Published on November 29, 2022
Delve deeper into social media and learn how to fundraise for a non-profit by using storytelling and targeting
Fundraising for a non-profit is an attractive career path for empathetic individuals with a desire to enact real change in the world. It’s not uncommon for these kind-hearted people, though, to encounter some big challenges as they learn how to fundraise for a non-profit.
One often overwhelming challenge? There’s a whole lot of competition. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations are registered in the U.S. This includes public charities, private foundations, chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations, and civic leagues, among others.
Behind all of these organizations are caring folks who work day in and day out to raise money and keep their missions alive. However, in a sea of non-profits—all with causes that are important in some way, to someone—it can be quite arduous to stand out to donors.
Not sure of how to fundraise? For a non-profit seeking major donors, the traditional methods may need an overhaul.
There’s still a tendency towards an old-school mentality in some non-profit organizations that annual fundraising events and letter campaigns should be their bread-and-butter. Yes, these can be essential ways to attract the “big spender” donors, but not all of them—and not all the time.
Wealthy would-be donors likely get hit up by charities and non-profits on a regular basis. They are wined and dined and schmoozed by development directors in hopes that they’ll be charmed enough to make a sizable donation. What many non-profits forget, though, is that handing over a considerable chunk of cash isn’t necessarily that easy for affluent individuals.
Some donors fear exploitation, losing money, and simply being taken advantage of. These may not be the high-dollar folks you’re going to attract by laying on the heavy sell.
Increase your reach: How to fundraise for a non-profit using social media
Your team can’t be everywhere all the time—but your social media presence can be. And no, this isn’t about just creating a Facebook page and hoping for the best. With so many options available now online, it’s a wonder why some organizations are still trying to figure out how to fundraise for a non-profit without leveraging social tools.
Increase donations online by promoting a catchy hashtag, then keep track of your efforts by displaying everyone’s social posts in your office and on your website. Start building your social wall today.
Here are 3 big ways social media can help increase your donations:
So many non-profits get caught up in asking for money that they don’t think of the other side of the coin—the soft sell. Your supporters and would-be donors don’t just want to hear you need money; they want to know your organization’s story. They want to “meet” the people they will be helping and see their dollars in action.
Use apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to share videos and quick “photo stories” that speak to different audiences. Will your followers see one video and donate immediately? Probably not. But that’s not the point of storytelling—you’re building an audience, making an emotional connection, and keeping your mission and story top-of-mind.
One reason non-profits like social media so much is that it’s a free way to expand their reach. If you’re willing to spend a little money, however, the benefits can be even more significant. Most sites and apps provide ways for you to run paid ads and boost posts. The money isn’t just to get your content in front of more people, though—it gets it in front of the right people.
Paid social promotions have become pretty sophisticated over the years. Instead of spending a ton of money on ads and hoping they appeal to someone, you can target the exact individuals you are trying to reach. Looking for women over 50 years old who live within 50 miles of Philadelphia and make more than $200,000/year? Or maybe men between the ages of 20 and 50 in Silicon Valley who work in the tech industry? If you’re feeling stuck on how to fundraise for a non-profit, remember that high-dollar donors are on every social platform and social targeting will lead the way.
3. Social proof
Robert Cialdini, the author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, developed the concept of social proof as a vital issue in fundraising. Social proof is the idea that we can influence the beliefs and behaviors of others by showing that individuals with authority, or that they can relate to, hold this belief or adopt this behavior.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this on social media is by making a share button available when someone donates to your organization. Encourage them to share that they donated on their social pages—they’ll get a pat on the back from their pals, and they’ll also be planting the seed that you’re an organization worth trusting. Social proof can take many other forms, but this is just one way it can help your non-profit.
You may not find that every social media site or app works for your non-profit. Or, you may want to spend more time focusing on one app versus another—and that is completely fine. It’s more important to choose a few platforms and do your social media marketing well than to spread yourself thin and cloud your message.
How social media can create an omnichannel experience for donors
You don’t have to silo everything you do in determining how to fundraise for a non-profit, either. That means your direct mail outreach, social media, email marketing, and fundraising events can be intertwined rather than acting as separate entities. And social media is often an effective thread to connect all of your marketing and fundraising efforts to create a seamless customer experience.
You may be able to see how to connect social media to your email and direct mail, but what about events? If people are interacting in real life, why would social media be part of the equation?
Meet the coolest kid at your fundraiser: the social wall.
A social wall at your event provides real-time updates and a way for attendees to have fun and interact in a different way. They can use an event-specific hashtag, plus hashtags that your non-profit often uses, including your own branded hashtag.
Integrating social media and a social wall into your event can bring your fundraising efforts to the next level—learn more about planning a social media timeline for your next event.
Create an event hashtag and increase the number of people sharing it, by using Everwall to moderate and display all the posts on the wall of your event.
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