The Savvy Nonprofit's Social Fundraising Game Plan

June 14, 2020
6 minutes

Here we are, fundraiser, living in this new era of fundraising. We'll never look at social gatherings the same way, the world is weathering economic hardships, and we’re (mostly) still working from home.

With life seeming very different these days, fundraising is bound to be different as well. We see you, fundraising friend, and we know it’s tough. We’re all going to get through it and the best way to make sure your nonprofit thrives is exploring new fundraising opportunities. Specifically, social fundraising.

We’ve sung the praises of social fundraising before and we’re not stopping anytime soon! Social fundraising includes Facebook fundraisers, peer-to-peer, and streaming campaigns—basically anything that allows your community to fundraise on behalf of your nonprofit online. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Absolutely!

So... why should your nonprofit be experimenting with social fundraising now?

Great question! With so many in-person fundraising opportunities on hiatus and a potential downturn in giving due to the economy, now is an important time to consider new ways to raise money for your cause. You know you have some superchampions in your community. Awesome folks who, if given the chance, will raise money from their friends and family for your cause.

Let’s talk about how you can create a social fundraising game plan.

Set a social fundraising goal

As with any fundraising initiative, you've gotta set a goal. For a fundraising revenue stream you haven’t tried before, you might not be sure what’s possible, so goal setting can feel like a shot in the dark. That’s okay! The first time you try anything it’s really about seeing what’s possible. From there, you’ll be able to set more concrete goals.

Here are few ideas for goals you could set for your first foray into social fundraising.

  • Explore what’s possible with social fundraising if we dedicate some resources to it for the next 3 to 6 months.
  • Recruit 3 community members to try a social fundraising campaign
  • Acquire 10 new donors from social fundraising campaigns in the next 3 months

Figure out how social fundraising figures into your weekly work

You’ve got a goal in mind and you’re ready to get to work. Amazing! Now comes the implementation so you can make your goal a reality. Consistency is key for any fundraising strategy; social fundraising is no different. So, fundraiser, how can you consistently work on your social fundraising strategy?

Given the goal you set, how much time do you need to spend on social fundraising each week? It may only be a few hours (or even an hour to start). Block off that time in your calendar to make sure you follow through.

In addition to thinking about the time, think through the tasks that you’ll need to carry out each week. Make a list so you know your marching orders. Then, each time you sit down to work on your social fundraising strategy, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done.

Create a toolkit for social fundraisers

You want your community members to have fun and be successful with their social fundraisers. That means you’ll need to provide them with some amount of support. A great (and sustainable) way to do this is to create a toolkit for social fundraisers.

Your toolkit could be a PDF or a landing page on your website. Essentially a living document that you can send people to for help. You’ll want your toolkit to have an encouraging message to cheer your social fundraisers on, text and images they can swipe, and some FAQs. As you have more social fundraisers under your belt, you’ll figure out what else needs to go in your toolkit.

And wait, what's that? Funraise already made this for you? Not shocked, tbh. So, yeah. Put your branding on this toolkit for fundraisers, like Barbells for Boobs did, and save the sweat for some other strategy.

Reach out to potential fundraisers

You're on a roll, fundraiser, and it’s time to kickstart your social fundraising! Next thing to do is to encourage your community to try social fundraising. Our #1 tip? Reach out your most engaged community members directly. If you don’t ask, they may not think to start a fundraiser for your nonprofit.

Here are more tips to encourage your community to try social fundraising. (LINK)

Pivot, Experiment, Innovate

As time goes on, you’ll have more social fundraisers under your belt. You’ll start to figure out what works and what doesn't. A crucial part of your social fundraising game plan is pivoting, experimenting, and innovating. This includes learning from mistakes and mishaps aaaand taking note of what’s working well. The more you can reflect on the work, the more you’ll be able to hone your strategy.

Steward your social fundraiser superstars

We puffy heart donor stewardship, so it’s no surprise that a social fundraising game plan needs to include donor recognition! You’ve got some seriously awesome people in your community raising money on your behalf. Thank and appreciate them and their hard work.

Give them a shoutout on social media, phone them up to say thanks, or send them a heartfelt note. There are lots of ways to appreciate your fundraising superstars, so get creative with your thank-yous. Social fundraising doesn’t have to be a one-time experience for your community members.

Social fundraising is a new frontier for your nonprofit—we know you’re ready to rock it! Getting started can be easy if you keep it simple and keep learning. With hundreds or even thousands of online community members, you have the perfect pool of people to fundraise for your amazing cause.

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