Leverage Social Media to Increase Fundraising

Audience engagement is a hot topic for all event managers, and is a critical factor to consider when you are coordinating a successful fundraising event.  Here are some ways to incorporate social media that will promote your cause, enhance your event, and increase your revenues.

1.)  Tag it!  Personalize and promote a hashtag(s) for attendees to use before, during and after an event.  Find a corporate sponsor to donate $1 for every use of a specific tag, which will encourage fans to post photos and share comments using your tag and offer great goodwill exposure to your sponsor.

2.)  It All Adds Up.  Partner with community organizations to solicit smaller donations online for a chance to win experiential prizes.  For example, for every $5 donation you give, you will be entered to win lunch with the local fire department, or a pass to a community festival, or a signed jersey from a local athlete.  As these experiences happen, make sure the winners share their stories online using your tags.

3.)  Sharing is Caring.  Establish a way for a donation to be earned with every social share of an image, video, or link.  This spreads the word about your event and your mission when friends share something for you on their networks, and encourage their friends and connections to share it as well.  It also increases exposure for potential corporate sponsors who might be interested in supporting the cause.

4.)  Be Inclusive.  If you incorporate technology into your event, be sure to have some devices available to check out for non-tech-savvy guests.  For example, if you choose to use an app for auction bidding, have tablets with the program installed ready to loan to attendees who may not have a smartphone, or who might not be keen on the idea of spontaneously downloading an app to use just for the night. It’s also engaging to solicit high school volunteers to host a guest who doesn’t have access to the app.  They’ll support the process by sharing the technology with the older patron, and make new personal connections.

5.)  Online Presence at the Event.  Instead of simply posting a banner that promotes the hashtag(s) and connections you are encouraging guests to use, set up a screen where people can watch a projected live feed of streaming posts that are discussing and promoting the event.  This is also a good opportunity to solicit new followers for your organization’s social media accounts.  Ensure that this is set up in a central location where everyone will have the opportunity to pass by and see it.  You could also erect a branded backdrop people can use to take photos and selfies in front of, that they will then post to their social media, using your hashtags and tagging your accounts.

When used to its full potential, social media can be a great tool to support your marketing efforts.  It is also valuable because you can measure its impact – how many people were reached by each post, and how many people actively posted on your behalf by using a hashtag or sharing something you posted.  These metrics can be provided to all sponsors who contribute to fundraising efforts.  Attendees are actively engaged before the event, and enjoy sharing their support with members of their social networks who might not be aware of your needs.  When general exposure is increased and guests are more engaged, you are very likely to raise much more money!

Planning a fundraising event, or looking for a fresh approach to your annual event?  Email Plan Ahead Events Boulder today for some ideas and current trends.