Marketing & Promos
August 17, 2021

How to Use Social Media to Maximize Return on Investment (ROI) from Fundraisers

The growing shift in online fundraising is one that many nonprofit organizations have begun to take advantage of. This is done via several online activities including online gaming-based fundraising for nonprofits like online raffles or sweepstakes, crowdfunding, email marketing, etc. This makes it essential that nonprofits and charities learn how to maximize their fundraising results, and one way to do this is via social media. Social media is a powerful tool in increasing the fundraising ROI of nonprofits, but the questions are ‘why’ and ‘how’. Let’s get started with ‘why’.  

Importance and advantages of using social media to promote fundraising campaigns

According to Statista, in 2020, 88.7% of Americans used social media. Social media also accounted for 57% of traffic to fundraising pages. This shows the importance of social media in promoting your fundraising campaign. Here are 3 other reasons why social media promotions are very important:

  • Greater reach: Social media gives nonprofits access to more people, and an increase in reach is equivalent to an increase in donations. For example, in 2017, the Community Foundation of Louisville increased its reach with a live streaming campaign and successfully generated $4.6 million.  
  • Constant engagement: Social media allows nonprofits to tell stories, engage supporters and provide feedback. Through this, donors can be retained and remain invested in your cause.
  • Low-cost promotions: Using social media to maximize ROI from online gaming-based fundraisers helps amplify your campaigns with little or no added financial investment. You can attain over one hundred percent increase in reach organically without increasing your budget.  

Social media strategies to increase ROI

71% of nonprofit organizations agree that social media is very effective for online fundraising. There are several social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. It is pertinent to note that while there’s no harm in using multiple social media, sometimes (depending on your goal, strategy and/or target audience), it might make sense to only use two or three social channels. You will need a detailed marketing and social media promotion plan to ensure you’re set up for success.  

Here are some social strategies to try:  

  • Video marketing: By creating great videos, nonprofits can tell compelling stories, connecting to the emotions of their donors while attaching an action-oriented call to action (CTA) to drive donation. Make A Wish, for example, keeps its supporters motivated and willing to donate by posting videos of children’s wishes and how they’re granted.
  • Content creation and storytelling: Leveraging social media by creating appealing content that your donors can relate to will increase awareness and traffic for fundraising campaigns. Charitywater uses this social media strategy by posting images and stories of people who have been helped.  
  • Hashtags: Creative hashtag strategies can produce a snowball effect for your campaigns. Hashtags multiply your impressions and amass user-generated content, making your supporters more affiliated with your cause. World Wildlife Fund’s   #lastselfie Snapchat campaign helped it reach 50% of Twitter’s audience and achieve its monthly target within three days.
  • Social media ads and influencer marketing: Paid ads and reaching out to influencers are great ways to maximize reach and increase donor conversion. Effective ad strategies that are A/B tested will help maximize the potential of your fundraising campaign.  
  • Engage your online community: Actively interacting with supporters on your social media channels by responding to their questions, comments, and posts, creates sentimental attachment to your organization which boosts your results. Beyond asking for donations, create valuable content and activities that interest them like online charitable gaming or activities in other niches.

Metrics to measure fundraising ROI

Metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial to analyzing the success of any campaign. They can help you with decision-making and provide valuable insights for the future-planning of fundraising events.

Here are a few metrics you can track:

  • Traffic rate: This is to measure the amount of traffic that goes to your webpage through social media. Social media traffic divided by the total traffic multiplied by one hundred gives you your social media traffic percentage.
  • Engagement rate: This tells you how involved your supporters are through likes, comments, shares, and saves. Engagement rate can be calculated as total engagement divided by total followers multiplied by one hundred.
  • Conversion rate: This helps you calculate how effectively your social reach converts into donations. The formula for this is number of social media donors divided by the total number of donors multiplied by 100.
  • ROI: Knowing the return on investment for each platform enlightens you on the best platform to leverage based on revenue generation. Acquired donations through social media minus total fundraising expenses for social media divided by the total fundraising multiplied by one hundred is your ROI.

The growing penetration of mobile devices and the internet has led to an increase in the adoption of social media. In the nonprofit sector, it has proven to have a far greater reach and impact in rallying people for a cause. Using social channels strategically, in a well-planned manner, can not only boost the reach of your fundraising campaign but also help you maximize your ROI.  

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