By Julia Campbell, a social media and storytelling consultant for nonprofits and author of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits. She regularly provides useful tips and resources to the nonprofit sector through her blog, #501SocialBlog.
Year-end giving is a vital piece of the nonprofit fundraising puzzle, and the time when many organizations reap the harvest of the fundraising seeds they have sown all year long.
Some year-end giving statistics:
- 30% of all annual donations occur in December
- 12% of annual donations occurs on the last three days of the year
- 28% of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of their annual funds from the year-end ask.
In addition to overall giving increasing these next two months, the number of your donors giving online and via social media channels is growing.
Last year online giving increased 23%, after 15% growth in 2016 – and experts say it’s poised to increase even more this year. Social media powerhouses Facebook and YouTube have rolled out new fundraising tools for nonprofits and individuals, to make it even easier to connect with supporters and drive donations at year-end.
It’s not too late to incorporate online and social media fundraising into your fundraising plans.
Here are 5 ways that you can use social media to raise even more money at year-end.
1) Ask your supporters to create Facebook Fundraisers for you.
Over $300 million in donations have been raised via Facebook Fundraisers since the roll-out of that tool last year. That number includes thousands of people who had never donated via social media before becoming donors!
The popularity and ubiquity of Facebook Fundraisers represent a fundamental shift in fundraising, as well as indicate an increased trust of giving via social media sites.
Facebook Fundraisers leverage two realities of human nature:
- We want instant gratification and we want things to be extremely easy to accomplish. It’s incredibly simple to give money to a Facebook Fundraiser – just donate in two taps without leaving the platform.
- We give to what we know. Two-thirds of donors who make gifts do no research before giving. Instead, they give to organizations they are familiar with, or that are recommended by friends and family.
Your supporters may not know that you are set up and ready to accept donations via Facebook. Don’t assume that they know what to do, or that they know that it’s an encouraged option.
Send out a series of communications letting them know that it’s safe, secure, and easy, and that by reaching out to their family and friends, they will be able to make even a greater impact at year-end than simply making a one-time gift.
2) Explore YouTube Giving Tools.
YouTube recently announced a new suite of fundraising tools to a small group of select U.S nonprofits. They are also covering the processing fees, much like Facebook does.
The first step to getting access to YouTube Giving is to make sure you sign up for the Google for Nonprofits Program – it’s free and will give you access to a variety of helpful online tools.
Once you have been accepted, and once YouTube Giving tools are rolled out to all 501c3 nonprofits (expected in the coming weeks), you can set up a Fundraiser to encourage donations when people watch your YouTube videos.
Hope For Paws has already raised $262K using YouTube Giving tools. They have a Fundraiser set up under their video, on the right-hand side of the page, that shows progress towards the goal, the total dollar amount raised, and what the money goes towards.
YouTube is building on Google findings that online video is the most influential source in driving donations. In their 2013 study, they found that some 57% of people who watch a video for a nonprofit go on to make a donation!
3) Create strategic Facebook Ads.
My biggest piece of advice to nonprofits at year-end is not to spend money reaching complete strangers.
Target your Facebook Ads to your current donors or your current email list, website visitors, and social media followers – people who have raised their hand to say “yes I am interested and I may want to get more involved.”
When creating a Facebook Ad for a year-end campaign, it’s imperative to have an eye-catching visual and a specific call-to-action.
To raise even more money, give a suggested amount, such as the Greater Boston Food Bank did in this ad:
4) Use sponsored Instagram posts.
As of June 2018, there are nearly 1 billion monthly active users of Instagram.
Interestingly, Instagram was the second most popular social network after Facebook for donors on #GivingTuesday 2017. A study by Frontstream found that “Instagram sent more individual donors to donation forms than Twitter, had a higher donation conversion rate, and the resulting gifts were of a higher average value.”
There are two main ways to share a link to an outside web page (like your donate page) on Instagram. One is to change the link in your Instagram bio and encourage people to click on it by writing “click the link in bio” in your captions.
The other and more impactful way is to use Instagram sponsored posts. In these posts, you can add a call-to-action button like “Donate” or “Shop” that leads directly to your site.
If you have an engaged audience on Instagram, encouraging them to donate at year-end by promoting specific posts can get real results. Since Instagram sponsored posts are managed via the Facebook Ad platform, you can target a similar audience or A/B test different audiences for maximum impact.
5) Raise money using Facebook Live.
Did you know that individual Facebook profiles AND nonprofit Facebook Pages can add the donate button to their Facebook livestreams?
The Humane Society frequently goes live from the field to showcase the impact of their work and to bring supporters behind-the-scenes. They use the donate button to raise money as they broadcast live, and to encourage donations once the livestream has concluded:
Guest Blogger Bio: Julia Campbell has run her digital marketing consulting business for almost a decade, focused exclusively on mission-driven organizations. A mom of 2 and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she is the author of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, a call-to-action for nonprofits to use stories to accomplish their missions. Her passion is to get nonprofits of all sizes to stop spinning their wheels on social media and to start getting real results using digital tools. You can check out her website at: jcsocialmarketing.com/blog.