By Darcey Garda:
Fundraising for NAMIWalks is not just about raising money. It tells us how many people are talking about mental illness – sharing their stories, encouraging others to speak openly, and spreading NAMI’s message of hope and recovery.
If you are eager to raise funds and be an active part of NAMIWalks’ success, I am going to share some best practices for fundraising on social media, specifically Facebook, that can help.
Fundraising on Facebook
With 968 million daily active users, fundraising on Facebook is no joke. A recent study by npEngage shows that participants who use social networking tools like Facebook increase their fundraising results by 40 percent. Personally, Facebook has been my exclusive form of NAMIWalks fundraising for a number of years. Here are some tips on how to do it successfully.
1) Let NAMIWalks help – The NAMIWalks website is designed to do the work for you. Once you register, all you need to do is log into your account. That will take you to the “back end” of your fundraising page. Click on MY FUNDRAISING and scroll to the bottom of that page. You will see a “Get Social” block: click SHARE YOUR PAGE.
2) Consistently is key – Eighty-one percent of your potential donors will make a contribution after seeing your request three times. Considering the vast amount of information on a newsfeed, your friends probably don’t see all of your posts. For best results, post your fundraising link two or three times per week
3) Add variety – For each post, change it up a bit! Alter your message. Tell your friends WHY you are participating in NAMIWalks. Share a memory. Add a photo. Ask in a new way each time! Keep it fresh so friends realize this is new – not the same old post from last week.
4) Make it personal – That’s why we call it “Friendship Powered Fundraising.” People give to people, even if it’s not a cause they usually support. Tell your story; share your WHY. You only need to get as personal as you feel comfortable doing. Studies show that if you engage someone emotionally, they are more inclined to support you and give.
5) Send a private message – It’s easy for Facebook users to scroll quickly past your post on their newsfeed. However, if you send them a personal (one-on-one) Facebook message – “Hey Joe, did you see that I am raising funds for the NAMIWalks again this year? You know how important this cause is to me. Would you be willing to donate again? Here is the link to my walk page. Thank you!” – they are compelled to reply and more likely to donate. NOTE: DO NOT send messages en masse (to all your friends at once). This actually has the opposite effect, as everyone receives each other’s responses and can become easily annoyed and delete your request all together.
Facebook is a powerful tool, and the NAMI Walk gives us a worthwhile reason to use it for good: to spread awareness of mental illness treatment and recovery, and to raise funds for NAMI’s mission of support, education and advocacy. If you follow the guidelines above, you are bound to reach your fundraising goal–so aim HIGH!
If you would like personal help or instruction on fundraising on Facebook, call the NAMI office at (412) 366-3788 or email me at email@example.com.
Darcey Garda is the Manager of Marketing and Development at NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania. She has planned the NAMIWalks in Pittsburgh for eight years.