Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

Online Fundraising Academy: Building a Donor Community on Facebook

In GlobalGiving’s seventh session of the Online Fundraising Academy, Emily Bell, the Marketing & Development Manager for More Than Me, joined us to share tips and recommendations for building and engaging your network on Facebook. With more than 26,000 fans on Facebook, it’s not uncommon for a post on More Than Me’s page to receive 200 likes, several dozen shares, and handful of comments. Keep reading to learn how the organization effectively taps into this hyper-engaged Facebook network to drive action and donations during campaigns and promotions.

Session Recording: http://www.meetingburner.com/b/globalgiving/view_recording?c=TUMPMX&h=f

Session Notes:

More Than Me:

  • More Than Me is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
  • From the beginning More Than Me (MTM) has been very social media-based, and started out by sharing stories on various social media platforms. Sharing compelling stories of beneficiaries and program updates, MTM invites donors to understand what it means to live for something bigger than one’s self.
  • In 2014, MTM won $1 million through the Chase American Giving Award, all because of its supporters who spread the word on Facebook and other social media.

Tips and Best Practices:

  • Find out what your audience likes and stick to it! For MTM it was visuals, such as photos, videos, and infographics.
  • Find what your brand is and then keep it as part of your outreach strategy.
  • Make your donors feel special! Whether it’s shout out signs or personalized thank you notes, help your donors to reconnect with the mission, and remind them they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Tell real stories, even if they’re longer than 2 sentences.
    • When Ebola impacted Liberia, MTM made a decision to close their school and instead work to fight Ebola. Although visuals are powerful, MTM found that telling  compelling stories of what was happening on the ground with an authentic voice was just as powerful.

Using Facebook Insights to Design an Effective Strategy:

  • Go to your organization’s Facebook page, click on the admin tools, and then click on the insights tab. From here you can see what is and isn’t working in terms of your Facebook communications and outreach.
  • Learn about your audience
    • Segmentations: fans, people reached, people engaged
    • Figure out how you can tailor posts so certain groups are not just reached, but also become engaged
  • When is your audience engaged?
    • When are they most active on Facebook? What times are best for posting?
    • Measure engagement for specific posts
    • Compare weekly statistics – what posts were more engaging?
    • Which type of post works best for your audience?
  • Add pages to watch – orgs with similar brands or interests – allows you to compare yourself with other pages, to see what other orgs are doing and the average level of engagement
  • Increase your organic reach (versus paid ads)
    • Post at the right times; use strong visuals (high-resolution photos, infographics, videos); be authentic – don’t just promote your brand, but be personal, showcase the people behind the brand; add calls-to-action
  • Consider posting other things aside from updates – what else is going on in the world? What are people talking about on social media? Don’t be afraid to join the conversation!

Bonus Day Strategy

  • Get key buy-in from stakeholders
    • Founder, board members, staff
    • Beneficiaries (depending on your org) – MTM works with at-risk girls and has a Child Protection Policy in place, so it’s very important to think about the safety of your beneficiaries when sharing stories online.
  • Be consistent and clear in your messaging
    • Tell these stakeholders exactly what you need from them
    • Send an email with suggested Facebook photos they can use; and include who, what, when, where details of the campaign
  • Use photos, statistics, hashtags, and events to tell your story and drive donations
    • MTM doesn’t provide the link to donate until the day of, instead, they create a Facebook event, which on the day of the event will display the project page link
  • Create a sense of urgency, momentum for donors to give
    • Keep updating status with updates, how donors can continue to help to get org to a specific goal
  • Write thank you posts following the end of the campaign!
    • MTM includes a link to the leaderboard so donors can see the results firsthand.
  • Check GlobalGiving’s traffic source, so you can see how donors got to your page.
  • Make sure someone who knows your brand and mission really well, and who can confidently start up conversations with supporters is in charge of running your day-to-day communications and social media.
    • Campaigns should be creative and fit with your brand – you don’t want just anyone doing this!
    • IT/Operations are there only there to help you with website updates or other technical needs.

Key Takeaways for Facebook Beginners:

  • Find the type of post that works for your audience, then don’t be afraid to use that angle to the fullest!
  • Remind people why they should follow you by keeping posts engaging and relevant.
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with your followers online – they care about your work and want to learn more!

Q: How do you convert Facebook visitors to donors? How can you effectively grow your Facebook network?

A: Keep your brand authentic, tell authentic stories, and pay attention to what your followers are responding to and what inspires them. Find your donor champions who will share your posts with friends and will continue to spread the word. Get your donors to engage with your content – whether it’s commenting, clicking on a link, or liking your post. Once you get your audience engaged, you then can convert them with a clear call-to-action. Take advantage of the target audience tool – where you can select a certain audience for different posts (e.g. by location or gender).

Q: How often should organizations participate in Bonus Days and other campaigns?

A: It’s important to make sure that you’re not constantly asking your donors for money. MTM always takes a look at GlobalGiving’s Campaign Calendar at the beginning of the year to decide when to do the big pushes. Consider when your organization has the capacity to do big pushes, and how often your donors are willing to give to your organization. MTM usually tries to do three or four big campaigns a year.

Tips for Bonus Day Communication:

  • Remind donors that their donations will be matched
    • Not all donors are familiar with the term Bonus Day, so make sure to explain it
  • You may decide not to provide the link to give until Bonus Day officially begins
    • If you do give the link early, recognize donors may give before 9:00:00 EDT
  • Create a sense of urgency early on
    • Don’t wait until the end of your email to talk about Bonus Day or to provide the donation link
  • Keep it brief! Have a compelling call-to-action in as few words as possible.
  • Feature a close-up, high-resolution photo
  • Tell a succinct story about an individual who will benefit
  • For May 13 Bonus Day information see here
  • For July 15 Bonus Day information see here

This post was written by Destiny Nobles, Program Team Intern. 

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