Guest blog by Candace Cody
You know that social media is an important component of social fundraising (or peer-to-peer fundraising), but sometimes it can be tricky to know where to start, or exactly what to do.
This gets even more intimidating during the year-end fundraising season, when everything feels more rushed and more critical.
There’s a lot to learn about using social media tools to raise money, but the busy and stressful year-end fundraising season probably isn’t the time to delve into the depths of analytics and algorithms.
Instead, consider the basics of what you want your social media to do.
How do you want to connect with your supporters via social media? What do you want them to know about you?
We’ve identified four functions of social media that can supercharge campaigns, and that are simple to start right away.
1) Build Anticipation
You can start the social media part of your campaign before the campaign has even launched. Share snippets of your story, remind people the campaign is coming, countdown to the launch.
The Junior League of Atlanta puts on the “Little Black Dress Initiative.” Supporters wear the same outfit five days in a row, to raise funds and awareness about generational poverty.
The campaign takes place in late October, but the Junior League started posting early in the month.
By posting early, the Junior League built anticipation for further updates and educated their audience about the project, while also giving them the opportunity to get involved.
2) Reinforce Your Message
Though it may be hard to remember when you’re looking at a year-end fundraising goals, the message of your organization is not “We need your donations.”
Your message is about your great cause and all the ways that you make the world a better place.
Social media is a great tool to use to remind your supporters about what you do and why they love and support you.
Share the stories of your work and your impact just as much as you ask for donations. Remember to keep up a good mix of types of posts, even during your year-end fundraising, to avoid overwhelming your supporters with asks.
Independent Shakespeare Company didn’t just post about fundraising during their “Theatre for All” campaign. They mixed it up with posts about their shows and company happenings.
Not only did this stop their social media streams from being all asks all the time, it continued to draw attention to their work and who they are.
We are committed to making theater accessible! Donate and students from South LA will see A Midsummer Night’s Dream! https://t.co/bVevZlPRGn
— IndyShakes (@IndyShakes) October 12, 2016
Similarly, Beyond Borders used social media to remind their audience about their passion for Haiti, as well as promote their hurricane relief campaign.
3) Update Your Fans and Followers
Social media is a good tool for keeping your supporters updated on the progress of your campaign.
Whether you post on Facebook, Twitter, or on your campaign blog, updates serve several purposes:
Keep supporters engaged with the campaign;
Remind people who haven’t donated that the campaign is still happening;
Give supporters the opportunity to share your campaign.
Blog posts are a great way to update your supporters, because they allow you to dig in deeper to your subject. It’s easy to post updates directly to your CauseVox campaign site, which you can then share on social media.
Beyond Borders uses CauseVox’s storytelling tools to share engaging content directly to their campaign.
4) Shout Out and Recognize!
When someone goes above and beyond during your campaign, give them a social media shout out. It’s a great way to recognize the impact of your donors and volunteers, celebrate their support, and show them how much you appreciate their contributions.
If someone hosts a fundraising event on your behalf, raises money for you, or helps you get closer to your goal, social media is a great place to sing their praises and say thank you.
If your campaign receives media coverage, use social media to share the story, and thank the news organization for bringing attention to your cause.
— JLA President (@JLA_President) October 26, 2016
How are you using social media to promote your year-end campaign? What did you do last year?
Candace is the Lead Customer Service Advocate at CauseVox. Passionate about helping nonprofits, she works to empower CauseVox users on crowdfunding best practices and curates the latest fundraising insights on the CauseVox blog.