Facebook is a really effective tool to use when you’re asking for sponsorship. How do we know? 15% of people donating on JustGiving come from Facebook.
Don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Follow these tried, tested and effective tips to use Facebook to help you smash your fundraising target. Are you sitting comfortably?
1. Tell your story
Getting sponsored is about a lot more than just asking for money. You need to share your personal story. Whether it’s through a Facebook group, a page, or status updates, tell people what you are doing and why you are doing it. What is your connection with the cause (why do you care)? Try and think of messages that prompt conversations (a shocking statistic). The more people comment, the more people outside your close friends will be made aware of your fundraising.
2. Use fabulous photos
A colourful photograph is so much more compelling than a chunk of text. Use some snaps to tell your story. And be creative. Post a picture of yourself after a pre-race run, to show how hard you’re training. Or try replacing your profile picture with a photo of yourself holding a sign clearly displaying your JustGiving page address. It’s a fun and easy way of getting your fundraising page more exposure on Facebook.
3. Get creative with video
Lights, camera, action! It’s pretty easy to make a quick video nowadays – just reach for a phone, camera or webcam. Videos are a really powerful way to tell your story quickly and directly, and are a great way of actually showing potential sponsors why they should support you. Whether you’re sitting at home in front of a webcam, or filming some training, or the event itself, just remember that no one is expecting a cinematic masterpiece– an amateur video can be just as effective (and more entertaining).
4. Send personal messages
Don’t just spam your friends’ newsfeeds with generic donation requests. Facebook private messages are a great way of asking for sponsorship because you can decide exactly who it goes to. Writing to people individually will yield much better results than sending the same message to everyone.
You can also split your friends into different groups (like colleagues, family and close mates) and write a different message to each one.
5. Make a donation shopping list
Find out from your charity what various donations will “buy”. People tend to be more generous when they know exactly how their donation will impact the lives of the charity’s beneficiaries. Make your shopping list and include it when you ask for sponsorship. For example:
£10 – could buy a new text book
£20 – could buy school meals for an underprivileged child for a week
£50 – could buy a new pump for a fresh water well
£100 – could buy first aid kits for 50 people
6. Give a reason to sponsor you
The truth is, sometimes people give because they care about the cause, and sometimes they give just because you’re their friend and they want to support you (especially if you’re doing something challenging/painful/embarrassing). So remember to focus your message on the challenge AND the cause. For instance, you could try something along these lines: “Whether you want to make a difference to a child’s education, or whether you just want to see me jump out of a plane, please sponsor me…”
7. Do something a bit different…
People are asked to sponsor friends pretty often nowadays, which means your request needs to be different. How about asking for a few pounds sponsorship, and also suggesting your contacts ‘donate a status update’, where they ask THEIR friends to support the cause and share a link to your JustGiving page?
Or you could use Facebook’s ‘Questions’ feature to ask your friends to choose between a few different options of ways you could raise money. This builds interest and increases the likelihood some of them will sponsor you.
8. Say thank you
This probably isn’t the last time you’ll be raising money for charity, so remember your Ps and Qs!
Say thank you to everyone who’s sponsored you, and tell them what their support has helped achieve.
9. Ask businesses for sponsorship
It can be tricky to keep sponsorship rolling in after you’ve asked your friends and family. It’s worth trying to drum up some support from the business world. If there’s a product you love (maybe one that’s helped with your training, like carbo gels or trainers), try approaching the company and telling them you’d be happy to recommend their brand to your friends on Facebook, in return for sponsorship. It might sound cheeky, but it could be worth their while: your friends learn about a product you genuinely like, the company benefits from recommendations from fans online, and you get sponsored by someone who can afford more than a tenner!
10. Don’t put all your eggs in the ‘Facebook’ basket
Ok, we admit this is an odd one to include in a list of Facebook tips. Well, much as we love Facebook (and we really do), relying on it to attract sponsorship probably won’t be enough.
You need to talk to people offline too, then follow up by giving them the link to your JustGiving page.
Stay tuned for the release of our new Facebook app, where for the first time on the interweb, people will be able to view and donate to your page without leaving Facebook!