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Social media fundraising: 3 proven tactics and 8 creative ideas

Fundraising on social media can be a strategic way to connect with supporters and bring in donations. Bring all of your social media fundraising ideas to life with these tried-and-true tactics.

Rachel Ayotte
September 28, 2023
February 18, 2021
Nerd Mr Butter

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Social media fundraising lets you get in front of a massive audience of potential donors, without any major costs. 

In this guide, we’ll cover social media fundraising best practices, messaging tactics, and campaign ideas for the leading social networks.

3 social media fundraising best practices 

Ready to raise money and awareness online? Start off on the right foot with these social media fundraising tactics.

1. Focus on the platforms your supporters love 💛

When it comes to fundraising on social media, it’s better to focus your efforts on the platform your supporters most often engage with, rather than trying to perform well on every social media site.

👋 For social media newbies: If you’re in the early stages of your campaign or don’t have a following yet, you can craft an initial fundraising strategy based on which demographics prefer each social media platform.

🏆 For social media pros: If your social media strategy is more established, use built-in analytics tools to regularly assess how you’re performing on each platform—track which channels have the most followers, which types of posts get people donating, etc. The results will help you make accurate, data-driven decisions about where to shift your resources.

2. Balance donation requests with great content ⚖️

Social media users expect captivating narratives, facts, testimonials, images, videos, and fun challenges—not daily or hourly requests to donate or buy tickets. 

In other words, you’ll need to blend in a little to get the most out of your social media fundraising efforts. Aim to strike a balance between relevant, eye-grabbing content and your fundraising appeal.

A great rule of thumb is the 70-20-10 rule:

  • 70% of the time: Share content that highlights your campaign or brand, attracts people to your cause, and informs or excites your audience.
  • 20% of the time: Share content from other sources, like educational institutions, other nonprofit organizations, and people who benefit from your cause.
  • 10% of the time: Share promotional content, like requests to donate, buy a ticket,  or join your monthly giving program.

🚀 See it in action: The Journey, a video series by charity: water, has racked up hundreds of thousands of views. Each video takes viewers to the countries where their clean water donations are making a difference.

3. Put your supporters in the driver’s seat 🚗

One of the biggest benefits of social media fundraising is that you’re tapping into a network of real, connected people. So, don’t just share your story—give your social media followers concrete ways to take an active role in your strategy.

Create fundraisers, programs, and resources that take advantage of the fun, community-based nature of social media. Here are some of the most common tools and ideas:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising 👯 Supporters can create personal fundraising pages and collect donations on behalf of your cause (think birthday fundraisers or marathon pledges!).
  • Brand ambassadors 📣 Assemble your top supporters—the ones who are the first to like, share, and comment on your posts—and invite them to become stewards of your cause. 
  • Crowdfunding 💸 Launch a crowdfunding campaign and have your supporters share the campaign page on social media to help broaden your reach.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of social media fundraising, let’s explore some ways you can bring these ideas to life.

8 amazing social media fundraising ideas 💭

We’ve rounded up a quick list of fundraising social media posts and campaigns that are ready-made to drive engagement, build off trends and hot topics, and get eyes on your donation page.

1. Host a livestream or virtual event 👀

While in-person events are still popular, live virtual events really took off during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to be a powerful tool for social media fundraising. Try an expert webinar, gaming tournament, speed dating night, movie online auction, or virtual happy hour.

2. Jump on a trending hashtag 👻

Hashtags clue you into emerging trends, letting you get in on the conversation, introduce yourself to new donors, and fundraise with ease. Make sure your message and call-to-action are relevant to the hashtag so people aren’t confused why you’re posting.

3. Kick off a social media challenge 💥

Ever heard of the #IceBucketChallenge? The wacky, ice-cold dare raised over $115 million in 2014. Ask your followers to do something funny, challenging, or crazy, post evidence to social media, and tag their friends to participate and donate. Don’t forget a hashtag to go with it!

4. Partner with a social media influencer 📣

Ask celebrities, influencers, and experts to contribute funds, match donations, spread the word, promote your fundraiser, donate products, and more. You can even do a social media takeover, where your cause “takes over” their profile, including their cover photo, profile picture, and social media posts.

5. Slide into the DMs 💬

While social media is great for sharing your message with a large audience, it’s hard to beat a personalized, one-on-one request to donate. If you’ve got the resources, send direct messages (DMs) to each potential donor on your social media channels.

6. Hold a photo or video contest 📷

Call for photo and video submissions, and then have people donate on your campaign page to vote for their favorites. A contest sets you up for a ton of organic engagement (likes, comments, questions) and the visual element helps you stand out in everyone’s news feed. 

7. Set up donation matching 👥

Donation matches let you double or triple your funds without increasing your workload or online fundraising costs. On social media, a donation match can add credibility to your campaign and give it a boost if donations start to lag.

8. Integrate with an all-in-one fundraising platform 🧈

We’ve got one more fundraising tip: Use Givebutter's powerful fundraising tools to centralize all of your marketing and engagement efforts and raise funds like a pro.

With peer-to-peer fundraising, social media-style supporter feeds, popular payment methods, and so much more, Givebutter is the best (and highest rated!) choice for changemakers looking to supercharge their social media fundraising efforts. 

It’s free to sign up—create your account and start raising money today!

Get started
Set up your peer-to-peer fundraiser for free in just a few minutes →

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