Yes. You can you actually raise money with social media! The short answer is yes but it is not as direct as it sounds. Fundraising is all about trust and building relationships, connections, the supporters. Social media offers nonprofit organizations the chance to do those things, build trust and relationships, a little bit at a time at scale. And if you have better connections with supporters and they trust you more then you will raise more money with social media. Regardless of the transaction point or giving channel.
Below is another infographic I came across on Nonprofit Quarterly covering “social giving” and while some of the data points need some additional explanation (like $161.30 being the average value of a “Like” on Facebook) there are a couple great finds. So here’s…
3 Ways You Can Raise Money With Social Media
1. If you integrate it into your campaigns, communications and events.
Where do you get your news nowadays? Some combination of the TV, newspaper, newspaper websites, blogs and social media I would guess. Well that’s how donors are learning and engaging with organizations as well, through a variety of mediums and devices. So integrating your campaigns, communications and events with social media increases the chances of reaching your immediate audience as well as the opportunity to reach new people with the message as well. Integrating the offline and the online will almost always help you raise money and integrating the various online channels with themselves will help you have a more cohesive message, increase your overall reach and lead to a better bottom line.
2. If you empower supporters to use their social media.
Testimonials are a great and essential tool to organizations and fundraising. Social media and the web should make it easier than ever to get testimonials from your donors who can share and advocate on your behalf. I love the sharing option after you give as when people give, openly, it encourages others to give. If someone you know trusts an organization you are much more likely to also trust that organization. Think of restaurant recommendations, movie reviews or Amazon purchases. We value what our peers, or people like us, value. So without those fancy algorithm’s or rating system get your donors to share about you easily and when they are most pumped on your cause (after a donation for example).
3. If you invest in social media.
“We have a Facebook page but it’s just not working”. A common and very flawed statement. First the definition of “working” is often skewed but just having a page and thinking it will magically engage your donors, raise money AND connect with a younger demographic on its own, or with little effort, is ridiculous. Generally speaking in life, the more “free and easy” something is to get the harder you have to work and spend on it to get results out of it. Social media is similar. It is great because it is so accessible, easy to start and use and incredibly free. But that means you have to invest more intentionally in how you use it. Looking at how you staff it, structure the responsibilities within your team and how it gets integrated, as opposed to siloed, are all crucial to whether it “works” or not.
So while you can definitely raise money with social media it’s not a silver bullet and it won’t raise money on its own.