How Social Media and Fundraising Fit Together

You’ve probably been cautioned to avoid using social media as a fundraising tool and to focus instead on donor “engagement” – which will someday lead to fundraising opportunities. But when? What about all of those nonprofits using social media to raise money right now? Can you create a social media strategy that both engages people and raises money?

I think you can, and that’s what I’ll be talking about when I present a workshop called Social Media: Your On-Ramp to Future Fundraising at the annual conference of the N.C.Center for Nonprofits on September 13-14.

As a sneak preview, here are six different ways that I see social media and fundraising fitting together. You don’t have to do all of these, but try picking one or two approaches and integrating them into your strategy. 

I hope you’ll attend the conference to learn more about each point. 

1.     Project-specific, short-term campaigns that raise money now. Set a goal with a deadline and empower your supporters to make it happen. You can use this approach with “emergency” or “breaking news” fundraising. There are plenty of tools to help, and you’ll learn about these at the conference.

2.     Encouraging donations for celebrations (e.g, birthdays) to raise money in the future.  Invite supporters to think about donating for their birthdays or for other celebrations.  Learn about tools and wildly successful campaigns on Sept. 14.

3.       Adding social media to your in-person events to raise money now.  If you’re doing a fundraising event, why not use complimentary social media to raise more money?

4.       Supplementing direct mail and email appeals as part of an integrated campaign to raise money now.Use social media to add a “soft” ask to your “hard” ask for a donation. It’s another opportunity to request a gift.

5.       Major donor engagement to increase donor retention. Stay in touch with the donors you already have in a conversational, friendly way. You can also publicly thank them for their support!

6.       Major donor acquisition to raise money in the future. Use social media to find and start conversations with future major donors. Just like any other kind prospecting, it takes research time and a personal touch.

How do you see social media and fundraising fitting together? I’d love for you to add to this list, or to share your experiences. 

Kivi Leroux Miller is president of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.comand the author of The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause


Social media can also be used as a strategy to thank current donors. This will help retain and increase future donations. Rolling social media into your current donor recognitionplan is a value add.

I have seen the power of social media in many successful crowdfunding projects. I think anyone who wishes to use platforms or self raise funds for a project/cause needs to be enlightened first on how and what social media can do to deliver success.Workshop is one great tool to do just that.

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