Peer-to-peer fundraising relies on your supporters as they connect with their networks organically.
Incorporating social media into P2P fundraising can amplify your fundraising efforts and tap into your supporters’ extended networks. After all, social media is a significant aspect of people’s lives. Many use it daily, as a means of connecting with friends and spreading news.
So, it’s no secret that nonprofits need to be social media savvy.
These top 10 best practices can help you solidify a social media strategy that will enhance your P2P fundraising:
- Tell a simple story to maximize shareability.
- Brand your campaign.
- Create a call to action.
- Gamify fundraising.
- Provide toolkits.
- Show results.
- Optimize for mobile.
- Engage with social media posts.
- Tie in promotions.
- Combine with other communications.
Integrating these best practices into your social media activities can help you give your individual fundraisers the right tools, support, and motivation to further your mission and message.
Every nonprofit has a story to tell. Stories resonate with people; they illustrate how those in need are being helped. In fact, telling stories helps organizations seem more human.
When it comes to P2P fundraising, your supporters need a story that can fit into a Tweet with a 140 character limit.
Pick a specific focus for your fundraising, and tell a story that’s easy for your individual fundraisers to share across social media.
Think about the key aspects of your fundraising story:
- What need is this campaign is addressing?
- Who exactly is being helped?
- How is this campaign helping?
As you answer these questions, keep in mind that effective storytelling focuses on the people that your nonprofit is helping, not your nonprofit itself.
Even if those “people” are endangered lemurs in a reservation, you want the story to focus on their needs and what they stand to gain (ex: Deforestation is taking homes away from lemurs. With your help, lemurs can be rehomed to new habitats).
Further, provide specific donation amounts that your supporters can use in their asks, and tie these numbers into your story. Ultimately, you want to show the tangible impact that each dollar amount can have.
For example: Every $25 donation will rehome one displaced lemur.
Simple, tangible goals are easy to post and share.
When it comes to branding, there are two strategies that work well across the majority of social media platforms:
Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter — they’re now a social media staple, and they work across platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
When creating your hashtag, you’ll want to:
- Keep it short. 3 words or less!
- Make it catchy. Apply alliteration or rhyme so that your hashtag sticks in everyone’s mind.
- Keep it clear. Your hashtag needs to be simple and straightforward enough to get the point across. Don’t sacrifice clarity for style.
A strong #hashtag can capture interest, spread awareness, and band your supporters together.
Another social media advantage is the ease of incorporating multimedia. Multimedia includes a mixture of text, image, video, or sound.
Creating high-quality multimedia content will encourage your supporters to share and spread the word to their networks. After all, multimedia features can provide visual or auditory impact that grabs attention on a full newsfeed.
Or, you can encourage your supporters to post their own pictures in line with your campaign brand.
You could, for example, encourage supporters to post selfies with their pets to show support for your animal shelter. As long as you remind them to include #PicsforPaws.
The key to remember is that multimedia should enhance your fundraising message. It should show people why their support matters.
In the #PicsforPaws example, posting pictures with a beloved pet shows how important animals are in many people’s lives.
While these two branding tips apply across most social media channels, you can get more specific depending on your nonprofit’s resources.
You could, for example, create Snapchat filters with your nonprofit’s name and logo.
Ultimately, you want your nonprofit to stand out on crowded social media pages. Take the time to create multimedia content and hashtags that your supporters will be excited to share.
Create a clear call to action (CTA) that people can share via their social networks. What do you want people to do?
The obvious answer is to donate or support your organization, but social media provides the unique opportunity to challenge your supporters.
Challenge them to run a mile every day until you reach your fundraising goal. Ask them to go a week without processed foods to raise awareness — and funds — for hunger.
Challenges are also useful CTAs because it can be particularly difficult to inspire action over social media. After all, liking or sharing a post can sometimes feel like taking action.
Your nonprofit should still encourage sharing (it does spread the word after all!), but remember that P2P fundraising is still about asking for donations. Incorporating a challenge as a call to action can encourage people to donate to join in on the fun.
For more information on soliciting donations over social media, check out Qgiv’s guide to Facebook asks.
One of the unique features of peer-to-peer fundraising is its ability to foster friendly competition among your supporters.
Competition can inspire people to work hard, and it can encourage more donations from friends and family members who want their campaign to come out on top.
To gamify your P2P fundraising, you can incorporate these shareable, postable ideas:
- Fundraising teams. Teams hold each member accountable and allow members to offer each other help and support with their fundraising.
- Leaderboards. Leaderboards show the top individual fundraisers. Your supporters may compete for the number one spot and push each other to raise more.
- Badges. You can offer badges for each milestone that a campaign reaches. Your supporters can then share their badges on social media to commemorate their progress.
To further intensify the competition, you can offer additional incentive for your top individual fundraisers.
For example, you could allow the top individual fundraiser to see the impact of their work in-action, or you could incorporate their name into a specific service.
Gamifying fundraising not only promotes a fun giving environment, but it can motivate both your individual fundraisers and their social networks to raise more.
P2P fundraising allows supporters to connect with their networks in their own unique way.
You don’t want to stifle your individual fundraisers’ creativity; after all, the more organic their social media presence feels, the more likely they are to reach people in their networks.
That said, providing your individual fundraisers with toolkits will keep your message consistent. You want your campaign to be recognizable and clear. Some standardization can help.
Your toolkit should include:
- Background information. Keep it short and sweet, but do provide specific details about the people and communities that the fundraising campaign will help and how the funds will be used.
- Suggested copy. Outline sample posts that supporters’ can copy and paste. Keep the templates short but informative. Include the names of the people or communities that will be helped.
- High-quality images. Provide images and names of the people your nonprofit has helped or will help. Supporters can pair the images with their posts to create visual impact.
- Posting calendar. There’s no need to get technical, but you can provide a calendar of suggested posting dates and times to help participants maximize their social reach.
Ultimately, toolkits should empower people to help themselves!
While your supporters are reaching out to their networks, you’ll need to keep your own social media game strong.
Posting regular updates on your fundraising campaign provides your supporters with material that they can share. But even more so, showing your campaign’s success builds trust with your audience.
If your supporters can see that their P2P fundraising is making a tangible difference, then they’re more likely to see the value of fundraising for your nonprofit.
Furthermore, showing your successes can inspire participants to keep working toward larger goals — and attract newcomers as they see what they can be a part of.
To create the best social media success posts, follow these tips:
- Be personal. One $50 donation helped Annie the dog find a new home. Just look at that heartwarming picture of Annie sitting in her new owner’s lap.
- Highlight top individual fundraisers. Jill fundraised $300 over her goal! She says her strategy is to never take no for an answer. Thank you for your support, Jill!
- Stoke the flames. We are incredibly excited to have reached our halfway point in our overall fundraising goal. We’re so close to saving our coral reefs — are you ready to ramp up your fundraising to take us there?
Posting results as they occur shows supporters how their funds are actively being used to create a positive difference.
According to this Booster resource, “over 91% of American adults are on at least one form of social media per day.”
Social media is huge, and one of the most common methods of accessing Facebook and Twitter is pulling that handy smart phone out of your pocket and checking your feed on-the-go.
That’s why it’s vital that your P2P fundraising is mobile friendly.
Personal fundraising pages need to be optimized for mobile devices (of course, your nonprofit’s entire website should also be mobile-ready).
Big, easy-to-use donation buttons are a necessity. Sharing buttons must also be large and easy to click on.
The more convenient your mobile donation forms are, the more naturally supporters can integrate giving into their daily lives.
Plus, individual participants can share their personal fundraising pages in person anytime, anywhere — as long as they have their mobile devices.
Your supporters are on the web, fundraising far and wide to their peers.
Now is the time to engage with your supporters to show them that your nonprofit values their work.
To do so:
- Share and like your participants’ posts. Doing so shows them that you support and are paying attention to the work that they’re doing. If your supporters feel like valued contributors, then they’ll be all the more eager to keep fundraising!
- Comment on posts. Thank participants for their support, using their names (i.e. Thanks, Sharon!). The comments can be that simple. After all, short communications are the flavor of modern day social media.
- Respond to any questions and concerns. You want to respond as quickly as possible, but your primary goal should be accuracy.
Keeping your interactions simple, concise, and personal will help prevent your organization from sounding like a robot.
To engage your followers organically, you can follow these Socialfish Twitter tips — after all, similar principles will apply across your social media platforms.
Keeping an eye on social media posts will help you communicate effectively and efficiently.
Tying promotions into your P2P fundraising can add more impact to social media posts and diversify the content you’re producing. Further, promotions allow your supporters to engage with their networks in a different way.
For example, you can incorporate specific fundraising products that supporters can purchase to support your cause. Products can incentivize donations and attract attention from supporters’ networks.
But even more so, products take your social media fundraising and amplify it. People can take pictures with your products and post them, or they can simply wear or use them in their daily lives to spread awareness and inspire action.
Custom t-shirts with your nonprofit’s name and logo, for example, can be paired with P2P fundraising. Any time your supporters wear their shirts, they’re spreading the word about your nonprofit offline.
Of course, they can also post pictures wearing their shirts to entice their social media connections to give. Encourage your supporters to tag your nonprofit in these pics, and then like and share their posts to generate buzz!
Or, you can reach out to sponsors. Sponsors can share your fundraising campaign on their own social media pages, spreading your message to their networks.
Presenting social media as an important aspect of your P2P fundraising campaign can encourage your supporters to get on board. After all, not every supporter will be comfortable using social media to solicit donations.
But combining social media with your other communications can show all of your supporters the valuable opportunities that social media provides.
Post your hashtag on print advertisements. Provide links to your most shared video in your emails. You can even provide a call to action in your communications that encourages your supporters to post on Facebook.
With all of your nonprofit’s communications, encouraging your supporters to use social media is only part of the work that you need to do.
The key point is that social media is part of your larger communications efforts. By integrating it into your other communications, your social media will feel like a natural extension of your other fundraising efforts.
Perfecting P2P fundraising over social media is no easy task. But with these best practices, you can prepare your supporters for spreading your mission across the web — and collecting donations as they do.
Kerri Moore is the Director of Marketing at Booster, Created by CustomInk. She and her team help create content aimed at maximizing organizers’ fundraising potential and furthering their mission to raise awareness for the cause or passion that means the most to them.