Used to be, when it came to giving there were two parties: the donor and the organization.
Now though, with the advent of social fundraising, there are often three parties: the donor, the organization and the unrelated-to-the-organization social fundraising platform. And while we might be tempted to say “two’s company but three’s a crowd,” it doesn’t have to be that way. If your organization embraces social fundraising, it could be the more the merrier.
What is social fundraising?
I like to describe social fundraising as the marriage between peer-to-peer giving and social media.
Many moons ago, we solicited donations from our friends by carrier pigeon, mail, phone or email…the same ways we communicated with them about other things. Today we still use (most) of those methods to communicate but we also increasingly use social media. So it’s really no surprise that our methods of donation solicitation have evolved to include social media too.
The very first thing an organization wanting to use social fundraising should do, is have its own social media presence. You don’t need to be on every platform, but considering your goals and resources, select those you can be successful with. (Read our Social Media Tips & Tricks if you need tips.)
Next, to best harness the enthusiasm of your constituents and power of social fundraising, your organization should be an active participant in choosing the social fundraising tool constituents are encouraged to use. When considering which of the many tools to use, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my goals?
- Does this make sense for my organization?
- Can I leverage existing content?
- Can I access the individual fundraisers and donors for further cultivation?
While these are the first questions your organization should ask, social fundraising, like any campaign, can’t be decided on by reading one 371-word blog post. You need to gather more information about goals, capacity, audience etc.
If you are at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, come to my session tomorrow (10:30a, Market Street room) to learn more and see a case study from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
If you are not at the conference, you can continue learning about social fundraising through our Common Ground Social video.