Social Media and Fundraising

Nov 30 2015

How Social Media Impacts Fundraising

There are many ways that modern technology has revolutionised the fundraising industry. Today’s software allows charities to have a single central location for charitable events, teams, volunteers, security and fundraising. But whilst some may think that using this technology eliminates all of the guesswork from successful fundraising, the truth is that if you are looking to raise money for an organisation, you will still have to research and explore a number of strategies, one of which is using social media.

Is Social Media the best Fundraising Strategy?

That really depends on who you are targeting. In the UK, the age group who tends to donate most often – those in their 50s - is the group who uses Facebook least.

Facebook Likes and Actual Donations

Facebook is rife with charities of all kinds that rely on the Facebook ‘like’ to gain support for their causes. But contrary to popular belief, likes do not equal donation pounds. Any Facebook user who supports a charity with a like will still need to be converted into a real donor, which can be tricky.

But how can this be? In liking a Facebook page for a charity, isn’t the supporter bringing themselves right to your door? Whilst this is most certainly true, this structure can actually work against your efforts to convert supporters into donors, because in taking the physical action to push that ‘like’ button, the supporter can think that this is all that’s needed to make a difference. So before making the decision to use social media sites like Facebook to get individuals to donate, you will need to ask yourself some questions first.

Some of these questions can include whether or not awareness is enough to get the pounds flowing to your cause. Another is how likely it will be that those who support your page with a like will be converted into actual donors. Finally, you will need to think about the amount of time and resources will be needed to convert supporters to donors.

What about Twitter?

Twitter’s millions of members include celebrities and politicians. But do high numbers of users make Twitter an ideal platform for getting those much-needed donations? Not necessarily. Limited to 140 characters, Twitter users skim posts. Really, with that few words, how much can you really say? And how much attention will you really get from users as a result? These are just two of the many things to think about.

Make Social Media Work for You

The sheer numbers of social media users can make it a very tempting prospect. And the good news is it can work for you if you know how to make it happen.

Although it may be difficult, asking members of your personal contact list to ask their own lists to contribute can result in a firm foundation of supporters. You can use this foundation as a springboard for getting donations from new donors. A charity-focused CRM can help you organise and manage these social media links to maximise your fundraising revenue from relationship building with your supporters.

In addition to contacting your personal acquaintances, convenience is key. You must make it easy for them to donate. On social media, this can be done by creating a charity-specific page and then directing people to it.

The important thing to remember is that social media should represent just one cog in your fundraising machine. If you find that there are so many cogs that it becomes difficult to keep track of them all, investing in fundraising software can be a great all-in-one solution that allows you to track all of your campaigns whether social media, email or offline methods. The ability to see the results of all of your donation-getting efforts in one location can certainly make your labour of love less of a labour.

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