Top tips for fundraising on social media
One in six people who donate online do so through social media.
While it’s not always clear how your social media pages boost fundraising, the figures show that platforms such as Facebook and YouTube can be a powerful tool for non-profits that get it right.
The platforms are free to use, and enable charities to reach wider audiences, forge and deepen relationships with supporters, and build engaged communities of fans.
Often, those donations come after people have sought guidance from charity websites or social media pages – donors and beneficiaries are frequently two sides of the same coin.
So to find out how to get started, read on for our top tips for social media fundraising…
Social media fundraising figures
Globally, people have donated $5bn through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram
More than 7m people in the UK have donated to a Facebook fundraiser
17% of online donors in the UK gave through social media in 2020
60% of people in the UK approached online for donations said this was via social media.
The benefits of social media
Increase reach (potentially billions of people)
Attract new donors
Engage/ interact with supporters
Offer guidance – often leading to donations from people who have been given support
Grow volunteer network
Drive traffic to website donation page
Spread key messages
Top 10 tips for using social media
It’s easy to end up being spread too thinly on social media. So hone your campaign with our top 10 tips.
1. Create a fundraising campaign plan
Just like any marketing activity, you need a plan and timeline to keep team members involved and the campaign on track.
Decide on your goals and audience.
Give your campaign a name and a brand identity.
Determine the length of the campaign, and the key timescales for each aspect.
Decide on benchmarks and milestones to keep you on track.
Choose which platforms to use – see point 2.
Draft your content plan, remembering to tailor your message – see point 3.
Set up a campaign landing page on your website, including ‘donate’ buttons.
Allocate roles and responsibilities among your team.
Get ready for launch – good luck!
2. Choose the right platforms for your audience
Around 57.6% of the world’s population uses social media. Recent research suggests the following global monthly active user figures and user demographics for the main channels – but things change fast!
Facebook: 2.91 billion. Largest age group: 25-34. The fastest growing segment is 65+
YouTube: 2.56 billion. Largest age group: 15-35
Instagram: 1.48 billion. Largest age group: 25-34, with 18-24 close behind
TikTok: 1 billion. Largest age group: 10-19
Pinterest. 444 million. Largest age group: 50-64
Twitter. 436 million. Largest age group: 18-29
Consider which UK demographic is right for your campaign too.
3. Tailor your message
While you can share a lot of content between platforms, here are some broad pointers for what works. Take a look at these further tips for tailoring your posts.
Facebook: Photos, videos and curated content
YouTube: Videos of any length, professionally filmed
Instagram: High quality photos and Stories
TikTok: Short, fun videos
Pinterest: Infographics and photo guides
Twitter: News, blogs and GIFs
LinkedIn: Jobs, charity news, blogs
4. Choose fundraising tools
Many platforms have a wealth of tools for fundraisers. Here are just a few of the key options:
Facebook and Instagram: Sign up as a non-profit for fundraising tools, including ‘donation’ buttons and stickers.
Facebook ads can extend your reach. Consider creating a ‘lookalike audience’ to target more people like your existing supporter base.
YouTube: Sign up for a free Google for Nonprofits account to enable you to raise money in-platform. You can host fundraiser events with donate buttons, and invite businesses and individuals to match fundraising pledges.
TikTok: Donation stickers and ‘fundraising from profile’ options are being rolled out.
5. Be consistent and post regularly
Ideally, you should be updating your channels several times a week, or even a day. How can you boost the efficiency of your posting schedule?
You can schedule posts across many channels using tools such as Hootsuite.
Consider the best time to post. Overall, mid-week mornings are best – but each channel is slightly different.
TikTok lends itself to rough-and-ready posts, so see if you can get a team together to help you with spontaneous clips.
6. Use videos/images
Pictures tell a thousand words! So where possible, keep your text snappy and your images striking.
Harness the power of storytelling through photos and videos showing your charity in action.
Videos have higher engagement rates than still photos.
Remember accessibility issues, e.g. alt tags on photos, and subtitles on videos.
Don’t forget infographics to bring complex issues to life.
7. Activate your network to fundraise for you
User-generated content is social media’s real strength. So consider how you can support the following, e.g. through digital assets such as badges and stickers that your supporters can put on their profiles. Remember to make your own content shareable too.
Brand ambassadors: Can they promote your fundraising page or campaigns?
Influencers: Mega or celebrity influencers have the widest reach (1m+ followers), but micro or nano influencers are more relatable with higher engagement rates.
Peer-to-peer fundraising: Social media is a great way for your supporters to raise sponsorship money.
Crowdfunding: Create a crowdfunding page for a particular project, and get your followers to share it to their own networks.
8. Promote live events
Lockdown prompted many charities to experiment with live-streaming events – and that approach is set to stay. Several platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, enable live-streaming.
Live streaming is a great way to bring your event to a wider audience, and raise donations from people worldwide.
It also increases accessibility for people with disabilities or other barriers to in-person attendance. Live streaming can also build up a buzz, encouraging people to come along to your event later. By recording events and uploading the video to your socials, you can encourage donations and promote future events.
9. Track and analyse
Each platform has its own analytics, and can provide you with a wealth of valuable data.
Decide what metrics matter to you.
Incorporate KPIs into your campaign plan and reports.
Use the analysis to tweak current campaigns, or shape future campaigns.
Use reports to demonstrate to stakeholders the effectiveness of your social media campaign.
10. Follow up with donors
Nurturing your supporter base is crucial for retention – and social media makes it easy.
Set milestones for your campaign, and let donors know when you reach them.
Explain how their donations made a difference, e.g. photos of people you’ve supported.
Say thank you! A simple retweet or comment on a fundraiser’s post goes a long way.
11. Take a holistic approach to fundraising
Remember: many donations don’t come directly from dedicated fundraising campaigns. A common source is from grateful people who’ve been helped by your charity, so think holistically!
Use your social media pages to drive people not just to donate, but to your services.
Make sure your website home page directs people to your services as well as to a donation page.
Make sure people can access your services at the right times, especially outside working hours. Eg a construction worker might check Facebook one evening, spot a post about a benevolent charity helpline for the sector, and want to call right away.
Consider live chat or SMS services as out-of-hours channels.
By outsourcing your overflow or out-of-hours contact centre services to us at Connect Assist, your charity can offer 24/7 support to people in need.
Of course, you need to be sensitive, and avoid putting people in need under pressure to donate. But by thinking holistically, and understanding that donors and beneficiaries can be the same people, you can boost your fundraising efforts.
Ukraine: Facebook fundraisers for Ukraine abound. One, from United Help Ukraine, has raised almost £3 million in 26 days.
Cancer Research UK: During the pandemic, the charity had to live stream its Race for Life events on Facebook. In total, £2.8 million was raised in 2020.
Comic Relief: The US branch partnered with TikTok for #RedNoseDay, inviting users to share their best joke while wearing a red nose AR filter. TikTok donated $2 for every video.
Movember: The annual men’s health fundraiser is a social media whizz, getting fans to post pics of their moustaches across all platforms, including Twitter and Instagram.
Contact Connect Assist today
Great social media campaigns must be backed up by superb services. At Connect Assist, we can support your charity by providing out-of-hours and overflow contact centre services. Get in touch now to discuss working together.