3 social media fundraising trends for nonprofits

When it comes to securing support online, social media is an ever-evolving, yet highly valuable space for forward-thinking nonprofits to invest their efforts in. After all, a successful fundraising strategy should always adapt to new ways of connecting with donors and generating impact.

By keeping up with recent trends, nonprofits of all sizes can tap into the full potential of social media fundraising and messaging. In this guide, we’ll discuss three pivotal trends to leverage today:

  1. Facebook Challenges
  2. Meaningful Interactions
  3. Automation

Considering that 60.6% of the world’s population uses social media, it’s time to meet supporters where they’re most equipped and eager to contribute. Let’s explore the essential social media trends you need to know and how to make the most of them.

1. Facebook Challenges

Since their inception, Facebook and Instagram fundraisers have raised over $7 billion for nonprofits around the world. Facebook’s useful array of fundraising tools makes it easy for organizations to spread the word about their mission and motivate people to give. One of these impactful tools is the Facebook Challenge.

Facebook Challenges are similar to traditional peer-to-peer fundraising events, except that they take place virtually, entirely on the platform. By creating one of these Challenges, nonprofits can generate revenue by enlisting participants to engage in a task, such as completing 30 push-ups every day, while soliciting donations from their personal networks.

To host your own, follow these essential steps:

  • Outline the details of your Challenge. Determine the Challenge’s start date, duration, and task. Then, set a fundraising goal that will inspire your supporters throughout the event.
  • Create a Facebook group for Challenge participants. Build a sense of community among participants by inviting them to join a dedicated Facebook group for the Challenge. Share brand guidelines and tips to set them up for success as they create their individual fundraisers on the platform.
  • Promote your Facebook Challenge. Craft compelling Facebook ads that spread the word about your Challenge and inspire both new and existing supporters to join. Additionally, you can consider creating attention-grabbing Facebook Reels that feature the Challenge task and even partner with creators to expand your reach.
  • Interact with Challenge participants as they fundraise. Continue to interact with users throughout the Challenge by sending encouragement and updates to keep them motivated and express your appreciation for their support.

You can host multiple Facebook Challenges throughout the year, or repeat the same Challenge yearly. This allows your nonprofit to continue engaging supporters without having to expend significant resources to plan physical events. Additionally, it’s easier and more convenient for people to take part in Facebook Challenges, since many of them likely already have an account and use the platform regularly.

2. Meaningful Interactions

Social media may facilitate communications between your nonprofit and its online supporters, but the key to donor retention lies in the quality, rather than quantity, of your interactions. Fortunately, many platforms have features that organizations can use to engage more meaningfully with users. 

A few basic ways you can elevate your social media interactions include:

  • Connecting with users through one-on-one messaging. Tools such as Facebook Messenger enable nonprofits to hold personalized, direct conversations with supporters to share tips, express gratitude, and answer questions.
  • Engaging in livestreaming. Livestreaming is a powerful way to bring supporters closer to your nonprofit by giving them a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your work and allowing them to ask questions or make comments in real time.
  • Asking supporters to share their stories. While Facebook and Instagram donations are tax-deductible, GoodUnited emphasizes that this is not the primary motivation for why people choose to give on social media. Invite users to share their own videos, photos, or written stories that showcase what your mission means to them. With their permission, you can also share this user-generated content across your social media pages to inspire other supporters to give.
  • Encouraging feedback. Help your social media supporters feel like a part of your nonprofit’s team by seeking their input through polls, surveys, or direct questions in Facebook Messenger. By implementing their suggestions or tailoring your content to their preferences, you can demonstrate how much you value their involvement and support.

As more organizations take to social media, it’s essential for your nonprofit to develop a strategy for meaningful marketing and communications to stand out. This ensures that you create memorable experiences for users that keep them invested in your mission.

3. Automation

While it may not be feasible to cultivate a personal relationship with every supporter on social media, there are many automation tools and services that can streamline the process without sacrificing the human touch. These services can assist your nonprofit by:

  • Providing customizable messaging journeys. With pre-built messaging cadences that are aligned with your nonprofit’s branding and goals, you can hold genuine conversations with all social supporters without having to assign a staff member to manage every chat conversation.
  • Providing detailed data and insights. NPOInfo’s guide to nonprofit data collection emphasizes the importance of data in building stronger relationships and informing strategic decisions. Automatically extract more actionable insights by leveraging a dedicated dashboard and clear social media fundraising reports.
  • Designing and managing your Facebook Challenges. To maximize your fundraising results, consider turning to experts who can handle the entire process of creating and managing an effective Challenge on Facebook for your organization.
  • Automating thank-you messages. Trigger an automated thank-you email and donation receipt after supporters give. This ensures that you can recognize all of your supporters in a prompt and personalized way, paving the way for productive, lasting relationships.

Furthermore, consider using AI scheduling tools to produce regular social media posts and leveraging AI to help brainstorm engaging content ideas. This ensures that you can continue to create high-quality posts that keep existing supporters invested and attract new ones to your nonprofit.

As text posts, pictures, and videos continue to flood social media platforms, nonprofits must go beyond posting content after content online. Social media fundraising no longer means waiting on the sidelines for supporters to start fundraisers on your behalf—now, your nonprofit can make the most of recent trends and take a more active role in the process.

Nick Black

Nick Black

Nick is the Founder and CEO of GoodUnited, a venture backed Software as a Service (SaaS) startup that helps nonprofits like Wounded Warrior Project, American Cancer Society, World Wildlife Fund create 1:1 relationships with their donors through the combination of data science and human judgement delivered in conversational messaging platforms. Nick's work with GoodUnited resulted in being named The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 2017 Distinguished Young Alumnus. Nick has been an innovator and leader at the intersection of business and social impact for over ten years. The concept for GoodUnited came through Nick's work co-founding and leading Stop Soldier Suicide, a 501c3 that grew from startup to national leader in reducing veteran suicide to the national average in ten years. Stop Soldier Suicide’s growth and impact resulted in Nick being selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar and a Leadership North Carolina Fellow. Nick co-founded Stop Soldier Suicide stemming from his experiences leading Paratroopers as a Ranger qualified Army Officer with the 173rd Airborne during 27 months deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan. During Nick's six years of service he was awarded two Bronze Stars, an Army Commendation Medal for Valor and as a Field Artillery Officer, was repeatedly ranked 1st among 50 peer Officers in a premier Infantry Battalion. Nick received a BA from The Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, Nick was a four-year member of the Varsity football team, the first two-time President of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity and a four-year scholarship winner of the Army ROTC program. Nick received an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. At Kenan-Flagler, Nick was awarded the Rollie Tillman Award for Leadership, selected as a Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow, and was President of the Veterans Club. Nick lives in Charleston South Carolina with his wife Amanda. Amanda and Nick have a five-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.