how to:Use Facebook to Raise Money
With social networks, raising money can be a lot more lightweight and easy. But that's only if you go about it the right way. Think of it as an opportunity to create a two-way, ongoing relationship between you and your potential supporters. Rather than checking in with them regularly to let them know when their donations have allowed you to do, you can use social media to provide a constantly open window into your group's activities - in other words, into the impact of their donations.
Create a Facebook page.
Link fundraising apps to your page. A few that make it easy to accept donations without asking anyone to leave your page (let alone the Facebook website!) are:
- The Donate app (requires a PayPal account)
- Fundrazr (also requires PayPal)
Promote your page a lot. See our guide on increasing your Facebook base for some tips. For one thing, try to link back to your Facebook presence wherever you can. Tell everyone you meet about it, if you are interviewed by other media outlets, tell audiences to visit your Facebook page. If you create printed materials like flyers or t-shirts, put your Facebook page in a prominent location. Because they were fundraising for relief during a national crisis, the youth group in Pakistan, the Pakistan Youth Alliance, did receive plenty of of media invitations and other free promotion for their page, and they capitalized on it.
Whenever you receive a donation, document it and the donator's contact information. Keep this somewhere safe (see our guide on staying organized).
As the Pakistan Youth Alliance discovered, you don't need to waste time and resources by regularly contacting funders to follow up on their donations. Instead - harness Facebook for what it's best at. Here's excerpt from our case study on a youth group in Pakistan's succesful use of Facebook for fundraising:
Once they received money, they made sure to document the contact information of every funder and keep them abreast of how their money was being spent. But they didn’t do this by contacting each one individually, which would have been more time consuming, so much as using Facebook to be 100% transparency about their relief efforts. “We put everything there,” says Syed, “photos from the journeys into rural areas, preparing the trucks, hanging banners, doling out water - everything.” Everyone had access to live feedback on what was happening on the ground with their money. The live status updates, which went up on YouTube and Twitter as well as Facebook, of their work accelerated their fundraising efforts. View photos of the PYA's relief work here.
Remember to create a vanity URL for your Facebook page, so that people remember it more easily. For example: http://www.facebook.com/PakistanYouthAlliance