Social media can and should have a place in every fundraiser’s toolkit. Fundraising is about getting people to support your cause through storytelling and to feel empathy, hope or even anger so that they are inspired to take action. Social media is a communications channel that will help you to build relationships with both current and prospective donors.
In this post we’ll show you four ways to incorporate social media into your fundraising strategy:
- Get to know your supporters
- Cultivate engagement
- Make an ask
- Acknowledge their support
1. Get to know your supporters
Use your social media channels to lean more about your supporters. You can do this in a number of ways: Post polls on both Facebook and Twitter asking questions that will help you understand your supporters and their interests. Use social media as a listening tool by setting up searches for particular hashtags or keywords. This way you can keep an eye on how people feel about certain issues. Create posts that pose a question so that people can express their opinion in the comments or in a reply.
2. Cultivate engagement
Good cultivation is a key ingredient in the fundraising process. It’s not enough to simply identify potential donors by getting to know your audience better. Once you understand more about them and their motivations, you need to create content that will cultivate engagement. Storytelling can increase the chances of reaching new donors by creating a genuine connection with the cause. The example below is a great example of how storytelling can lead to lots of people sharing their own experiences.
3. Make an ask
A strong, emotive message is crucial when you’re making a fundraising ask on social media. However, people don’t want to be asked for things constantly so a top tip is to make your ‘asks’ only 10% (or less) of your content. Focus on building relationships so that when you do make an ask, it’s more likely they will want to support your cause.
Here’s an example of what makes a good ask. It’s a combination of:
- Appealing visual content
- Good descriptive text
- Clear call-to-action
- A link that encourages them to proceed to the next step
In this example from Women’s Aid, it’s interesting to note that the ask is actually quite discreet. The language they use is ‘help us’ rather than ‘donate’.
Use engaging content such as videos, images or stories to show people what they’ll be contributing to if they donate or fundraise for your cause. Let people know how their support will make an impact.
4. Acknowledge their support
Social media allows you to say thank you in a highly personal, public and creative way. Whether you’re thanking people collectively or even individually.
Thank you @richardosman for the best World Cup of Christmas songs. You and your friends have raised £5000 so far plus @Betfair losing bets ????????????We hope you have a wonderful Christmas xx pic.twitter.com/VzsrkJvMtr
— Child's i Foundation (@childsi) December 16, 2017
???? Incredible Phoebe! ???? Huge thanks to Phoebe, who was treated on our unit at the the Great North Children's Hospital, for raising an amazing £10,000 to support other young people with cancer https://t.co/VyfrUor4VX pic.twitter.com/N4OmvoOFMm
— Teenage Cancer Trust (@TeenageCancer) January 17, 2018
Create social media content that is transparent and gives donors public recognition of their fundraising efforts as well as showing them how they are helping you to create change. When people are thanked for their efforts, they are more likely to donate or fundraise again.
So there you have it. Four ways to include social media in your fundraising strategy. Time to get started?