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How to Use Facebook for Your Fundraiser 10 Tips to bring in donations!

Facebook isn't just great for watching cat videos and sharing memes. It's also a powerful tool for your fundraiser and can make a huge difference when it comes to reaching potential donors.

By sharing your fundraiser on Facebook you can go straight to your donors, both near and far, rather than waiting for them to come to you.

But, with great social media power comes great responsibility! While the idea is that you want everyone to know about your amazing cause and how to support it, you must be careful not to abuse this promotional power. AND, you should understand that your fundraiser is just one event in a sea of events being promoted on social media:

“As important as charity is, it must compete with the thousand personal demands, distractions, and pleasures that make up our lives. Far too often, giving money is just not that convenient.” - Richard C. McPherson, Digital Giving: How Technology is Changing Charity.

The important thing to understand about social media is that each platform serves a different purpose. Twitter is great for quick text updates, Instagram is for pictures of your event, but Facebook allows for the best connection and for prompting people to take action. The following ten tips will help you and your team learn how you can use Facebook to promote your fundraiser and make donating a convenient priority for your friends, family, and community members.

Our online system has easy-to-use share tools so parents can share your fundraiser on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or other social media platforms!

Ten Facebook Tips for Promoting Your Fundraiser

  1. Encourage shares over likes
  2. Don't be afraid to advertise
  3. Get to know your audience
  4. Keep people updated & in the loop
  5. Use Facebook Live for announcements and Q&A sessions
  6. Use hashtags
  7. Use images & video
  8. Encourage (or even reward) interaction
  9. Promotion for promotion
  10. Offer online incentives

Encourage Shares Over Likes

With the current Facebook algorithm (the equation that decides which posts people see on their newsfeeds), getting parents, volunteers, and your team members to share your fundraiser on Facebook is much more powerful than just "liking" a post about it.

When people share an update about your fundraiser, they are exposing it to all of their friends. This is a huge advantage in terms of exposure, word-of-mouth recommendation, and credibility. Plus, with the more shares your Facebook fundraising event or post has, the more people will see it on their newsfeeds because Facebook has seen that it is something people are interested in.

“Promoting a campaign on Facebook and encouraging donors to share a link on their own newsfeed takes fundraising to where an organization’s supporters are and exposes individual fundraising pages to much larger audiences." – Julie Hallinan, Social Media for Social Good: A Case Study Analysis.

Encourage shares by:

  • Emailing your team and asking them to share your fundraiser on their personal feeds
  • Asking parents to share your fundraiser in materials and announcements sent home
  • Requesting teachers and staff share your fundraiser on their feeds

Don't be Afraid to Advertise

Facebook ads are another option for spreading the word about your fundraiser. Plus, it is a great way to get a targeted message to members of your community as you can specify the audience for your Facebook ad.

For example, when we do Facebook ads, we like to use an intriguing or captivating image with a short description. We often advertise to people with jobs in education or to parents who are involved in school fundraising.

Of course, always use keywords that will catch people’s attention. We recommend your keywords describe your cause, your service, your location, your benefactors and any other identifiers. Examples:

  • “Healthy Fundraiser for Springfield Elementary (location/identifier)!
  • Raising funds for new gym equipment (service) to promote fitness (cause) to our youth (benefactor).”

Get to Know Your Audience

It's important to understand your specific audience on social media: the people who like your page and are within your circles of influence. On your Facebook page, under the Insights tab at the top of the page, you can see the demographics of your followers and the people you reach, the time and day when your followers are online and even what type of posts get the most engagement. Use these helpful tools to your advantage!

Don't just get to know your audience, it's also a great idea to spotlight them if they have donated to your fundraiser. On your fundraising page or Facebook event, list the people who have given to your cause. If you have a list that is too large to keep track of, try making a Donor Honor Roll and only list people who have given over a certain amount. This will serve as both a “thank you” to supporters and provide great promotion for your cause.

Keep People Updated & In the Loop

Whether you decide to create an event or a page for your fundraiser, make sure to keep your followers updated on goals reached, money still needed, ways to give, and other content that they will want to share on their own newsfeed.

Example: We like to post "School Shout-Outs" about schools that we have worked with who are reaching or exceeding their monetary goals through healthy fundraising.

People want to give money to a cause that they feel connected to. This is made possible when they are brought into the inner-circle of the fundraising process. Facebook offers a convenient platform for creating this connection between the cause and the donor.

When you get one donor who is connected to your fundraiser and talking about it on their own profile, you are being promoted to their circles of friends and family. Thus, creating a free, organic cycle of promotion.

“Successful charities will be the ones that offer the most engaging variety of donation choices, endorsed and promoted by friends and peers, with the most convenient paths to involvement.” – McPherson

Use Facebook Live for Announcements and Q&A Sessions

Facebook Live is a powerful, under-used, and sometimes intimidating tool. Using Facebook Live, you can create a live stream of your kickoff assembly, fundraising announcements, incentive updates, and your event on the day of your fundraiser. Plus, you can even add a donate button to your live stream (as long as your page is "verified")!

Stand Up To Cancer broadcasted news about a high school raised money during a “Sports Day For Charity”.

Best practices for Facebook Live:

  • Inform your audience when you are going live. Post several updates the week leading up to your livestream and maybe even send out an email the hour before to your subscribers with a link to your Facebook page so they can tune in.
  • Respond to people who comment with questions, celebrations, or announcements.
  • Include a call to action such as sharing the event on Facebook, donating to reach your goal, volunteering for event day, etc.

Use Hashtags

A great way to brand your fundraiser is to create one or two hashtags that you use for every post. Examples could include:

  • Your event name like #HawthorneFunRun
  • A tagline for your fundraiser using your school mascot, such as #TigersRaiseMore
  • A hashtag that focuses on what the funds will be used for like #FundsforTech

Encourage parents to use these hashtags when they are sharing your fundraiser. You could even turn this into an incentive/contest, such as "anyone who posts about our fundraiser, tags our page and uses the hashtag will be entered into a drawing for a Starbucks gift card!"

Use Images & Video

This tip is actually backed by psychology! Images are directly linked to the limbic system in the brain. When we see an image, it immediately sparks emotion and action, two things absolutely necessary for making donations.

Tips for quality pics & video:

  • Designate a person from your team to capture your kickoff assembly, incentives, and event through pictures and video
  • Upload your images to an album on Facebook
  • Include student, teacher, and parent testimonials in your videos
  • Post your media throughout your fundraising period to generate excitement and encourage donations

Check out this kickoff video from one of our schools!

Encourage Interaction

Post questions that include words “should” “would” and “who” as these are proven to result in much more interaction from Facebook users.

Try using polls, surveys, yes or no questions, or simple “Who is with us?” questions about topics or statements that people generally agree with or support (i.e., “Kids should have fun with fundraising! Our next fundraiser will include running outside, dancing and Popsicles. Who’s willing to support us as we put the fun into FUNdraising?").

Promotion for Promotion

Have a great update/post? Go ahead and give it a kick toward huge reach and (potentially) huge interaction with a paid promotion. You can choose to promote your post by having it show up on your follower’s friend’s feeds. Or, you can have it show up on a certain demographics’ feed within your area/community.

Before you pay for promotion, check the Engagement Rate. This is a great indicator of whether or not your post is worth promoting as it indicates the percentage of fans who have liked, shared, clicked or commented on it. Chances are if your followers love a post, other people on Facebook will like it as well.

To see the Engagement Rate for your posts:

  1. At the top of your Page, click Insights
  2. Click Posts
  3. Scroll down to All Posts Published
  4. Click the arrow to the right of Post Clicks / Likes, Comments & Shares.
  5. Select Engagement Rate from the dropdown menu

Offer Online Incentives

Offering little goodies to a whole community of Facebook users will quickly cause you to spend more money than you bring in. Rather, provide an entertainment factor, a free download or some other incentive that can be delivered via the Internet for anyone who donates to your cause and shares it on Facebook (a good way to track this is to make sure they tag you: @yourorganization).

Example: Steve Roe, owner of Roe Motors, thought of a very unique way to help raise money for the local Relay for Life Cancer Walk: He cut his hair! Facebook was an integral for part of this fun incentive as Steve posted the video for his FB fans to drive donations.

If you have incentives like duct tapping the principal or turning teachers into a human sundae, consider making this a reward for your online viewers who donate by posting the video to your Facebook page or emailing it to them.

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Created with images by LoboStudioHamburg - "twitter facebook together exchange of information instagram" • Tim Bennett - "untitled image" • geralt - "facebook internet network social social network google" • NajiHabib - "facebook like many" • geralt - "label social media" • geralt - "personal network smartphone" • lifesimply.rocks - "untitled image" • StartupStockPhotos - "children win success"

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