By Megan Bennett
There is no better way to get an organization’s message out in front of donors than meeting them where they are.
Americans spend more than two hours a day on social media each and every day and the number of users on social platforms continues to climb, making it impossible to ignore social media for fundraising.
Here are some simple things to keep in mind when your organization is looking to use social media to help reach your fundraising goals.
- Decide where you should have a presence
It’s easy to fall into a trap of believing that you need to be on multiple platforms to capture your donors. Before you sign up for TikTok, take a look at where the majority of your donors are spending their time.
Each of the platforms requires a different strategy and you can quickly stretch your organization thin if you have to create multiple types of content, write specifically for the platforms, and resize images to fit the ideal sizes for posts. Find the one (or maybe two) perfect platforms and commit. You may be surprised and learn that TikTok is it!
- Create a plan
To set up your fundraising campaign, it’s important to create a plan with your team so you can keep all the moving parts organized. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Set your fundraising goal
- Create a campaign theme and title
- Choose a hashtag to share and use
- Set your campaign length and pick your start and end dates
- Create a content calendar and schedule
- Build a campaign-specific landing page with a donation form unique to the campaign for tracking donations
- Assign your team roles during the campaign. Who’s monitoring and responding to comments and questions on social media?
- Set up a posting tool with social listening options to follow the hashtags, your organization’s name, and keywords that donors may use so you can track and measure how things are going
- Find partners and influencers
Give your campaign a head start by identifying and reaching out to partner organizations that have a good-sized base of followers and would be inspired by your campaign. If your organization is on the smaller side and you don’t have a large audience, it can feel like an uphill battle to get your campaign noticed.
Putting a lot of work into a campaign only to see it get zero traction is pretty crushing but social media influencers and other organizations you team up with can help. Identify people or companies within your network who have a larger following and reach out to them to see if they would be willing to promote your campaign.
- Use the platform’s built-in tools
If Facebook is your platform of choice, they have a number of fundraising tools already built in. These tools can make sharing a campaign much easier and your followers will be able to do some of the heavy lifting by creating their own peer-to-peer campaigns. But, because of privacy concerns, you often won’t be able to get a full picture of who you’ve reached and who your donors are.
Still, it’s a very powerful way to raise money and get the word out about your organization. Say thank you along the way to people that donate since you likely won’t be able to do much follow up (a little more on that below).
Facebook also offers an Event tool that allows organizations and businesses to showcase upcoming events. You should plan to get a little creative and use these. When people commit to “going to” or “maybe attending” an event, Facebook sees them as showing interest and any future updates you post in the event will get a free-pass from the Facebook algorithm.
This is a great way to stay top-of-mind with people as your campaign runs and share organizational news, stories, fundraising milestones, and details on how donations will be used.
- Tell your story
Social media is all about storytelling, and telling stories can really make your fundraising campaign stand out. Use photos and videos to show your nonprofit in action so your audience can see how their donations achieve your organization’s mission.
Don’t be afraid of video for your storytelling. Organic reach for Facebook videos is more than 100 greater than a static image. You also shouldn’t worry too much about production quality. An appealing, honest and genuine iPhone video can bring in as much or more as a costly, highly produced video.
- Celebrate milestones and thank your donors
Staying on top of thanking participants as your campaign runs can result in great conversations and ongoing relationships with new, casual donors that gave simply because a friend suggested they should. On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you can follow a hashtag to new donors and thank them directly on their tweet or post.
For more on this, listen to Megan on The First Day podcast from The Fund Raising School.
Megan Bennett is the founder and CEO of Socially Acceptable, an Indianapolis-based social media marketing firm. She has a diverse background in nonprofit and for-profit marketing with experience in a wide range of disciplines including copywriting, advertising and donor relations.
In 2013 Megan opened Socially Acceptable to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations tell their stories through social media. Her company also assists clients by creating exciting digital campaigns that are designed to engage customers, donors and supporters.