One of my most frequently asked questions is this: “Can social media really bring in new donors for our nonprofit?”
Good news! The answer is a resounding yes.
Even better? In order to be successful, you don’t need a large team, a huge budget, and oodles of time and tech-savvy.
Need some inspiration and specific examples of how to grow your donor base using social media?
Here are 7 steps you must take to attract new donors and grow your donor base using social media.
1) Make it compelling.
You thought I was going to start with some sexy, shiny new tool or trend, didn’t you? 😉
Yep – the old school, traditional, never-going-away principles of effective fundraising still apply.
You MUST have a compelling reason for people to give to you – no matter the medium!
When raising money online (or offline) you must be able to succinctly answer this question for your potential donors:
Why this? Why now?
2) Make it urgent.
When driving donations online, especially on social media, the “ask” must be something that I need to act on right now, not later.
People are scrolling their feeds for things that catch their eye and interest them.
If your fundraising ask isn’t urgent or timely, it won’t stand out.
The second your donors and I’ll think “oh that’s nice, I can just come back to that another time” – you’ve lost them!
Along with urgency, clearly spell out how the funds will be used.
What is the impact? What makes this campaign urgent, timely, and relevant?
3) Make it frictionless.
As nonprofit social media managers we have to be thinking about conversions.
Conversions are simply marketing objectives for your audience to complete, such as subscribing to a mailing list or making a donation.
For example, your conversion rate for social media donations would be the number of people who clicked on a post divided by the number of people who actually completed the action.
And the way to increase conversions? Make the entire process frictionless.
Important note: A lot of what we do on social media cannot be quantified, and you shouldn’t be asking for money with every single post and tweet.
But when you DO ask for a gift, make it incredibly easy to complete.
Knock down all obstacles, challenges, and time-sucking distractions.
Think of how we operate in a consumer environment.
We have Amazon, GrubHub, DoorDash – all at our fingertips.
If you can eliminate any unnecessary steps in the donation process, do it!
This is a huge reason why Facebook fundraising is so popular.
It just takes two clicks to make a donation to a cause you care about, or to donate to a birthday fundraiser for someone you love. !
4) Make it apparent.
Do you assume that people just magically know that they can give to your organization on social media?
They don’t! You have to TELL them that this is a safe and exciting new option.
Look at how the Malala Fund and the British Heart Foundation show potential donors how to use the Instagram Donation Sticker on their behalf:
Best Friends Animal Society recognizes that their post may not be entirely visible in the News Feed, and people may need to be told about the Donate button below.
5) Make it specific.
Specific asks on social media eliminate decision fatigue and analysis paralysis.
If you can suggest an amount inside the post, people are more likely to take action.
6) Make it personal.
Personal asks work best.
There is no avoiding that people like to give to people, or on behalf of people.
This is where social media storytelling comes in!
Share a personal story from a staff member, a donor, or a client, with an ask at the end.
7) Make it irresistible.
In marketing, a lot has been written about ways to make your offer “irresistible”.
As in – it’s a no-brainer to take part.
For nonprofits, it’s a bit trickier because we don’t sell shoes, or clothing, or something that we can put on a flash sale.
But I think we have something even better.
Our offer is this: We are changing the world for the better. We are moving the needle on a cause that our donors care about.
If you can get a matching gift and promote it online, this is the closest we can get to a “flash sale” – a limited time offer that will provide double or triple the value of the donation!
If they join our movement today, this is what they are investing in.