Social media for nonprofits is a vital part of any fundraising strategy. It’s not only a great way to spread awareness about your cause, but also allows others to fundraise on your behalf. We know that people choose to donate for a multitude of reasons. One major reason people may donate is because they saw a compelling story told through social media.
According to NPSource, 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action. Of those, 59% follow through with a donation.1 It’s important to incorporate the use of social media into your fundraising strategy so you can utilize this highly valuable avenue for donations. For a nonprofit, building a strong supporter base, engaging with your donors, and telling your story are essential to your cause’s success and should be among your org's digital fundraising best practices. With social media, you can do all three.
This now raises the questions of what are the best fundraising apps for nonprofits and what features does each platform have for nonprofits? Keep reading below for a guide to the perfect fundraiser through a successful social media fundraising campaign.
Which One Should You Choose for Social Media Fundraising?
With the usage of social media platforms growing by the day, it’s become increasingly difficult to know where to be online. It’s no secret that nonprofit fundraisers are almost always strapped for time, resources, and people, so adding the responsibility of running a social media account can seem like one more daunting task. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. You want to be on the platform(s) where you know your supporters are already. One way to find out is to simply ask them! With iDonate’s Text-to-Give feature, you can quickly poll your donors and find the answers you’re looking for.
Let’s look at the top social media platforms today and dive into their differences to help pinpoint which one will work for your organization:
- Facebook - Facebook is known to be the most popular form of social media for nonprofits to fundraise on, as around 7-in-10 U.S. adults use it.2 This platform is great for sharing events, images, videos, text, and fundraiser info. Peer-to-peer campaigns are very popular and easy to share on Facebook. In fact, 15-18% of donations from this type of campaign come directly from this platform.1
- Twitter - You get 280 characters to convey your message to your audience. One of the great things about Twitter is that it is easy to engage with your donors and potential donors quickly in an uncluttered manner. We know how important it is to maintain relationships with your supporters. With Twitter you can answer questions, promote links to your website, and coordinate events. Twitter is perfect for nonprofits who are a part of any sort of activism movement, and especially for any who provide real-time disaster relief information.
- Instagram - According to Hootsuite, as of 2022, most of Instagram’s audience are both Millennials and Gen Z.3 If this is an age demographic you’re looking to reach, this is the place to be. Instagram is highly visual, where you can post photos, videos, and impactful captions. The Instagram Reels feature has continuously helped users grow their following. Short, entertaining videos are king and allow you to grab your user’s attention in seconds, and ultimately drive engagement.
- LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a powerful platform that allows you to share great content about your organization, reach a new audience, and look for talent. It’s the biggest social platform that caters directly to business professionals, especially those just entering or still fairly young in the workforce. Millennials make up the largest demographic to use the platform at over 60%.3 If you’re looking to target upper management, LinkedIn is the place to be as it’s home to Fortune 500 execs, CEOs, founders, etc.
- TikTok - Similarly to Twitter, TikTok is a great way for organizations and brands to connect directly with their supporters. While Gen Z is thought to be the main age group consuming content on this app, 36% of users are between the ages of 35 and 54 years old.4 TikTok is the most engaging social media app with the platform allowing for live streams and videos. Nonprofits can use TikTok to provide general information, tell their story, raise funds, and create hashtag challenges all in a fun, creative way. You can also share your content on TikTok across your other platforms in just a few clicks.
No matter which platform you go with, social media is a great tool for any event, especially one like Giving Tuesday. The more you utilize these platforms to share your message, the greater chance of success you'll have.
Defiance College used social media alongside iDonate's Text-to-Give feature to reach a wider audience than they ever have before. →
What Social Media Fundraising Features Do These Platforms Have?
Hopefully now it's a little clearer on the differences between these social media platforms. But now, let's dive deeper into what makes these platforms so unique for nonprofits, which ones might be the best fundraising apps for nonprofits, and how you can use these features for your digital fundraising best practices and social media fundraising success.
What are some Facebook tools for nonprofits? There are two avenues in which your nonprofit can collect donations on Facebook:
- Through your own nonprofit Facebook Page
- Supporters raise funds on your behalf through peer-to-peer
“Facebook fundraising” is the term that encompasses all the Charitable Giving Tools your NPO can utilize through this platform. These tools include:
- Page fundraiser – A dedicated Page where you can tell people about your mission and your fundraising goal with a deadline.
- Post and Page Donate button – Create a post then choose to add the Donate button, select your org as the beneficiary, then post. Or, add a Donate button CTA to your Facebook Page header. In order to let people donate through this feature, you will need to sign up for Meta Pay first.
- Live video with Donate button – This is a popular way people are using Facebook to engage as you can show what you are doing instantly. Once you’ve completed your live video with a Donate button, you can choose to publish the recording to your timeline and get more life out of your recording. Going live is great to show off what is happening at your events.
- Donation sticker to Instagram Stories – Allow supporters to create 24-hour fundraisers on Instagram. Orgs must be on-boarded to Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools for supporters to be able to use the sticker on your behalf.
- Instagram profile Donate button – Gives nonprofits the ability to add a Donate button to their Instagram business profile. To do this you must update your Instagram profile to a business account AND link it with your org’s Facebook Page.
As part of their increased awareness efforts, ZOE International has found that social media is a central part of their online engagement. →
Facebook and Instagram have a lot of overlap, as the two are owned by their parent company, Meta. To fundraise on Instagram, you’re able to not only post compelling content, but also add a donation button to your profile. Requirements for your nonprofit to fundraise on Instagram include:
- Enrolling and receiving approval to use Facebook Charitable Giving Tools (see above)
- Switching to an Instagram business account (if you haven’t already)
- Linking your org’s Instagram business account with your nonprofit’s Facebook Page
- Ensuring supporters can add Donation Stickers on your behalf. To check this, click Publishing Tools at the top of your Facebook Page > Donation Settings (located below Fundraisers) > click box next to Allow people to add donation stickers on Instagram Stories > Save.
Twitter is all about engaging with your community and reaching potential supporters. A great way to broaden your reach is to develop a hashtag strategy that will help create buzz around your fundraiser and allow others to post with the tag as well. An easy way to do so is to simply look up what is trending. In the app, Twitter shows all users the top hashtags and topics that people are talking about, so use these as a starting point to work your campaign around.
Twitter is a great way to listen to what others are saying about issues that affect your mission. This will help when you’re writing content and help you tell your story better. With a 280-character limit, you’ll learn to keep your message simple and engaging at the same time. Just remember, spaces, numbers, hashtags, and even emojis count as a character, so be sure to use the space wisely. Use your message to share your story and link out to your organization's fundraising page.
There are a variety of fundraising solutions that LinkedIn has to offer. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool helps nonprofit organizations to map their network, identify strategic prospects, and provide real-time updates on key prospects and donors. With this tool you can find the right audience, get the right information, and send the right message. This helps you get your message to key decision makers that can make a big difference for your cause.
Telling stories is key to Alabama Baptist Children's Homes' strategy, and they use social media as an important tool to carry them out. →
There are multiple tools that partnering with TikTok can provide your nonprofit in your social media fundraising efforts:
- Account management – They assist with best practices, manage relationships, and offer guidance until you’ve reached your goal.
- Advanced analytics – Their data and insights provide you with analytics about your videos and account to see how your audience develops and how your videos perform.
- Promoted hashtags – Increases awareness for your cause. Millions of users can then create videos that are tied to that hashtag.
TikTok has “Donation Stickers” that creators can add to their videos and live streams, like what we’ve seen with other platforms. However, TikTok is selective of which organizations can be recipients of donations. To apply for this, you must:
- Sign up for Tiltify and be approved
- Create a charity profile on Benevity Causes
- Set up Stripe as your payment method on Tiltify
There are other ways you can fundraise on TikTok without being a designated nonprofit for Donation Stickers. Two key ways are to post engaging content that appeal to people’s emotions regularly, and use relevant hashtags. You can also display your fundraiser on your profile with a link – this is available to every user on TikTok.
With the right strategy and engagement on the right platform, social media for nonprofits not only help strengthen the relationships you have with your donors, but also raise more awareness and funds so that your organization can better carry out its mission.
When you add social media fundraising to iDonate's Digital Fundraising Platform, your nonprofit's potential grows even more. Contact us today to see how we can get you started.
1 NPSource: Social Media Giving Statistics For Nonprofits
2 Omnicore Agency: 63 Facebook Statistics You Need to Know in 2022
3 Hootsuite: 150+ Social Media Statistics that Matter to Marketers in 2022
4 Hootsuite: 23 Important TikTok Stats Marketers Need to Know in 2022