Using Social Media to Fundraise

Social media offers your group a huge audience potential. It means that you can generate support and awareness for your group's activities and take your fundraising to another dimension – often for no cost at all.

Fundraising using Social Media

If your group is a registered charity in Scotland and using social media as a means of encouraging public donation (also referred to as benevolent fundraising) you will need to be aware that this type of fundraising is subject to the requirements of The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and The Charities and Benevolent Fundraising (Scotland) Regulations 2009. Compliance is regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and Local Authorities in Scotland.

Any use of social media for fundraising should be set within the context of your overall plans for generating income and it should also be part of your overall marketing strategy.

  • Create a Facebook page for your organisation.

  • Get signed up to online fundraising resources such as JustGiving, The Big Give and Virgin Money Giving.

  • Ask any of your current supporters who already have a online fundraising resource account (and a Facebook page) to add a ‘donate’ button that will take their friends and supporters straight to your group’s JustGiving page to make a donation.

  • Sign up to Twitter and set time aside to tweet regularly.

  • Make a video about what your group does and the people that benefit from your activities. Use this as part of your social media presence and encourage people to download it and share with their virtual ‘friends’.  You never know – it might be a huge hit and go viral – taking your group’s activities to potential supporters and donors around the world!

Online Fundraising Tools

There are a number of online fundraising tools (such as JustGiving) that enable donations to be made electronically. Some include the automatic reclaiming of Gift Aid on all donations from UK taxpayers. Once your charity is signed up, anyone can create a fundraising page and invite their friends to make donations (and Gift Aid if applicable) that are sent direct to your charity.

With some of these tools, you can have unlimited fundraising pages – meaning unlimited fundraising potential!  You can usually also view donations, track payments, and see how much an event has raised in real time. JustGiving fundraising pages can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Bebo and by email.

Donations by text

Setting up an account that enables public donation by text is also a great way of making it easier for people to donate to your charity. Your charity would need to set up an account with an SMS Fundraising facilitator such as JustTextGiving. This would then mean that anyone with a mobile phone can make a donation to your charity simply by texting.  

When a person makes a donation, it is either deducted from their mobile phone credit or added to their mobile phone bill.  Your charity then receives the donations by cheque or by monthly BACS transfer.