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How to maximise social media for your ICS fundraising

So you’ve created your JustGiving page, and now it’s time to share it... But wait, you’re feeling shy? Cheeky? Embarrassed? Nervous?

It's natural to feel this if you’ve never fundraised before, but this 5 step guide will show you that fundraising on social media is mightily effective and super easy.

1. It’s not all about the money

In life it’s never a good idea to ask someone for the same thing every time you chat to them. The same is true on social media.

Before you post anything, it’s important to remember that it’s a friend network. People are there to socialise. They’re not necessarily there to sign up for your fundraising event or to hand out donations. But you can create attention grabbing content that will interest them. This could be  photos of that spectacular cake from your bake sale, live videos of charity gigs you’re hosting, excitement about your ICS placement, and even facts about the country you’re going to.

Having a mix of content will ensure that when you do post your JustGiving page it’ll have more impact!

A collage of three volunteers. One volunteer doing a bungee jump, one at a car boot and another one playing guitar at their charity gig.
These volunteers shared photos of their fundraising to keep their social network updated and involved.

2. Answer “What’s in it for me?”

Make sure your appeal focuses on “What’s in it for me?” because people are more likely to donate if they get something in return.

For example, rather than just asking for money to help ICS fight poverty, invite them to your farewell dinner party or a themed coffee morning, then you can fundraise at these events instead. This way what’s in it for them is the chance to have a direct impact on a cause they care about, some entertainment and seeing you before you leave for 3 months!

A VSO volunteer holding a vso logo with a shaved head.
This volunteer certainly caught the attention of their social network!

3. Get your audience’s attention

It’s better to ask people to donate when you’ve pinpointed something that resonates with them. Just asking for cash might put people off. Try to add the condition “if” to your ask. That small word turns your ask into an opportunity.

For example, you could say “IF I reach 50% of my target by the end of the month, I’ll be barefoot for a week” or “IF I hit my fundraising target by my deadline I’ll shave my eyebrows off’, or whatever crazy idea you have! But remember, make sure it’s legal, and definitely not dangerous.

4. Make your post emotional

People support ICS because they feel an emotional connection to the cause, so do your best to show your audience the impact ICS projects and volunteers have across the globe. The reason people support you is because they value you and what you’re doing by volunteering on ICS.

Use the word “you” whenever you write a post so  it feels personalised and  each individual donor feels valued and a part of the impact you’re creating. Also ask yourself, “How does this post make me feel?”, or even better, ask your Fundraising Support Officer how the content makes them feel. They can help you improve that post to ensure donations keep flowing in.

A volunteer jumping in the air with a sign saying thank you.
Finding creative ways to celebrate success and thank others will make sure people stay interested and maybe even share your story with their networks.

5. Be obsessive about replying

Remember to reply to comments on any of your posts. You could even tag people who you think might be interested in your content. If a friend sees  a notification and gets involved in the conversation, this increases the chance of it being seen by others.

More interactions = Greater visibility = Greater awareness = More support!

It’s also just really important to thank people for any support they give you, weather that be a donation or people sharing your posts. So always make time to reply and say thanks!

Final thoughts

There are loads of  social media platforms out there, and you can use this same thought process to help you make the most of each of them. By using your social media well you can get a real head-start on fundraising and make it so much easier.  

Be confident, and know that your friends will be happy to see you’re doing such an amazing thing through ICS!

If you want more support or advice about using  social media for your fundraising just get in touch with your Fundraising Support Officer – we’ve got lots more tricks and tips we can share!

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Funded by the UK Government.

ICS is funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which projects the UK as a force for good in the world, including reducing poverty and tackling global challenges.

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