What exactly is social fundraising, and why does it work so well? In short, social fundraising is leveraging the inherently social nature of giving to grow your donor base and raise more money for your cause. When utilized effectively, this facet of fundraising can transform a simple request into a persuasive call to action.

As a society, offering donations or volunteering is how we give back to our community and how we can help improve life for our fellow man. Giving and receiving builds strong bonds of trust and fellowship between the giver and the receiver that encourage future and meaningful interactions.

Here’s why social fundraising campaigns can inspire a wave of new supporters for your cause, according to Caryn Stein, VP of communications and content for Network for Good:

Social fundraising is based on a two-way relationship. 

A common pitfall in the fundraising world is one-sided appeals and messages. Sure, this type of communication can move people to act, but it misses out on really connecting with your audience on a social, human level. “Social fundraising puts the message in the mouth of the person who is most likely to prompt a donation: someone the audience knows,” writes Stein. This kick starts an emotion or relationship that can encourage giving on a much larger scale. 

People like giving to other people.

Faceless organizations are hard to empathize with, and thus are more difficult to give money to. Human beings are social creatures, and when they see one of their own in need, they are moved to help, especially if asked by another person they identify with. For this reason, outside messengers or advocates that work on behalf of an organization have the potential to cut through the clutter and connect with individual donors on a much deeper level.

The message is based in story.

 “There is no more powerful way to move people to action than through a compelling story.” Caryn Stein echoes a sentiment that we have touched on here at OPUSfidelis before, i.e., effective storytelling is one if the greatest tools in your arsenal. “Storytelling often comes more naturally to supporters, who may have a personal stake in the cause. Stories told by people we know feel more meaningful than stories distributed by an organization. The more authentic a message is, the more likely people are to act.”

All this goes to show that social giving cannot be ignored if your nonprofit has any hope of successfully building and maintaining a solid and committed donor base in the social communications paradigm.

For a bit more on the subject, see Caryn Stein’s full article here.