How to Wield the Power of Social Fundraising

April 16, 2019
5 minutes

Ever daydream of having a wildly successful fundraiser? Don’t we all :) Social fundraising, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer fundraising are all online fundraising efforts that tap into the power of the social networks of your supporters. That’s downright dreamy for any fundraiser because it means using social proof and getting your ask in front of more people.

Not sold on the idea of social fundraising? Consider these facts:

  • Nonprofits Source reports that for an average peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, 15-18% of donations are referred directly from Facebook.
  • The 2018 Peer-to-Peer Fundraising study by NonProfit Pro showed that adding peer-to-peer fundraising can add up to a 13% increase in revenue over nonprofits that aren't using peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • 85% of millennials, the generation who's on track to give the most in their lifetime, use social media. Think about that for a second.

You don’t need to have an Ice Bucket Challenge-level idea to benefit from the power of social fundraising, although having a campaign that grabs attention and has a potential for fun is never a bad idea. Read on for five tips to help your nonprofit wield the power of social fundraising.

Repeat after us: c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-i-o-n

What’s one way to have zero success with social fundraising? Not telling your audience that social fundraising is an option. It may not be on their radar, so it’s up to your org to remind them. You can start with a few social posts or even an email to your supporters list. Give them a few simple ideas such as donating their birthday to your cause. Bonus tip—You can also use email to drive traffic to existing social fundraisers.

Use your data (aka prospect research)

We’re not talking major donor-level prospect research. In fact, those may not be your best prospects for social fundraising. Instead, identify your most engaged donors and followers on social media. Engage with them directly, build those relationships, and ultimately, see if you can help them start their own social fundraiser for your cause.

Illustrated hand holding a phone on a purple background with green text messages and red hearts. Art by Sophie Cunningham

Make it a piece o’ cake for social fundraisers

One of the best things you can do is give your social fundraisers the support and resources they need to succeed. You may want to put together a digital toolkit of pre-written copy, social media posts, and other ideas that they can use to reach their fundraising goal.

Social proof + personal storytelling = fundraising magic

Okay, so we’d never claim that there’s a silver bullet out there for fundraising. But if we had to point to two things that are pretty darn effective in mobilizing people, it’s social proof and personal storytelling.

The social proof of social media fundraising works well because friends see their friends donating to something and they want to join in because FOMO. Personal storytelling works because it taps into a person’s values and beliefs that motivate them to support a cause. In turn, their friends identify with those values and beliefs, which can motivate them to give, too. It’s not a silver bullet, but there’s def some magic to it.

If you really want your supporters to shine with social fundraising, set them up for success with The Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Toolkit for Your Supporters. Download and pass on to your supporters who are stoked to take fundraising on your behalf to the next level.

A thank you can go a loooong way

Ready to add a little fuel to your social fundraising fire? Start thanking donors in awesome ways on social media. Use the power of a fun shout out, a thank you video, or cool graphic to let them know you’ve seen their work and you majorly appreciate it. By sharing your thanks on social, you’ll show other members of your nonprofit’s community that they can get in on the social fundraising goodness.

Social fundraising holds a lot of awesome opportunities for nonprofits. With a little inspiration and organization, you can motivate your community to start their own successful social fundraisers. Be their biggest cheerleader and help them fund awesome!

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