What Is Social Fundraising? And How You Can Use It To Reach New Donors

What is social fundraising? How does it work?

Social fundraising, also known as ‘crowdfunding’ or ‘peer-to-peer fundraising’, empowers your supporter base to fundraise on your behalf. Social fundraising allows individuals or organizations to rally supporters to fundraise for their cause, which helps brings in donations from more than one social network.

At GiveHope.com, we believe social fundraising is the future for more effective and powerful fundraising. Let us take a deeper look into what makes social fundraising so great:

The Benefits of social fundraising

A social fundraiser requires effort from multiple people collecting donations for one cause. The money all goes to the same place in the end, but because there are multiple people fundraising for one campaign, they help reach different networks of people by leveraging existing supporter bases to bring new supporters into the fold.

Social fundraising empowers supporters to become advocates for your cause, which in turn, helps spread the word without spending money. The most compelling reasons to implement social fundraising in your next campaign include:

  • New donors contributing to your cause
  • Existing supporters becoming more involved in your cause
  • A successful fundraiser that meets or exceeds its goal

Social fundraising is a powerful method for individuals or organizations to use.

Donor acquisition

Crowdfunding-new.jpgSocial fundraising helps grow your donor base by using existing supporters to bring in new supporters. Constantly posting to your network about your cause can get tiring. At some point, people would have already donated to your fundraiser if they were interested. Social fundraising allows you to solicit donations for one of your supporters’ family members and friends. You get the opportunity to display your campaign in front of a new audience.

Social fundraising helps you reach new audiences that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise, making it a perfect way for individuals or nonprofits looking to expand their donor base.

Examples of successful social fundraisers

The “Ice Bucket Challenge” took over everyone’s newsfeed in the summer of 2014. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started as a way to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This challenge took the crowdfunding world by storm with its overnight success and the millions raised towards one cause.

The Ice Bucket Challenge worked by one person nominating another to pour a bucket of ice water on their head or donate $100 to an ALS nonprofit. It was a chain reaction that required multiple people that spread like wildfire.


What has the awareness of this challenge translate into? From July 29 to August 18, the ALS Association received a total of $15.6 million in donations. Not to mention the Association acquired 307,598 new donors during this time. This goes to show that even a challenge that involves more than one person, known as a social fundraiser, can have a tremendous impact.

The ALS Challenge is an excellent example of what a social fundraiser should be. It required peer networks to spread the word, grabbed attention, was fun and most importantly, social.

How social fundraisers work

There are four stages to planning a social fundraising for both individuals and nonprofits:

Planning: Before you start, you should prepare resources for your supporters. Find out who is willing to share your cause and create email templates, social media posts, outreach tips and more. You can put all this information together in a toolkit that your supporters will receive after agreeing to help. You should also plan on creating incentives and prizes to keep everyone motivated throughout the campaign.

Recruiting supporters: Once you feel prepared, you are ready to start asking people to fundraise on your behalf. If this is your first social fundraiser, you should identify people who would feel passionate about your cause and reach out to them. Whether they be social media influencers or friends, reach out personally to get them involved.

Keep track: Come up with a strategy to follow-up with donors you’ve acquired and keep them interested. Emailing is a great way to stay connected. You should always continue to cultivate your new relationships so that they will come back to help your cause in the future.

Getting started with a GiveHope social fundraiser

To start your social fundraising campaign, you will need:

Create a free fundraiser on GiveHope.com. GiveHope is easy-to-use, customizable to your needs and securely processes payments.

A compelling story. Your story is what will get others to want to support your cause. Write a clear and compelling story to get people motivated to help.

A goal. How much money do you need to raise? Explain why you are asking for this amount in your story.

A strategy. How will you get people to help you social fundraise? How long will your fundraiser last? How will you promote it?

Supporters. Start off with a few people who are willing to share your cause with their networks.


For more information on how to raise awareness and funds with social fundraising, click here.

For a more focused guide on peer-to-peer fundraising for nonprofits, click here.