This is a guest post by Ja-Naé Duane, artist, creative economist, social media strategist and a faculty member at Northeastern University. Ja-Naé is also CEO of Wild Woman Entrepreneurs, Ja-Naé Ventures, Co-founder of the Massachusetts Artist Leaders Coalition, Founder of The Leaders and author of "How to Start Your Business with $100."
Raising money can be an arduous task. As a small member-based or non-profit organization, you know that it can feel like pulling teeth to find the funding necessary to reach your goals. I know this myself, having started up a small business with just $100.00.
One way that I used to raise money and one that I always share with start-ups, is that you can leverage your social networks to raise funds. For example, a lot of non-profits will utilize their Facebook page following to start up a fundraiser. The One campaign raised $2,360 with 8,802 members. Non-profits can also use Facebook and other social networks in order to promote a cause, like UNICEF does.
Besides social networking platforms, I always like to mention that blogging can really help make a cause feel personal. Who are you more likely to give money to - a large faceless corporation or an organization that offers a personal, interesting and moving story?
Nowadays, it's so easy to tell a story - to tell your story. Write a blog post about who you are, what your organization is all about, where you're at and where you want to go. Use pictures, testimonials and videos in your post to truly drive your message home.
At the end of the post, I suggest placing a PayPal button or link to your online fundraising site to ask for donations to put toward your cause. By moving people with your words, they'll be more likely to help you achieve your goals.
In addition, it's smart to make sure your blog post is set up to optimize sharing. A Retweet button, Facebook Like Button and Share This, lets those who were moved by your story share it with others.
You most likely already have a Facebook and Twitter account, so use those platforms to blast your message even further.
Additionally, use your Facebook and Twitter followers to set up an event - a real-live event that people will attend in person. Part of the proceeds can go toward funding your organization. I always find that people truly enjoy having an excuse to go out, so give them one! It'll be win-win.
I've watched as organizations and businesses have learned that using their social influence to raise money is truly one of those no-brainer moves in the world of small business and non-profit. So the question is: How are you using your social influence to raise money?
Feel free to share your thoughts, stories or questions below or tweet me at @TheSunQueen. I would love to hear from you!