How to Use Social Media to Spark Donations

Offering an easy, convenient, and secure method of giving is a great first step. But what good does it do if your supporters don’t know about it? When used correctly, social media is a very effective way to spread the message, fast.

You might be saying to yourself, “But my organization already heavily relies on social media to communicate with our supporters.”

And this is true for the majority of organizations. Most everyone knows how effectively social media reaches target audiences. Whether it’s because your children won’t stop tweeting or checking Instagram on their phones–yes, even after you said no phones at the dinner table–or because of your own personal discovery of how easy it is to keep up with old friends via Facebook, you know how powerful social media is for staying connected with others.

But, are you maximizing your use of social media and utilizing it as a method to spark and receive donations? Chances are, the answer to this question is no. Or at least, not entirely.

You may stray from directly asking for donations on Facebook or Twitter for a fear of sounding like you’re selling your organization. And this fear is justified IF you approach asking in the wrong way.

People look to social media to feel more connected to your cause and receive instant updates about what you’re doing. If they wanted to donate, they know they can do so on your website right? Yes, they could. But this takes time and requires them to deviate from what they were doing. And once they get to the website, they may experience donation friction, which could also cause them to abandon the process. Don’t allow this to happen. A social media post can incorporate both an update while ALSO providing an easy and instant option for donating. Provide them with a quick link redirecting them to an easy platform they can donate from.

But how do you structure your message correctly?

It’s OK to be direct. Insert a Call to Action in your status update. Ask nicely, and be specific. Tell your story. Which event in particular are you currently fundraising for? Is there an upcoming trip you can show behind-the-scenes preparation for? Who or what specifically will donations impact? Avoid generic messages asking for donations, and always include images or videos. Most importantly, tell your supporters exactly what they need to do to help your cause. Your post should include your Text-to-Give number or provide a direct link to a mobile web donation page.

Urban Outreach Denver provides assistance programs for inner city youths in Denver, Colorado. Their summer program, Summer Camp Strong, provides meals twice a day for children whose families are on public assistance. This summer, UOD faced a budgetary shortfall. They were running low on funds to feed the children. Within 48 hours of posting a call for help (by promoting their new @Pay mobile web buttons) on their Facebook page, they received over $1,000 in donations.

“We rely heavily on social media and word of mouth to get the word out to our current and potential supporters. They need to know that we have a secure, professional and reliable giving platform for them to feel comfortable giving generously to our ministry. @Pay is how we partner with our support base to make a difference in inner city Denver.”

— Isaac Olivarez, Founder, Urban Outreach Denver

Bring your fundraising to where your supporters are. After all, a great fundraising technology is only as effective as you allow it to be. Make sure you are doing your part and use Facebook—or any social media channel—to inform and make it super easy to give!


If used correctly, social media can substantially increase fundraising efforts. The keyword here is correctly. The reason you might currently refrain from directly asking for donations on Twitter or Facebook is for the fear of sounding like an automated machine that is only interested in selling your organization. However, a balance of content and CTAs, combined with an attention to the timing of your posts will allow you to effectively use social media to accept donations. Your supporters follow you on social media because they are interested in up-to-date news about your cause, NOT because they’re looking to be hounded for donations. Make sure you structure your message correctly. Balance specific updates (that include videos and images) with CTAs, and make sure you don’t post messages asking for donations excessively as this will spam your supporters and only work against you. By following these steps, rather than turn supporters or potential supporters away, your social media efforts will drastically increase fundraising efforts, just as they did for Urban Outreach Denver. Now, all you need is a great technology to allow your donors to give just as easily as they stay connected with your organization!



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