Whether it’s your yearly gala or a small fundraising event, you want to make sure your using social media to get the word out. If you leverage social media correctly you can increase attendance and ultimately the amount you are able to raise. If you are feeling a little hesitant, don’t sweat it, we have compiled a list of 8 best practices to ensure that you are using social media to its fullest.
1. Make a Facebook Event
The Facebook Event is all the rage nowadays. People use it for everything from birthday parties to sporting events. Creating a Facebook Event for your fundraiser is a great way to share your event via social media. Facebook Events allow you to make your event public or private so you can tailor it to your organization’s needs. Something to keep in mind, however, is that many people RSVP interested or yes to events they are invited to but may not end up attending. We recommend linking to a separate signup page in your Facebook Event so you can weed out those who aren’t really planning on coming. If you do this just make it clear that RSVPing on Facebook is not the same as signing up for the event!
2. Send out a save the date email and follow up
Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead, in fact, many studies have shown that it is still growing. Start out by sending a “save the date” email a few months in advance to alert your supporters that there is a fundraising event on the books. Once registration is available send out another email inviting your supporters to sign up. A third email should go out a week before your event serving both as a reminder to those who have already registered as well as prompting those who have not signed up to do so. Finally, send an email the day before your event including the time and location of the event as people tend to forget this information. It may seem overbearing but people forget that they have registered to attend fundraising events and continuing to remind them with friendly emails ensures that they come!
3. Get your board members to share with their networks
Your board members’ social networks are likely the most lucrative pool of potential donors your organization has. You want to utilize this. Your board members should use the same email marketing structure above with their own personal and professional networks. In addition, ask them to share on their own social media accounts. Don’t feel shy about asking, board members are there to help you raise money!
4. Create a hashtag for your event
Getting your event trending is a great way to boost your event’s online visibility. Start using your hashtag before the actual event while promoting it. Also encourage event attendees, staff members and board members to use the hashtag when discussing the event on social media before, during and after.
5. When people are signing up give them a “share” option
If you have people registering for your event using an online form make sure there is a share option after they have finished. Who doesn’t want to show their twitter followers that they are attending an event for a good cause?!
6. Give away free tickets on social media
If your fundraising event has tickets, especially expensive tickets like a gala, give away some for free! Consider creating a contest on social media. For example, the 20th person who comments on your post gets tickets. This is a fun way to get your event more exposure and get people excited for it in general.
7. Diversify your posts
People are less likely to interact with your post if they’ve seen it a million times before. Mix up what you are posting. Share a story about a specific time your organization has had an impact or create a video of your staff getting ready. If the social media content promoting your event is fun and interactive, more people are going to click on it leading to higher attendance.
8. Share media content from your event after it has taken place
Many times organizations forget to share all of the great pictures and videos that were taken at their event. You want all the people who were unable to attend to make an effort to come the following year! ALSO share the amount of money that was raised! You want people to see that your event was successful!
A fundraising event can be extremely stressful for your nonprofit’s management and staff since its responsible for a large portion of your funding. But by using social media for promotion you can greatly improve its success. You are able to reach new audiences and get people excited for the event before it even happens. If you have other tips for using social media to promote fundraising events or any questions please comment below, we love hearing from you!