How to Turn Your Nonprofit’s Social Followers into Donors

Sponsored by Give Lively

Increasingly, donors are turning to social media to find causes to support. According to a recent survey, almost half of millennials say they’re inspired to give to charity by social media. A quarter of Gen-Xers and a fifth of Baby Boomers say the same. Whether your nonprofit already has a devoted following that likes and shares your posts, or you’re still building your presence on social media, here are some tips will help you expand your social audience and, ultimately, your donor base.

Set Up a “Donate” Button on Facebook

When one of Facebook’s billions of users searches for your nonprofit, you want to provide the easiest possible path for them to contribute to your cause. The easiest path is the Facebook “Donate” button. Set up the button by signing in as an administrator to your nonprofit’s account. Click “Add a Button” on the top right of your nonprofit’s page underneath the cover photo. A menu will appear. Select “Make Purchase or Donation” and then click “Donate” in the pop-down menu. Facebook will ask you, “What website would you like to send people to when they click this button?” Enter your Smart Donations URL. You can link your Core Profile or one of your Campaign Pages here. Your new button is up and running!
You can accomplish the same effect on Twitter by pinning a link to Smart Donations with a call-to-action on the top of your page. When visitors come to your Twitter profile, your call-to-action and donation link immediately draw their attention.

Set (and Promote) a Goal

Setting a goal for your Campaign and promoting the goal on social media can be an effective way of driving online donations. Studies show that donors are more likely to give when a nonprofit is working towards a goal, especially if the goal is close. So make sure the goal you set is appropriate. If you’re already close, increase your goal to drive more donations. Promote the deadline and your progress with frequent posts on Facebook and Twitter. Include a call-to-action in those posts to donate and to share your post with friends.

Tell Your Story

Effective storytelling deepens the connection between your organization and your donors, leading to more donations via social. If your nonprofit uses our “Impact Stories” feature, draw attention to those stories in your social post, or incorporate them into your goals (e.g. reaching our goal of $5,000 will help us provide 1,000 meals to the homeless.) Or pick one constituent your organization has served and shine a spotlight on their story on social media.
Setting up a blog on Medium is a great way to start telling your nonprofit’s story (and it’s free). Donors and prospective donors want to know how their contributions will support your cause directly. Imagery can help with this too. Make sure that every time your nonprofit posts on social media, the post is accompanied by a high-quality photo that tells your nonprofit’s story. You can set this photo as your social sharing image in Give Lively’s Nonprofit Member Portal so that it automatically accompanies your link, or you can simply add the photo to your posts and tweets. If you don’t have a good image, search Flickr Creative Commons and free stock photo sites for something that will enhance your story.

Connect Your Cause to Current Events

News stories and current events are driving donations to nonprofits more than ever thanks to social media. Whether your nonprofit has been covered in news stories or not, you can use the news cycle to bring in donations. Share any article you find that’s relevant to your cause, even if it’s about something in another part of the country (or the world), then use social or blog posts to pivot readers towards giving to your nonprofit. You can quote an article and share a link to your donation page alongside it. Better yet, copy and paste moving parts of the article to your blog where you can directly embed Smart Donations and use the news story as a call-to-action to give to your organization.

Consider Boosting Your Posts

Facebook and Twitter give users incredibly powerful tools to target audiences with advertisements. Nonprofits can take advantage of these tools to find new donors and encourage existing donors to give more. You can target people by location, age, income, whether they’ve given to nonprofits before, which types of nonprofits they’ve given to, and much more. For example, you might have the most luck specifically targeting people in your community who are at a certain income level and who have given to a nonprofit like yours before. You can even run a few different ads aimed at different demographics. The best part is that spending just a few dollars can have a big impact on your online fundraising.
Incorporating one or more of these strategies will not only help you reign in more followers, but also make those followers more likely to give again and again to your organization. If you need any help implementing these tips, our team is here to coach you through the entire process.


Give Lively is a tech start-up that builds fundraising tech and gives it away to nonprofits for free. Much like a foundation, Give Lively was founded by philanthropists for the sole purpose of providing free resources to nonprofits. Give Lively stands apart from other fundraising tech companies not only because their tech is available for free to all 501(c)(3)s, but because 100% of product development is based on feedback from nonprofits and donors. Visit Give Lively to learn more at givelively.org.

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