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How to use digital media to support fundraisers and encourage donors

Digital tools such as social media and email are great ways to expand the message about your upcoming fundraiser and encourage donations. Here are 4 ways to use digital media to keep the momentum going with your fundraisers throughout your campaign.

Make a splash with a digital kick-off

St. Baldrick’s Foundation does a great job of this on their website, through email marketing and its social media channels. As part of the organization’s fundraising efforts, participants shave their heads in solidarity with cancer patients while raising money online for children’s cancer. The foundation changes out all its imagery across digital channels to match the campaign theme and starts with a series of posts on social media about how to get involved and why it’s important to do so. Last year, they introduced the hashtag #VirtualShave2020 at the onset of the campaign and encouraged everyone to use it as they post updates (and pictures!) of their campaign support.

St. Baldrick’s Foundation
St. Baldrick’s Foundation

For your digital kick-off consider:

  • A digital kick-off call via Zoom, Facebook Live, Twitter Spaces and Instagram Live to encourage and invite interested participants to hear about your cause, your campaign and how to get involved this year.
  • A series of social media posts that outline campaign particulars, key dates and hashtag
  • An email series with copy/paste content that others can use on their channels to encourage momentum and excitement around the campaign
  • An FAQs blog post with links to campaign elements, landing pages and resources

Create a digital toolkit

The Michael J. Fox Foundation has an entire section of its website that includes a host of resources that fundraisers would need to support the organization. This fundraiser toolkit provides members of “Team Fox” with a 6-step process for successful P2P giving campaigns complete with social media content, a planning checklist and a post-event list.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Whether it’s a P2P event or a one-time fundraiser, your digital toolkit might include:

  • Your logo or the logo of the fundraiser
  • Imagery donors can use online
  • Sample social media content
  • Sample email outreach copy
  • Fundraiser page set-up tips and/or steps
  • A contact list for support

Encourage others with social media sharing

Many of our clients choose to use social sharing on their fundraising landing page, including Family Promise of Gwinnett County. In the example below, you can see on their peer-to-peer donation landing page, there is an option to share on social media. When we ask our donors and supporters to share activities on social media, it expands reach and builds trust with others who may not have otherwise heard about the campaign.

Family Promise of Gwinnett County
Family Promise of Gwinnett County

You can encourage social media sharing throughout your campaign by:

  • Crafting pre-written social media content that is easy for participants to access via your website
  • Take those pre-crafted social media posts one step further and create content one-sheets for your board and volunteers to send directly to their contacts
  • Ensure social media sharing buttons are everything—on your website as a whole, your donations landing pages, blog posts
  • Have fun with a campaign hashtag and encourage everyone to use it; track that hashtag and give special shout-outs or make it a contest to see who can raise the most in a given amount of time.

Don’t forget the thank yous

Yes, multiple. Thank-you messages to donors should be automated at the time the donation is made, but once the campaign wraps altogether, additional thank yous should be sent using the same digital channels you used to encourage everyone to get involved and spread the word. Use these thank you messages to outline how many donors participated, how much was raised, the positive impact the campaign made, etc.

Consider thank you messages such as:

  • Static image posts on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • Video or ‘story’ posts on Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok
  • YouTube thank-you note from your executive director (this can also be embedded on your campaign page online for future views)
  • Wrap-up email thank you to all donors, volunteers and key campaign ambassadors

What about fundraisers hosted directly on social media?

Facebook offers the ability to run fundraisers directly on its platform. And while it may seem easy to do so, it’s important that you vet the pros and cons around doing this as approvals can take longer, you miss out on key customization tools and more importantly, the funds raised will be tied up for a while—you do not get the money as soon as it comes in. Check out this pros/cons list on Facebook fundraising to see if this is the right option for you.

Take time to plan the ins and outs around using digital media to see exponential gains in messaging during your next fundraising campaign. Go where your audience and donors are online; make it easy for them to get involved. Everyone loves to support a good cause!

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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