How do you increase your chances at receiving online donations? Sending a fundraising email to supporters every now and then just doesn’t cut it. Your supporters are incessantly inundated with content from various platforms, and unless you prioritize social media outreach, it will be difficult to capture their attention.
Luckily, putting in the extra effort pays off. A study by Waggener Edstrom reveals that approximately 55% of people who interact with nonprofits on social media end up taking further action, which often means donating.
This leads to an important question: How can you effectively encourage potential donors via social media?
Although there are numerous tips and tricks specific to each vein of the nonprofit industry, there are three tactics which work across board:
1. Regularly post engaging content
Dedicate a major chunk of your social media strategy to recognizing donors, fundraisers, and volunteers. This can look like tagging them and thanking them directly for their gift, or you might retweet fundraisers’ posts that promote their personal fundraising pages.
By employing numbers, this strategy not only made each supporter feel valued, but it was also a great way to motivate prospective donors to join the hundreds of others who already made a gift.
Showcase your organization’s work through videos, infographics, impact stories, testimonials, and blog posts. Include a link back to your website to drive that next touch point.
Beyond your organization’s own impact and focus, offer valuable information related to the wider issue you address and what’s going on in the space. Share timely and relevant content from other thought leaders, news and media outlets, or organizations to elevate a broader discussion about the social problem.
Direct donation appeals should make up only a fraction of your social media content, since you don’t want to bombard followers with hard asks donation requests. When you do ask followers to make a gift, tailor your language so that supporters can connect the act of a contribution and their core sense of identity—who they believe themselves to be as individuals. They should also be able to identify the difference they can make through their gift. Suggest specific donation amounts that are tied to tangible results.
2. Tell a compelling story
One thing to consider is that rather than seeking out and following your organization’s page on social media, prospective donors can be instantly hooked by another catalyzing story or event that they may choose to follow and support, which then introduces them to your organization.
As you think about how to turn social media followers into donors, consider whether you can create (or already have) a compelling event, story, or element that would engage your audience, and throw promotional efforts behind it on social media. You might create its own Facebook event or page that includes links back to your website and business profile page, so followers have the opportunity to take action and connect with your broader organization
3. Convert social media followers into email subscribers
One of the major ways to turn social media followers into donors, hands down, is to first convert them into email subscribers. Your posts should drive people back to your website where you can collect their email addresses through an updates signup box.
Email acquisition is key to increasing your number of prospective donors. It allows you to maintain an elective conversation with anyone who lands on your site, including those social media followers who click through your posts. When you’re able to loop them into your regular communications cycle, you can start to strengthen the relationship on a more consistent, personalized basis.
Sprinkle posts into your social media mix that directly ask followers to sign up for your blog or newsletter, and link these posts back to a webpage where they can enter their email address. Once you’ve recruited these new subscribers, continue to send them valuable, relevant content that solidifies their connection to your cause. Consider sending a donation appeal only after several touch points.
When it comes to social media, don’t dismiss it as merely a way to spread awareness. When you post, recognize that each and every one of your followers presents a potential opportunity, and every piece of compelling content you publish increases those chances. Make the most of this and leverage your social profile to develop a relationship that converts followers to donors.