Social networks are becoming increasingly valuable ways to increase fundraising opportunities. From the effective use of Facebook to the creation of a range of fundraising portals and physical events, the emphasis should be on encouraging loyalty and interaction to a charity, rather than just sending material out to prospective donors. Fundraising across social networks can also make the most of small amounts multiplied over different sites and communities, rather than trying to generate larger donations. Some of the best ways to utilise these social networks consequently include:
1 – Focus on Interaction Over Promotion
Social media should be about interaction and community building, rather than a hard sell. Try to tailor community and fan pages on Facebook to reflect this openness, providing an interface that can be used for discussions about charity work, rather than just leading people to donate. Building these communities will ultimately create a base that you can target when you need to boost fundraising schemes.
2 – Regularly Update and Maintain A Site
A poorly maintained and updated site will not help a fundraising effort. Make sure that a dedicated person is available to add content to the site, and to respond to any queries and comments.
3 – Embed Blogs
A blog can be an excellent way to create an ongoing narrative and a forum of discussion for users. This blog can take the form of a person working in an affected area for fundraising, or can act as a commentary on the different kinds of work carried out by a charity.
4 – Make the Most of Just Giving
Major fundraising sites like Just Giving can be the most effective way to make people feel reassured about donating money online. While there are many other sites available, you may want to direct funds through an established brand.
5 – Consider Different Fundraising Sites
A smaller charity can significantly benefit from getting themselves promoted by a larger charity and fundraising site, and its associated social networks. Websites like Causes, Change.org and GlobalGiving are particularly valuable in this regard.
6 – Link Together Fundraising Pages and Supporter Pages
You want to create a network whereby social networking and fundraising pages are closely linked, and can guide donors and fans back and forth between a community page and a dedicated site. Websites like Artez are useful for following this approach.
7 – Work with Fans and Supporters
Dedicated charity fans and supporters may have ideas for fundraising events, and might be able to use your charity name to collect funds through schemes and competitions. You should consider these offers if they don’t break your regulations and fundraising laws, but should always be careful about which third parties you deal with.
8 – Use Challenges
Competitions and challenges represent good ways to get supporters engaged with a charity. Facebook competitions, online puzzles and quizzes can help to build loyalty to a charity, and can encourage wider corporate sponsorship.
9 – Integrate Social Media and Offline Events
Social media can be made more powerful by integrating networks with offline events like band performances or festivals. You can generate ideas by starting discussions on social media networks about the kind of fundraising events that they may be interested in attending.
10 – Social Gaming
Another way to engage supporters is to use social gaming and mini games directed through apps to get people used to participating in the charity on a regular basis. Paid partnerships with sponsors and developers can also help you to build the kind of games that can best showcase the values of your charity.
This guest post was written by Lisa Gan, a fundraiser and third sector jobs specialist.