The VPM Blog

Fundraising on Social Media

Posted by Cydne Wright on Jun 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Social media puts the "fun" in fundraising - yeah I hate myself for that too. But if fundraising was a middle aged, Beverly Hills socialite, social media gave it a facelift. Now it's your job to decide if your fundraiser is going to end up on Botched or look 20 again. OK I might be taking this reality TV thing a little far. But it's true, the tools for running a successful fundraising campaign on social media are out there, but it's all about using them correctly. If you stick with me and follow these steps, your campaign could be the next Kardashian.  OK, I'm done forreal this time. We aren't getting any younger, so let's get started!

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Know your audience

First things first, you need to know who you are trying to reach. First, figure out who your buyer persona is and on what social media platforms they hang out on. You don't want your fundraising campaign to be hanging out on Facebook when your buyer persona solely hangs out on Twitter.

Once you figure out what social media platform your buyer persona mainly uses, don't solely focus on that platform. You want to be multidimensional. You want to give people various ways to find you. The more platforms you are on the more people you will reach. 

Have Clear Goals

Even though this is not specifically geared towards social media, make sure your goals are realistic. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious, but you want to make sure your supporters know that your goal is attainable. Make a SMART goal before you even get started. 


Now that you have your goal, share it. People want to know how much of an impact their donation will have on your goals. Also, share specifically what their donations will be going towards.             

                            Say: Help us raise (a reasonable amount of money) by (a specific date) to (whatever the                                             money is specifically supporting)!

                            Don't say: Help us raise (crazy amount of money) to (whatever a huge world problem is)!

Create a Sense of Urgency

A big thing about social media is that people are there for a good time not a long time, so you need to let them know that your campaign is urgent. You don't want people to see your page and think that they can donate later. They need to know that if they don't donate now they might miss their chance, or even worse, they might be too late.

This goes back to making your goal clear. Set a date and let your supporters know when your goals need to be completed by. That way, even if your campaign will continue past your set date, it will still light a fire under your supporters.


Grab People's Attention 

Use the different aspects of social media to your advantage. Tell a visual story. Pull people in with a specific person, group of people, or place. People love a good story. They don't want to feel like they are just throwing their money into a black hole to never be seen again. They want to feel connected to what or who they are giving their money to.

Post videos, photos, and whatever else is postable to grab people's attention. The more attention grabbing the content, the more your post will be shared and liked, and the more opportunities you will have to raise more money.

A good example of this is Special Books by Special Kids:



Chris Ulmer, the co-founder of Special Books by Special Kids, interviews different children from the special needs community to normalize the diversity of the human condition. His Facebook page has over 1 million likes because he successfully tells a story through every video. Each video makes you cry, laugh, smile, or even a little bit of all three. 

Obviously, you don't have to use the same format that Ulmer does, but take notes of the impact that the short videos he posts have on the supporters of his campaign.  

Give Your Supporters a Voice

Again, social media is great for so many reasons, and one of the main ones is that it is social. Use that to your advantage. Integrate your supporters into your campaign.  Make them feel like they are a key component. A great example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:



The ice bucket challenge is comprised of people throwing buckets of ice water on themselves or friends to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and to encourage donations for research towards the disease. People who have been nominated to do the challenge have 24 hours to either complete the challenge or donate money.

The campaign has raised well over $100 million.

The ice bucket challenge is a great example of how successful your fundraising campaign can be when you get people involved. Of course your campaign may not include daring people to throw buckets of ice over their heads, but find something fun that your supporters will want to be involved in.

Make It Easy

Once you've pulled in supporters you want the next step to be obvious. Make a clear call-to-action on whichever social media platform(s) that you decide to use. You don't want to lose the support that you've just gained because no one knows where or how to donate to your campaign. Make sure that your call-to-action grabs people's attention. 


Last but not least, keep your supporters updated every step of the way. Make specific posts to thank your supporters. You have the tools at your fingertips, so use them. People want to feel appreciated.

8ddb2a0f797821905d4ea8179789504908022310de0a42f0cffa6aecc4c87299.jpgTell your supporters what their donations and support have done specifically for the cause. Give specific numbers and results. People want to see progress. Or if you told a story about someone or someplace specific, keep people updated on what's going on with that person or place. 

Just because your fundraising campaign is over or you've reached your goal does not mean that you can forget about the people who helped to make it so successful!


Running a fundraising campaign on social media might seem like an overwhelming task, but if you listen to these tips your next campaign could be a hit! Remember to research your audience and where their focus is and have clear goals before you get started. Share your SMART goals with your supporters, which will help to create a sense of urgency. Grab people's attention with your unique campaign. Don't forget to give your supporters a voice and make it easy for them to contribute to your campaign. But most importantly thank them for their generosity because out of all the memes, tweets, and boomerangs they could have been looking at they decided to not only spend time learning about your social media campaign but also contributing to it. 

Now that you have all the tools to run a successful fundraising campaign on social media, what's next? Well why not go one step further and have a specific day that people can donate online. If you don't know where to get started, download our FREE Giving Day ebook below:

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Topics: social media marketing

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