Social fundraising has real-world value

Social fundraising is the act of getting people (supporters, donors, evangelists, fundraisers) to post to their personal networks about the actions they take related to your cause. It’s about getting the most out of what you’re already doing. Harnessing the value of social fundraising can be a powerful tool to meet next-level fundraising.

Shares have real value

Some will say that there isn’t any inherent value in social shares and that they don’t think that a share does anything for their cause or mission. However, your supporters have personal networks that are difficult to reach on your own, and growing your own list is expensive and hard.

For example, if you were trying to grow your list by 10,000 supporters, how many of the following would you have to do? Dinners, events, print ads, direct mail, Facebook ads? Do you have the capacity, resources, and budget to do all of these? Are they all effective? Do they tap into an engaged community?

By encouraging your supporters to share the actions they’ve taken with your organization (such as a donation, a ticket purchase to an event, or a personal experience), you are tapping into an otherwise seemingly unreachable network—one that is invested in the life of their friend or family member who is sharing their action. Social shares create authenticity about the subject that intrigues others to dig in and take further action of their own.

For organizations whose mission involves public awareness, social sharing can increase general awareness and connect your organization’s work with people who may need your help or want to learn more.

Social shares can bring in new donors from grassroots to high wealth—nearly everyone has a social media presence. They can also lead to new volunteers, new peer-to-peer fundraisers, new corporate partners, and even new grants.

Can you calculate the actual value?

The average Facebook user has 155 friends. If you wanted to reach 10,000 new people about your cause, how many average Facebook supporters would you need to just share their action with your cause? The answer is 65. Having just 65 supporters share with their Facebook community leads to over 10,000 connections that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Sounds much more effective than trying to gain 10,000 new connections without social fundraising.

Often a supporter can’t donate right away, but they could still lend their voice and share. According to our internal data, when donors share news about their donation, it results in a new donation about 20% of the time.

Let’s look at some numbers regarding the average donation value by type of share

  • $13 when a supporter shares an online campaign page
    $23 when a donor shares their donation
    $63 when a campaign organizer shares their campaign

And there’s really no reason to rethink your current events, campaigns, or spend additional marketing dollars. Social fundraising can be layered onto everything you’re already doing. You can bring in fundraising efforts that you’ve traditionally done offline (ticket registration for example) allowing your network the ability to not only purchase tickets for your event, but to share that they are supporting your cause as well. This action can lead to more ticket sales and awareness for your event. Additionally, making sure that your supporters know that their share brings value increases the likelihood that they’ll do it. Keeping this as part of your narrative helps to spread the message that shares hold value for the organization (and mission) your donors care about.

Shares do add real value to digital fundraising. When your organization taps into the power of social fundraising, encouraging supporters to share each action they take with your cause, those shares spread in an authentic way, leading to more awareness, supporters, and donations.

Gary Wohlfeill