It’s true that nothing can replace the charm and persuasion-potential of face-to-face fundraising. However, there’s another component of successful fundraising that needs to be taken into consideration: convenience. How easy is it for people to take part in your fundraiser? How easy is it for people to sell? How easy is it for people to buy? This is where Facebook can make a big difference. Here are our tips for how to use it effectively.
Before you start promoting your fundraiser on Facebook, take ten minutes to create a site (and PayPal account) for your group. Your fundraiser organizer will have been emailed instructions for how to set up this buy-online option for your customers. If you have any questions about how to set up your group site, call or email our team.
Hint: Make sure every Facebook post you write about the fundraiser includes the link to your site. Even if you’re sharing a photo or a video, you should always include the link and a short call-to-action at the bottom of the post (e.g. “Get your wreath today: [YOUR SITE LINK]”).
One of the simplest ways groups boost sales is by encouraging customers to purchase more than one product. First-time customers may instinctively opt for a 22-inch wreath without even considering adding in a garland or upgrading to the 28-inch wreath. Showcasing individual products and their descriptions throughout the duration of your fundraiser is a great way to expose your audience to all of the fantastic offerings available. Explaining how certain products work well together will also help boost sales. For example, a front-door wreath looks even better when framed with a Western Cedar garland, and pairing a centerpiece with the decorative reindeer set makes for the perfect holiday table decor.
Hint: Photos, photos, photos! They really are worth a thousand words. Use the product photos from your minisite to promote individual products and product pairings. Once your items arrive at the end of your sales drives, take photos of them on display in your home so that you can have plenty of photos to use for next year’s fundraiser.
People like buying from people. The more you can personalize the sales process by featuring individual group members, the more likely it is that someone will be inspired to click through to your minisite and place an order. Share short bios of your group members and/or a quote from them about your nonprofit’s mission. This lets your Facebook audience know that, when supporting your group, they’re also supporting these individual group members.
Hint: Featuring your group members simply doesn’t work unless you have a photo to pair with each bio/quote. Take a photo of the person (or get them to send you one) before you post — bonus points if the photo shows them participating in your group (e.g. in their Scout uniform, at choir practice, at a local volunteer event, etc.).
Tell us, why should people support your fundraiser? We don’t need to hear as much about your overarching mission (as worthy as it may be). Tell us specifically what will you do with the money you raise. For example, a softball team may use the money to buy new uniforms, a Scout troop may put the money toward new backpacking tents, a school group may need the money for essential classroom supplies. Get specific! Even if the funds will be used to cover general financial outgoings, share a list of what those general expenses might be.
Hint: If you can, share photos of what last year’s fundraiser earnings went toward. This conveys to people that the fundraiser makes a tangible difference.
Everyone likes feeling a sense of achievement. Posting updates on the fundraiser’s progress (e.g. “We’re 80% of the way toward our goal!” or “We need approximately 10 more sales to reach our goal.”) will help encourage people to take action and place an order. Many of your followers may fully intend to buy a wreath but simply haven’t gotten around to it. Posting updates on your progress creates a sense of urgency and encourages these procrastinators to get off the fence and click through to your minisite!
Hint: justfundraising.com allows you to create a fundraising goal-tracking thermometer widget. You can use this thermometer image in your Facebook posts to help people visualize your progress.
This is a fundraiser—you’re doing it to make money, not spend it. However, boosting a Facebook post or two for around $20 or less can help ensure news of your fundraiser reaches every one of your page followers. Use Facebook’s Ad Manager to boost posts and help guarantee your audience doesn’t miss out.
Hint: For most small nonprofits, it’s best to boost posts only to existing page followers and their friends. This ensures that you’re not wasting money targeting people who don’t know or care about your cause. However, if you’re a larger nonprofit with a broader connection to the community, boosting posts to people other than those who already “Like” your page may result in more sales.
Facebook’s algorithm is such that posts with more comments are more likely to appear in people’s feeds. Ask your group members to not only “Like” posts, but also comment on them. This will help ensure the post is seen by as many people as possible.
Hint: Let your group members know that they can also “tag” their friends/relatives in the comments of a post to encourage more sales.