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Fundraising in a time of social media


Social media is a part of everyday life for most Americans. From ordering coffee and groceries to taking a test on which GOT character someone is, social media seems to be at the helm. According to Bacon (2017), 7.2% of non-profit fundraising dollars came via social media platforms. In a study conducted by Georgetown University, almost 20% of Americans are ‘mobile only’ when it comes to internet access; meaning that they do more via social media and their phone than a desktop computer, a stark change from years prior.

More than half of people who interact with a specific cause continue that relationship online and with the help of social media (Bacon, 2017). Platforms highlighted as the best for fundraising are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Efforts for donations of physical items partner with actual retailers and launching a business from the ground up can be funded by crowdfunding efforts such as Kickstarter.  In addition for social media being able to reach people wherever they are and whenever possible, fundraising through social media expands the ‘donation area’ that a given organization can utilize. Long gone are the days where donations are only able to be capitalized on within a specific set of zip codes.

#1 All social media platforms in for fundraising

Social media is embedded in so much of our daily lives... we interact with everyone from our grocery stores to our favorite comedians and everything in between on social media. Different platforms have different purposes but all have one thing in common--they reach a wide variety of audiences.

Image Source: https://www.mobilecause.com/fundraising-using-social-media-social-media-fast-easy/

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#2 The importance of social media fundraising for startups

Non-profits aren't the only ones seeking money through fundraising efforts, startups get funded via crowdfunding. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are listed as the top options in social media specifically for fundraising efforts, and advertising on those platforms is quite common and crucial for startups getting off the ground.

Image Source: https://www.startups.com/library/expert-advice/truth-raising-money-startup

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#3 Building a presence: social media translates into online giving

Places and businesses that didn't have or need an online presence have sought help to cultivate one in recent years. The clear understanding that building a presence can translate into donation dollars is not lost. The paradox that exists is libraries using social media funding to keep their doors open and books on their shelves.

Image Source: http://ilovelibraries.org/my-library-my-story

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#4 From likes to donations, sharing on social media ‘makes money’

Creating an online community builds a relationship between the consumer and the organization but also allows a free flow of information in the open. Included in that information is the need for financial support. Since face-to-face interaction is not always possible, the propensity for individuals to donate to a cause or organization rises when physical support cannot be provided.

Image Source: https://www.charitydigitalnews.co.uk/2018/01/23/from-likes-to-donations-how-to-streamline-the-online-giving-journey/

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#5 Capitalizing on group interests with crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is often thought of as solely for start ups in order to fund a brand new venture. Crowd funding can also be used to get a ground of like-minded individuals to commit to a specific cause or donate towards a specific goal. It is said that if you can understand your crowd, you can understand how to motivate them to contribute.

Image Source: https://www.floship.com/youve-created-a-crowdfunding-campaign-now-what/

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#6 GoFundMe, bringing the masses together

GoFundMe is a site whose only purpose is to help individuals and groups raise money. It exists as platform that can be shared within other social media sites such as Facebook. It allows users to determine a goal and where the money is going, allowing any and all goals to be entertained. GoFundMe accounts exist from the serious of helping a family who lost everything in a fire to helping someone get their first tattoo.

Image Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/crowdfunding-for-prescription-medications-2017-4

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#7 Digital relationships at the heart of small businesses

The heart of a small business is really in the people it serves, but, often times, that relationship can start online. Small businesses are learning how to utilize social media to get people to their doors by showcasing products, hosting fundraising events, and drumming up interest. Pairing with ecommerce options and community engagement, social media is a tool allowing small businesses to connect with their local people before they even see the front door.

Image Source: https://www.mountainjackpot.com/2018/12/05/small-business-saturday-record-crowds-and-festive-times/

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#8 Animal shelters utilize social media to encourage donations

This article showcased the ability of two different organizations to pull together and utilize their social media to get a dog where he needed to go.

Social media has become an invaluable tool for animal shelters, who can lean into the heart of viewers with photos that exemplify why they need your money and exactly how it can be used. Partnerships with retailers like Amazon.com make the social media aspect even stronger by allowing individuals to order things that are communicated as a need on social media and have them physically delivered.

Image Source: https://www.petcarerx.com/article/how-to-adopt-shelter-dogs/927

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#9 Alumni fundraising efforts vs. the price of college debt

Debt just seems like a right of passage for most college graduates. According to a survey conducted by givecampus, students with debt are 3x more likely to donate to their Alma mater if they have a mobile way to do so, and can find out specifically what their money would go towards. Understanding that alumni are more likely to make medium and small sized donations now, in comparison with alumni from years past who made large and above donations, mobile-friendly platforms are essential.

Image Source: https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2014/02/27/in_college_fundraising_the_ric/

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#10 An adversary of mobile donations is mobile security

In a world where information is leaked and accounts are hacked, mobile security is a larger concern when considering to donate using social media and a mobile platform. This article examines safety concerns and solutions in the world of all things mobile.

Image Source: http://new.whatmobile.net/mobile-security-important/

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#11 Social media as a portal to donations

Social media channels are two fold; both attracting donors to specific causes and interests as well as a way to engage audience members and embrace them in this community. Channels allow users to access content in the way that they please as well and interact as much or as little as they want, while remaining somewhat anonymous.

Image Source: https://mashable.com/2013/11/01/b2b-marketing-infographic/

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#12 Facebook #1 for social media based giving

Though many social media channels exist that offer fundraising capabilities, Facebook far exceeds them in both participation and adaptability. More than 70% of people who use social media have a Facebook account and are more likely to donate when able through the same platform they're already using. This article examines the value-add that Facebook gives businesses and individuals looking to raise money for any number of causes.

Image Source: https://www.qgiv.com/blog/how-to-ask-for-donations-on-facebook/

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