From our new Lift series: A collaboration between Facebook and expert, nonprofit marketers who have developed unique and effective strategies for helping nonprofits create impact.
Here at M+R, we’re passionate about helping nonprofits make the world a better place. It’s one reason we crunch millions of data points to create the M+R Benchmarks Study each year, a guide for trends in nonprofit marketing, fundraising, social media, and more.
Informed by our benchmark study, here are 7 tips for raising money for your nonprofit through Facebook this giving season:
1. Build your community
Before you ask for donations, you should first build a loyal following on Facebook. Does your audience respond positively to your posts? Are you providing value and listening to your community? If the answer to these is yes, you’re ready for the next step!
2. Ask directly
The #1 mistake nonprofits make is assuming their supporters will open their wallets without asking, but that just isn’t true. Don’t be shy! Your supporters care about your cause as much as you do, and they want to know how they can help. So just ask.
3. Balance asks with more engaging content
We promise that the best way to get people to give is to ask them, but you still need to balance your fundraising asks with bread-and-butter content you know your audience loves. Interesting news articles, beautiful photos, heart-warming success stories…what works will be different for every nonprofit!
4. Position donors – not your org – as the hero
Stories are a great way to inspire people to give, but be careful about sharing a story of how your organization did something great recently. When positioned with a donation ask, stories like that can actually make people think they don’t need to give, because the problem is already solved. Instead, tell a story of your work without an ending, and let your donor be the hero by making their gift.
5. Make it urgent
Have you ever seen something you wanted to do or buy on Facebook, thought “maybe later,” and then completely forgotten about it? That’s what a lot of people do when it comes to donating to causes – unless you convince them they need to give RIGHT NOW. Deadlines are great at making people feel urgency to give, as long as the deadline isn’t days away. Set lots of small deadlines with goals for how much you want to have raised to stay on track. Set reasonable goals so people feel inspired to help you reach them.
- Limited-time offers such as a matching gift opportunity or a free thank-you gift can also inspire people to donate right now. To secure a matching gift, ask one of your trusted donors, Board of Directors, or a local business if you can use their year-end gift to inspire more people to chip in for the cause.
6. Make it easy
People have big hearts, but they don’t always have lots of time. So it needs to be fast and easy to give to your organization. Facebook donation tools allow your supporters to send funds to your organization fast from their phone, without leaving Facebook, and without even getting out their wallet. BONUS: Ask people to sign up for monthly giving so they give again and again without having to even think about it.
7. Follow up
When someone donates to your fundraiser or starts a fundraiser raising money for your organization, make sure to say thank you. Remind the donor of the impact they will have. This is also a great opportunity to ask for permission to stay in touch, for example, by getting their email. Then you can include them in your email newsletter and show them their donation in action!