Social media is a great tool to raise awareness of your cause and to encourage people to support your work. Similar to creating an effective fundraising email, using social media effectively to raise money requires telling a story and making an ask (don’t forget to check out our Sample Fundraising Email guide). One big difference is that you have to do this in a condensed form and in a faster-paced environment.
Social media platforms encourage sharing and reposting, which can significantly expand your audience. In addition to asking for a contribution, ask your followers to help spread the word—the more people that share and repost your message, the more successful your campaign will be!
This resource focuses on the two biggest social media platforms for raising money, Twitter and Facebook, but can be adapted to work for other platforms as well.
Please note: A federal court decision in August 2018 has expanded the scope of donor disclosure for 501(c)(4) organizations spending money on federal elections. Now, a 501(c)(4) is required to disclose any donors who give more than $200 in a calendar year to influence federal elections, regardless of whether their contribution is earmarked for a specific federal candidate. What this means for you: we recommend that your group not tie your distributed fundraising asks to federal elections. The safest fundraising ask is one that doesn’t mention elections at all, but if you are going to mention electoral activity, we highly recommend that you avoid using language that ties the the ask to any federal election or federal elections in general. If you would like more information about the ruling and implications, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter, you will need to tell your story, make your ask, and include your ActBlue contribution link all within 240-characters. Create multiple tweets and cycle them over the course of your campaign. Include hashtags and use a link shortening service, such as bitly, to make your tweets the most impactful. You can also add a photo (such as one of our “April Showers Bring November Power” graphics that can be found here) to really make your tweet stand out.
Here’s an example that Indivisible used during our 2017 end-of-year fundraising campaign. We created a graphic to help tell a story, which allowed us to keep the tweet fairly short (including a link to donate that was created through bitly):
While you have more space to play with on Facebook, you should still keep your posts fairly short. Just like with Twitter, tell your story, make your ask, and don’t forget to include your ActBlue contribution link. Create a graphic to tell your story (like we did with the twitter post above), or have ActBlue’s social share feature automatically pull in a photo from your ActBlue page (more info on ActBlue’s social share feature can be found here).
Here are two example posts that Indivisible Chicago used to raise funds for their citywide summit:
Social media allows you to try different things to see what works best. So experiment! Test out different asks, photos, and even times of the day and see what works best! Share coordinated posts related to your fundraising campaign across multiple platforms to maximize your audience.