Once your appeal letter is in the mail, what can you do to help donors decide to give?
Reaching out directly through the phone or by email is a good idea… especially if you make your calls and emails warm and personal.
The Wrong Way to Use Social Media
For most organizations, asking directly for money through social media is not a good idea. Here’s why.
Picture yourself on Facebook. What are you doing there? You went online to catch up with your friends, and perhaps to see a meme that would amuse or outrage you. You didn’t go to Facebook to do business. And that includes giving away money.
There are exceptions. If you’ve tried asking online before and it worked for you, congratulations! If you want to experiment with fundraising via social media, ask for donations for a specific cause, with an immediate impact. Think of it as crowdfunding.
In general, though, “making the ask” is the wrong way to use social media to back up your end-of-year appeal. There is a better way.
Put Your Donors in the Mood for Giving
But here is what you can do to make them feel like giving:
- Give their pleasure your full attention. Between now and December 31, post pieces that will make donors feel good about themselves when they give.
- Tell stories. Create good memories that you and your donors share. It will bring you closer.
- Share the love. Post stories–or even better, videos–of donors like them saying why they love giving to your organization and how it makes them feel.
It Takes Two to Tango
For the donor to feel the love, you have to be feeling it too. And that’s difficult in December. You’re watching the numbers on the end-of-year appeal and worrying about what happens if you don’t meet your fundraising goal. Performance anxiety is making you tense.
May I make a suggestion? Before you write for social media this month, slow it down. Breathe. Think about why you care so much: the good results your organization bring about that makes you want it to succeed.
Now, think about the donor. She cares about those good results too. You’re together in this. That’s what brought you together in the first place.
You just have to speak the language of love with your donors, and watch them respond.