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Raising Awareness and Funds With Social Fundraising

Lori Halley  26 April 2012  0 comments

When this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival host - Allyson Kapin (Rad Campaign Blog) called for submissions on “social fundraising”  I was intrigued.  After all, I’d predicted that this would be the year that many small non-profits and associations would make a commitment to “getting more social.”  

What is social fundraising? 

But since I’m neither a fundraising nor a social media expert, I wanted to find out what “social fundraising” was all about. After a little online research, it seems that there are a number of terms that relate to “social fundraising” including: “social giving” “crowdfunding,”, "peer-to-peer fundraising", and “social media fundraising.”

While fundraising events are intrinsically social events, it seems that they are even more successful when combined with online donation tools and social media. A NetwitsThinkTank post I found offers a wonderful infographic that illustrates The Power of Social Fundraising.” In this post, they suggest that “over the past five years fundraising events (aka: social fundraising) revenue has more than doubled online – reaching close to the billion-dollar mark.” 

Examples of social fundraising

When I started thinking about examples of organizations that are using innovative “social” campaigns to empower supporters and raise funds, I immediately thought of Canadian Feed the Children.  I had highlighted their “World Food Party” in my Giving Thanks  post in the Fall. But when I visited their “Community Fundraising” page, I was surprised to see a number of interesting campaigns applying various “social” techniques – from crowd-funding for Haiti relief; individuals raising funds for their mountain-climbing feats; to groups of university students hosting events to raise awareness and funds; to organizations who band together to run annual campaigns. Here are a few that stood out to me:

  • Raising the Rhythm - a University of Toronto student and her friends raised about $8K for CFTC through a dance / fashion gala in Toronto
  • Kilimanjaro Climb - Anastassia Ferdman climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and raised $2,600
  • Hungry for Change – through this initiative, which is in its fifth year, CFTC is the Canadian Electrical Industry's charity of choice; for whom they've raised about $1million

The impact of "social" on fund and awareness- raising

So I contacted Michelle Raino, CFTC’s marketing and events manager and asked her how social fundraising and crowd funding has impacted their organization:

“It’s a phenomenal way to raise awareness of issues that are important to our organization, in this case, world hunger; equally as important as raising funds. For example, CFTC’s World Food Party is a way for individuals to take their passion for feeding hungry children and put that into action in their own communities.  While not all of our community fundraisers use social media – or crowdsourcing  extensively for their personal fundraising on our behalf, we are finding more and more interest in it.  It’s a real win-win, in that people can raise money for a cause they believe in, while also knowing that it’s an extremely cost-effective way for their favorite charity to fundraise.”

This is just one organization that is using social fundraising to empower supporters to raise funds and impact social change.  What about your organization? We’d love to hear your social fundraising story – and we hope you’ll share details in the comments below.


Image source:  People & social network from BIGSTOCK


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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 26 April 2012 at 12:27 PM
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