5 Ways to Get More Out of Your Online Social Fundraisiers

Photo by thephotographymuse
08.31.2011By

If you’re like most nonprofits, there’s no doubt that you’ve had some discussion among leaders and managers about how you can motivate your social fundraisers. The problem is that your social fundraisers aren’t getting paid, and technically you’re not their manager. So you don’t want to come across as micromanaging or selfish.

So how do you motivate them to raise more money?

The secret is stop thinking that your job is to tell them what to do, and start thinking that your job is to support and encourage what they already have inside.

The fact is that everyone who has signed up to raise money for your cause are doing so because it’s personal. They have a friend they care about, or a family member they want to memorialize. So they’re showing up at the game geared-up, motivated and ready to play!

All you have to do is create a framework that nurtures this motivation. And that’s it!

Below are five specific steps to create this framework:

1. Make it less scary

The first step to motivating social fundraisers is to acknowledge one important fact:

Raising money is scary.

Let’s face it, even though the cause is personal, it’s still very scary to create a webpage with the stated fundraising goal, especially if it’s their first fundraiser.

For these folks, you can help make it less scary by breaking what feels like one big goal into many small goals. For example, show them step-by-step how to set up a fundraising page, how to set realistic first-time goals, and examples of successful first-timers.

2. Reward achievements

Everyone likes acknowledgment for their efforts. For all levels (newbies and veteran fundraisers), try and offer even just a small reward when specific milestones are achieved. For example, you can offer an iTunes gift card to newbies who get their first donor. This motivates them to work harder, and it builds trust with your organization.

3. Remind them when they forget

A recent study by Blackbaud and the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council found that the top reason for participating in a fund-raising event was that they felt a personal connection to the cause.

Mike Snusz suggests that non-fundraisers and low dollar fundraisers might have lost sight of their personal connection to the cause. Mike writes, “Make sure your event is all about your cause. Online, offline, in social media, at the event, after the event and everywhere else–tell your heartfelt stories and explain how donations would/could be used.”

4. Promote and create teams

For many people, the cause they support is as isolating as it is personal–especially with causes that relate to illness.

This means that some of your fundraisers might have a tendency to do it all on their ownBlackbaud /RWR also found that 40% of team members exceeded their fundraising goal, compared to only 29% of non-team participants (see below).

This is obvious when you think about how people naturally motivate each other (especially around causes), and means that you should promote team building as much as possible in your fundraising strategy.

5. Promote the use of social media

By now it’s a well-known fact that social networks are powerful tools that can create awareness about causes, break down dictatorships, and help raise funds during natural crisis. This is because social media puts a huge volume knob on our real relationships. Blackbaud has also found that the use of social media as a direct impact on whether fundraisers achieve their goal (see below).

In your fundraising strategy make sure you include specific social media tactics for people to use. Epic Change is an awesome example of an organization that consistently exceeds their goals because they offer specific suggestions on how to promote their campaigns on Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

What are some ways that your organization motivates fundraisers?