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With the onset of social media, we no longer need to tape up posters in coffee shops and stand in front of grocery stores with flyers to get the word out about our fundraisers (although, if you still do that, kudos to you!). With Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Linkedin, etc. we now have digital communities that can work like megaphones for our fundraisers.
By using these social media platforms we can go straight to our donors and volunteers, rather than waiting for them to come to us.
But, with great social media power comes great responsibility. While the idea is that we all want everyone to know about our amazing cause and how to support it, we must be careful not to abuse this promotional power. AND, we must understand that our fundraiser is just one event in a sea of events being promoted on social media:
“As important as charity is, it must compete with the thousand personal demands, distractions, and pleasures that make up our lives. Far too often, giving money is just not that convenient.” - Richard C. McPherson, Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity.
Today, we want to focus solely on Facebook, and how you can use it to promote your fundraiser and make giving a convenient priority for your friends, family, and community members.
Ten Facebook Tips for Promoting Your Fundraiser
Access the Mentality of Crowd Funding
Crowd funding is exactly what it sounds like: raising funds for causes through small donations from a large number of people. Sounds a lot like traditional fundraising, right? Yes, except crowd funding is typically done via the Internet.
On your fundraising page or Facebook event, list the people who have given to your cause.
Don't be Afraid to Advertise
Check out this helpful video by John Haydon on how to target your donors or email subscribers through FB ads:
When we do Facebook ads, we like to use an intriguing or captivating image with a short description. We often advertise to people in the community for our full-service Fun Runs, and to people across the nation who have an interest in school fundraising for our DIY services.
Of course, always use keywords that will catch people’s attention. We recommend your keywords describe your cause, your service, your location, your benefactors and any other identifiers. Example: “Healthy Fundraiser for Springfield Elementary (location/identifier)! Raising funds for new gym equipment (service) to promote fitness (cause) to our youth (benefactor).”
Get to Know Your Audience
Facebook has great tools and analytics to see what people are currently supporting, reading, posting about, etc. To check out what is trending on Facebook as a whole, take a look at the right side of your Facebook news feed, click “See More” to access the full list of trending topics.
You will also want to understand your specific audience: the people who like your page and are within your circles of influence. On your Facebook page, under the Insights tab at the top of the page, you can see the demographics of your fans and the people you reach, the time and day when your fans are online and even what type of posts get the most engagement. Use these helpful tools to your advantage!
Keep People Updated
Whether you decide to create an event or a page for your fundraiser, make sure to keep your followers updated on goals reached, money still needed, ways to give, and other content that they will want to share on their own newsfeed.
Example: we like to post about schools that we have worked with who are reaching or exceeding their monetary goals through healthy fundraising.
People want to give money to a cause that they feel connected to. This is made possible when they are brought into the inner-circle of the fundraising process. Facebook offers a convenient platform for creating this connection between the cause and the donor.
Also, recall the mentality of crowd funding. When you get one donor who is connected to your fundraiser and talking about it on their own profile, you are being promoted to their circles of friends and family. Thus, creating a free, organic cycle of promotion.
“Successful charities will be the ones that offer the most engaging variety of donation choices, endorsed and promoted by friends and peers, with the most convenient paths to involvement.” – McPherson
The beauty of social media, and Facebook in particular, is that anyone can be involved. When we say DIY Fundraising, we mean breaking down the money-raising process. Rather than having donors give to your general Fun Run, have donors give to individual classes, or grades or students.
As we’ve talked about before, we use student profiles on our TGMC website for schools. In this way, it is up to the grades, the classes and the individual students to raise money, giving them more freedom to be creative and giving donors more incentive to give when they personally know the people for whom the money will benefit.
A great example of this is seen with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in which supporters are encouraged to help fundraise for the organization by creating smaller, individual-run fundraisers, like bake-sales and dinner parties. Each mini-fundraiser would have its own Facebook page or event, creating many small platforms for giving like we talked about with crowd funding.
Make it Convenient
As we’ve learned from McPherson (author of Digital Giving) Facebook fundraising promotion only works if it helps make giving convenient.
We recommend that whenever you post an update on the progress of your fundraiser, that you provide a direct link to your online giving page/form. If you’re looking to add to your email subscribers, you may even want to create a Facebook app, which allows you to have a form embedded right into Facebook. (For the sake of space and time, we’re not going to go into that process right now, but let us know if you would like help figuring this out and we will gladly lend a hand!)
We also suggest you make it very easy to find your Facebook page. By default, when you create a page it will follow this format: facebook.com/pages/yourorganization/384756298. Instead, follow the simple steps at facebook.com/username to create your custom url! Example: facebook.com/thegetmovincrew.
This tip is actually backed by psychology! Images are directly linked to the limbic system in the brain. When we see an image, it immediately sparks emotion and action, two things absolutely necessary for making donations.
Here is a good illustration from our own FB page: