Fundraising is hard. Fundraising online can be even harder. Until late 2016, fundraising through social media was next to impossible for most nonprofits.
Whatever you think about Facebook, the platform launched (and continues to improve) a powerful fundraising tool that takes advantage of online networks you have personally, but that you may not have in your organization’s database. Anyone who uses Facebook, even occasionally, has seen these campaigns in their feed. You’ve probably been invited to donate to them on a friend’s behalf on their birthday. Even if you find these fundraisers annoying, they are a powerful way to raise money quickly from new donors and engage new individuals as volunteers and donors.
I am going to strongly encourage you to have a Facebook Fundraiser strategy. In this post, I will give you just a few tips on how to run a campaign that gives you an advantage over most other users.
- Go big after creating your campaign. It may take a little bit more time, but you should invite every friend on Facebook to your campaign. Use the campaign link to share it with friends on other platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and in online forums. People in your network, who aren’t your friends on Facebook, will see it and help.
- Be the CEO of your campaign (Chief of Enthusiasm and Optimism). Your campaign messages should be upbeat, positive, and aspirational. Even if you share news of a tragedy, you should try to inspire hope that solutions are possible. Keeping optimistic about your campaign goal is also critical.
- People give to people. The main assets you have in your campaign are the personal relationships of those raising money for you. This means each person who wants to fundraise should run their own campaign instead of sharing someone else’s. Your friends won’t care as much if you ask them to help “Bob” hit a goal. They will help YOU reach YOUR goal. Each campaign leader needs their own campaign. Luckily, they are simple to set up.
- Don’t just post text. Use video, pictures, links, and great sound bites linking the point to the mission and ask for money on every post.
- Post to your campaign every day. The main reason people don’t donate money is that they weren’t asked to. So, ask and ask often. The Facebook Fundraiser tool makes it less annoying or intrusive because each “ask” is an update in peoples’ notifications. Trust me, donations come in after posts are made. Make a post to your campaign every single day.
These are just some of the tips that successful Facebook fundraising leaders are using. Recently Facebook started allowing people to make monthly donations too. As functionality improves, you will want to be ahead of the game by getting started today.
Sean Kosofsky has worked in nonprofits for over 25 years, including as executive director for four organizations. He has led and raised millions of dollars for small and startup organizations, political organizations and community initiatives. He offers coaching, consulting, and training through Mind The Gap Consulting. He has worked on a range of issues including LGBT equality, reproductive justice, voting access, bullying prevention and more. He offers a free webinar and instruction guide on how to run these campaigns like a pro, so you raise more money in less time.
Be sure to join Sean and a panel of other fundraising experts at our Fall Forum: The Shifting Landscape for Funding Change. This Forum sheds light on key questions around the new funding landscape, and offers up some of the terms, trends and ideas shaping what is fast becoming our everyday reality. Topics to be addressed by our panel of experts include the Giving Code, high net worth people of color donors, progressive donor advised funds, the role of women in funding change, and fundraising and technology.