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14 Ways MTeamers Can Leverage Social Media for Fundraising

Did you know that 55% of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action? 59% of those people donate money. Social media is becoming one of the most powerful places to reach potential donors and connect with people who are passionate about your cause - including the disability advocacy that we're all doing through our support of the MTeam!

 
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Here are a few ways you can make it work for you as you strive to reach your $1,650 contribution goal as a team member: 

1. SELECT ONE OR TWO SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS. Choose your weapon: Love to take photos? Instagram's brilliant. Witty with words? Try Twitter. Feel comfortable on Facebook already? Stick with it! If video's your thing, YouTube it is. Focus on one or two; there's no need to be everywhere. Whichever your social media platform of choice, be sure to complete your profile and add a photo of yourself. 

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2. DECIDE ON A POSTING SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT. Once you've decided where to focus your efforts, decide how many times per week or day will be realistic for you to update. To max out your efforts, we'd recommend once a day on Instagram or Facebook, several times each day on Twitter as it moves more quickly or one quality edited video each week on YouTube. Be sure to stick to whichever schedule you choose. Consistency is key. Use tools like Hootsuite for Twitter or the built in scheduler on Facebook or the Later app for Instagram to schedule content in advance and save yourself some time. 

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3. SHARE YOUR GOALS AND PROGRESS. Your supporters want to be sure you're sticking to your goals and those who have donated already will love to see your progress too. It will help you keep yourself accountable too. Keep your followers updated with posts that show you're training for the Best Buddies Challenge, that you're eating healthy to get in better shape before next June, or that you're reaching your fundraising goals each week. You can share the MTeam's Fundraising Friday posts from Facebook or Instagram to show how the team is progressing toward their goals overall. Prospective donors will see you're serious and passionate about what you're doing and they need to know that to feel inspired enough to support you.

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4. CONNECT WITH THE RIGHT AUDIENCE. Decide who you think will most likely donate to your cause and try to connect with them on social media. See some of the stats at the end of this post for a few clues on who to start with and build your network from there. You can find people who love to support charities or people who advocate for people with disabilities by exploring different hashtags like #justgive or #disabilityadvocate, for example. You can also use location searches to find people from your local community. Consider connecting with people who already follow Best Buddies - they know and support the organization and may be more willing to donate.

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5. ADD HASHTAGS TO EXTEND YOUR REACH. Hashtags can be a great way to extend your reach, especially on Instagram where you can add up to 30 on each post (hint - add one or two in the description then immediately after, comment with an additional 28). Two hashtags per post are enough on Twitter and one will do on Facebook. Especially if you're using Instagram, keep a list of hashtags in your phone notes that you can copy and paste from for speed. Be sure not to be spammy; use hashtags that are appropriate and mix them up each time. Interact within the hashtags you're using. Here's 10 to start with that you might find useful: #fitnessinspiration #charityrace #charityride #charityrun #raisingawareness #pleasedonate #bestbuddiesinternational #trainhard #milesforbreakfast #givemoretogether

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6. USE VIDEO. There are some impressive stats around the use of video in 2018 and how engagement increases on those posts - live video, especially. There's no shortage of platforms on which you can share video these days - regular Instagram posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram's new vertical IGTV, Facebook Live video... and the list goes on. Check allowed video length for each option before you post. No need to do a lot of formal editing, or often any... Keep it authentic; just stop in the middle of your cycle training ride and share a few thoughts or a bit of beautiful scenery!

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7. MAKE IT EASY TO DONATE. It should be crystal clear to followers where they can go to donate to your fundraising efforts. If you're using a platform where you can share a link in your bio, be sure to share the direct link to your personal fundraising page and add a simple "(link in bio)" when you ask for donations. If you're allowed a link within your posts like you are on Facebook and Twitter, just remember to post it for easy access.

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8. SHARE MTEAM CONTENT - SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, PHOTOS AND BLOG POSTS. If you don't already follow the MTeam's main social media accounts, you can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube where we post content regularly. Please find us and interact with our posts, especially by sharing them with your own networks to extend our reach as a team and share content that will be relevant to people who will support you too. A few blog posts you might also like to share include our interview with Greg and Laura Lewis sharing our Chief Motivating Officer Meredith's story or our chat with Best Buddies Ambassador Dan "Dangerous Dan" Bivins. 

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9. BE SOCIAL: FOCUS ON ENGAGEMENT OVER QUANTITY. You're more likely to succeed on social media if you're social yourself. The more you interact with the content posted by other people, the more engagement your own posts will gather - and engagement is always more important than the number of posts you send out. Take time to leave genuine comments and build relationships with the network of people you're connecting with on social media. 

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10. LET YOUR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO THE MTEAM SHOW. Why did you join the MTeam? We all have a "Why". For many of the team members, the inspiration was Mer and her beautiful smiles and seeing how hard it can be for a family to care for a child with a disability. The "Why" is because we wanted to help. Perhaps you have a your own personal story that lead you to sign up and support Best Buddies. Perhaps you know someone with a disability. Perhaps you're doing it as a motivator for fitness. Whatever it is, sharing your reason for supporting the MTeam will help inspire others to support you. 

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11. ASK DIRECTLY FOR DONATIONS, BUT NOT ON EVERY POST. A direct ask for donations is often necessary and will help you reach your fundraising goals more quickly, but ask too often and either your audience will become disinterested or your message will be diluted and easy to ignore. It's important to provide value in the content you share beyond asking for donations. Give people a reason to follow you and keep coming back. Posts that add value tend to do one of four things: educate, inform, inspire or entertain. Refer to number 8 above!

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12. CHECK YOUR INSIGHTS AND REVISE. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, experimentation is necessary to see what sort of content your audience is connecting with and engaging with the most. Take note of which are your most popular posts every few weeks or so and see which ones didn't get quite as much attention. If videos get more engagement than links, post more videos. If photos get more engagement than just text, post more photos. Do your longer or shorter posts do better? Do posts with faces or without do better? Did you use certain hashtags in one post that did really well? Did you hop on a trending topic and reach a wider audience? Revise your strategy accordingly.

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13. SAY THANK YOU! One of the most important tips you can adopt is to say thank you to your supporters! Thank them individually with social media shoutouts. Thank them whenever you share your progress toward your goals. Thank them every chance you get. Gratitude goes a long way. 

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14. BUILD YOUR OWN #GIVINGTUESDAY CAMPAIGN. Lastly, a bonus tip: Put November 27, 2018 in your calendar and create your own campaign around this global giving movement. Fun fact: Facebook refers 29.4% of traffic to donation pages on #GivingTuesday and the hashtag is almost always trending. 

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A few interesting stats from Non Profit Source:

  • 69% of the American population donates.

  • 64% of people who donate are women.

  • 30% of giving occurs in December.

  • 10% of annual giving happens in the last three days of the year.

  • Online giving grew by 12% last year with $31 billion in donations.

  • 57% of who watch nonprofit YouTube videos go on to make a donation.

  • $128 dollars is the average online donation amount.

  • 88% of millennials give to charity with an average annual donation amount of $481.

  • 59% of Gen Zs are inspired to donate to charity by a message/image they saw on social media.

  • 21% of donations are directly through social.

Candyce Carragher