As we’ve recently been developing fundraisers for some of our clients, I figured it was a good time to delve into how today’s social media world can really amplify a fundraising process. Remember: social media in many ways resembles word-of-mouth interaction and how else are you going to get the word out about your fundraiser, or that event that you are trying to raise funds for, without networking on social? While using a platform such as Facebook may seem like a total no-brainer, there are a few key aspects that you will need to be aware of so that you are making the most of your promotional content – and your time.
Of course, start with one of the online fundraising (popularly dubbed ‘crowdfunding’) sites such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or IndieGoGo. As there are so many to choose from, be sure to select the one that makes the most sense for you and your cause. If you are just setting up a site for a church bake sale, you’ll want a site that works with ‘donation-based’ funding, as opposed to investment crowdfunding. Again, there are a lot of different makes and models – be sure to select the one that meets your needs. Online run fundraisers are absolutely great (and, once more, a ‘no-brainer’ in today’s internet-first world), and can supplement any ‘real life’ fundraising opportunities or events that may be held.
Instead of creating a whole new Facebook page specific to your fundraiser, create an ‘Event’ on Facebook instead. Creating an event is a great way to get a campaign on your friends’ and fans’ radar. After the creation of the Facebook event with the date of your fundraiser, invite ALL of your friends and fans that follow you. When they accept the invitation, their Facebook calendar will then hold your event. It will also notify them when your event date gets closer. This is also an easy way to send updates as you can post notifications, tell of news, and even link them to your online fundraiser page.
Then, promote the fundraiser and the new Facebook event on Twitter. While more focused on the promotion of the specific fundraising page, be sure to introduce a new, and specific, hashtag (#CompanyAwesomeFundraiser, etc.), so that users can engage with you and the event on common ground. You should be engaging with users in your industry already, so don’t stop now! Tweet and retweet information to other individuals who may be interested in helping your cause. You’ll end up with a number of new follows, retweets, and other engagements just by linking up with the other folks geared in and around your cause.
In summary – Put your online community to use! You have people following you because they have an interest in what you have to say. You have no doubt given them quality content over the last many days, weeks, and months. In return, don’t fear asking for them to contribute. Do it politely, be professional, and in the event that they do provide for your cause, be sure to thank them. As the saying goes: “If you don’t ask the question, the answer will always be ‘No.'”