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storytelling blog

Getting started with social media fundraising

As Social Media Giving Day 2020 approaches, I’ve been reflecting on my past experiences of fundraising on social media and looking forward to kick-starting digital fundraising here at Foothold. With 3.8 billion active social media users worldwide, we need to be more social media-savvy than ever before. But there’s so many options it can be difficult to know where to begin. So, here’s my top 5 tips for getting started.


Pick the right platform

When you’re starting out, it makes sense to pick one social media platform to focus on. This is especially important if you have a small team like we do at Foothold. Start your social media fundraising on the platform where your supporters are. If they’re on Facebook, there’s no point investing lots of time and money in LinkedIn. Once you have perfected one platform, you can grow your fundraising across others.

Get integrated

Although 66% of adults in the UK are now on at least one social media platform, it doesn’t mean that other fundraising and marketing channels should be ignored. The best fundraising campaigns are integrated and multi-channel. This approach will build a bridge between online fundraising and more traditional print and direct mail, helping to get your message further with greater impact. The next challenge is to pick the right mix of channels and slice your budget accordingly.


Test, test, test

There’s no such thing as a failed test in fundraising. Testing new things on a small scale and learning what works and what doesn’t is the bedrock of fundraising. Extend this approach to social media and test different imagery and calls to action at the same time.

In my previous role at a healthcare charity, we learned that posts with images of nurses in uniform outperformed images of doctors. Our internal perceptions about what would work were often challenged and we were proved wrong. The data doesn’t lie!

Most importantly, when you strike gold and find something that’s working well, scale it up and roll it out big time.


Tell stories

Social media is perfect for storytelling which is at the heart of fundraising.  A powerful, human story can bring an issue to life and demonstrate how donations can make a real difference to someone.

Social media allows you to share stories in a variety of formats. One of my favourite social media storytelling campaigns is the Crisis Everybody In campaign which uses stories to raise awareness and challenge stereotypes about homelessness.


Keep your eye on the ball

So you have your social media campaign up and running. But now is not the time to sit back and relax. Monitor your campaign regularly. The great thing about social media fundraising is the ability to make instant changes if something’s not working (or you made a typo!)

There are lots of tools you can use to monitor your social media campaign. I like Google Data Studio for its interactive dashboard and easy sharing.

And finally, don’t forget to test and optimise your website landing pages. It’s amazing how changing simple things like the colour of a ‘donate’ or ‘sign up’ button can positively affect your results.

Every donation is important to Foothold and we welcome gifts of all shapes and sizes to help fund our work with the engineering community. You can find out more and donate here.




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