Incorporating digital into our fundraising activities is hugely important at St Catherine’s Hospice. We’re a local charity in Sussex and Surrey, with a big ambition: to help people face death informed, supported and pain-free.
So it’s vital we continue to reach more supporters. Digital is helping us doing that – particularly through social media and Facebook Groups.
A Facebook Group is a place for group of people to communicate with each other, share common interests and express their opinions. Over the last few years, we’ve set up multiple private Facebook Groups for our challenge event fundraisers. They offer us a safe and reliable space to speak with and update our supporters, as well as enabling our supporters to speak with one another and share lessons, tips and training stories.
Our event fundraising team looks after our Facebook Groups on a day-to-day basis. This year, for the first time, they created a group for our Brighton and London Marathon runners. It was a huge success and the team was delighted to smash the overall fundraising target by 10%. Our feeling is that our increased social activity and engagement with our supporters definitely contributed towards this.
Michaela Clements, one of our event fundraisers, shared the key reasons why:
1. Direct & quick contact
Facebook Groups allow us to get in touch with our fundraisers directly and quickly.
With most people having access to Facebook on their phones, it’s the easiest way for us to get in touch, and often means we can respond during anti-social hours if need be, such as at weekends or in the evenings.
Other forms of communication don’t allow us to be so agile: email, for example, can’t be monitored as easily remotely. Facebook is something that the team can easily check out-of-hours. It offers a much more direct and relaxed way of chatting with our supporters at a time that suits them, via a platform they’re using in their own personal lives.
For example, here’s a post that we were able to publish on a Saturday, the day before the Brighton Marathon, to wish our runners good luck:
2. No cost
Facebook Groups and they don’t take too much time to manage. Having a place where our runners can talk with one another actually means we get fewer enquiries, as they chat with and get information from one another.
Supporting our amazing fundraisers is a top priority, so the fact that we have found a platform to do so in a cheap, easy and direct way has made a huge difference.
3. Fundraisers in control
Aside from replying to the odd query and posting any event updates that we need to share from St Catherine’s, we really take a back seat with the groups.
We allow our fundraisers to run the page themselves, swapping ideas and tips and encouraging each other to share fundraising inspiration to motivate the whole group.
So long as you set out the expectations early on, and ensure they are aware that the group isn’t monitored 24/7, there’s no need to be checking the page constantly.
4. Increased fundraising opportunities
One of our runners organised a raffle and treadmill event in the local shopping centre via the Facebook Group, and they raised an incredible £1,500.
Without the group, the members might not have worked together on such an event and drummed up as much amazing support and donations.
Groups really do help connect like-minded fundraisers and keep them all motivated toward raising money for the hospice.
What tools are you using to connect your supporters?
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