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40%, Real Change, and The Power of Social Fundraising [INFOGRAPHIC]

Did you know that over 90% of the nonprofits in the world use at least one social networking site? If you tie that to the fact that almost half the American population uses Facebook you quickly start to see that social media is taking over the nonprofit world (just like it's doing in the business world).

Knowing that nonprofit supporters around the world have been adopting the use of social networking in their daily lives we set out to figure out if the use of social networks had any impact on social fundraising.

The results we’re pretty amazing (though arguably not shocking if you've been paying attention to the growth of social media).

We found that participants who use social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube communicate with their networks more regularly and send more messages. This resulted in increased fundraising results by up to 40%.

So, how does the use of social networks have such a significant impact on fundraising? Here are a few points to consider:  

Supporter Usage In Question

As you’ll see below and in the full research report or Social Fundraising INFOGRAPHIC using social networking tools has a significant impact on fundraising success, but a relatively small portion, slightly over 50%, take advantage of the opportunity.

Social Networking Usage



Twitter as a Multiplier

Twitter users set higher fundraising goals and raised more money. In fact, Twitter users increased their personal fundraising goals by at least three times more and raised nearly 10 times more online than their peers who did not use Twitter.

Impact of Twitter on Fundraising



A Holistic Approach

Supporters who achieve the strongest fundraising success combine multiple social media tools (along with email and in person connections) in their communication efforts.

Overall, participants that adopted integrated social media tools increased their fundraising by as much as 40% compared to their peers who weren’t using the available online tools.

Social Networking Impact



So what should you do with information like this?

Here are four social tools you should be thinking about to help make your supporters more successful fundraisers:  

Facebook - Allowing your participants to synch their Facebook account directly from their personal fundraising headquarters allows them to update their current fundraising goal to friends, family and colleagues and provides a direct link back to their personal fundraising page. This one is all about simplicity…sure, anyone can update their Facebook status with a link to their personal fundraising page, but if you’re offering your participants a way to do it that’s integrated with their fundraising headquarters, you’ll see more participants sending more messages…and in turn raising more money.

Twitter - 140 characters isn’t a lot of real estate, but if event managers allowed participants to link their Twitter account to their personal fundraising page, those participants could engage their Twitter network with fundraising updates and a link back to their page so people can donate. Again this is about simplicity- anyone can update Twitter, but allowing participants to do it directly from their headquarters is easier on them and will get your message out to their network,  

YouTube - A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well how many words is a video worth? While a static image can help your participant personalize their fundraising page, just think what a video could do. A personal message directly from your participant about why your cause is so important to them will help them achieve their goals. Help your event participants understand the power of a video appeal and even provide a script they can use to record their own!  

ShareThis - While the three social tools mentioned above are the baseline, what happens when you want to give your participants access to other social networks like StumbleUpon®, Digg®, and Yahoo!®? The easiest way is to add the ShareThis button to your participant’s personal fundraising page, that way they can share their passion for your organization with anyone, anywhere they have an account. Give your event participants an idea of how to use social media more effectively and throw in some out-of-the-box ideas to help them get started.  


The Social Fundraising INFOGRAPHIC

Check out the below social fundraising INFOGRAPHIC. You’ll learn a bit about the industry’s growth, what drives the fundraising success and the power of Social Fundraising.


Social Fundraising powered by Blackbauds Friend Asking Friends

Big shout out to Shane Snow for his work on this!


So, How is your organization harnessing the power of the social web by empowering your supporters to take part inpeer-to-peer fundraising activities?


Frank Barry blogs about social media for nonprofits. Make sure to say hi on Twitter: @franswaa


Join The Conversation

  • franswaa's picture
    Aug 26 Posted 5 years ago franswaa

    Hey Brenda. Great question.

    These results come from a study of peer-to-peer fundraising. It's a type of fundraising where people are actually doing the fundraising by asking their friends and family. So the organization isn't doing the asking. Indivuduals who are passionate about a cause/org are. That's what leads to the incredible results. :)

    There's a link in the post to where you can get to the source of the data.

    Hope that helps!!



  • Aug 26 Posted 5 years ago Greg Cherry (not verified) What a wonderful and useful post. Thank you for this. In my experience, Facebook isn't great as a fundraising tool, but it is good for an awareness tool. The same goes for Twitter. They go best in concert with a free offer, or some sort of incentive, to motivate people to visit your site and give.
  • Aug 26 Posted 5 years ago Britta_SF

    Brenda, that's a very good question.  I've been in email marketing for years, and an open rate like that hardly ever occurs. maybe they are referring to emails send from a friend? certainly not standard campaign data.

  • Aug 25 Posted 5 years ago Anna Richter (not verified)

    Love the infographic, Frank! Thank you for the holistic approach thoughts. Are the days over that people think social media is a magic bullet for raising money? Probably not quite but at least we are hearing more about how social media can enhance those relationships that you make in-person or act as a lead to an in-person connection to a potential fundraiser. 

  • Geri Stengel's picture
    Aug 23 Posted 5 years ago Geri Stengel

    The best results occur when you use online fundraising to leverage each other and your offline fundraising efforts.

  • Aug 22 Posted 5 years ago Brenda Haines (not verified)

    Hi Frank,

    Nice collection of data.  One question about the infographic: One of the stats near the bottom says "Emails have a 90% open rate." Do you know to what type of email or campaign that refers?  Or, do you have any additional info or a source for that stat?

    Thanks, Brenda

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