Social media and nonprofit crowdfunding (or online fundraising) go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or Bonnie and Clyde. Or Bert and Ernie...
You get the point: nonprofit crowdfunding needs social media.
When making sense of social media seems more like understanding rocket science, it can be a big challenge to figure out the role it’ll play in your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign.
Social media is just that: a way and means to engage with people.
The goal for social media is to get your audience to take action.
Start with the basics
- Story - the narrative identifying the purpose and goals of the campaign
- Community - the audience and the actors
- Website - the nonprofit crowdfunding campaign activities’ hub
- Administration - the details and logistics in keeping the campaign running smoothly
If you have these components in place, you’ve already made a great deal of progress. If not, you’ll need to figure those four components out before tackling social media.
Tips in using social media for your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign
Each social media medium is unique so you should tailor posts accordingly. For example, one difference between Twitter and Facebook is that the former has a 140-character limit and the latter doesn’t.
Instagram and Pinterest are both very visually oriented channels, but one lends itself more easily to reposting content than the other.
Regardless of the outlet, here are some ways you’ll weave social media into your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign:
1. Use social media to amplify your message
Social media can drive traffic to your nonprofit crowdfunding website and/or your blog posts about your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign.
Your posts to social media aren’t the message in and of themselves; they’re the teasers of the story. The posts should be short and entice viewers to your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign page where they can learn more.
Share videos, photos, quotes and other kinds of content that comprise your overall message through the appropriate social media channels.
2. Use social media to encourage your supporters
The progress of your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign largely depends on your fans, staff, and volunteers; they’re the advocates of your broader mission.
By broadcasting your appreciation for your supporters, you affirm their value to the cause.
Some supporters might doubt how much they can help and a simple “thank you” might be all it takes for them to join in. For others, praise will ignite them to go the extra mile to help reach your goal.
These public displays of encouragement may even attract new supporters! There’s just something inviting about effusive gratitude. Who wouldn’t want to belong to a positive, uplifting community?
3. Use social media to listen to your audience
“Join the conversation” is a common tagline used in social media, which implies that using social media is as much about receiving from your audience as it is about reaching out to them.
Pay attention to the feedback or the lack thereof; you’ll learn if the ways you’re amplifying your message resonates with your audience. Then you can adjust your posts as necessary.
They might ask questions about the campaign, or need help troubleshooting, or just want to cheer you on. Any kind of interaction requires response – this is what makes social media social.
4. Use social media to invite participation
As you ask for donations, specify amounts – and feel free to start as small as $1.00. By doing that, you lower any imagined barriers from contributing to the campaign.
Also offer different levels of involvement beyond donating to the nonprofit crowdfunding campaign.
For some, the most valuable gift they offer may not be financial in nature – it’ll be their voice and the time they spend spreading the word about your nonprofit crowdfunding campaign.
Identify the influencers within your support base and let them go at bat for your campaign. Connect with social media influencers to help you reach new audiences and networks too.
5. Use social media to inspire action
As the nonprofit crowdfunding campaign nears its conclusion, feel free to direct your audience to continue sharing the campaign link with their networks and to donate in your posts.
Convey urgency by emphasizing the progress already made; something like, “We’re $500 away from our goal! Help us reach it: [link to campaign page]”.
Remind your audience that this fundraising campaign is a collaboration, a group effort whose sum is greater than its parts.
The key to using social media is to remember they are means – channels, vehicles, instruments – to an end. Remember that the funds you raise are a means by which you fulfill your mission.
The preceding is a guest post by Rob Wu, the CEO of CauseVox, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform for nonprofits and social good projects. Recently, he raised $125,000 for disaster relief via social media.