Strengthening Nonprofit Governance & Management
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 2800 Springport Road, Jackson, Michigan 49202

20 Tips to Use Social Media to Fundraise

This page was a tool we used in a recent workshop. 

Take a look and see how you might apply these ideas in your own fund development plan




Activities During the Session

Are you fundable?

Let's look at YOUR streams. Pair up, pull up your colleague's stream, and look at the last 30 days of their activity. What does that tell you about their work? Their organization? Their interests? Want to fund it? Why? Why not?


Share the best.

Share the best nonprofit fundraisers that you follow with your colleagues. After people have responded, go through the people featured and ask your colleagues why they follow that person.


Practice pitching:

Video pitch.

Make a one-minute video "ask." What are you trying to do? Why? How much do you need? When?

Short pitch.

Craft a Twitter-length (140 characters) ask. Compelling? (Or, maybe just try to find a compelling request for funding on Twitter? On Facebook?)

Image pitch.

Create a single square image that includes an ask. What do you show? How do you prompt action?


Be the donor.

Pair up. Donate $5 to your colleague's organization from your phone. Easy? Impossible? How long did it take? What information did you have to provide? What did you have to do? How did you get thanked? Who in the room had a great experience?


Find your community.

Spend 10 minutes searching your favorite social media network for 5-7 people active in the community who care about your cause. Who are they? How do you know they're active? How do you identify they care about your cause? Whose posts/ideas do THEY share or follow? (Good exercise for search proficiency. These are prospects--people who already care, but no necessarily connected to your organization.)


Find your board, donors, members, volunteers, staff, etc.

Do you already follow your current supporters online? Why? Why not? Tip: Sometimes, your email contacts help  you connect to accounts. But use it with caution and look before you follow.


20 Tips to Use Social Media to Fundraise



20) Be ready to accept and acknowledge gifts via social media.


19) Follow, friend, or connect with your donors.


18) Your database can help if it includes social streams.


17) Don't delegate unless you would trust major donors with an inter. Excellent engagement examples in our area: Detroit Symphony and the Toledo Zoo.


16) Show your work consistently. #WOL


15) Clarify: Which are your core channels? Which are experimental?


14) Basic proficiency: Control consistently named accounts for major social media channels, understand the capabilities, and know the numbers for your community.


13) Video. Create viewable video and add donate links in YouTube, for example.


12) Images. Capture compelling photos, create infographic of impact.


11) Ask for second gift the same way you got the first. Stay on same stream. Don't push donors to switch/flip/change to accommodate your preferences. stay donor-centric.


10) How to acquire, retain, and upgrade donors via social media. Don't forget to engage 1:1. Brainstorm how to ask for a donation 1:1. (Find examples of four organizations in your field that make an "ask" using social media)


9) What to communicate and how (public groups vs. private groups. Why?)


8) Consider the spectrum. Always schedule . . . Never schedule. (Do the "posting" apps work? How to use them to your advantage and when it isn't a good idea). Social media is a two-way communication, not a broadcast. If no one responds, then it isn't social. See this and this.


7) Got a project? Consider crowdfunding (i.e. GoFundMe. when, how, and why to use these tools rather than guide people to your website).


6) 10 Online Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits


5) Just a part of the donor engagement process (Live > live stream > social streams > website > email > print)


4) As simple as saying, "thank you." When did you last show your donors in your stream? When did you last show the impact your donors' dollars had in your stream? Local example: @bloodworthcare on Twitter)


3) Only real tip when you post: Include a picture.


2) For all your channels: complete your profile. (For places where you just establish an account to control the name, be sure to link and point to active social streams elsewhere.) Don't cross-post. That's not social, that's a broadcast blast.


1) Be you. Try stuff. keep what works. Experiment. Learn.



Benchmarks X: 2016 M+R Benchmarks Study

"...An examination of online fundraising, advocacy, and organizing..."


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