Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 42 seconds

Using Facebook to Raise Funds

191338-facebookFacebook has become interwoven into the modern communication landscape. Many organizations have recognized this trend and chosen to create their own pages in order to spread brand awareness, communicate directly with supporters, and even solicit salesand donations. The power of social mediais real, and when you have an audience that has opted in to read your communications, you are that much further along in creating loyal donors and volunteers.

One of the first options that comes to mind for fundraising on Facebook is the Causes application. It allows nonprofits to make their Facebook pages even more functional as a tool for doing these exact things. Causes was created in 2007 by Sean Parker, with a background in social networking, and JoeGreen, with a background in grassroots organizing. By creating a platform that brings together causes and supporters in a place where most of them were already spending time(Facebook), it is estimated that Causes has raised more than $40 million for 27,000nonprofits.

It’s a good idea to do a little research before putting too much stock in Causes. It is continually growing and adapting, and at the rate of change in the Age of Technology, it’s always a good idea to check on the latest updates and reviews of any application, product, or service.

Matching Donation Drive
As mentioned above, you already have a list of people whoare at least peripherally interested in your organization, as evidenced by the fact that they have chosen to “like” your Facebook page. One way to reach out and create new donors is to create a matching donation drive. When a large donor is ready to make a gift, he or she may choose to make it a “matching” donation, meaning that for every dollar donated by others, the donor will “match” it, usually dollar for dollar. This is a great way to leverage one large donation into double its original value.

Do a “Friend Drive”
Again, this requires the assistance of a donor willing to designate funds to your organization. A friend drive is a way to get more people to “like” your page and therefore become more engaged with your organization. You start by announcing that for every new “fan,” “friend,” or “like”you get (depending on whether you’re using a profile, page, or group), Donor X will donate a specific amount of money. For example, a local business who wants to get a little publicity may agree to pay $1.00 for every new fan your page gets within a set period oftime. It may be a good idea to set a limit on the amount, just in case. The idea is that your current followers will share the message with their friends,and as you gain more of the coveted “thumbs up,” you’ll also be garnering donations.

Awareness Campaigns
Facebook has nearly unlimited potential for reaching a new audience, and while fundraising is certainly an important part of that, ther eare other benefits that you can enjoy. For example, asking your Facebook friends to “donate” their status to a pre-composed message about your organization can get the word out about your mission or cause. This message could include a link to your web site or include a call to action, if it seems appropriate.

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