Crowdfunding: Digital fundraising using social media strategies to make it happen

Crowdfunding: Digital fundraising using social media strategies to make it happen

After several years of amazing growth, data from Hitwise last August suggested that Facebook use was starting to slow in the UK. Not at all surprising given that there are now around 30+ million UK users – equating to almost half of the country’s population. Hitwise reinforced this observation with data released earlier this month showing Facebook’s share of all UK visits to social network sites falling by 7% from December 2010 to December 2011, while Film Annex competitor YouTube’s share grew by roughly the same amount.

Over the next year, I expect to see a growth in the maturity with which Facebook, and Social Media in general, is viewed within the fundraising world.

After five years of seemingly ever increasing fundraising expectations, I sense a change in attitude towards the role that Social Media has to play in online fundraising.

Fundraisers are increasingly coming to acknowledge that while Social Media undoubtedly does offer unique benefits that secure it a key role in online fundraising programs it is not a “magic faucet of free cash”.

With this understanding, they are then freed from a myopic drive to “make Facebook* fundraising work” (*or Twitter, or Google+, or Pinterest, or whatever) and can instead consider where in their donor recruitment, engagement, and retention programme the various flavors of Social Media can best be applied.

If I’m right, then we should see a growing number of integrated campaigns drawing together strong fundraising propositions and storytelling through blogs (and promotion through bloggers), with Facebook and Twitter enabling sharing and conversation, well designed transactional pages capturing donations and donor data, and email being used to keep donors informed when there’s a new chapter to the story they’re interested in – rather than ‘single strand’ Twitter or Facebook campaigns. Time will tell. In the video below, I cover the value of Blogging.