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FirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraisingFirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraising 

FirstGiving, Online fundraising, fundraising websites, peer-to-peer fundraising

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Using Social Networks to Inspire Action and Increase Fundraising

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Let’s face it, the world is changing.  Online communities and conversations behind the veil of a screen and keyboard are becoming much more common than face-to-face interaction.  But that doesn’t mean that we don’t care about human beings anymore, or that you can’t inspire action from donors.  Nonprofits have to start thinking about the future and how they can capitalize on these new tech trends as the sole supporter of their cause. 

In a recent post on our First Giving blog, we spoke about the impact Social Giving has had on improving donations, contributing to over 33% of all donations for the year.  As a result, nonprofits will need to learn to navigate the social networking landscape to capitalize on the changing trends, as people resolve to the simpler way of giving when online.  Here are some tips for utilizing social networks to drive traffic to your online fundraiser and get your nonprofit starting the year off with a bang!

Create an Emotional Appeal.  In general, people are more inclined to give back when they feel connected to a particular cause.  So start by targeting the social networks that are most capable of tugging on the heartstrings of the public; particularly,Pinterest and YouTube.  Share your nonprofit’s story, and what inspired the cause, by uploading pictures and videos of the communities you aim to help.  Focus on the stories of people you've helped and the successes of your staff members.  Let your viewers know exactly what their money can do to make the world a better place!

Keep in Constant Communication.  This communication doesn’t need to be direct, but by participating in Social media, your nonprofit has a better chance at cultivating a strong community of active people.  It’s easier to reach out to new donors, and expand your audience through social networks as opposed to event networking.  By connecting with them on Twitter or Facebook, you’re more likely to stay in their thoughts, as you’ll continue to show up in their feeds.  Simply put, the more you interact with them, the more they’ll remember what you’re telling them.  Not to mention, it’s extremely important to consistently communicate to your donors what you need them to do.  That’s because 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to become a donor.

Status Tips:
Frequently use calls to actions in your status updates and tweets, “Donate and Ask Your Friends.”  And make sure to post links to the donation pages to make it as easy as possible!  Also, try to make sure you’re only asking your followers for support on a couple of items.  Aim to keep your list around 3 or 4 items, and focus on sharing fun information, in the downtime.  Too many requests can burn them out.

Build a Community.  It’s  critical for your nonprofit to build relationships with your audience, as they will be more likely to engage and react to your requests.  For them to give you the time of day, you must do the same.   Engage them by answering and responding to any questions and comments they leave on your wall, Twitter feed, Pinterest Pins, etc.  Simply by responding, your followers will take note, and feel honored, therefore helping to build a relationship.  Through these efforts they’ll be more likely to trust you, support your cause, and become long-term donors to your organization, as well as advocate nonprofit to their friends and family.

Actionable Items.  
Finally, there are a few ways you can stimulate people to become a part of your social audience.  Create contests that can help your supporters duke it out for a chance to win something special! Offer incentives for the biggest contributor of the month, such as gift cards, or an iPad.  Or have supporters send their own content to your social networks for a contest.  This will create fresh content and data that could attract new visitors to your social networks (particularly Pinterest) as well as help to improve engagement.  For example, nonprofits could have their followers send pictures of themselves volunteering at other charities, and the best picture would win an iPad.

Also, it is important to use hashtags, as these big social networks, namely Twitter and Pinterest, use them to categorize the conversation.  With hashtags, you’ll be able to find people already on the lookout for opportunities to give, and will likely see greater donation conversions.  For instance, take #GivingTuesday.  This online event, simply inspired by the hashtag was the first social media guided fundraising day, and created an average contribution of $101.60 compared to the typical $62 every other day!

Finally, look to be active on multiple social networks specifically focused on charitable donation.  Global Ford Mustang parts retailer, CJ Pony Parts, donated $4,000 to support the Accelerated Cure Project for “2012 Rally Dixie.” Showing that through strong communities you can find even the largest of donors when you least expect it!

For more help, download your free guide to sharing your fundraising page on social media

Photo Courtesy of Mashable

Shane Jones is a social media expert, specializing in brand development and community building across all social channels. He loves advertising, and fortunately has found an agency, WebpageFX that supports him and provides incentives to be charitable.  Equaling all contributions he makes on his own.


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