How to raise funds for World Vision using only Social Media

Fundraising can be daunting and seem like a challenge in itself. We want to help you by providing you with some tips and tools to raise funds for World Vision using your social media channels. We believe in the power of social media and how we can use the medium for good.

Our first fundraising stop is always online tools and now we shall share with you some of the strategies our supporters have used to make their campaign successful in a short period of time.

Here are some key actions that helped them hit their target:

Campaign focal point: With any social media campaign, there should be a goal and a reason behind your messages. My goal was to get people to my fundraising page to hand their hard-earned cash over to the amazing World Vision Australia. The focal point was thus my fundraising page. All activities and actions drove people to the page; whether that activity be a tweet, a Facebook post, an Instagram photo or a Linkedin update. The link would always go back to my fundraising page, the centre of my campaign world.

You could make your everyday hero fundraising URL link your focal point.

Call to action: What are you trying to get people to do? In this case, I wanted them to donate. So my call to action was "GIVE ME MONEY!" Well, in a slightly calmer and more approachable tone of course; whether it is by asking people to give generously, spare a few dollars or make a donation in lieu of a physical gift. I wanted people to give money, and this was the key to the messages I sent out. The result, hallelujah, they gave money.

Make sure your call to action is clear. People need to know what you are asking of them. You can ask in different ways but ultimately, you are asking them to donate.

Consistent messaging: I did not post this up once and hope for the best. I didn't rely on the power of social media and the viral nature of the medium. I made the time, put in the effort and had the perseverance to continue messaging my audience. This does not mean spamming; it means creatively sharing the same thing in different ways. I shared photos of my training, and reminded people I was doing the training to take on a physical challenge. I would thank people who donated, refreshing the page and bringing it back to the top of my news feed. I would celebrate milestone such as $500 raised and countdown of the weeks to the challenge. I also would reiterate why I was taking on such a challenge. I would share content from World Vision and their messages. There are so many ways to talk about the one thing - you just have to think outside the box and use a few different words here or there.

How can you show your challenge differently? Photos, videos, training, fundraising and talk about India and Sam's challenge. There are lots of topics in Run India to keep your campaign fresh, engaging and fun for your audience.

Show your training! Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

Common linking thread: #Everestbasecamptrek2015 was our hash tag for the event, which was created by the travel companies social media team. This is a great way to track the conversation about the event. I could see what other people were doing or talking about and join their conversation. I could use the tag to create a common reference point for my followers. The tag became familiar and when I used it regularly on posts, this was a quick way to associate with the message.

We have the #tags #runindia and #howfarwillyougo. You can use these whenever posting about your Run India challenge to join the conversation with fellow participants and help your audience remember the cause.

Consistency: Yes, again, I was consistent. Reiterating the message, sharing the page link again and reminding my audience this activity was happening. Social media is a heavily used medium and there is a lot of information going on out there. For your message to be seen you do need to share it more than once and you do need to be creative. Again, not spamming, but regularly communicating with your audience and reinforcing your call to action.

How often will you share your training efforts? Will you update your audience on your progress? Remember the more you talk about Run India, the more engaged your friends, family and followers will feel.

Show your training! Photo Credit: Ilana Rose, World Vision (2015)

Thank you! Thank your audience! Thanking my sponsors gave me a way to acknowledge the wonderful support I had received, but also to inform my audience again of what I was doing. Every single donation I received was shared to Facebook and Twitter. I thanked each individual. Now, on a page where there are thousands of comments, individual posts may not be possible. However, you can achieve the same results by regularly acknowledging your audience, thanking them for following you and believing in what you do. A group thank you can be acceptable on posts with a lot of interaction, but reaching out and engaging in two-way conversation, especially one that begins with gratitude, builds trust and loyalty. What better way to share your message then through a trusted relationship?

The result of your fundraising will be incredible and make a huge impact to the work of World Vision Australia by changing the lives of children in India through the power of education. You can simply make a plan for my social media campaign and follow a strategy.

The long and short of this post is that social media is not hard to use. It's about applying practices, strategies and having a method to the madness. When there is a plan and a reason for social media, there can be results.

Do you have structure around your social media activity? Do you plan what you want to share with your audience? Do you know who your audience is? All good questions! What's your purpose for reaching out on social media? Have a think and enjoy a successful online fundraising campaign.

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