Many non-profits are struggling with pivoting to online fundraising as their traditional methods of fundraising are being cancelled or postponed until after the pandemic. In this three part, “Outside the Box, Fundraising on Social Media” series, Kristi Fickert from 30 Lines Marketing and I share top fundraising and social media tools, as well as getting started with a content plan in order to ramp up your online fundraising.

In part three of our Fundraising on Social Media series, we discussed planning your content strategy to increase engagement and donations.

Start with the Stats

  • 3.5 billion social media users worldwide.
  • 69% of all adults and 74% of high income earners in the US use Facebook
  • 65% of Twitter users are women
  • There are 87 million millennials on LinkedIn with 11 million in decision-making positions
  • TikTok has over 1.5 billion downloads

Facebook Engagement Stats 2020

  • Video gets 59% more engagement than other post types
  • Inspirational, funny or practical content gets the most engagement
  • Facebook live videos generate 3x more watch time
  • Posts published between 9 – 11 p.m. perform the best

Instagram Engagement Stats 2020

  • 95% of Instagram users are younger than 35
  • 63% use the platform daily
  • Instagram’s biggest demographic is males between 18-24 years old
  • Posts with a location get 79% more engagement
  • Instagram posts with faces get 37% more likes

Creating Social Media Content

Content Marketing is the creation and sharing of online material (such as video, blogs and social media posts) that does not necessarily promote a brand, but is intended to stimulate interest and engagement in products or services.

Social media content should do one of these three things:

  • Educate
  • Inspire
  • Promote

Think about your business or non-profit. What do people need to know about you? How can you inspire them? How can you get them to donate? Content inspiration can come in many forms:


  • Answer FAQs
  • Tease a problem or solution
  • Show your expertise
  • Include tutorials


  • Tell stories about the people positively affected by your organization. How will donations help? Who are we helping?
  • Interview past donors about why they chose to support you
  • Thank donors for their support
  • Include testimonials from GoogleMy Business reviews, Facebook reviews or even in person video or quotes.
  • Use video and images to tell your stories.
  • Consider Facebook or Instagram live


Organic content can consist of the following ideas:

  • Updates on progress
  • User stories
  • Community needs
  • Links to informational and educational content

Paid content looks like this:

  • Event promotions
  • Website promotions
  • Requests for donations with direct links
  • Content that leads to conversion

Use Influencers to Reach New Audiences

  • Are there local “influencers” that would help promote?
  • Is there currently a spokesperson for the overall cause?
  • Follow the FCC guidelines


Posting content to social media is only half the story. If you want people to engage with your content, you have to engage with theirs! It’s also important to humanize your brand as much as possible, so people consider you approachable, not just when there’s a problem.

Humanize your brand by doing the following:

  • Use real people in photos
  • Tell real stories
  • Use User Generated Content (UGC) – this is content posted by users that you share and use to both engage and promote. Hint: make sure to ask permission before sharing any content that isn’t yours.
  • Be transparent
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms
  • Answer truthfully
  • Respond quickly
  • Identify yourself by name if possible

Handling Negativity on Your Social Posts

Now that people can talk back to our marketing, it’s important to have a strategy ahead of time to handle negativity on your posts. We recommend the following:

  1. First, ask yourself “Is this true?” It’s tempting to get defensive, but this is not the time. Now is the time too take a hard look at your organizational processes or messaging and ask yourself if there is any truth to their comment.
  2. Respond publicly, take the conversation offline in a private message, email or phone call.
  3. Let them know how you plan to fix the issue they’ve identified.

Hosting Virtual Events

Facebook Events

Facebook events are free with boosting available to reach a larger audience. Facebook also offers paid event hosting to some brands, so check your page eligibility to see if you quality. When using Facebook events, make sure to do the following:

  • Use the Co-host feature
  • Add a cover image that visually represents your event
  • Include a link for online donations in the description
  • Include a link to online event