How to Get People to Donate on Social Media

How to Get People to Donate on Social Media

Gnosis Media Group

A recent customer commented that she wanted to understand what type of language she should use on her social channels to motivate followers to give to her charity. Although you need to have realistic expectations of the effectiveness of social media for revenue generation, there are some definite tactics that can increase your chances of getting donations on social — as well as some definite social media faux pas you’ll want to avoid.

Social Media Followers Are Typically Top of Funnel

The thing to keep in mind about social media marketing is that social traffic represents people way up top of the revenue generation funnel. This means social viewers are often people with the least amount of awareness or interest in a product initially. Think about how you use social media. For example, are you typically on Facebook to give money or to look at cat pics or your friend’s wedding video?

People tend to be on social to consume news, connect with friends, play games — i.e., recreational, relaxation activities. In marketing terms, we say that these people “higher up in the sales funnel”, meaning that they are generally not in spend mode. Combine this fact with the fact that social media resists commercialization, and social selling can be a tough nut to crack.

Social Is All About Community and Conversation

The fact that social media followers are top of funnel changes the dynamics of how you need to communicate and “sell” your nonprofit to these followers. Your messages can’t merely be “please donate to my cause”; they can't be purely promotional. You must start conversations, build buzz and generate interest.

On social, you have to allow transactions to arise organically out of natural conversations. Use Facebook Messenger and Twitter DMs, for example, to start conversations with prospective donors. This will be much more effective than merely posting an advertisement on your Facebook company page and hoping people will see and respond to it.

Basically, on social you must first build an engaged, loyal community of followers around your brand. Only then can you maximize the amount of funds your organization raises on social media. Your community is what will produce the brand evangelists who will not only support you but will tell others, share your content and amplify your reach to more relevant, interested audiences.

After some time of community building, you lead these high funnel followers past the “know, like and trust” phases. Then you’re in a better position to ask for donations.

What’s the Best Type of Content for Social?

For best results, you must have sexy, provocative content. As we just mentioned, you can't go in for the sale right away.

Creating the kind of content that performs well on social takes time and a lot of thought. The content cannot be sales speak. Make use of down to earth, genuine storytelling, and be sure to sound less like a sales pitch. If you are going to make a call to action, first ask for a response that requires a low level of commitment: like signing up for a newsletter or listening to a podcast, as opposed to asking for money out of the gate.

You need to make social followers feel good first before asking them for money. They need to feel that you actually care about them and are there to serve them. Serve your followers by feeding them the quality content they like to consume, and they will in turn serve you by supporting your cause.

Scheduling Social Posts to Achieve Effective Frequency

We wrote a blog post that outlined some tips for using social media to promote your nonprofits. To boost engagement on social, you need repetition of content. In marketing, there is a principle called effective frequency. It basically says that a person needs to see your message or call to action multiple times in order for that message to have the optimum effect on the viewer.

One way to foster effective frequency with your social media followers is to schedule social media posts to go out each week. If you have a Facebook or Twitter page, you can easily use free tools like IFTTT, Buffer or the free version of HootSuite to schedule a recurring post about your fundraiser.

Using Facebook Groups

Another tactic for getting donations on social is to post in relevant Facebook groups to get relevant eyes on your fundraisder. You can drive good traffic to your website by following these steps:

  1. Identify and join Facebook Groups where members would seem interested in your charity

  2. Write a blog post on your site that answers a question these members have or provides useful information for them

  3. Include your text to donate call to action somewhere in the post

  4. Post the blog on your company Facebook page

... and now here's the important step ...

    5. Share the post from your Facebook page into the groups you've selected

Facebook makes this sharing process super easy. They now offer you the ability to post any post into any group of which you are a member:

To share a post from your Facebook page into a group, click the "Share" link below the post. Then, select "Share to a group" from the options in the dropdown menu.

To share a post from your Facebook page into a group, click the "Share" link below the post. Then, select "Share to a group" from the options in the dropdown menu.

Facebook Fundraisers

Once you’ve cultivated and grown your community using the principles above, you’re ready to activate your staff and partners. Encourage them to run Facebook Fundraisers for your nonprofit.

You can also upgrade to our Pro Plan. With our Pro Plan, we will run a monthly Facebook fundraiser for your nonprofit.


Facebook Fundraisers are an easy, effective way to activate your existing network of family and friends to raise money for charity. We run Facebook Fundraisers on our staff pages to help our VIP customers maximize donations.

Subscribe for Mobile Fundraising Tips and News