How To Start & Grow Your Business

Social Fundraising Checklist

Brady Josephson
Jan 12th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 4 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Consider donor-experience when selecting software. 2Contests attract engagement and relationships. 3Create and fully utilize a great email list.
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Fund Raising

Social-Fundraising-Checklist infographic.

Now if you’re like me, you live on checklists. I write things down that I’ve already done just to cross them off again. For all you fellow checklist lovers, the good folks at Nonprofit Tech for Good have converted some of Heather Mansfield’s book Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits into handy checklists like the Social Fundraising Checklist (below).

Social Fundraising Checklist

(from A Mobile and Social Fundraising Success Checklist)

  • Select a social fundraising software.
  • Create a fundraising guide for your fundraisers.
  • Offer contests that reward fundraisers who raise the most funds during the campaign.
  • Create an email list solely for fundraisers, and throughout the year keep them updated on the causes that they raised money for.
  • Create a mobile list for fundraisers and occasionally text them fundraising tips and event updates.
  • Design promotional graphics for your social fundraising campaign for your website, blog, email communications, and social networks.
  • Create an ad for your social fundraising campaign for print materials.
  • Design a “Fundraise” button for your social fundraising campaign and add it to your website and blog.
  • Add your social giving campaign to your “More Ways to Give” page.
  • Send follow-up thank-you emails to social fundraising campaign donors with your nonprofit’s branding and social network icons.
  • Send follow-up campaign update emails.Now as great as this social fundraising checklist is, it’s just a simple list and social fundraising is a bit more involved than just a checklist. So I’ve highlighted 4 of the items to provide some extra tips that I hope you find useful as you venture into the social fundraising world.

1. Select a social fundraising software.
This can be a fun but time sucking step so be sure to you spend more time using and learning your tool instead of deliberating over which tool to pick. Sumac has a decent list to get you started and I’ll shamelessly promote Chimp and Peer Giving as options for Canadian charities. The temptation is to simply choose the cheapest option (that’s rarely a good strategy…) but if I could pick one thing to value above all others it’s this: user experience. Both for the fundraiser and the donor. I know you’ll want full brand control, all donor data and integrations but this campaign and tool is not for you. It’s for them to use to benefit you so value that first.

TIP: narrow it down to 3 sites and then actually go and set up a page (if free) and/or make small donations to a campaign on their platform and see what your experience.

2. Offer contests that reward fundraisers who raise the most funds during the campaign.
There is an argument that perks and premiums deflate the Life Time Value of donors when it comes to direct mail and those benefits and their effects on giving psychology should be noted. But we aren’t talking about direct mail here. We are talking, generally speaking, about lot’s of human involvement from younger donors on platforms that traditionally carry perks and rewards. This all means that there is less damage and even a positive expectation that there will be rewards or perks.

TIP: use this as an opportunity to partner with a company that has a product or service that your supporters would like as it could be a good win-win-win (business gets more promotion, supporters/donors get more incentive, you get deeper relationship with business).

3. Create an email list solely for fundraisers, through the year keep them updated on the causes that they raised money for.
I like this one a lot. You can add a checkbox when people sign up if they’d be interested in fundraising for you, ask past fundraisers if they want to get updates about fundraising from you and ask your social media crowd to sign up and self select with their interest. Recruiting fundraisers can be tough so make it easier on you by asking and tracking so when you have a campaign or opportunity you have a group you can go with quickly to build momentum.

TIP: try to create a special or insider feel to your communications like they, as fundraisers, are the only ones who can access certain content, stories or communications.

4. Send follow-up campaign update emails.
If you do all the steps right and check off every time on the social fundraising checklist you are still looking at one campaign. How you follow up with stories, impact, reporting and continued communication is what will determine if they fundraise for you again in the future. People who fundraise year over year are much more valuable to you as they have experience and generally speaking a receptive audience so, just as with donors, retaining fundraisers is one of the most effective strategies you can take.

TIP: regardless of amount raised, try to treat your fundraisers more like a major or dedicated monthly donor as opposed to a lower level or annual giver.


Social-Fundraising-Checklist infographic.


Social fundraising is not easy but hopefully the social fundraising checklist, infographic and extra tips help make it a little it easier. Good luck!

This post was written by Brady Josephson and published on re:charity.