So you’re getting ready to launch a campaign to drive money for your nonprofit. You’ve put in a ton of hard work on the backend to make sure the launch goes off without a hitch — and understandably, you want to make sure all that hard work travels as far and wide as possible.
The message you share directly from your nonprofit to your donors during a campaign is powerful. But the real magic happens when those donors share it with their peers.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for driving donations. Online giving hit a whopping $27.8 billion in 2016 — and a huge portion of that was through social media. 21% of donations are made directly through social media, and another 14% of donations are assisted through social.
Which means, if you want your campaigns to be a success, you need a social media strategy that empowers your donors to share their message with their networks and act as an advocate for your organization.
But how, exactly, do you do that? What are some of the best social media campaign ideas for nonprofits?
Provide Them With Everything They Need to Share
The first way to empower your donors to share your message is to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. And the way to do that? Give them everything they need from the start.
Social media share packs, which can include pre-made tweets, graphics or images, Facebook posts, and even email templates, take the guesswork out of social sharing. All your donors have to do is upload one of the social media posts to their networks and boom — they’re done.
The key to social media share packs is that they need to be easy for your donors to access and use. Add a link to your social media share packs in all messaging to your donors as well as in a highly visible area on your website.
Put a Face to Your Organization Through Donor and Donee Stories
Another solid social media strategy to encourage social sharing and drive donations? Sharing impactful stories — from both donors and donees.
Donor stories can be impactful because they show other potential donors the benefits of becoming a part of your organization. When a donor says, “Donating to this organization got me involved with a cause I’m passionate about and it’s changed my life,” it helps the potential donor see the impact it could have on their life — and they’ll be much more likely to want to get involved.
On the other hand, sharing a donee story puts a face to your organization. Potential donors can see the impact your organization is having first hand. For example, let’s say you manage a food bank. If you can share stories from people who have benefited from your services, who can say “access to this food helped me get back on my feet” or “this food bank helped me feed my children during a tough time for our family,” you can show the real impact donations make — and the personalization can compel people to donate.
The more you can make your social media content about the people you’ve helped, the more people will want to be a part of bringing that help to life.
Say Thank You
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. And a simple “thank you” can go a long way.
When someone donates to your campaign, you need to show them you value that donation and their commitment to your organization. If they donate on social media, post a shoutout on your page (whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or another platform) thanking them for their donation. If they donate through your website, set up an email sequence that automatically sends a “thank you” email when they donate. After your campaign wraps, reach out to all your donors to let them know the impact their donation had and how their dollars were put to use.
The point is, if your donors feel appreciated, not only are they more likely to continue donating in the future — they’re also more likely to share your organization’s message with other people.
Spark Their Competitive Spirit With Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns
If you want to take things a step further and take your campaign viral, you might want to consider doing a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? This peer-to-peer fundraising campaign — which had people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads, posting the video to social media, and tagging friends to tackle the challenge next — raised a whopping $115 million for the ALS Association in the summer of 2014.
Contests like the Ice Bucket Challenge can be hugely successful; the social aspect is fun, and the “challenge” — whether it’s pouring a bucket of ice water over your head, making a fun video, or tagging friends to match your donation — brings out the competitive spirit in people and can make a huge impact on the success of your campaign.
If you want people to share your message, spark their competitive spirit with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Give Them Incentive
When all else fails, one of the best ways to encourage people to share your message? Give them a little extra incentive.
Giving micro-gifts in exchange for a donation or for sharing your message (like Kickstarter does) can be a great way to give people the extra push they need to get involved. The LA Foodbank has used this to drive some serious donations; they partnered with different sponsors to give gifts for various levels of donations — the top donors even got to have a private dinner with the LA Rams!
Obviously, not every organization can coordinate a sit-down dinner with a professional football team — and the great thing is, you don’t have to. All you need is to add an incentive to the giving and sharing process — even if it’s something as simple as a T-shirt.
If you want to drive donations for your campaign, you need to get as many donors as possible. And if you want to connect with as many donors as possible, you need people to share your message. Now that you have these five strategies, you have everything you need to get your donors just as committed to sharing your message as they are to donating to your campaign.