Three Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Donations

A charity’s success depends on widespread public awareness. Fortunately, thanks to social media, promoting a cause is now easier than ever. When it comes to growing a network, social media’s potential is limitless: Data Reportal revealed that there were 53 million social media users in the United Kingdom in 2021 alone. And social media’s global reach can make it a powerful tool for promoting good causes. Imagine if those 53 million users spared just a penny, or even their time, and shared your content with their followers.

If you want to raise donations for your organisation, there are many strategies you can use to make your nonprofit content stand out in the ever-growing digital sphere.

Leverage Video Content

Click here to watch What is Dementia?

Credit: AlzheimersResearch UK on YouTube

In the fast-paced digital sphere, attention is currency. A video marketing study presented on SmallBizGenius revealed that viewers tend to retain 95% of information after watching a video. If you want to make an impression but can’t compress your cause into simple social media posts, a short video can be a time-efficient way of explaining difficult subjects to modern audiences.

Imagery and audio can help audiences understand complex ideas. If you’re raising funds for a disease, you can make an explainer video to convey relevant statistics, or illustrate the disadvantages of being afflicted. In the above example, Alzheimer’s Research UK uses animation to explain how the brain works, and how dementia severely limits a person’s functioning.

Videos are also good for showing products in action. You can even use product demonstration videos to show how new donation technologies like CollecTin can work. For example, if you’re aiming to raise donations at your physical headquarters, you can make a product demonstration on how the contactless technology featured in CollectTin can streamline transactions for an easier donation process.

Personalise Audience Participation

Click here to watch 38 Celebs do the Ice Bucket Challenge

Credit: Shine On Media on YouTube

2014 saw the rise of the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral media challenge started as a way to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). To simulate the symptoms of ALS, participants were tasked to pour iced water over their heads. Participants would capture the experience on a video, post it, then tag their friends to challenge them either to post their own videos, or donate to the ALS Association. By the end of its run, the viral social media challenge was able to generate $220 million (£158 million).

The Ice Bucket Challenge worked for the same reason that the CollecTin works: these avenues for donation mix charity with self-expression. Where the Collectin allows brands to personalise their causes through its customisable features, the Ice Bucket Challenge gave the option for personalisation to the participants themselves. They were allowed to express themselves through their donation videos.

Everybody liked that they were able to show their involvement in a good cause. Social media is a space that allows people to curate their identities. It gives people some control of how others see them — and people tend to want to be seen for their good values. If you want people to promote their cause, make their contributions feel personal and meaningful. Give them an avenue to show their involvement.

The donation stickers on Instagram’s stories are another example of how to use social media to personalise participation. A guide to using donation stickers on Instagram by Later outlines how those who donated can reshare the story with an “I Donated” sticker. This simple but brilliant feature encourages people to give any amount to a certain cause, while also promoting the fundraising project to their own followers. And many organisations have already jumped on the chance to use this feature, like and the ALS Association.

Connect with Audiences Through Live Streaming

Click to watch Dr Lupo donate $1m on Twitch

Credit: DrLupo on YouTube

Live streaming combines the strengths of both video and personalised participation. It has the audio-visual advantages of video, but the live aspect can also make it feel more personal for the viewers. Social Media Today’s post on live streaming outlines how you can do this on different platforms. Facebook and Instagram’s live features are easy to understand, but you can also host an event on Twitch, which is more specifically for live streaming.

As for the content, audiences prefer Q&A’s with experts or internet personalities, product tutorials, and how-to’s or explainers. These kinds of formats work well live because your audience gets to experience content as you create it. When you lose the polished, processed, and edited version of yourself, it is much easier to prove the integrity of your actions.

If you want to gain the trust of your audience, you can host Q&As to reveal how your organisation operates behind the scenes. You can also show live footage of fundraising events so audiences can participate remotely.

As the pandemic forces us to adapt to a more digital world, we must find ways to take advantage of the ever-evolving technological tools at our disposal. As mentioned in Chris Allwood’s post, there are many ways to donate without making contact. And social media’s widespread reach can help turn a digital connection into a human connection that spurs people to act.

Written by Ashlyn Lily Crawford
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