Lessons Learned from One Fund Boston: How to Crowdfund on Social Media to Raise Money
A guest blog from the team at Software Advice
In the aftermath of the tragic events that took place at this year's Boston Marathon, people across the country began searching for a way to give back to those directly affected by the bombings. In response to this, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino created the nonprofit The One Fund Boston.
The organization's quickly built website was simple yet included all the necessary factors: a paragraph describing the nonprofit's purpose, a "Donate Now" button linked to a PayPal account and buttons to share the website on Facebook and Twitter.
To get its name and its mission in the public eye, The One Fund Boston turned to social media and crowdfunding. In less than one week, the organization had raised more than $20 million.
"Screen shot from the original The One Fund Boston website."
How can other nonprofits achieve similar success to The One Fund Boston campaign? Here are a few tips to set you in the right direction.
1. Act Quickly
Events like the Boston Marathon bombings and Hurricane Katrina are what nonprofit strategists call a "focusing event." If your organization is going to contribute to a focusing event, you must act quickly.
As Stephanie Kapera, a contributing blogger to Software Advice, explains, "The window for action is small, however: online donations following a disaster quickly spike and drop within the timeframe of just a week. The more time that goes by, the less proactive and passionate people tend to be about giving, and so the first few days following major disasters and tragedies are crucial for setting up a platform for people to contribute to."
2. Leverage Online Influencers
Once your crowdfunding campaign is live through a company like Bloom, pinpoint influencers on social media with large followings. A quick tweet or message asking them to share your campaign will generally yield the result you're looking for.
3. Use a Multi-Channel Approach
To reach the most people, make sure you take advantage of all social media outlets you have at your disposal. Tweet about your campaign, post it on Facebook, pin it to a board on Pinterest, and encourage others to share it with their followers.
4. Use Hashtags
Hashtags act as bookmarks, leading people directly to a collection of specific topics, and can help raise awareness for your campaign. They also can be used to raise money, as was the case with Samsung and the “Team Up For Autism” campaign.
5. Get Visual
Studies show that 83 percent of human learning occurs visually, making visual content strategies essential. People are four times more likely to share an image over plain text, and that image is 43 more likely to persuade a person to action.
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