3 Tips for Fundraising on Social Media

Donations are essential for the success of many organizations, especially nonprofits. But with the cost of PPC ads and marketing campaigns, it can be difficult to get your organization’s name out in front of potential donors and reach your fundraising goals. That’s where social media marketing for fundraising comes in.

Social media marketing is a simple, often free form of fundraising.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to put in the work. Without a clear strategy in place, your social media marketing campaign might not work for you.

That’s why we wanted to share some tips to help optimize your social media marketing campaign and meet your fundraising goals.

1. Find Your Social Platforms

First and foremost, before you start your fundraising campaign, you need to figure out which social media platforms will be the most effective for your organization.

There are a variety of platforms that can be used for fundraising, and each one attracts a different audience. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular platforms, their demographics, and the kind of content that performs best on each.

Facebook

As of January 2020, Facebook has 2.5 billion monthly users. It is the 3rd most visited website in the world, behind only Google and YouTube. Around 1.95 million Facebook users can be reached by Facebook ads.

Demographics

graph of facebook demographics based on age and gender
Source: Hootsuite

*Note: Male & female are the only genders listed on Facebook at this time

Facebook users range in age from 13 years old to 65+ years old. Adults ages 25 to 34, both male and female, make up the largest group of users. The more detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • Of 13-17-year-old users, 2.5% are female, and 3.1% are male.
  • In the 18-24 age group, 10% of users are female, and 14% are male.
  • The largest group, 25-34-year-olds, is 13% female, and 19% male.
  • Of the 35 to 44-year-old group, 7.6% are female, 9.5% are male.
  • Within the 45-54 age group, 5% are female, and 5.4% are male.
  • In the 55-64 age group, 3.2% of users are female, and 2.9% are male.
  • The oldest age group, 65+ year-old users, consists of 2.3% female users, and 2.1% male users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to adults between age 18 and 34, Facebook is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards people ages 13-17, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

People spend an average of 11 minutes and 26 seconds on Facebook per visit. 79% of users visit Facebook only from their phones, while 19% visit Facebook from both a phone and computer, and 1.9% visit only from a computer.

Video is by far the best-performing kind of social content on Facebook. Videos on Facebook have an average engagement rate of 6.09%, followed by photos at 4.42%.

Page posts average an engagement rate of 3.39%, and page link posts average a 2.72% engagement rate. Status updates come in last place for engagement, with an average engagement rate of 1.44%.

These are very important things to consider, because it could change the way that you create Facebook-specific content.

Since people tend to spend quite a bit of time on Facebook, you may have more time to get your message across here than you would on other platforms. If you’re creating an ad campaign that only works on desktops or laptops, chances are you’re missing out on potential views, clicks, and conversions. Or, if you were to develop a social media marketing strategy that focuses on page links and status updates, your campaign would be a lot less likely to receive good engagement. Try creating meaningful videos, both on your Facebook feed and in Facebook stories and live video streams.

Instagram

Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly users. Of these 1 billion, around 928.5 million can be reached via Instagram ads. Additionally, 92% of all Instagram users say that they’ve either followed a brand, visited a brand’s website, or purchased a product after seeing an advertisement for a product or service on Instagram.

demographics

instagram 2020 demographics based on age group and gender
Source: Hootsuite

*Note: Male & female are the only genders listed on Instagram at this time

Instagram’s user base is skewed pretty heavily towards young adults. Like Facebook, 25-34 year olds make up the largest group at 35% of total users. However, 18-24 year olds are close behind at 30%. The more detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • Within the 13 to 17 year old age group, 3.1% of users are female, and 3% are male.
  • Of 18-24 year old users, 14% are female, and 16% are male.
  • The largest group, 25-34-year-olds, is 17% female, and 18% male.
  • In the 35 to 44-year-old group, 9.1% of users are female, and 7.4% are male.
  • Of users ages 45-54, 4.6% are female, and 3.2% are male.
  • In the 55-64 age group, 2% of users are female, and 1.2% are male.
  • The oldest age group, 65+ year-old users, consists of 1.1% female users, and 0.8% male users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to adults between age 18 and 34, Instagram is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards people age 55 and up, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

People spend around 6 minutes and 35 seconds on Instagram per visit. 500 million Instagram users open Instagram stories and the explore page each month. #Instagood is the second most popular hashtag of all time, only behind the #love.

Video is also the best-performing kind of content on Instagram. On average, video posts have a 1.87% engagement rate, and photo posts have a 1.11% average engagement rate.

These are very important things to consider, because it could change the way that you create Instagram-specific content.

Using hashtags can help your social media campaign be seen by more users (And, as a nonprofit, #Instagood easily applies to you!). Instagram users typically spend less time on the website than Facebook, so you have less time to present your content to them. Additionally, posts of all kinds receive far less engagement, so you want to be sure that your content is eye-catching enough to make a user stop their scrolling and take a look. Try your hand at video content as well, as it performs better than photo posts. You may even want to get into Instagram stories and live videos to help draw more attention to your feed.

Twitter

Twitter continues to grow (up 21% year-over-year as of 2020), and currently has around 150 million monetizable daily users. This means that about 150 billion people log on to Twitter daily, and can be reached by advertisements.

demographics

twitter demographics based on age group and gender
Source: Hootsuite

Twitter users are most likely to be men, and they are most often between the ages of 25 and 49. Once again, 25-34 year olds make up the largest group, totaling 29% of users. Twitter is one of the few social media platforms that has more users that are 50+ years old than users who are between 13 and 17 years old. The more detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • Of those in the 13 to 17 year old age group, 4.7% of users are female, and 4.9% are male.
  • In the 18-24 year old age group, 12% are female, and 12% are male.
  • The largest group, 25-34-year-olds, is 10% female, and 19% male.
  • Of users ages 35-49, 7% of users are female, and 16% are male.
  • The oldest age group, 50+ year-old users, consists of 5.1% female users, and 9.9% male users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to male adults between age 25 and 49, Twitter is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards people age 17 or younger, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

Twitter users prefer brands that are transparent, inclusive, and culturally relevant. Users spend an average of 10 minutes and 22 seconds on Twitter per visit. Additionally, Twitter users tend to spend more time hovering over advertisements than users on other platforms (around 24% longer).

Tweets with hashtags receive 100% more engagement, and tweets with video receive 10x more engagement.

From these statistics, we can gather that hashtags and videos are a must for social media marketing on Twitter. It’s also important that your nonprofit can present itself in an authentic, knowledgeable organization. You will need to create content that is timely and speaks directly to your target audience. Take a look at what your target audience tweets about, when they’re active on Twitter, the hashtags they use, and the accounts they follow. You may be able to find a tone of voice and a posting schedule that will optimize your social strategy.

YouTube

YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, behind only Google. 2 billion users visit YouTube every month, not included users who are not logged in to a registered YouTube account. In the United State alone in 2020, YouTube stands to make $5.5 billion in advertising revenue.

demographics

youtube demographics 2020 based on age group and gender
Source: Sprout Social

YouTube users are on the younger side. The largest group of YouTube users is made up of 18-29 year olds. However, 81% of all internet users between the age of 15 and 25 use YouTube. 45% of YouTube users are women, and 55% are men. The more detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • 85% of YouTube users are between 13 and 17 years old.
  • The largest group, 18-24 year olds, make up 91% of YouTube users.
  • 30-49 year olds make up 87% of YouTube users- the second largest group.
  • 70% of YouTube users are between 50 and 64 years old.
  • The oldest age group, 65+ year-old users, make up only 38% of total YouTube users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to college-age students and young adults, YouTube is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards people age 65 or older, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

People around the world watch 1 billion hours of content on YouTube each day. On average, users visit YouTube for around 23 minutes. 70% of all of this watch time occurs on mobile devices.

Of course we all know that YouTube is about video. But there are multiple ways that you can use video to fundraise for your nonprofit. You can advertise before or during videos. You could create a how-to video or a visual story about your organization. You may even decide to collaborate with other users or subscribers/commenters.

However you decide to market yourself on YouTube, you need to be sure that you’re creating content that is relevant to your target users. Take a look at what they’re watching, and try to create content that would logically flow from those videos. 70% of what YouTube users watch is determined by the YouTube algorithm, so relevancy is key.

TikTok

TikTok is fairly new on the social media marketing scene, but it’s fast-growing. In fact, TikTok is the most downloaded app of 2020 so far. It is the sixth-largest social media platform, with around 800 million monthly users.

demographics

tiktok demographics 2020 based on age group
Source: Hootsuite

TikTok is well-known for its popularity with teenage users. And while a large amount of users are between age 13 and 17, 18 to 24 year olds actually make up the biggest group of monthly users. The more detailed break down is as follows:

  • 13 and 17 year olds make up 27% of TikTok users- the second largest group.
  • The largest group, 18-24 year olds, make up 42% of TikTok users.
  • 16% of TikTok users are between 25-34 years old.
  • 8% of TikTok users are between 35 and 44 years old.
  • TikTok users between ages 45 and 54 years old make up 3% of monthly users.
  • The oldest age group, 55+ year-old users, make up 4% of monthly TikTok users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to high school and college-age students, TikTok is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards people age 35 or older, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

TikTok users spend around 46 minutes per day on the site. 64% of users have used TikTok’s face filters or lenses, and about 35% have participated in some kind of challenge. According to TikTok, about 16% of all videos are linked to a hashtag challenge.

So, what can we take away here? Well, users spend quite a bit of time on TikTok, almost double the amount of time they spend on YouTube. That means that your organization has quite a bit of time to be found by new users.

However, due to the quick nature of TikTok videos and the endless scroll of the For You Page, your content itself needs to be eye-catching right away. You can try to participate in dance trends, hashtag challenges, or popular video formats. Take a look at trending hashtags and sounds, and see if your organization can reasonably fit into them. Of course, it’s also important to create content that is unique to you and represents your nonprofit, but participating in trends can get your foot in the door with TikTok’s millions of users. (P.S., take a look at our post on TikTok marketing for even more tips!)

LinkedIn

Now, you might be thinking “LinkedIn? That’s for business, not social media marketing!” But we’re here to tell you that LinkedIn can be a very valuable tool for getting yourself out in front of potential donors. And yes, it actually is a social media platform! In fact, LinkedIn has over 650 million monthly users, and the platform gains two new members every second.

demographics

linkedin 2020 demographics based on age group and gender
Source: Hootsuite

The majority of LinkedIn users are young adults between ages 25 and 34. 57% of users are men, and 43% are women. The more detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • Of those in the 18 to 24 year old age group, 8.1% of users are female, and 11% are male.
  • The largest group, 25-34-year-olds, is 10% female, and 19% male.
  • In the 35-54 year old age group, 6.7% are female, and 10% are male.
  • The oldest age group, 55+ year-old users, consists of 1.1% female users, and 2.2% male users.

You want to take demographics into consideration, because they may affect the platforms you are on and the kind of content you produce. If you’re looking to appeal to male adults between age 25 and 54, YouTube is probably a great place for you to try social media marketing for fundraising. On the other hand, if your organization is catered more towards women age 55 or older, you might want to look at other social platforms.

content

There are 30 million companies on LinkedIn. 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing, and 62% of B2B marketers say that LinkedIn generates leads. That’s twice as many leads as any other social platform.

While LinkedIn is a professional platform, it can still be used for social media marketing. You may just have to change the way you create your content.

Instead of photos and hashtags, it may be better to create short stories about your organization, and post them directly to your LinkedIn feed. You may also want to consider sharing news, blog posts, and other content straight from your website. Lastly, it can be helpful to reach a greater audience by encouraging donors, employees, and volunteers to share content from your organization. 30% of a company’s LinkedIn engagement comes from their employees, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

2. Create a Content Calendar

Once you’ve figured out which social media platform (or platforms) are best for your organization, you need to create a content calendar.

A fundraising campaign takes work, and you want to be sure that you know exactly what is being shared, where it’s being shared, and when it’s being shared. Content calendars will provide you and your marketing team with a visual guide to platforms, content, and posting schedules.

This keeps your campaign consistent across platforms, and can help you prepare for a potential influx of messages, website visitors, or transactions. Let’s take a look at an example calendar.

content calendar template

On this calendar, you can add or delete the social media platforms that you’ll be using for your fundraising campaign. You can also customize the kind of content that you want to share on each platform, and how often you want to share. For example, if you want to share one video a week on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can write down your video caption, hashtags, and note which campaign it applies to. Of course, you can get a little bit more complicated with it, and add in more platforms, more posting times, and more kinds of content to mix it up.

No matter what kind of content you choose to post, what platforms you decide to use, and when you post your content, a calendar will show you what that content looks like. Does it look consistent? Are there enough posts? Are there too many posts?

It will probably take some time to get your social media marketing strategy and content calendar down pat, but don’t worry! As time goes along, you’ll figure out what you do and do not like to see on your social platforms, how you want to present yourself and speak to your audience, and what kind of content is receiving engagements and leading to donations.

Here are some other things we suggest you add to your content planning strategy.

  • A set day or days for creating content and adding it to your calendar. Make sure this is at least a week before your posts are scheduled so that you have time to look over it and make edits.
  • A folder with all necessary content for your social media posts. It may be helpful to have a folder for each year, with subfolders for each month and social platform (but your organization style is up to you!).
  • A scheduling and posting tool. Platforms like Buffer, Hubspot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite will publish your content directly to social media platforms. Once you fill out your calendar, you can move your content into the scheduling platform, and voila, you’ve got posts going up on social media automatically.

3. Tell Your Story

Your story is what draws people in. It’s what makes your nonprofit organization unique. It helps potential donors understand you as a brand, and how their donations will make a difference.

Let’s take a look at some examples of storytelling on different social media platforms.

UNICEF- Instagram

UNICEF Instagram feed

UNICEF’s Instagram account does a great job of storytelling. Each post provides an inside look into the work they are doing and the lives that they are changing. The faces of children and photos of devastating surroundings draw in viewers. They create emotion. UNICEF tells a story that may not be relatable to many, but that shows how all donations can make a difference for a real person.

Girl Scouts- Twitter

girl scouts twitter account

The Girl Scouts Twitter account is another example of storytelling, but it’s a little bit different than UNICEF. Girl Scouts use Twitter to tell the stories of their members, both past and present. For example, they’ve shared photos of nurses with their Girl Scout cookies and thank you notes, as well as articles about Girl Scout alumni who are working to change the world. They also share news updates, such as the pinned tweet shown above, announcing 24 new badges that will be used to help Girl Scouts explore STEM careers. It’s very easy to see how making a donation to the Girl Scouts could make a difference in a girl’s life or even the lives of others.

National Geographic Society- Facebook

national geographic society facebook page

The National Geographic Society’s Facebook page shares their story in a variety of ways. They often use videos and photos to tell very detailed stories about nature and history. These videos are eye-catching and informational, perfect for attracting attention and potential conversions. There is a great variety in the content of the photos and videos, which makes it easy to keep scrolling through their page and reading about their work. Each post is intriguing and shows that a donation could fund something exciting or world-changing.

Habitat for Humanity- YouTube

habitat for humanity youtube channel

Habitat for Humanity’s YouTube channel is our last example of storytelling social media content. Their channel’s home page has a bio with information on how you can help, coupled with a video that shows the difference that their organization makes in the real world. Their other videos are all about the work that they’ve done and how it’s helped families and communities. These videos present Habitat for Humanity’s cause and show viewers how their donations can make change happen.

How You Can Start Social Media Marketing for Fundraising

Now, before you take off and start your own social media marketing campaign, let’s review some key takeaways.

  1. Research your social platforms. It is absolutely essential that you are marketing your nonprofit organization on the right platform(s). Take a look at the demographics of each social platform, and decide which best matches your target audience. Figure out which kind of content performs best, and discuss whether you have the tools necessary to create that kind of content. Make sure you know how to present your organization and engage with your audience. Without researching social media platforms, you may not be optimizing your nonprofit’s fundraising campaign.
  2. Use a content calendar. A content calendar will keep you organized and consistent. You can customize a calendar with the different social platforms you want to use, the frequency with which you’ll be posting, and the kind of content you’re sending out. A content calendar will also give you an overview of your content, which can help you decide whether you’re posting with a consistent, curated presence.
  3. Be a storyteller. Stories have been connecting people in since the beginning of time. Your story will help draw in potential donors and show them who you are, what you do, and how they can help you make a difference. Think about how your story is best told, whether through video, articles, photos, or a combination of different forms of content.

If you’re still not sure how to get started on social media marketing for fundraising, we can help! Just get in touch with us– we’d be happy to help you meet your fundraising goals.

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