Learn how to successfully self-promote your event on social media platforms.
You’ve designed a great fundraiser. Now, how to get the word out?
Social media is an indispensable tool for fundraising these days. You can promote your event for free in the ways that happen to be most effective, too! But using the right strategies will greatly enhance your success, whether you’re holding a fundraiser for a church, school, or other community groups.
Let’s walk through the best practices for running a social media campaign for a fundraiser.
Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are all popular platforms today, but slightly different audiences gravitate toward each one. If you’re trying to reach younger people (e.g., Gen Z), Instagram and TikTok are good options. If your audience includes many Gen Xers and Boomers, Facebook may be a good bet. Focus on one or two of the most relevant platforms rather than stretching yourself too thin.
Create a catchy campaign name, and then design a social media content calendar around it. This simply means planning the type of content you’ll post throughout the campaign. For example, say you want to raise funds for a church camp program. Your content calendar could look something like this:
- Write a weekly article connected to the topic.
- Post daily photos showing highlights from last year’s camp.
- Share short biweekly videos explaining how kids will benefit from the camp.
Use a paper calendar or a calendar app to visualize what content will go out on specific days. Then assign each post or type of content to a specific person. If you’re collecting funds over a period of time, plan to share fundraising updates as part of your content, too.
Does your fundraiser fit into a topic with a trending hashtag? (For example, #schoolfundraiser.) Use that hashtag in your posts to promote it. Look on your chosen platform(s) for content by similar organizations to find hashtags. This will help interested people who don’t already follow you to find your content.
Additionally, you can create a campaign-specific hashtag. That allows people who know about your campaign to easily find your content.
Post at least once a day. That will help you build up a more engaged following, which in turn helps your posts get seen by more people.
Today, video is an indispensable tool for connecting with virtual audiences. You can use video in a few different ways:
- Short TikTok videos with a funny or informative slant.
- Livestreams of an event on Facebook or Instagram to help at-home viewers feel connected.
- YouTube videos of a couple minutes or more that educate viewers.
Voice a strong call to action in each post. State what you’re trying to achieve with these funds, the amount you need to raise, and the date you need it by. Include a donation link at the beginning and end of your content to make sure people won’t miss it.
Create a sense of urgency to ramp up momentum. For instance, you could get a local business to contribute matching gifts for donations given by a certain date. Regularly share how much you’ve raised so far, using a progress bar tool to let people visualize your success.
What is interactive content? Here are a few examples:
- Hold a photo “challenge.” Encouraging viewers to attach your campaign-specific hashtag to pictures or videos they post in response to the challenge. For example, if raising funds for an outdoor education program, invite supporters to post photos of themselves out walking or hiking. If it’s for a school art program, invite kids to share their art. You can feature certain photos on your feed, then combine them into a collage at the end of the challenge.
- Host an interactive Q&A session on Instagram. People can ask questions in real-time via a group chat. You can also poll or quiz your followers on Instagram to keep them engaged.
- Encourage supporters to hold their own mini-fundraisers on Facebook to collect donations for your cause. They can create their own fundraiser page and can also pledge to match donations raised if they choose.
Interactive options like these make people feel more a part of your fundraiser and more invested in making it a success.
In your community, who do people look to for advice and opinions? If those folks have a strong social media presence, enlist their help to get the word out. Look at group leaders and friends who post often on social media and get a strong response from their followers. Get creative—if you’re raising funds for a church, perhaps a prominent local personality of the same faith would like to share it.
With all the trending social media options, email is old school, right? Wrong. Email is still a great way to reach people. Plenty of supporters may check email more often than social media. And an email (or a newsletter sent via email) can be a quick-reference way to check on your event details when they can’t remember which platform they saw it posted on. So, email your supporters to announce the event and send a reminder just before the date!
With these tips in hand, you’re prepared to launch a successful school, church, or nonprofit fundraiser. Plus, you’ll build your audience along the way. Getting started is even easier when you partner with CardFunder. We’ll send you materials that you can quickly personalize for social media to get the word out fast! Don’t want to sign up for an event, and looking for some online resources? We’ve got you covered with our CardFunder Fundraising Resources.
Facebook, “Tools to Help Nonprofits Collect Donations on Facebook”
Forbes, “How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to increase Donations and Boost Visibility”
GoFundMe, “25 Fundraiser Sharing Tips to Increase Donations”
Instagram, “A Step-by-Step Guide: Create Playful and Interactive Instagram Stories”
IUP Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, “6 Ways to Use Social Media to Reach Your Fundraising Goals”