Include Social Influencers in Your Nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday Plan

Your supporters are worth more than their own donations.

Today, individuals are agents of change who can leverage power, and subsequent gifts, through their own social networks. Consider that 600,000+ petitions were created on in 2015 alone, crowdfunding exploded into a multi-million dollar industry and the creation of citizen powered movements has played an enormous role in bringing issues to the forefront.

Everyday influencers are more connected and empowered than ever an play an increasingly powerful role in organizing their own niche communities.  Think nurse by day, activist by night, modern movement building is fueled by the networked individual who shares, engages, and ultimately mobilizes their own social networks around a their passion. Your job is to find them and convert them into your organization’s social ambassadors.

We’ll show you how to radically boost your fundraising engagement by adding one piece you’re probably missing from your #GivingTuesday campaign – a social ambassador plan.

Here’s a look at the 3 major steps in tapping into your undiscovered social wealth and mobilizing your influencers around end of year giving:


Since influencers have the ability to recruit their network of friends to donate, you’ll want to first identify influencers in your email list using tools like The goal is to segment your influencers, as you would donors, for the purpose of cultivating this distinctly powerful group to share your campaign message. Once you segment by social influence, send this small but powerful group an email about a week from #GivingTuesday and Nov 29, with the ask to share your content. Again, the primary CTA is to share, not donate.


This can be as simple as asking folks to hold up sign for a classic “ unselfie challenge” or as sophisticated as the Luries Children’s Hospital’s Ambassador’s platform. In terms of delivering content you can 1) include the share content in the email, 2)  include the url to a landing page in the email body and/or 3) engage directly on social. The key is to offer content that’s easy to share to share on Facebook, Twitter or other networks where your audience hangs out.


If this is your first year mobilizing social influencers around EOY fundraising, keep it simple by tracking total donations brought in by influencers and your social reach. Tracking online donations will depend on your tools but generally involve either including a tracking code at the end of your donation page url or creating a dedicated fundraising page. At the end of the event, compare the number of ambassador generated donations with the total donations.

Watch the webinar >>

Download the White Paper: Mobilize Your Everyday Ambassadors

Learn how to radically boost engagement by showing how to mobilize a hidden, yet power, segment in your email list – your everyday social media ambassadors! Better yet, request our free report to show your top 10 influencers.

Amplify #GivingTuesday with Social Media Influencers

Fueled by the power of social media, #GivingTuesday has emerged as the largest day of giving with $116M raised, 114M Twitter impression, and 1.3M social media mentions. The single biggest reason for it’s viral success is the collective action of sharing on social media.

Because social sharing plays such a critical role, we want to show you how to radically boost your fundraising engagement by adding one piece you’re probably missing from your #GivingTuesday campaign – a social ambassador plan.

To be clear, this isn’t just about creating awesome content to share. It’s about developing a strategy to engage your most socially active supporters who are best positioned to expand the reach of your campaign through their social networks – your social ambassadors.

Social Influencers VS Social Ambassadors

Just about every organization has influencers hanging out in their email list who can dramatically extend the reach of campaigns. Social media influencers are people who are active on one or more social networks with a modest to large following, driving action and awareness around campaigns. Social ambassadors however are social influencers who advocate for your cause. Generally, the goal is to cultivate influencers into ambassadors.

Like prospective donors, your organization’s social ambassadors are a specific segment which need to be cultivated so they share again, similar to donor stewardship. While social influencers come in all shapes and sizes, they have one thing in common: they drive action. They are key to sharing your #GivingTuesday message.

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In our own research, we found that the top 5% in an email list has the ability to reach 85% of a nonprofit’s extended network reach. The Georgetown Digital Persuasion Study also reports that 65% find out about a cause through their friends and family, while 68% were prompted to donate after engaging with a cause on social media. The list goes on.

Identifying Your Tribe

Finding Social Ambassadors

Your organization’s greatest assets are the people behind your mission. So, start with the people you’ve spent years cultivating, the people you already know.

The most efficient way to find influencers (and future ambassadors) with this approach is to match your email file with social data, which we do here at as proud new members of the Blackbaud family.

Enriching email with social data shows the social side of your supporters, donors, activists, etc by layering a rich social profile for each individual. This profile includes post frequency, Twitter and Facebook feed, top hashtags, Klout score, bio. etc. It allows you to segment supporters based on their network reach, topic relevancy, prior interactions, and more, while connecting this information back to your supporter or email solution. The main reason for segmenting by social influence is so you can deliberately cultivate this distinct group as new messengers with programmatic support and structure. The following segments are a great place to start:

  • Number of connections
  • Post frequency
  • Social biography
  • Klout score
  • Network membership
  • Social mentions

Enlisting Your Staff

In addition to finding your ambassadors with social data, consider enlisting your staff as social ambassadors, especially if you’re an large organization. The Ford Theatre trains their staff as social media ambassadors to provide behind-the-scenes access to their work, while cultivating diverse voices throughout their institution. Human Rights Watch also started their social media influencer program using their own staff to grow to an impressive 3 million Twitter followers.


Power Amplification with Content Sharing

Create a social ambassador sign up page. Take your campaign to the next level by creating a social ambassador micro-site or landing page to enlist anyone who self selects to share your message. A dedicated page allows people to sign up for the opportunity while providing them with sample content.

Provide content for your ambassadors to share. This can be as simple as asking folks to hold up sign for a classic “unselfie challenge”, to creating a landing page with a collection of social sharing content. The key is to offer customizable content such as Facebook posts, tweets, images, and talking points that empower your supporters to make your giving day message their own. Here are a few creative content examples:

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Communication with ambassadors

Similar to building a donor program, you’ll want to develop a plan that cultivates your ambassadors as effective spokespeople, collaborators and partners to achieving your mission for the long run.

Email your ambassadors. A few weeks before Giving Tuesday, send your ambassadors a short email asking them to share your content on November 29. Explain that you need their help because social media is the best way to educate a broader audience about your mission to reach your fundraising goal. Let them know that you’ll send a toolkit to use on #GivingTuesday. Finally, remind them how important their gift is on this day.

Remind ambassadors with direct messages. Once you integrate supporter information with social data, it’s easy to find your ambassadors who use Twitter so you can Direct Message (DM) them about your giving day. Think about using DM’s to remind ambassadors about #GivingTuesday, send them to your social share landing page, and thank for sharing your campaign.

Pay it forward with social love. Leading up to Nov 29, pay close attention to the social activity of your ambassadors and show your gratitude with their social posts whenever possible. The best way to never leave an engagement opportunity on the table is to utilize social listening which our guide explains: Your People Are Talking. Are You Listening.

Build buzz with video live streaming. Before (or during) the event, take your campaign to the next level by inviting your ambassadors to a live video conference (Facebook Live, Google Hangout, Periscope, etc). Use the opportunity to reinforce the social proof of your organization’s impact by inviting a few of your supporters to share their stories of how your group made a difference.

#SocialLove is your mantra for #GivingTuesday. On your big day, monitor your networks with the goal of showing special appreciation through likes, comments or retweets to your influencers (or anyone who participates). As much as giving days raise critical funds, it also connects your community with one another and your organization. It’s one of easiest, yet overlooked engagement opportunities for community building.

Email ambassadors your campaign results. After the campaign, leverage your hard earned momentum by thanking and updating influencers about your campaign success by using examples of ambassadors in action. The follow up email could also be the perfect time launch an official social ambassadors program with a call to action to sign up. Following up is the real opportunity to build on the momentum of your win and move participants to the next level of involvement.

Measuring #GivingTuesday Success

Total donations: On your #GivingTuesday fundraising page include a tracking code at the end of your url or create a dedicated fundraising page for ambassadors. At the end of the event, compare the number of ambassador generated donations with the total donations. If this is your first year tracking influencer driven donations, you’ll ideally want to compare 2016 with your future totals.

New donations: The goal is simply to track how many new donors came in through your ambassadors.

Social Reach: How many people did your ambassadors reach and which content did they share?

With a structured approach to ambassador engagement, your #GivingTuesday campaign will build more buzz, raise more funds, and empower your mission to do more good! Don’t miss the free Turn Up Your Tuesday #GivingTuesday webinar series runs through early November.

If you’d like more help with EOY fundraising, check out Blackbaud’s new End-of-Year Fundraising Toolkit helps plan each stage of your campaign. Don’t miss the free Turn Up Your Tuesday #GivingTuesday webinar series runs through early November.

Best Platforms for Online Fundraising

All nonprofits and social enterprises are searching for ways to effectively raise online interest and hopefully trigger donations and drive action. There are numerous tools and platforms available out in the expansive world wide web and a successful campaign will not only find the right tools but also engage supporters.

The impact of a campaign extends past the platforms and tools. Building an audience and fundraising is about telling a compelling story and creating a bond with that message. The more exciting and compelling the story, the further your cause will travel.

As a starting point, here are a few tips to increase the quality of your story:

Nurture & Cultivate

If you already have been discovered by a few intrigued followers, begin nurturing and cultivating the relationship. The ball is now in your court, how will you keep your follower connected to your cause?

Make sure that you are offering enough content to become a trustworthy and reliable source of information, and enough resources for followers to take action. At this stage individual contact is incredibly valuable and it is very important to remain considerate – do not spam. Create a connection with your follower; use social media platforms to generate one-on-one conversations. Keep them “in the know” of what’s going on within your company, let your hair down and get a little personal.

Offer variety and different choices

We all have different preferences in every aspect of life and this crosses over to how we communicate and how we donate. Some people prefer email over social media and others are constantly on their mobile devices. Make sure you are reaching as much of your audience as possible by providing a well rounded online presence. Continue this mentality of accommodation for your supporters – give them some different choices on how they can help you. Redcross and The World Wildlife Fund do an incredible job of providing variety.


Real people, real stories and raw emotions

To truly cultivate a relationship with one of your supporters, invite them to volunteer. Volunteering helps truly contextualize what your organization is doing. Recently the Associate of Fundraising Professionals revealed that supporters who had volunteered and put in time and effort – were far more likely to donate to the organization. For those who can’t put in the hours, or aren’t in the area – help them visualize the reality of your work by showcasing your donors and what they help accomplish online. Create videos and photos of your success stories and stories of the people your helping. Nonprofit Soles4Souls simply lists exactly what your donation will do. image

Thank your Donors

Do not forget to give your donors a proper thank you – not only should you thank your donor online but also offline. Send them a thank you note through the mail, or at least demonstrate your gratitude in an email that doesn’t simply look like a receipt.

Now that we’ve tackled some basic steps to creating a clean message, here are some sites specifically dedicated to fundraising.


Cause is embedded right within Facebook, allowing followers to easily search for charities that might connect with them and donate. And as a Nonprofit – if you already have a Facebook Page then setting up on Cause will very simple. Nonprofits can setup up fundraising campaigns – from classic donations to asking followers to join your cause, sign a petition, simply like your page, encourage followers to invite their friends or to share links.



The cool thing about Razoo is their widget that allows Nonprofits to take add the donation button to their site.

Network for Goodimage

Charity Navigatorimage

Fundraising with Social Data

Donor driven fundraising starts with understanding what motivates your donors to give again. But how do you know which programs your supporters are most interested in today?

Social data and social listening gives organizations unprecedented insight into their donors’ lives and an opportunity for deeper, real time engagement.

Watch the recording and learn how to segment and personalize well timed communications, find influencers and drive year round engagement.

We’ll show you how to:

    • Send personalized, well timed communications.
    • Know which programs your donors are most interested in today.
    • Find socially influential supporters who can help fundraise.

Learn how to track a donor’s current behavior, preferences and values including – the social networks they spend time on, what they talk about, how influential they are, and who could help you reach thousands with your upcoming fundraising event.



Nonprofit Fundraising with Influencers

Guest blog by Camira Powell, PR & Social Media Coordinator at Global Fund for Women

At Global Fund for Women, our vision is to live in a world where every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. To achieve this, it’s going to take everyone from every background to join us in the movement for equality.

We created the Gender Equality Advocate program to better engage with our supporters who share our mission. We were inspired by our followers who kept asking how they could “do something” AFTER the launch of our Determined campaign.

Although we already had a strategy in place to engage high-level influencers, we had to think creatively about new ways to cultivate these “everyday” influencers. As a solution, we launched our Advocate (i.e. influencer) program on Giving Tuesday, which was aimed at growing our audience through social media.

We asked Advocates to participate in our #IAmDetermined Selfie Challenge, earning $1 for Global Fund for Women for every selfie shared on Giving Tuesday (thanks to a matching gift from a donor). Advocates receive social media toolkits with drafted messages and images to help raise awareness about our campaigns.

The Result: Giving Tuesday was our most successful day on Twitter which raised over $25,000.

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Finding Our Engaged Advocates

For the initial group of Advocates, we hand-picked individuals that had a high-level of engagement with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Instead of focusing on follower count (which is easy to do), we focused on their commitment to championing rights for women and girls. This is one of the smartest things we’ve done with the program.

For instance, one of our most engaged Advocates (in Southeast Asia) has less than 10,000 followers, but she’s one of our top three contributors on Twitter based on reach and impressions (she’s tweeted us over 300x).

For us, the value of the “everyday” influencers is absolutely priceless.

Our Advocates are our sounding board for new ideas, resources for news about women’s human rights, and a reflection of what our audience looks like today. More importantly, they are what we hope our audience will look like in the future.

Diversity of Messengers

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One of the best aspects of our Gender Equality Advocate program is the diversity of Advocates. We have high school students in the Bay Area, a NGO finance director working in Bangladesh, a writer from Germany, and even an actress in Los Angeles. Those are just a few examples of the many varied and passionate people we call Advocates.

Our best advice to any organization considering cultivating everyday influencers is to do it! 

It does take effort to organize them and the returns may not be evident immediately. However, “everyday” influencers will be some of the most dedicated supporters your organization could ever want. Your everyday influencers represent the everyday people that support your organization, and they’re amazing in their own individual ways.

We encourage every organization to find ways to engage with this level of influence to discover more about their awesome supporters. That’s what we’re doing, and we’ll keep going until we can call everyone a Gender Equality Advocate!

Camira 2Camira Powell, PR & Social Media Coordinator at Global Fund for Women

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA., Camira graduated from Stanford University with a dual BA in Communication and French. Camira has been passionate about issues affecting girls and women since discovering what it meant to be a feminist in elementary school. Before joining the Global Fund for Women, Camira was a freelance writer and communications consultant, advising clients on how to express themselves in person and online. Prior to that, Camira worked at Facebook in recruiting, with the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA) Marketing and Creative Services department, and with a multitude of news sites, including KQED’s Pop Culture blog, SFGate, Re/Code, and Mic. When not working, you can find Camira talking about a new podcast at happy hour, attempting to be Ina Garten, or looking for a new show on Netflix.

How Your Organization’s Influencers can be Involved in the Fundraising Process

Guest blog by Abby Jarvis, Communications Coordinator for Qgiv (Updated 6/5/16 with enhanced tips!)

Your nonprofit’s influencers wear a lot of hats. Not only can they support your organization with their own time and money, but they also have the potential to reach out to new supporters with their enthusiasm for your cause.

When you identify your organization’s influencers, you generally look for some key traits:

  • Reach. How many people do your influencers have in their own networks?
  • Relevance. How will your influencers’ networks respond to your organization’s mission and cause?
  • History. How well do your influencers already know your organization?

When all of the stars align correctly, your organization’s influencers can help you grow your network and reach more people.

But when it comes to fundraising and asking for donations, your organization’s influencers might not be as skilled or as interested as you would like them to be.

That’s where this article comes in!

Let’s talk about how your organization can get your influencers on board with the fundraising process.

We discuss how you can:

  1. Include your influencers in a component of your annual campaign.
  2. Encourage your influencers to share your donation page.
  3. Ask your influencers to speak at your fundraising events.
  4. Ask your influencers to host a fundraising dinner
  5. Bring an influencer along to an in-person appeal.
  6. Start with your influencers during your crowdfunding campaign.

And don’t miss out on these three ways that influencers can drive engagement for your nonprofit.

1. Include your influencers in a component of your annual campaign.

Your annual campaign is the backbone of your fundraising efforts. Without a strong annual campaign, your organization likely wouldn’t be able to fund the projects that help the people, animals, or communities that you serve.

What better opportunity to involve your influencers?

Extending an open offer to get involved in your annual campaign means that your influencers can get involved whenever it works for them. If they have a busy summer schedule, suggest that they help fundraise during the end of the year. If they’re unable to help out every month, offer to put them on an involvement schedule that helps them manage the time they spend with your nonprofit.

Including your influencers involved in your annual campaign doesn’t have to take a ton of effort on your part or theirs. The best part of this strategy is that influencers get to choose how much they want to be involved and can scale back or ramp up their involvement at any time.

Learn more about annual campaigns in general here.

2. Encourage your influencers to share your donation page.

Are you collecting donations online? Do you need another way of letting other people know that your donation form exists?

Why not tap into your existing pool of influencers to see if they’d be willing to spread the news about your donation page?

Your influencers’ social networks are expansive and filled with a multitude of potential donors. They just need a little nudge in the right direction!

By encouraging your influencers to share your donation page link across their social channels, you’ll be able to reach more donors and prospects than ever!

If you don’t have a beautiful online donation page check out these top options for nonprofits >

3. Ask your influencers to speak at your fundraising events.

Every good fundraising event needs a dynamic speaker to either kick things off or wrap them up.

Instead of always having someone from inside your organization deliver the keynote address or conduct the closing ceremony, why not ask one of your amazing influencers to rally your supporters, donors, and volunteers?

What’s the benefit of having a key influencer address your advocates and event attendees?

Let’s address a couple of points:

  • Few people know your organization better than your influencers.

Your influencers are the movers and shakers of your nonprofit. They are the first to tweet about your upcoming volunteer day, and they’re some of the first to donate when you launch a new fundraising campaign.

When it comes to talking to a large crowd of people — some of whom may be familiar with your organization and some who may have no clue what your mission is — your influencers are going to be your best motivators.

  • People want someone they can connect to.

Your fundraising event attendees might not know the hierarchy of leaders in your organization. Frankly, they might not care to know who your board members are or be interested in what they have to say.

But their ears may perk up if they hear a firsthand account of how your influencer/speaker became involved with your nonprofit or how your organization has enriched their supporter experience in general.

Comments about an organization can carry much more weight with a potential donor if they come from someone who doesn’t work directly with the nonprofit itself.

Your influencers can be great additions to your fundraisers. They’re likely already attending these types of events anyway; why not make them an integral part of your fundraising process by inviting them to speak at an event?

4. Ask your influencers to host a fundraising dinner.

Are you familiar with hosted fundraising events? If not, I encourage you to check out Joe Garecht’s (of The Fundraising Authority) ultimate guide. He does a great job of explaining how organizations of all sizes can benefit from asking supporters to host their own fundraising dinners or small gatherings.

But basically hosted events are events which a nonprofit’s supporters hold in order to raise money for the organization. These range from small dinner parties to happy hours to fundraising picnics.

Hosted events carry two major benefits that can make a difference for organizations:

  1. They expand your organization’s network and fundraising reach
  2. They’re risk-free as typically the host is willing to take on the cost as part of their donation.

Why do I bring this up?

Well they’re great opportunities to engage your influencers! Typically folks who will host a fundraising event are well connected and became influencers because they’re social, outgoing, and love planning or participating in events.

How effective can this be for your organization?

There is no shortage of examples of organizations raising tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars from these hosted events.

For example, SARRC regularly engages its influencer to host events of their choosing. Two supporters, Lloyd Claycomb and his wife Karen, who’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollar for autism awareness, recently organized a private fundraising event to raise close to $75,000.

One of the best parts is how these events can expose successful friends and family members of your best supporters to your organization. In the above example, individuals like Lloyd, who run businesses that have been established in communities for years, are well connected with other influencers.

5. Bring an influencer along to an in-person appeal.

Think back to the last in-person fundraising appeal you made. It may have been a meeting with a local business for in-kind donations, or it could’ve been a lunch with a major gift donor.

Whatever the case, your meeting probably could have been enhanced in some way.

While there are any number of ways to improve on your face-to-face appeal strategy, one easy fix can be to bring an influencer with you to these meetings.

This can be a smart move on your part, especially if your prospect is hesitant to commit to making a donation.


Think back to the points made about inviting an influencer to speak at a fundraising event.

To refresh your memory, those points were:

  1. Few people know your organization quite like an influencer.
  2. People connect with individuals outside your organization.

The same rules apply to your one-on-one meetings with business leaders and major gift donors.

Your influencers have vital insight that your fundraisers and major gift officers might not consider when planning donation appeals.

Your prospects might prefer hearing from someone who has worked with (not in) your organization to gain a different perspective.

Both objectives can be achieved by bringing an influencer to your next in-person meeting.

6. Start with your influencers during your crowdfunding campaign.

If you use crowdfunding software to raise money in conjunction with an event like a marathon, walkathon, etc., it might be worthwhile to get your influencers on board in the early stages of the campaign.


Well, think about it. Your influencers are the individuals who are already sharing your content on social media sites. It makes sense that they would be the ones to spread the news about your crowdfunding campaign.

A successful crowdfunding fundraiser relies on everyone pulling their weight. Your nonprofit’s staff can’t be the only ones sharing the crowdfunding page within your immediate circle.

You have to round up the support and get everyone involved.

This is why your influencers are so crucial to the crowdfunding process. They’re passionate about your mission. They have expansive social networks.

They’re able to get the word out quickly and effectively.

If you have influencers who aren’t comfortable being in the limelight of a fundraising event or don’t want to sit across the table from a major gift donor, get them involved in your crowdfunding campaign.

It’s an easy and nearly effortless way to include your organization’s influencers in the fundraising process.

For any nonprofit, the fundraising process requires time, patience, a solid team of staff members, and outside support. To quote the old cliché, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and your fundraising goals won’t be met in that span of time, either.

But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try your best to include your key influencers in your various fundraising strategies.

Whether you invite someone to be a speaker at a fundraising event, have them by your side during a major gifts meeting, or ask them to share your online donation page or crowdfunding campaign, your influencers can be the key that unlocks your greatest fundraising potential.

Abby_Jarvis_photoAbby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry ­leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith­based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge­watching sci­fi shows on Netflix.

3 Ways to Make your Nonprofit’s Online Presence Ready to be Shared Socially

Guest blog by Abby Jarvis, Communications Coordinator for Qgiv.

Your nonprofit organization is likely interacting with your constituents and supporters in a number of different ways. Whether you’re posting regular updates on Facebook or asking for donations with emails, your organization should have a communication strategy in place for engaging with all types of donors, volunteers, and advocates.

But is your existing content optimized for social sharing?

Are your followers and other individuals spreading your nonprofit’s message on your behalf?

If not, it may be time to take a look at how your online presence can be enhanced for better social shareability.

Check out the top three ways your nonprofit’s online content should be prepared for social sharing.

And if you want to reach more of your supporters faster, check out this article.

1. Make the Donation Process Social.

If you’re receiving contributions with an online donation form (and you should be!), offer your donors a way to share their donation with their networks.

Obviously, you don’t want to share every single detail about your supporters’ donations; there have to be security and privacy standards in place, after all.

But allowing donors to brag on themselves a little after they make a donation can be a good way for your nonprofit to expand your social horizons.

Consider doing what this example nonprofit does. At the very top of their donation form, they have social sharing buttons for both Facebook and Twitter. When clicked, these buttons lead to a pop out window that generates a status or Tweet with a link to the donation page.


Users can add whatever message they want. They might say something like, “I just donated to this great nonprofit! You can help them accomplish their mission by donating here!”

However your supporters choose to spread the word about their donation experience is up to them (and based off the experience you provide them!). The important part is that you give them the option to do so.

Additionally, it’s crucial that your mobile donation form properly encourages social sharing. In the past year alone, mobile giving donations have increased by over 200%.

Don’t neglect your mobile donors — they’re an increasingly large demographic!

Many Facebook and Twitter users access their social media accounts on a smartphone. It does your organization no good to ignore the social aspect of mobile donations.

Try doing what this example nonprofit does with their mobile donation form. After outlining what their current campaign is, they include Facebook and Twitter buttons that encourage donors to share the link to the form on social media.


Whether you’re collecting donations on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone, you can make sure that your nonprofit’s online presence is ready to be shared socially. By placing Facebook and Twitter buttons on your donation page, you encourage your donors to share their experience with their networks, increasing the chances that others will find their way to your donation form.

2. Write High-Quality Content.

Part of what makes content so shareable is its quality. No one wants to sift through a blog post or a page whose length puts War and Peace to shame.

If you want your nonprofit’s online content to be prepped for social sharing, you have to make it worthy of sharing.

As simplified as this may be, think of web content as types of candy. If you have a really amazing piece of Swiss chocolate, everyone’s going to want a piece. On the other hand, if you bring out ten-year-old taffy, people might politely decline.

Web content is the same way. You want to write the Swiss chocolate of blog posts, not the old taffy kind of posts.

The better your content is, the more likely it is to be shared.

It’s also worth noting what else is getting shared across social networks outside the nonprofit world. Think about what types of articles go viral these days and try to mimic them.

Obviously, trends will come and go, and what’s popular today may be cliché and trite tomorrow. But it’s important to engage your supporters and meet them where they are.

3. Create Short Videos Featuring Your Supporters.

Have you ever watched people during a sporting event or during the live taping of a newscast? If they are anywhere near the camera’s line of sight, they’ll frantically wave their hands and mouth the words, “Hey Mom!”

It’s a trope for a reason — most people enjoy the idea of being on a big screen. It makes us feel larger than life, and it’s even more fun when the people we know and care about get to see us on the other side of a screen.

How does this fit into nonprofit social sharing, though?

Quite simply, really. If your organization regularly hosts fundraisers, volunteer days, or other kinds of events, bring your camera along to the next one.

You can catch general footage of the day, but you should also talk to and interview specific volunteers or donors. You won’t only gain a more personal insight into how the day went, but you’ll be able to feature the video of your supporters on your website.

Make sure that you have their permission to show and distribute the video on your website and via your social media sites. This goes double if your footage includes images of children!

Once the video has been compiled and looks professional, upload it to your website along with a text description. Post it to your social media sites and include the link in your email newsletters.

The people who are featured in the video will quickly share the link with their friends and family (this is the equivalent of waving and yelling, “Hey Mom!”).

When you include your supporters into your nonprofit videos, it shows everyone that watches them that your organization cares about your donors and volunteers. It makes them want to support an organization that takes pride in its advocates.

But it also makes the content more socially shareable. People like showing their friends and family videos of themselves doing good work for their communities.

Before you post a video, however, make sure that your nonprofit’s website is the best that it can be.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine where your organization’s website falls:

  • Is your site optimized for mobile devices? Over half of all internet searches are done on tablets or smartphones. If your website doesn’t look great on these devices, you’re going to lose some visitors.
  • Do you write great content? No one wants to read press releases all day, but too much fun and fluff can make your nonprofit seem unprofessional. Strike a good balance and write great content that your visitors will appreciate.
  • Do you foreground your cause? Don’t forget: your website should communicate your nonprofit’s cause to visitors. If your mission isn’t readily apparent, visitors will be confused and won’t stay for long.

For more great website design tips, check out this resource.

Making your nonprofit’s online presence easily shareable doesn’t have to be complicated! By making these three easy changes to your existing online content, you’ll be able to reach more of your supporters’ networks in no time!

Abby_Jarvis_photoAbby Jarvis is a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Qgiv, an online fundraising service provider. Qgiv offers industry ­leading online giving and peer to peer fundraising tools for nonprofit, faith­based, and political organizations of all sizes. When she’s not working at Qgiv, Abby can usually be found writing for local magazines, catching up on her favorite blogs, or binge­watching sci­fi shows on Netflix.

5 Ways Social Media Can be Used to Strengthen Alumni Relationships

Guest blog by Adam Weinger, President of Double the Donation.

School is in session! Are you signed up for Alumni Relations 101? You should be!

Maintaining strong connections with alumni after they’ve stopped roaming the halls is crucial for forming a robust volunteer and fundraising base – It’s also just good practice to stay in touch with former students as they are often the biggest advertisers for your college or university.

While you should still use traditional methods like phone calls and direct mail to communicate with alumni, your university should also formulate a comprehensive social media strategy geared toward developing stronger relationships with former students.

Many of your alumni, particularly recent graduates, are using social media as a way to stay in touch with each other after they throw their mortar boards in the air and go out into the real world.

1. Use Facebook to ask for donations.

Fewer and fewer alumni are whipping out their checkbooks to donate to their alma maters. Instead, they prefer the ease and flexibility of online and mobile giving.

If you want to connect on a deeper level with your alumni, you have to offer them a way to give to your college that appeals to them.

Facebook is the largest social media site, so it makes sense for you to start placing a donation tab on your profile to diversify your fundraising appeal strategies – This way, alumni who find themselves on your Facebook page are able to donate without opening a new browser page or searching for their checkbook.

Additionally, offering ways to give on Facebook lets your alumni to share their donations with their networks. If Sally Psychology Major makes a contribution to your alumni fund, she might share that information in a post. Then, Ingrid English Major will know that she can donate via Facebook and might be inspired to give.

The inherent shareability of Facebook lends itself to stronger alumni relationships. You’ll be able to grow your network, raise money, and strengthen the existing connections you have with graduates.

Just make sure that your donation page looks great on mobile devices! 86% of 25- to 34-year-olds (some of the most engaged alumni!) owned a smartphone in the second quarter of 2014.

If you aren’t thinking about mobile-friendliness when developing your social media engagement strategy, you’re missing out!

2. Use social media to determine what your alumni want.

Many people, your alumni not excepting, use social media sites as a way to express their preferences and vent their frustrations.

For example, an alumnus might complain about annoying telemarketers on Twitter while another might express her love of marathons on Facebook.

What does this information have to do with your college, though?

Your university should participate in social listening to find out exactly what your alumni want when it comes to fundraising, special events, and volunteering opportunities.

By taking a hard look at what your former students are posting, tweeting, snapping, and instagramming about, you will be able to respond more effectively and relevantly. Maybe your alumni are getting excited about text giving. If they take to Facebook or Twitter to talk about it, that’s your college’s cue to try text-to-give!

When you engage in social listening, you are better able to connect with your alumni the way they would prefer.

Check out these top 10 ways you can engage alumni and supporters with social listening –

3. Encourage alumni to participate in crowdfunding.

If your university hosts fundraisers like walk-a-thons or yearly alumni marathons, you can use a crowdfunding platform to encourage participation and raise more money.

But how does crowdfunding relate to social media and alumni relations?

Well, since crowdfunding relies on your supporters sharing the page with their social networks, using a peer-to-peer fundraiser can help your university garner new support and strengthen your existing connections.

It’s been shown that the top 5% of your social influencers reach 85% of your entire network. With stats like that, it is incredibly vital for your university to use crowdfunding as a way to ask for donations and interact with your alumni base.

Who knows, you might just find your next major gift donor or find a valuable alumni volunteer!

4. Use Twitter as a way to give updates and alumni shoutouts.

Everyone likes to be in the limelight every now and again. Use Twitter as a platform to sing your graduates’ praises. You’ll not only get to interact with standout alumni, but you might gain a few extra followers in the process.

The accomplishment doesn’t even have to be directly related to your college. If an alumnus recently landed a great job or married their college sweetheart, use Twitter as a congratulation station.

Twitter is a great platform for quick messages and celebratory remarks. Not only will your alumni enjoy being praised, but you’ll be able to connect with more of your graduates and develop those relationships.

You can also use Twitter to “live-tweet” your next fundraising event! Whether you’re giving updates on the bidding at your charity auction or tweeting out the winner of a raffle at the alumni dinner, you can use Twitter to keep people in the loop and connected to your college or university.

Not sure if an auction or raffle is the right event for your “live-tweeting” campaign? Consider the following questions:

  • Will your event be just university alumni or include current students and faculty?
  • What’s your budget for the event and how much will you need to raise in order to cover your costs?
  • How much have you raised in the past from similar events?
  • What is the average age of your target audience and will they be engaged in social media?
  • Where are your alumni located?

If you’re looking to target as wide an audience as possible, you may want to consider a product fundraiser instead like selling engraved bricks for a new building that is being constructed which will allow you to acknowledge your alumni via social media regardless of where they are located.

Take a look at some of these helpful resources for assistance choosing the perfect university fundraising event or product for your alumni.

5. Use Instagram to demonstrate the progress of your capital campaign.

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in the case of Instagram, a thousand likes.

If your university has launched a capital campaign to help pay for a new library or student center, use Instagram as a way to connect with your donors and alumni by showing them progress of the building.

You can even show before and after pictures to demonstrate how the project is coming along. Take a cue from home improvement shows. People love to actually see the transformation that’s taking place.

Everyone likes to see tangible results of their fundraising efforts, and what better way to show your dedicated alumni those results than on an image-based social media site like Instagram?

Demonstrating capital campaign progress on Instagram and other social media sites is the perfect solution for universities who feel like their connections with alumni leave something to be desired. Alumni will appreciate the updates, and you’ll be able to keep everyone in the loop.

Many of your recent graduates and older alumni are already on social media sites. Whether they’re posting, tweeting, or snapping, your alumni are interacting with each other on social media.

Is your university part of that inner circle?

If not, then consider following the above five steps to strengthen your relationships with alumni. While there are countless other ways, digital and otherwise, to interact with your graduates, using social media is one of the most cost-effective.



Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs. Connect with Adam via email or on LinkedIn.


Where Wealth Meets Social Insights

Originally published at WealthEngine. Written by Jessica Smith at WealthEngine and Jeanette Russell at

When you think about your top donors, do you have really clear snapshot of what they look like from both a wealth and social perspective?

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In other words, you should not only have social insights on your prospects and donors are, but have a solid understanding of their wealth and their propensity to give.

Here’s How to Make It Happen

  • Utilize social listening to see what your prospects/donors are saying.
  • Retain donors through social listening.
  • Leverage your social media influencers.
  • Identify top prospects/donors based on wealth, lifestyle and demographics. 


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The key is to focus on both wealth intelligence and social insights.

If you focus only on wealth, then you might miss opportunities to engage donors who are talking about your work on social media, and who may even be influencers. If you focus only on social insights, you miss the opportunity to make asks based on giving capacity.

In other words, don’t look at your donors exclusively through the lens of dollars. If they’re passionate about your cause, but don’t have the capacity to give a large gift, the value of their influence on those who do have the capacity, should not be underestimated. There’s a value exchange with every donor if you know how to measure it.

By considering both their value on social media and the value of their assets, you get a clear picture of who to spend time with and how to personalize your fundraising content.

social:wealth - blog

The Social Side of Your CRM

Social insights are a combination of social data and social listening collected from social media platforms in relationship to your CRM. It’s referred to as social insights, instead of social media because these “insights” are on the people in your database and not just followers.

This new view is the social side of your CRM, which lets you get to know your people better so you can personalize fundraising and drive engagement for higher conversions.

Social insights take advantage of publicly available data on social media, so fundraisers can track a donor’s current behavior, preferences and values including – the social networks they spend time on, what they talk about, how influential they are, and who could help you reach thousands with your upcoming event. A good place to start is to know some of the basic social insights that drive engagement with your CRM.

Your Donors Are Talking. Are you Listening?

The key is to utilize social listening to see what your prospects and donors are saying on social media. But first, what is social listening? Social listening is the process of monitoring digital media channels to understand the conversation around relevant topics – so you can better engage those people driving it. Until recently, the problem has been you can listen to your followers or the world on social, but not in a scalable way, or in a way that you can take systematic action.

For example, if you’re a Developement Director, you need a way to efficiently listen to your donors and prospects, and not deal with 5 tools to research one donor. You need to see what your top donors are talking about, their propensity to give and their history in a few clicks, not a few hours. You also need a way to take this information, develop a strategy, send an ask via email, social and direct mail, then track results in your donor database. We feel your pain and want to offer a few tips for using social listening in your fundraising:

First, develop a list of search terms to monitor. Mentions of keywords in the conversations can be monitored in real time, so any time a donor posts about a topic related to your work, they can be reminded of how they can show their support with a triggered email or individual reply. This tactic is useful for both retention and acquisition.

Tools that allow keyword research range from free tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, to directly using Twitter or Facebook (plan to spend A LOT of time finding donors with this approach), to, which only listens to people in your CRM.

Secondly, look for personalization opportunities. Timing is everything – if there’s a swell in the conversations about a related topic, seize the moment and send out an alert or donation appeal while the issue is top of mind. 

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Often times, you’ll suspect an issue is trending with your base, but can’t back it up with real data. The ability to report on trending hashtags like the image below, is like running a daily poll on your donors, so you have the real-time pulse on your people.

By listening to what a person is saying on social media, your organization can understand which issues resonate with donors and why – you can literally see how they are talking about your work (or not). 

Retain Donors with Social Listening

Broadly speaking, donor revenue often depends on how engaged an audience is with the programs they’re funding. The more engaged, the higher donations per-supporter. Retaining donor engagement is, in some ways, more difficult than recruiting new donors because of higher expectations around personalization.

Social listening gives organizations unprecedented insight into their donors’ lives and an opportunity for richer engagement. Far beyond surveys, focus groups or feedback forms, nonprofits have the ability to analyze, in real time, what their donors think, feel, and care about — and can react with predetermined triggers or send personalized marketing messages.

While no one has the perfect formula for donor retention, we know that engagement is the foundation of strong, lasting relationship and is required to maintain future donations. Social data gives new opportunities for richer engagement through content personalization. So if you’re working on education and a donor says “school shootings must stop” on social, you say “We couldn’t agree more and here’s how your gift is solving this problem.”

Leverage Your Social Media Influencers

leverage influencers - WE blog

It’s important to recognize two things about social equity 1) giving is a social act and 2) your social network is a financial asset. A big reason why people give is simply because they are asked to. Who best to ask friends to donate than your existing donors?

While peer driven fundraising isn’t a new strategy, it may surprise you to learn the amazing network reach of nonprofits which allows you to tap into a massive new pool of prospective donors. When we evaluated 90 nonprofit clients here at, we found the average network reach was 34M! We also found that the top five percent of an organization’s email list reached 85 percent of their extended network and 200 times more people than their CRM.

Your extended network is a financial asset since your existing donors can tap into their social equity for prospective donors. As such, you’re pool of prospects is much larger than just the people in your CRM. Your extended network includes the social networks of everyone in your CRM and your followers. 

Your social network is your true social wealth.

Here’s an example of social equity in action. With the help of, a large nonprofit identified 27 social media influencers and asked them to spread the word about registering for their fundraiser in their own words and through their own social media channels. By providing them with a registration incentive code, over five months, those influencers recruited 105 additional participants, who raised more than $200,000.

Identify Top Prospects and Donors Based on Wealth, Lifestyle and Demographics

Understanding the social conversation around your cause and how your messages are resonating with donors and prospects is a great way to personalize your communications. When you take this intelligence and marry it with wealth data, your conversations transform into conversions.

The organizations that screen their donor lists using wealth scores – for direct mail, telephone and email campaigns – have the ability to prioritize their donors and prospects by their propensity and capacity to give. This is a good first step, however, organizations who take it a step further to truly understand what their ideal donor looks like by using analytics and modeling will see their average gift size increase significantly. In many cases, the cost per dollar raised decreases, as well.

The magic happens when they have a holistic view of their ideal donor. They discover additional common attributes their best donors share, helping them to refine their asks and, as a result, strengthen their emotional connection with their constituencies.

Part of that ask is knowing what amount to ask for based on these factors. Don’t solicit all your donors for the same amount and do not simply ask them for the amount they donated previously.  Segment your constituents by giving amount, frequency, and by wealth profile where possible.  Asking the right people for the right amount will optimize your fundraising growth.

As your donor bases increases, so does the need to still treat each person as an individual. In your stewardship, when saying thank you, be sure to make your thank you message appropriate for the gift received. A $25 donation should receive a different “thank you” than a $2500 gift. 

Practice multi-channel fundraising. You’ve learned how leveraging social influence can have a positive impact on achieving your fundraising goals. However, by integrating your social channels with your direct mail, phone, email and events campaigns, you’ll be sure to reach your donors and prospects more organically and uncover trends about how they engage with your content both online and offline.

Donors may get many messages, and will respond in the way that works for them.  However, keep in mind that some are channel-hopping:  a donor who gives by email today may prefer to give via direct mail or on the website tomorrow.  That is why it is critical to have an integrated campaign across multiple channels.

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About WealthEngine

WealthEngine uses data science and predictive analytics to remove the guesswork from fundraising – so organizations can spend more time engaging with people most likely to donate – and don’t waste time on the ones that won’t. Request a demo to see how WE in action.

About drives engagement by turning quiet supporters into vocal advocates. We show organizations what people in your CRM are saying on social media, and who is influential, so you can better target to increase engagement and drive conversions.


Facebook Joins in Targeting Political Influencers

Our friends at Facebook recently released a new feature which identifies people generically talking about a political topic on Facebook with the goal of converting them into word of mouth advocates for political oriented campaigns.

Hot button political topics are engagement goldmines for political campaigns. First, they are issues that people actually talk about, which gives you tremendous insight into how people feel about the candidates and issues like the environment, economy and jobs, in realtime. Second, it affords campaigns the opportunity to engage their base while this hot issue is top of mind.


Welcome to the club, Facebook

Truth be known, we love this approach.  So much that we created a few years ago to show organizations what people in their CRM are saying on social media and help them identify their existing influencers for better targeting via email and social media.

Why We Love Targeting Political Influencers

According Fast Company, Facebook classifies “political influencers as people who click on political ads, like lots of politics-themed pages, and share content from political groups. The goal is to target political obsessives on both sides of the political spectrum on Facebook in the hope that they post about specific candidates or causes.”

While we define “influencers” as people with more than 500 connections who talk about relevant content on social media, the theory of change is generally the same.

Ads Created From Social Mentions, Not Static Data

When someone talks about a race, key issues, or a candidate on social media, it demonstrates their active interest in the issue and more importantly, their ability to share your message, since they’re already talking about it.

Social engagement based on search terms allows communicators to send messages based on what your people are actually talking about, in real-time. It’s a fairly new move in marketing that savvy digital teams use to segment their lists to deliver personalized content.

In addition to creating custom audiences with behavioral, CRM, and demographic data, you can layer it with social listening, which targets people already talking about key terms on social media.

This means you could send ads to people who are active supporters and talk about key issues frequently online. Using, you can also segment by Klout score to personalize your ads to your VIP, Professional, and Everyday influencers.

Content Sharing From Friends Is Powerful

Word of mouth marketing is THE most trusted referral source which fuels engagement with your social audience. There are a ton of findings that support this fact like Neilson’s 2015  Global Trust in Advertising Report which found that 83 percent of respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family.

People who talk about your campaign on Facebook or Twitter are prime to share your message, donate, vote, volunteer, and get their friends involved.

In the same Fast Company article, Facebook’s VP of Monetization explained the deeper role of people who talk about your campaign social media:

“Those people play an important role in the social network’s ecosystem: word of mouth. They can help spread the word about candidates to Facebook friends who may still be undecided, as well as introduce new issues to their networks.”

We agree and recommend that campaigns pay close attention to existing social media influencers so they share your message with their networks and get their friends involved.

Sending Facebook ads to people talking about key campaign terms is an excellent influencer marketing tactic which should compliment a larger influencer powered campaign.

Look to identify the 3 types of influencers who have the reach and topic relevance and read our Guide on How to Identify and Engage Your Influencers for more tips on getting started.

Personalized, Multi-channel, Real-time Communications

That’s a mouthful, so let’s break it down.

While Facebook’s new ad features allow you to target political influencers from a broad category of people who talk a lot about politics, we take it a step further so you’re able to do the following:

Personalize Your Content – Sending ads based on a social mention is a great example of personalized content, because a supporter is actively discussing this issue. If they mention #FeeltheBern, you send them an ad about Bernie Sanders – why you love him, why you hate him or how whatever you’re up to relates to the mention.

Send Multi-Channel – A few years ago, your campaign would engage supporters with various calls to action via email, social, and direct mail throughout the year. Now, campaigns can segment social mentions in their CRM’s, then automate multi-channel responses like this:

  • Send a FB ad. Any time a supporter says “#FeeltheBern” (or whatever makes sense for your campaign), put them into a group that receives a Facebook Ad the next day about Bernie.
  • Send an email. Set up a rule (using that sends them an automated email within a few hours about the campaign. This could be a donation request, a recent blog post, new report, etc.
  • Engage on social. Set up daily notifications about everyone who mentioned “#FeeltheBern” and give them some social love.
  • Direct Mail. While you won’t use this tactic much, you now have the option of creating direct mail content based on social mentions.

Identify Political Influencers in Your CRM… and yes, you have them.

First, identify people in your CRM talking about politics or key terms that relate to your campaign. Keep in mind this doesn’t need to be an actual political campaign; you can look for any term that relates to your program or marketing “campaign”. For the sake of this theme, we’ll stick with a political campaign.

Here’s what we found for people talking about the Dems. In the past 7 days, there were 664 mentions of “Clinton,” “Bernie,” and “#FeeltheBern” from our own CRM.  Just imagine how many people would be talking politics if we worked directly on campaigns!

Keep in mind that Twitter is the platform of choice for the politically engaged so it’s key to have the ability pull search terms from Twitter in addition to Facebook.  This gives you the power to segment, and run ads in Facebook, using with search terms from both Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Segment by Search Terms from Twitter and Facebook Feeds in Your CRM


Send a Facebook ad to everyone talking about #gopdebates

Here’s the deal with Facebook ads and political fundraising. Fundraising emails are more successful when prospects see a Facebook ad a few days before the ask. Imagine how successful your appeal would be if a supporter saw an ad that related to a political search term your supporter just talked about?

In, simply segment everyone who mentioned #gopdebate. Then, create a custom Facebook audience, with look-a-likes, for your ad.

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