A way to put social media to work in fundraising

by guest blogger Andrew Rogers

Effective fundraising through social media tools like Twitter and Facebook is an elusive goal. It’s possible to be tempted by exceptional cases (disaster relief, celebrity-endorsed campaigns by big-name charities), into believing “social” is all you need. But exceptions are exactly that. For most organizations, social media is part of a well-built donor-communication plan, not the cornerstone of it.

Bit by bit, though, smart marketers are finding new ways to put social media to work. The Hilborn Charity Info blog reports on one technique where Facebook has generated promising results: campaigns where donors approach friends and family on behalf of a cause (Facebook and peer-to-peer fundraising: pair them up to raise more money).

The post reports on 25 such campaigns in the US and Canada that found 15% to 18% — in one case, 33% — of donations came through Facebook. Additionally, donors who could log in to campaign sites with their Facebook IDs “raised on average 40% more than those who used traditional registration.”

Earthshaking? Maybe not yet. Something to keep in mind? Sure. One key point is that social media was one element of the campaign, not the complete strategy. As more and more charities start to get a handle on how social media can strengthen their ties with their donors, we’ll start to find more ways to make social-media fundraising success less exceptional.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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