Social Media Fundraising Posts: How to Create the Most Impact for Your Nonprofit
"With great power comes great responsibility." No, social media is no Spider-man. However, it does have the ability to impact the social landscape in a powerful way. When utilized correctly, social media can be a real force for good in the community. Many nonprofits use social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram to launch fundraising campaigns or crowdfunding events. It is an ideal way for organizations to get the word out, because it is simple and cost-effective.
Learn how social media fundraising can benefit your nonprofit through some helpful tips and social media posts ideas that will help ensure your efforts are rewarded with results.
- Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media Posts for Fundraising
- Tips for Making Your Fundraising Post Stand Out
- Final Thoughts
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Why Nonprofits Should Use Social Media Posts for Fundraising
Before we jump into how to make your posts stand out from the crowd, let’s level-set on why organizations may choose to use this communication method in the first place.
Broaden Your Reach
The main goal of any nonprofit is to grow their audience, and social media is designed to do just that. Social media platforms offer a free way for nonprofit organizations to reach a nearly unlimited audience. And depending on where you choose to create paid posts or ads, the cost may be lower than traditional marketing tactics or media campaigns.
By simply using the right techniques (more on that below), your organization can increase followers and boost brand recognition
Find More Volunteers
As any nonprofit knows, it can be hard to hang on to volunteers over the long term.
But social media can help keep your organization connected with current volunteers, offer new opportunities, and recruit new volunteers to fill in the gaps caused by turnover.
Keep Your Donors and Supporters Engaged
As with volunteers, the trick to a successful nonprofit is keeping donors. Recurring donations are just as important as consistent volunteers, and often as hard to hold on to. With engaging social media posts, you have an inexpensive way to share exciting stories that can keep your followers and donors committed to the mission.
Both crowdfunding and peer-to-peer social media campaigns can create mutual rewards. Community-driven fundraising techniques help bring in essential donations, as well as facilitate feelings of community and engagement.
Tips for Making Your Fundraising Post Stand Out
Social media is an amazing tool, but it is not magic. You will only get as much out of it as you put in. When creating a social media strategy, there are some important tips to keep in mind to ensure that you reach the most people, and create the most impact.
Choose Only One or Two Social Media Platforms to Focus On
Rule number one: do not overextend yourself. It is better to give everything you can to just one or two platforms that are the most relevant to your target audience. To choose which platform offers the best reach for your audience, let’s take a look at some general facts about each.
Bert is feeling a bit overwhelmed by which social media platforms he should focus on.
Don't worry, Bert! We have you covered.
TikTok. This is the newest platform, and was initially mainly popular with Gen Z. However, while young people still make up a large segment of the audience, TikTok has gained a lot of mainstream appeal. Its posts consist of short video clips that can be edited in a variety of ways. This can be an excellent choice of platform if your organization has targeted a younger audience, if you have someone on staff who is creative with video ideas and editing, or both. Consider TikTok the wild west of social media. Follow the right trends and anyone has the chance to go viral at any minute.
Facebook. A very popular social media platform, especially for older users (Gen X to Boomer), with a good sprinkling of Millennials. It allows for a variety of ways to reach your audience, including live streaming, posts (both images and long form text, and targeted ads). If you have an older, or more mixed-age audience, Facebook is a fine general platform to reach everyone.
Pro Tip: Choosing the right platform is not just about your target audience. The platform has to be appropriate for the kind of content you want and the resources you have at your disposal to create that content. Ideally, the stars will align and your content and staff will support the platform that aligns most closely with your target audience!
LinkedIn. This site was started as a professional networking site, but has taken off as a platform for new ideas. A good place to post if you want to get your name out to companies and individuals in specific professions. This is also a great place to become known as a thought leader within your niche.
Instagram. This sister-company to Facebook is a mostly visual platform. It is home to any number of influencers who share photos, infographics, and recorded or live stream videos. It may be a good place for you to share fundraising posts if you are working with an influencer, or if you have someone on staff who is a talented photographer/videographer.
Twitter. This social media platform is best known for politics, controversy, and humor. It uses mainly short form text, though some will create long threaded posts to get messages across. It may be a bit more difficult to use this platform exclusively, since you have to stay within a character limit. However, if you go viral on other social media platforms, you may find yourself also shared on Twitter.
YouTube. This is an excellent platform to partner with another social media giant. YouTube, the second most popular search engine on earth, can be used to create engaging video content, and is easily shareable to any other platform. For example, you can create a YouTube channel, and then share all of your videos on an active Facebook page (along with other forms of content) to increase your visibility on both platforms.
You may feel a need to be on every social media platform to cover all your bases. Please know that while that strategy is very ambitious (we applaud you!), it is not necessary. If you focus on two channels, and do them both extremely well, you will see more success than if you spread yourself too thin over four (or more) platforms.
Try Live Streaming
Live streaming has really taken off as an outreach tool over the last few years. It allows you to draw groups together in real-time, regardless of location. Create online "events" that can be attended live, and then posted on social media to continue driving up views. You can hold Q&A sessions with influential members, share stories, hold a donation party, drop in on your nonprofit at work in the community. The possibilities are endless.
Pro Tip: When creating any kind of video, make sure that you use captions. This is essential for your hard-of-hearing or Deaf audience, as well as a helpful tool for anyone who wants to watch but is in a place where volume may be inappropriate.
Partner With an Influencer
Social media influencers are not just for traditional ad campaigns. Influencers include anyone who holds sway over public opinion, whether that person is a well-known politician or a viral TikTok celebrity.
Many nonprofits partner with influencers to reach their supporters. Nonprofit influencers offer their endorsement and image to an organization that resonates with them and aligns with their values. These people are often traditional "celebrities" but do not need to be. They could be high-profile business executives or everyday people who have made a name for themselves by becoming experts in a niche and finding ways to navigate the technological landscape successfully and have the power to bring visibility to your organization.
Even smaller organizations should not count themselves out, as influencers come in a multitude of levels and can be affordable to nearly any nonprofit. If you champion a cause that a celebrity supports, you may even be able to get someone that would otherwise be considered out of your league.
An influencer can create brand awareness and boost donations with a single post or video, so consider working with one when planning your fundraising social media posts.
Use a Variety of Formats and Tools for Your Social Media Posts
There are a ton of ways that your organization can fundraise on social media. The important thing is to make it appealing, interesting, and fun for your audience. Some best practices for social media outreach include:
Link to your nonprofit store with social media ads. The World Wildlife Fund offers a fun example with their "adopt a whale" ad. They share photos of different plush whale species, and donors can purchase one of these stuffed animals. The cost goes toward "adopting" a real version of this animal. This kind of fundraising campaign creates a feeling of excitement through the "shopping" angle, offering both a tangible and intangible reward for giving.
Storytelling. This is one of the best ways to engage your audience. Whether through text, video, or live stream, share how your nonprofit is changing the world. This can be the story of a single individual or an entire group. If writing this story, share compelling images to capture the eye and create empathy in your viewers.
User generated content. This allows peers to create buzz about your nonprofit and what you are doing on social media. It could be an image, video, or any form of review. This content comes from customers, those loyal to your group, and employees and can generate some serious interest in your organization.
Birthday Fundraising. A newer form of outreach on Facebook is birthday fundraising. Any user can choose a cause to collect for on their birthday, and this post will be shared with all of their followers. Encourage your supporters to use this tool to fundraise for your organization.
Pro Tip: Use hashtags whenever possible. Especially in extremely visual (Instagram) or very short format (Twitter) spaces, creating a series of hashtags can help your posts be seen by more people. Be judicious and look for trending topics and tags, but also make sure that they relate to your material.
Because there are so many ways that you can reach out for donations, it is important to keep track of which campaigns are most successful. As with any type of ad campaign, there are some tactics that are bound to skyrocket, while others may be less high performing. Use social media tracking tools to determine which of your fundraising posts are getting the most traction, and lean into those types of outreach, while cutting out those that are not performing well. Choose a handful of meaningful KPIs, such as likes, interactions, or engagement, to track. This will allow you to better analyze how your posts are performing and help you hone in on what type of content achieves the traction you are looking for.
Emily is loving the results of her social fundraising posts!
Strike a Balance
While fundraising posts are very important, not every social media interaction should be a plea for money. This has a tendency to turn donors off. Fundraising on social media should only be a part of your global communication strategy. Share blog posts, quizzes, and infographics to keep engagement high. A good rule of thumb to follow is to ask for funds directly in only about 10% of your posts.
Do Not Forget to Say "Thank You"
One of the best ways to ensure that your supporters and donors continue taking part in fundraising events is by making them feel that they are really making a difference to your organization. The simplest (as well as the most essential) way you can reinforce this feeling is to thank your followers for their donations.
You can express gratitude to your supporters in a number of ways:
Post real time donor "thank you’s" during a campaign on your social media platform of choice.
If you are doing a live stream video event, thank donors throughout as the donations come in. Make it exciting for both donors and viewers by celebrating each one (think PBS live fundraising events).
There is nothing wrong with leaning into the old fashioned way by sending thank you cards through the mail!
Create a virtual donor wall. This allows for each person who donated to "sign" the wall, and even add a comment or encouragement to others.
As a nonprofit, fundraising is a never ending part of your daily planning. While there are any number of ways to go about getting donations, social media fundraising posts offer a unique opportunity for greater outreach. Not only can you increase your followers and add new donors over time, but with skill and a bit of luck, you may end up with a viral post that can reach untold numbers.
Even without viral activity, your organization can use social media as a platform to inform, educate, and expand your mission. Sprinkling fundraising social media posts throughout your regular schedule of storytelling, images, polls, webinars, infographics, and other content can help capture donors who may not otherwise have been aware of your nonprofit, as well as offer opportunities for giving to those who actively engage with your organization.
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💡How do you get people to donate on social media?
The best way to get people to donate on social media is to facilitate brand loyalty through consistent posting. Create an atmosphere of mutual goodwill with educational posts, storytelling, and a variety of other content. Then schedule a series of active fundraising posts to share throughout. Find out more.
🔑 What social media platform is best for fundraising?
This depends greatly upon who your target audience is. Certain platforms are idealized for different types of content, and attract different types of viewership. It’s best to brainstorm with your team about who you are trying to reach, as well as your ideal content medium. Then you can make the best decision for your organization. Find out more.
📝How do you write a social media post for a fundraiser?
Find the best writer on your team to write for social media, or outsource to a professional. You want your social media fundraising posts to lean heavily into good storytelling. Write with clear and concise language that makes an emotional appeal to your audience. Find out more.