In this technological age, it’s critical for nonprofits to reach potential donors in ways that are innovative and outside-of-the-box: not only by hosting events and in-person meetings, but also through the strategic use of social media platforms. As of November 2015, nonprofits are able to launch specific fundraisers on their Facebook Pages. This tool displays the number of people who have donated and the nonprofit’s overall goal as well as contribution suggestions.
Although its introduction was relatively recent, improvements to the feature are already underway. Now the donate button will be available in individual posts as well as Pages, meaning that users can donate money directly from their News Feed, simplifying transactions that make a huge impact. Similarly, when people are provided with more opportunities to donate, they are more likely to spread the word and keep the nonprofit’s cause in mind.
In addition to being a social networking tool, Facebook serves as a news mine, so the more publicized your fundraising campaign is on the platform—without overly saturating people’s screens—the better. Young Facebook users are potentially more likely to donate to a cause they come across as they effortlessly scroll through their News Feed.
When donors are ready to give their hard-earned money to an organization, they want to ensure that it will go to a worthwhile cause. It is important to be clear when telling your prospective donors how their money will be used to benefit the overall success of the organization and, in turn, those you serve. Do this by including a short, concise blurb describing the purpose of your campaign. To increase user engagement, use media such as pictures or videos. Properly placed media has the power to influence and create an emotional response, a call-to-action to those searching to donate to a worthy cause.
In a previous blog, Non-Profits Using Social Media, we warn about using social media to seek funds. The donate option on Facebook may be too overt for some nonprofits, sending the wrong message to donors. However, with a growing generation of millennials and hopeful advocates of social change, the most logical and strategic forum to reach them is social media.
Mercy Corps is one organization that successfully utilized Facebook’s donate feature and, although it did not reach its Facebook fundraising goals, acquired donations that it otherwise might not have attained via traditional media efforts. The nonprofit campaigned to raise money for displaced Syrian refugees and was able to acquire $36,415 of its end goal of $50,000. A total of 1,235 people donated, and over 4,000 people shared the campaign’s Page, which greatly increased the nonprofit’s reach on the popular social media platform.
Facebook, no longer just a place to “Like” and “Comment” on friends’ statuses, is a powerful tool that nonprofits can take advantage of in order to garner support and awareness from publics worldwide. The donate feature, when properly utilized, has the potential to dramatically elevate an organization’s contributions—whether they be monetary contributions or increased social awareness.
Next time you fundraise, consider Facebook’s tools. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much impact the social media platform can have on not only your nonprofit’s engagement, but also its presence in people’s minds as they scroll through their timeline, looking for simple ways to make a difference in the world.