The Real ROI on Fundraising with Social Media

I get asked all the time by nonprofits what is the ROI on fundraising and social media, and while there is plenty of evidence that it is a good investment and should a part of your organization’s fundraising strategy, I think that the fundamental purpose of social media gets lost; the people who use social media.

Last month I learned my cousin Dave was participating in his first peer-to-peer fundraising campaign by reading a Facebook post he made. His participation required that he grow and maintain a mustache for an entire month while raising money for prostate cancer. I immediately made a donation and sent him an email with a variety of strategies that he could use to raise money. Dave didn’t need my advice, all he needed to do was do what he does best; share his fundraising activities on Facebook like he shares the rest of his life on Facebook. Dave posted photos with the progress of his mustache, information about prostate cancer and thanked every person who donated to him. There wasn’t a day in November that went by without an update and every update was personal. By the end of the month he raised over $2,000.

My favorite part of Dave’s fundraising with Facebook strategy were his thank you posts. This strategy was important because not only was he acknowledging his supporters for their donations he was influencing other supporters to donate as well. The key to peer-to-peer fundraising is creating a competitive environment and nothing inspires you to donate like seeing all of your friends and family donating.

As your organization develops its social media and mobile fundraising strategies, don’t forget to provide your fundraisers tips on how they can use social media to fundraise!

Fundraising on Facebook Tips for Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers

  1. Every update should include a link to your personal fundraising webpage
  2. Highlight fundraising milestones as you reach them
  3. Include stories about why you are fundraising
  4. Tag your donors in your posts that thank them for their donation
  5. When you get close to your goal encourage your friends to help you reach and exceed it
  6. Ask your friends to share your fundraising webpage with their friends
  7. If you are participating in an athletic event, post regular updates about your training
  8. Share information about the organization you are fundraising for
  9. Post photos and videos
  10. Last but not least, don’t just post about your fundraising activities, it should supplement your social media activity not replace it.