There are a number of great ways to develop relationships with people interested in what you do using online tools and those people often feel predisposed to either donate directly or at least share information about a particular fundraising campaign. this post looks at opportunities for fundraising with Twitter.
Our last blog post was about how charities are using community tools to engage their audience. A logical step from building community is to fundraise via that community.
Here are a few thoughts about how to use Twitter effectively to fundraise with seven key steps.
1. Decide what you are fundraising for
Think about whether you are focusing on a timeframe led approach matched to a specific event or campaign or a longer term objective to raise donations in general.
It can be easier to galvanise the Twittersphere around a short term donation campaign especially if the campaign is publicised widely.
2. Communicate the fundraising message
It is important to be clear about how you communicate the fundraising message both through the tweets you use to promote it but also make sure that any links you use in your tweets take people to concise and well written content that puts across a clear message about what the fundraising objective is.
If people understand your cause and how their money will be used to make a difference, they are much more likely to donate.
3. Galvanise your audience
Begin with your most loyal supporters especially those who are active on Twitter and have a wide social network, get them on board ask them to be your digital advocates. They will help mobilise the community.
Also, why not take a look at your famous followers and ask them to tweet about your fundraising on your behalf, one tweet from a famous supporter with a huge follower base can have a significant impact.
4. Promote the fundraising regularly
This can be a tricky one. You need to make sure you remind your followers of your cause and encourage them to donate on an ongoing basis but at the same time don’t overdo it. Don’t put your followers off with too many requests. A well orchestrated twitter campaign will reap rewards – it’s all about the quality not the quantity.
5. Update your audience
It is a good idea to use Twitter to update your audience about how the fundraising is going. If you have a fundraising target for a particular campaign then let people know where you stand with reaching your target.
Donors like to know how their money has been used so even after they have given a donation it is good to let them know how their money made a difference to your campaign. Using Twitter to send out messages about where the organisation is at with the campaigning is a great way to get positivity surrounding your cause.
6. Make it easy to donate
If you are directing people to your website to make a donation, it is best to make it as easy as possible for them and make sure they do not have to jump through lots of hoops to do so.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you capture their details so you can use them as one of your digital advocates then next time you run a twitter campaign. Tools like http://www.justgiving.com/justtextgiving make it very straightforward for people to donate via text.
The more methods you offer them for making a donation the better! Not everyone will want to make a payment online so think about adding information for posting cheques or telephone donations if appropriate.
7. Be creative
Last year, a Liz Jones spoof account was set up to highlight what was thought of as sheer crassness of sending journalist Liz Jones to Somalia to view the effects of the famine. This account raised nearly £25,000 in a very short period of time for DEC – http://www.justgiving.com/dmreporter/. This campaign gained so much publicity and clearly raised a lot of money which goes to show how thinking outside the box can go a long way.
Finally, one tool that we come across a lot in our work is http://justcoz.org “an online relay system that lets you donate a tweet a day to help raise awareness for causes that matter to you”. It is definitely worth a look if you are not using it already.