3 ways to maximise fundraising: Tell your story, be open and be transparent

Since joining Everyclick I have visited a number of conferences on third sector social media and most recently the Institute of Fundraising Convention. Being new to field of charities and fundraising, I wanted to learn more about the sector and how to maximise supporters and donations.

It has become apparent that the most successful charities are the ones that tell their story. Donors want to know where their money has gone, who it has helped and what it has done to improve the situation. It is paramount that you keep your supporters updated on what your charity is doing to help the cause.

With the power of social media we are able to instantly share things with a dedicated audience, who have chosen to engage with us, in real time. Never before have we had this opportunity; in the blink of an eye a group of people could set up a Facebook event and help a community crisis, or create a hash tag on Twitter to raise awareness of an appeal.

For the past year social media has been murky water and has been a big mystery, ‘no one has the right answers’. The truth is, I think there is a right answer and that is- just say it how it is. If your passionate about your cause, then let this reflect in your social media.

Share your triumphs, failures, photos, thoughts and knowledge with your supporters, peers and industry. They support you for a reason, so show them what you are doing, show them where their money is going and show them what your charity is doing to help the cause. Tell your story, social media is a utility to ‘update’ people, so go ahead and update them.
Here is the top 3 charities that are getting social media right, proven in their number of followers and engagement with their supporters:

Charity:Water has over 1,350,000 followers on Twitter. They actively thank donors on twitter, share the latest news affecting their work and post a photo of the day. They reply to supporters and engage them in conversation, building relationships with their fan base.

They have a great feature on their website whereby they assign your money to specific projects, sending you the location, photos and data of the project you’re helping.

“We wanted to make the mycharity: water experience exciting and real — something we ourselves would want to be a part of.”

Help for Heroes has 52,938 followers on Twitter. They wish all their supporters good luck with their individual fundraising challenges and also congratulate them.

On Facebook they share fundraising event photos, videos and links to useful sites- creating a great donor experience.

Operation Smile has over 20,000 followers on Twitter and a very active Facebook page. They share photos of the work they are doing in foreign countries and how your money has helped.

They give regular updates and useful facts on smiling, as well as hard hitting knowledge of their cause. This coupled with links to news and information, makes their social media campaign very engaging.

  1. avatar

    Elizabeth

    25 July, 2011 at 21:17

    I just stumbled on your blog, and love the concept of give as you live. I have always had a heart for charity: water and know of an inspiring story about a 9 year old who passed away and her last wish was for contributions to her charity: water fundraiser. Read more at: http://elizabethyork.com/inspiration-from-rachel-beckwith

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