Fundraising Marketing

Your top 11 social fundraising questions answered

on October 26, 2017

We recently hosted a webinar about how social fundraising is changing the way charities think about social media. During the webinar, there were so many incredible questions that we just couldn’t get to all of them. So, we wanted to make sure we took some time to dig in and answer them.

Here we go…

Q: Can you talk about how to engage your community in social fundraising and how to ask them to raise money for your cause?

A: Good one. First, you need to make sure you have the ability to activate sharing within your community of supporters. Does your donation process give them the ability to share at critical moments? Do you have a tool that allows them to engage in peer-to-peer fundraising? From there, you need to ask them to start sharing, in their own words, their connection to your cause with their network of supporters and encourage them to also give, share, or even fundraise alongside them.

A lot of supporters want to do more, but they just don’t know how or what to do. So requesting they share on social or raise money instead of donating can go a long way. We also encourage that you share with them the value their network holds and that how fundraising and sharing has more impact than just donating. Let them know there is real value to them lending their voice to the mission.

Q: What exactly are the "right tools" to enable social fundraising?

A: When we talk about tools, we're really talking about the platform or features you’re using as a part of your campaign(s). Is it all optimized for conversions, social shares, and peer-to-peer fundraising? Taking the time to research the platform you are considering is a key part to having a successful social fundraising initiative.

Q: We get a lot of requests like "What else can I do to help you - I want to give more than money?" What is a good way to manage that?

A: Such a great problem to have. Supporters who want to do more. Social fundraising is actually a great opportunity for these types of requests. When you can encourage your supporters to share, in their own words, why they support your cause, it can add tremendous value. Supporters can share on so many levels too. They can share the fact that they just gave to your cause, your story, and the personal connection as to why they support your mission. Additionally, ask your eager supporters to become fundraisers and be a part of creating a stronger peer-to-peer program. Make sure they know that it will bring more awareness and funds through their sharing of personal fundraising pages.

Q: How exactly is social fundraising different from sharing your CrowdRise page on Facebook? Is it just the messaging?

A: It really comes down to WHO is sharing the page. When you share your own CrowdRise page, it’s just posting on social media and you’re reaching the same audience as always. If your supporters are sharing your fundraising page, that is social fundraising. And, you’re reaching a potentially whole new audience every time a new supporter shares that they gave to, are fundraising for, or even that they love your cause.

whowhatwhere_v2-1.jpgQ: From studies that I've read, email has a higher conversion rate (getting donations) than sharing things on social media. With that in mind, why would you go the social fundraising route rather than sending out personalized emails?

A: We’d like to think of social fundraising not as something that you do rather than something else (in this case, personalized emails,) but more that it’s something you should be doing in addition to sending out personalized emails.

It’s all about the layering of channels and using various techniques to achieve various results, ultimately leading to a more holistic approach to your strategy. You should definitely continue sending emails and using your social accounts to promote campaigns and encourage supporters to take action, but also add social fundraising to go one step further and have your supporters use their megaphones to tap into a whole new audience that might not be aware of your cause.

Q: Are social fundraising platforms like CrowdRise best for a specific campaign or event or can they work for ongoing fundraising as well?

A: The features on CrowdRise allow you to do all-in-one fundraising (and add-in social fundraising to everything) in one place. That means you can add-in a layers of effective social fundraising to "general donation" pages, seasonal campaigns, and events like walks and galas.

Q: What are some creative ways to encourage people to share posts on social media?  What are the 'sexy words' of social fundraising?

A: Great question. First off, we think social fundraising is pretty sexy itself. We always recommend that you make sure your supporters focus on their personal narrative. It’s their story you’re trying to get them to share that will really resonate with their friends and family and produce more donations.

Q: There are several social media fundraising platforms, but which one is the cheapest?  Why would we pick a platform that costs more money when we're an already small struggling non-profit?

A: We know there are a wide range of nonprofits out there, and that’s why we offer a few levels of service. Our social fundraising features are enabled at all levels because we've always been focused on making the platform the very best for nonprofits. So make sure that even if you’re on a “free” platform, it's still helping you get more donations and is optimized for social fundraising. However, like most things, you do “get what you pay for” so there are features that might be worth paying for because they can help you gain more donations in other ways, or even help make your overall operation more efficient, in turn, bringing you more donations and supporters.

Q: What's the minimum database/list size that is needed to make social fundraising worthwhile?

A: Social fundraising isn’t about having a database or list. It's about getting supporters you have - whether that's 1 or 1 million, to share to their network. Each and every share provides value and can lead to more donations.

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Q: How much time should we be spending on social fundraising? I honestly think it's a full-time job. Would you agree?

A: The beauty of social fundraising is that once you've embraced it, you give it over to your supporters to run with. Sorry about that preposition. Their voice, their connections, and their ability to share has real value in the world. They become a part of the team and, once motivated, can be independently impactful to your donation and awareness goals.

Q: How is what you offer different than what FB ads can do?

A: Posting or advertising on Facebook is just another marketing channel, and if it's working for you, please continue doing it. Adding social fundraising to your current (and future) campaigns is completely different though.

When your supporters, donors, and fundraisers share your donation page with their personal networks, it resonates in a way that is much more effective to those audiences. This strengthens awareness of your mission, and increases monetary support. People listen and give to their friends and family.

That’s about it.

Still have questions? Reach out to your success manager...they’re always full of incredible ideas, insights, and best practices for social fundraising.

Really want to ramp up your social fundraising efforts? Request a demo of what our platform can do.

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Missed the webinar on social fundraising? Check it out here. It’ll probably be the best part of your day.

Allison Capaldi

Allison Capaldi is the Brand Manager at CrowdRise. She lives and breathes branding and marketing and in her past life was the brand manager for Moosejaw Mountaineering. Her goal is to never write a blog post without including at least one food analogy.