Using Social Media in Fundraising

On Friday, I taught a workshop called Social Media: Your On-Ramp to Future Fundraising at the annual conference of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. I’m sharing the deck with you here.

While everyone wants to focus on peer-to-peer fundraising in social media, you can actually use social media to support your fundraising in many different ways, including the six ways we focused on.

I brought two friends from nonprofits in the small town where I live with me to the workshop and we used their organizations, Positive Wellness Alliance and Pastor’s Pantry, in the exercises we did. For example, the group brainstormed story arcs for a four-week social media fundraising campaign for each organization. In the case of Positive Wellness Alliance, they were trying to raise $500 for educational workshop materials. For Pastor’s Pantry, they were trying to raise $10,000 towards a new truck to allow more food pickups and deliveries to client.

We focused on the story arcs because nonprofits are great at launching campaigns and at those final pushes at the end, but the enthusiasm often wanes in the middle. By thinking about the story you want to tell in advance, you can make sure you have the stories, testimonials, photos, etc. that you need to keep the energy up throughout the campaign.

Later, participants explored ways that both nonprofits could better use social media to promote ticket sales and the silent and live auctions within their signature fundraising events. Some ideas included posting photos of early ticket buyers with the reasons they were looking forward to the events, highlighting auction items as they are donated and even asking for early bids ahead of time, and asking trivia questions related to the event themes (“Wines of the World” and the Kentucky Derby).

Participants also brainstormed ways that you can treat the supporters who do fundraise for you via social media (e.g. donating their birthdays, etc.)  in much the same way that you would treat major donors (a concept that Event360 advocates). I’ll share some of the tips they came up with in a future blog post.

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