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Using Social Media in Peer to Peer Fundraisers

Much of the nuts and bolts of fundraising costs money, and expenses can impact your organization’s bottom line. Still, many successful nonprofits have enjoyed robust giving in recent years due to one relatively inexpensive method to exploit: social media.

We’ve become much more familiar with the various social media platforms recently; if the pandemic showed us anything, there is connective power to social media platforms. From the comfort of our homes, we can engage with people and organizations in our hometowns and faraway places. If you are fundraising for a nonprofit, this connectivity is one way to attract new donors, cultivate current donors, steward your donors, and, ultimately, encourage gifts from friends new and old. Through peer-to-peer social outreach, the most impactful online connections are made, just as in “real life” fundraising.

Peer-to-peer fundraising can look a few different ways. One way is by encouraging your supporters to set up their own fundraiser pages. Some fundraising software makes this easy by allowing a person to set up their own campaign. All of a sudden, their network becomes your network, too!

Understanding the Best Platform for your Organization

Another way of tapping into peer-to-peer power is through social media. How can social media help attract new donors? First, take an inventory of the social media accounts associated with your organization. Do you have a Facebook page? LinkedIn? Instagram? TikTok or Twitter? Find someone savvy within your nonprofit – or a friendly supporter – to help you determine if all of these (or some of them) are a good fit for your nonprofit’s personality and mission. Do you serve an adult client base? Facebook and Instagram might be good starting platforms for you. Does your organization help teenagers? Post to Instagram and TikTok. Perhaps a professional LinkedIn page is more in line with what you do. If so, make sure it is up to date and that you are interacting with other like-minded organizations!

Organizing Campaign Content for Donors

Once you have your platforms figured out, pushing organizational content that highlights your group’s work and mission will help you attract new friends and cultivate your loyal supporters. Think about posting entries that highlight the work you do in short sentences and compelling pictures, and think about posting on some kind of schedule. Perhaps you post about programming on Tuesdays and feature a client or member on a Thursday. Mindless posts are not compelling – make them relevant, interesting or clever, and tactical. Overwhelming the social media feed is not the goal – compelling content which drives social media users to your organization to learn more is.

Peer-to-peer social media fundraising often begins with peer-to-peer content sharing. Once you have a handle on the kinds of posts your organization will create – and when they’ll be pushed out – you must leverage the power of social media connections to help further your organization and its case for support. Encourage all of your staff and Board members to “friend” you on the various platforms, and encourage them to boost your content by sharing it with their networks. Do you have an event coming up? Be sure to get this out to your social media contacts and ask them to share it. Has a donor been particularly generous, and can you feature them in a social media post? If you can do so, “tagging” the donor will, in many instances, automatically push your content out to their networks. The reach becomes massive with the right connections.

Leveraging Peer Audiences

Cultivation and stewardship of your nonprofit’s loyal supporters are very easy on social media. Pictures and words of gratitude or recognition are simple to post and can demonstrate your organization’s impact far beyond the reach of any email or mailing list.

Finally, social media’s usefulness in fundraising cannot be overstated. Create virtual events that allow friends to RSVP and share them with their networks. Use Instagram to push out the publicity about the fundraiser – any promotional materials you may have or can create – to manufacture some “buzz” about the event. Utilize TikTok to showcase aspects of the fundraiser: perhaps highlight a program that the fundraiser will benefit or a behind-the-scenes of the event planning. There is no need to restrain creativity – give viewers a reason to return to your site, your event, and your nonprofit!

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