How to Boost Fundraiser Participation with Social Media
When it comes to recruiting supporters and volunteers for your fundraising event, there’s never been a tool quite as powerful as social media. Increase turnout (and profits!) with these savvy tips for using your social channels to spread the word about your fundraiser.
Cultivate an Online Community
Encourage members of your community – whether it’s your whole town, school, sports league, nonprofit or business – to join your social media communities so they don’t miss out on school news and updates, including fundraising announcements. Invite community members to follow your social media channels in highly-visible ways – posting your social handles on your website, in digital newsletters, on doors and bulletin boards in high-traffic areas, etc.
Make a Plan
Set yourself up for fundraising success by determining a strategy and outlining a plan for your social campaigns. Start with this checklist:
What are your goals?
Who is your target audience?
What social platforms does your target audience prefer?
Who can help spread the word about your fundraiser?
Plan out what, when, and where you’ll post.
Customize Your Messaging
Each social media platform has a unique audience that expects and responds best to certain formats, and each channel has specific guidelines for posts. For each social platform, customize your post to fit the channel and the audience. Instagram is all about imagery, so photos or eye-catching graphics work best. Twitter limits posts to 140 characters, so short and concise messaging is needed. And a short video is your best bet for your YouTube channel. On Facebook, pretty much anything goes – use the platform’s free analytics tools to measure overall response to various types of posts and gauge effectiveness.
Pro Tip: No matter what your messaging is, be sure to include a Call to Action (“share now”, “click here to donate”, “get your raffle tickets here”, etc.)
Engage Your Audience with Various Types of Content
Frequently post an assortment of content about your upcoming fundraiser to keep your audience engaged and to reach more people. Think about sharing things like:
Eye-catching promotional graphics
Photos of the awesome prizes kids can win
Fun videos of your previous fundraiser
Real-time updates on the progress of your fundraising – when a goal is met or how much further to go until a goal is reached
Links to online volunteer SignUps to participate in your fundraising event
Shout-outs to sponsors
Images of food and games that will be at the event
Messages about the impact of donations and volunteers (i.e. “For every $250 donated, we will be able to provide a low-income student with a new computer.” or “Thanks to the $100 donation from XYZ business, Mrs. Milam won’t have to pay for her own classroom supplies this semester!”)
Recruit Your Network to Spread the Word
Increase your reach on social media by tapping into your community of parents, school faculty, volunteers, local businesses, etc. – ask those with their own social networks to post and share details of your fundraiser in their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat feeds. Recruiting others to help create buzz is key – students and participants are especially important since they can encourage their friends to join in! Select and share a catchy hashtag for your fundraiser to be used in every post to help spread the word. Craft clever social campaigns too, like asking attendees to share their pictures or video from the fundraiser event on Instagram, tag your group’s page, and use the event hashtag.
Day of Event Social Media Tie-Ins
Livestream: If you’re hosting an in-person fundraiser, there are many free options that allow you to stream your event live – Facebook Live and Periscope are a couple of well-known streaming platforms that make it easy. Recruit a volunteer videographer to be onsite the day of your event and stream the day’s festivities to your audience. It’s a great way to get folks excited and interested in donating to your cause or coming out to join the fun!
SnapChat filter: Another cool option is to set up a SnapChat filter for the day-of to encourage students and supporters to share how much fun they are having in real-time – and motivate their friends to join. Snapchat filters give users the ability to overlay their photos with fun graphics, animations or special effects. See a quick guide to this SnapChat feature here.
Photo Prop: Set up a fun, welcoming photo prop with the school or organization's logo (this could also be a creative way to share sponsor logos) that participants can't wait to get a photo with and post on social media. This is a great way to build day-of buzz and recruit folks at home who may have forgotten about the event.
Rewards for Participation: Give out bonus treats, drinks, or prizes to participants who show you they're following your group’s social media accounts.