4 Ideas to Encourage Your Community to Try Social Fundraising

May 3, 2020
8 minutes

Did you know that the average Facebook fundraiser raises $200 and brings in 4 new donors? That can really add up for your nonprofit over time, and now that our world has changed fundamentally, social fundraising is an absolutely necessary way to raise money.

New to social fundraising? Let’s start with the fact that social fundraising includes Facebook Fundraisers, peer-to-peer fundraising, and crowdfunding campaigns. In an ideal world, your community members would self-organize their own social fundraisers without you having to lift a finger… except to thank them, of course!

The catch is that your community members may not think to start a social fundraiser for your awesome nonprofit or, if they do, they may not know where to start. Here’s how you can encourage them.

Reach out to your most engaged social followers

You know who we’re talking about. Those awesome social media followers who frequently like, comment, and even share what you post. You see their username pop up regularly in your notifications. This is a great sign of someone who loves your nonprofit and is a potential candidate for social fundraising because of their affinity and avid social media use. All you need to do is reach out to them.

Direct message is the most obvious option, but don't forget that you can email or even text supporters—meet them where they are, don't expect them to find you.

Here’s a sample script to use for outreach:

Hey (Name)! Thanks so much for following (ORG) on (PLATFORM). We're super grateful for all of our supporters! If you’re interested in ways you can support our organization, I can help you run your own social media fundraiser.

Use your DM outreach to open the door to further conversation. You may not get a response every time and you probably won’t get 100% yeses, but it’s worth the outreach effort to find those super followers who want to go above and beyond to support your nonprofit.

Have board members lead by example

You’re always looking for great ways to engage our board members, right? Yeah, you are!

Start by figuring out which of your board members are social (media) butterflies. Chances are you have at least a few who love, love, love their social media. They actively post and engage with friends. They have a great network and the ability to engage their friends online, which makes them ideal candidates for social fundraising.

You may not follow your board members on social media (and PS, that’s totally okay because boundaries), so before your next board meeting, talk with your board chair about adding an agenda item for social fundraising. Come prepared to give a mini-pitch about social fundraising and the easy next steps board members can take to get a campaign going. Try to gauge your board members’ interest and personally follow up with the ones that show interest.

Share stories about social fundraising campaigns

You know storytelling is a powerful marketing and communications tool. Sharing success stories offers social proof, inspiring others to try out social fundraising. It's an easy and not-so-in-your-face way to market social fundraising to your community. Of course, you gotta have at least one social fundraiser under your belt if you're leading by example.

Once you have that first fundraiser down, find a time to connect with the person who led the fundraiser and ask if you can profile them in an upcoming communication. Think: email, newsletter, or social media post.

Here are a few questions to begin with:

  1. Why did you decide to do a social fundraiser for our organization?
  2. What was your experience like? What did you do to raise $X?
  3. What would you say to others who might be interested in starting a social fundraiser?

Integrate Reminders into your Comms

When you build your monthly or quarterly editorial plan for your nonprofit’s communication, find a few opportunities to remind your community that social fundraising is a huge way they can support. No, you don’t need to do this daily, but if it’s something your organization takes seriously, a few times a month may be enough repeat message exposure to spur some of your community to action.

Bonus points if you make sure your supporters know they're not alone.

Some organizations offer information, guidance, and encouragement to help their community members get started with social fundraising and be successful as they run with their fundraiser. In fact, Funraise already made The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Toolkit for Your Supporters—it's ready for you to send out today!

Social fundraising is here to stay, nonprofiteers! Get ready to engage your community and explore the possibilities of this fundraising revenue stream for your nonprofit. We can’t wait to see what your community members are able to do!

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