How to (Actually) Fundraise on Social Media

By Sarah Taylor

Sure, every nonprofit, fundraising team, or volunteer who knows anything knows that they need to “fundraise” on social media. But how many actually raise funds from their social media efforts?

Has social media fundraising been effective for you?

There’s a fairly wide range of tips and tricks that you probably don’t know which can actually bring you donors through your social media activity. Let’s dive into some of them.


Use the fundraising tools that are built into Social Media Platforms


Facebook and Instagram now offer fundraising tools that are integrated into the platform.

Facebook offers a donation button that can be placed in paid promotions or the header of your organizations’ Facebook page.


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This feature allows fundraisers to create timely stories with a donation call-to-action that lives on their timeline.

Or you can also create an evergreen donation button that lives on the header.

Either way, users now have a way to engage with a request to donate.

Since Facebook lends itself to users of all ages who prefer longer form content, this feature is the perfect closer to a story relevant to your organization or mission.

Instagram recently launched a donation button that is placed in Instagram stories- this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate a call to action with your most compelling content.

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Instagram stories have 500 million daily users and is twice as popular as their competitor, Snapchat.

Instagram stories are a chance to engage with your followers in real time without adding a post to your feed.


Adding a donate button gives purpose to a meaningful image or story and gets your fundraising efforts in front of more millennial and gen Z users.


Both of these placements of donation buttons, in stories and along with posts, are also the perfect way to add a quick call to action to a live event or shared media to gain immediate support from your digital network. Fundraising is all about storytelling, so what better way to fundraise than to garner donations on the storytelling?

Imagine sharing stories from a car wash fundraiser, keeping your audience involved throughout the day, and adding donation buttons for them to contribute to your cause from home. Or imagine sharing stories from a day in the field, showing the impact of people’s donations directly, and at the same time providing a button for them to donate easily.

Fundraising really can be that simple, and this rewards your support network by making them feel connected and involved as well!


More Than Just One Button


Donation buttons aside, there are plenty of unique ways to use other buttons, polls, live sharing, and interactive features on Facebook and Instagram.

One possible hit? Running a “silent auction” over your Instagram story, using the “Questions” sticker to enable people to respond with their bids, and sharing the highest responses in subsequent stories as they come in. This has the double benefit of increasing your social media engagement and fundraising for you!


Leverage your professional network through Linkedin

While Linkedin does not have specific fundraising functionality, it does offer a chance for fundraisers and nonprofits to expand their network.

Nonprofits specifically can create a Company Page and post content to increase their donor base and development network.


A strong LinkedIn presence can be especially important for nonprofits cultivating a donation strategy oriented towards large donors and corporate partners.


This is an invaluable resource for networking and expanding your reach. In addition to reaching out to potential donors, you can also share content on your Linkedin page.

This content can be related to your mission, targeted at gaining one-time donations, ongoing donations, or can be a channel for sharing industry-specific information and building brand authority/thought leadership.

The main goal is to create a consistent and relevant online presence that draws Linkedin users to your mission.


Create a unique hashtag for your fundraiser

Not only is it key to use hashtags relevant to your cause, but it is also important to create a specific hashtag for your cause that can be used across all platforms.



This hashtag should be unused (or used very little) by other parties prior to you using it in your fundraising efforts. This allows users to identify and connect with your content regardless of the platform.

If you want to get more strategic, you can also check out these free resources that track hashtag performance so you can maximize the effectiveness of your posts.

Also, here’s a tip from us on how many hashtags to use on leading social media channels:

Facebook: 1-2 hashtags

Twitter: 1-3 hashtags

Instagram: 7-15 hashtags (but they need to be in a paragraph far below your regular text description)

LinkedIn: 1-3 hashtags

Ultimately though, how many hashtags you use and what they should contain is a decision that requires you to...


Understand Your Audience

Social media is not just a millennial's world.


In fact, 79% of the United States is on at least one social media platform.


This is great news for social media marketers because it removes barriers of geography and culture and allows us to reach a broader audience.

However, the demographics of the average social media user varies per platform. Knowing who we are reaching on each platform helps us to effectively craft our content to meet their interests.




In short, Facebook resonates most with older generations (but still comes in strong w/ Millennials), Instagram is great with Millennials (and some of GenZ), and Twitter is hip with Millennials and some Baby Boomers.


Snapchat is a whole game of its own, strongly in the clutches of Gen Z. If they’re your audience, you need to figure out a completely independent Snapchat strategy.



Using social media for fundraising may seem simple but it requires research, planning, and consistent execution to be successful.

As fundraisers, we need to use social media platforms in a strategic manner by maximizing built-in features, leveraging our social networks, telling compelling stories, using relevant hashtags, and understanding our audience.

If you have any more tips, please leave them in the comments below!

Tags: Education, fundraising advice, fundraising guidance, donations, fundraise, fundraising, fundraising help, fundraising tips, Social Media

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