog Foundation. If you log into Facebook and follow that link you'll see three apps along the top: Adopt a Dog, Sponsor a Dog and Donate.
This is a new development in Facebook's use as a fundraising tool.
When asked how they did it, Soi Dog responded:
"These are apps we have written. It is not too hard to do so, but someone who knows HTML and has some technical experience is needed. If you have such a person around, get them to visit Canvas Tutorial and they can take it from there."
form directly on to your Facebook page
Using the "Static HTML: iframe tabs" Facebook app, you can add your donation form code to your Facebook page. This makes it easy for your organisation to capture donations directly from your Facebook page.
See this live on Global Green USA's Facebook page by clicking the "Donate" tab.
Promote member events
Community fundraising takes time and effort. Most organisations only have the energy to work towards one or two big events each year, be that a gala, a masquerade ball, a trek through the Himalayas, or a more modest Church fête raffle.
That doesn't mean that your members can't be raising money in the meantime.
Get a fundraising pack together, deliver it to members, and encourage them to undertake their own events. From the traditional days of Blue Peter jumble sales to participation in the London Marathon - give them some encouragement.
The time it takes you to promote their event through your social media will be well rewarded by the increase in sponsorship they receive, leaving everyone with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Some ways to promote events:
- Post about it
- Link to the event fundraising site in your posts
- Set up an event page on Facebook
- Upload photos from past events
- Upload videos or video diaries by members on your YouTube channel
- If you only have time to use one channel, link your Facebook and Twitter feeds so posts reach more people
- Encourage followers to re-post and share event information
- Don't forget to feedback on how much was raised and say 'thank you'
Publicise your targets
Overall targets with manageable and realistic milestones are crucial to any call for donations. Social media can be useful for keeping your supporters up to date and encouraging others to help you reach targets. You could update Twitter and Facebook followers on progress e.g "we're only £1000 off our target for the XXX campaign".
Show what donations will do
The more you can tell people what their money will be specifically used for, the better. These types of message are strong when used on social media especially if you use audio, video or a game to accompany them. For example, you might say: 'giving £10 a month to charity XXX will ensure a hot meal every day for a homeless person'.
Post this on your Facebook page, perhaps with a short video clip showing the type of person you could help. Tweet about it, add it to YouTube, get people to talk about it. It should also be clearly visible on your website.