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As an independent, I spend around 40% of my working week on charitable enterprises and not for profits. It is certainly commendable that so many give so much of their time and skills to these enterprises, often with little or no reward. But real understanding of the intricacies of the digital space is extremely important for these organisations, usually run by volunteers. Just because you can manage your profile and have lots of friends, doesn't necessarily mean you should be managing a business or charity page.

Here are some great tips for those managing pages on Facebook, and other channels.

1. Status Updates

Status updates are the bread and butter of Facebook and as a fundraiser, you should be posting relevant updates regularly, and ALWAYS have your DONATION page, current fundraising activity or relevant website page link attached to it.

Don’t forget your sponsors and volunteers. If you’ve had substantial donations, or have an active volunteer base - tell the world, your followers really do want to know.

Be consistent and organised, three times a week is ok, daily is ideal, but don’t flood them with irrelevant nonsense. If you’ve got something to promote make sure it is THE discussion point, it’s the best way to be included in everyone's newsfeeds.

Look out for opportunities to start conversations based on status updates and don’t be shy about enlisting friends to share your page on their status. Initiate conversations by making your updates fun, snappy and as cheeky as you can get away with, it WILL raise awareness in your network.

Don’t just post the URL all on its own, Link-baiting is downright annoying. Sharing or adding pages and posts that everyone’s already watched is just a waste of time, no matter how funny they are. Once your post has pulled through the data from the source, REMOVE the URL and write something snappy and relevant about the post.

2. Dress up Your Profile

Posting achievements as notes is an effective way of regularly sharing your page. If you upload a new photo to your donations or website, share the link but ALWAYS edit your personal message. If you hit a fundraising milestone, shout about it, thank the contributors and celebrate.

3. Post Photos

Make sure you try and capture as much of your story on camera as possible. Regularly upload photos and slideshows, tagging your groups, followers, and locations; anyone necessary. Movements look MASSIVE on profiles now, so get snapping, create slide shows, videos, and gifs.

ALWAYS ensure your profile pic and cover photo are both suitably related to what your charity is up to. If you are running a raffle or have a major event coming up, ensure it is your page header, pinned status and/or key feature to continuously remind your followers and friends that they should support your cause, attend events or get involved.

4. Take Video Seriously

Video is the MOST powerful medium to get stories and concepts across to people quickly. The barriers to creating videos are now almost non-existent and there is no excuse not to upload a clip about what you’re doing. The Facebook video app is great for short videos, and if your friends are in it, tag them in the same way you do with the Photos app. This spreads through newsfeeds so much faster and ultimately, way more effective.

Blender, Lightworks. Shotcut, DaVinci Resolve, Openshot. and so many more are all simple and free to use - Start exploring and experimenting!


5. Events

If you’re actually doing an official event, search for it and see if it’s listed on Facebook. If it is, add yourself to it. If you’re doing your own thing and you want others to take part, build your own event on Facebook and send it to your friends or invite them to attend.

Don’t build an event around just your page, it’s annoying and reduces the likelihood of being found across the channel.

6. Groups vs. Pages

If you have a group, invite everyone to it, the ones that join are the ones who are keen. Start forum discussions and don’t let it stagnate. Groups also act as a bridge to other Facebookers who you might not follow you and can be a very powerful networking tool, especially around fundraising. So what's the difference?

Pages work much better if you’re a band or a famous person since everyone becomes a ‘fan’. We don’t know about you, but most donors probably won’t like being referred to as your fans. Pages are good for broadcasting to people.

Remember, Facebook works best when you’re having a conversation, so STOP trumpeting to people and start listening back.

7. Facebook Mail

The internal messaging system on Facebook is very powerful. It’s a lot more effective than standard email as it threads messages and integrates with your registered email address. So this tip is an easy one. Use it but don't abuse it.

Nine times out of ten it works better than your normal email software (particularly if you’re saddled with Outlook or Hotmail). It works great for group emails and even better for one-to-one. Don’t underestimate the power of writing to people individually. Personalisation yields better results than sending the same message to everyone.

Sort your friends into different groups and write a different message to each one, have a colleague group, for example, that might be a bit more formal than the messages you’d write to your best buds.

Think about how you would sort your contacts based on how you know them and write some sample messaging. It could generate dollars and keep people happy, as well as being tracked, all from your Facebook account.

8. Network with your charity

Astute businesspeople and like-minded professionals will have an official (sometimes unofficial) presence on Facebook. Find them and connect with them. Ask them to share their tips and stories with the fundraising team so they can pass on their knowledge to others.

Controlling everything yourself is only detrimental to your charity, don't be shy to ask professionals for help and listen to those that do this for a living.

9. Don’t forget to say thanks

Thank your supporters - A LOT!

Post a thank you note when someone sponsors you and tag their business or organisation. Giving a shout out to businesses and organisations that support you gives them a little promotion and encourages others to follow suit.

When your raffle or event is over don’t forget to thank people collectively and individually. Let them know in detail how much of a difference everyone has made together through their support and activity, and how much you appreciate them.

It’s the end of the story. Make sure it gets told.

10. Take it SERIOUSLY!

The intensity of your Facebook promotion needs to be balanced, keeping it regular without becoming overbearing. Ask for feedback if you think you’re pushing it too much from a close friend.

Which of the sites with tight integration with Facebook can help spread your story?

  • Is it worth using them?

  • Do you use them already and haven’t set up the integration yet?

  • Get. On. It.

Review your privacy settings, intricately. The more closed things are, the harder it is to get the message out beyond the inner circle of your friends.

Structure your activity into three acts, just like a movie, play or any good plan.

  • Start at the beginning

  • Structure the middle

  • Ensure there is an end.

Always have the story at the heart of what you do. I can't stress enough the importance!

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