How to Ask for Donations on Social Media [Examples!]

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Receiving a donation for your nonprofit is the absolute best. It’s amazing, delightful, a perfect experience, 10/10, would recommend.

But asking for that money? An awkward, terrible, tedious grind. Uggghhh. We just want to save the children nowwww.

Luckily, we live in an age where asking for donations is the easiest it’s ever been. As long as your nonprofit organization has a social media account, you’ve got a platform to help spread the word and mobilize support for your cause — no door-knocking required. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites offer a way to directly connect with potential donors around the world to tug at those heartstrings… and hopefully open some wallets in the process.

Read on for key strategies and best practices for effectively asking for donations on social media. Let’s hit those fundraising goals, shall we? (Just don’t forget to thank us when you’re accepting your Nobel Peace Prize.)

16 top tips for asking for donations on social media

Whether you’re a nonprofit organization, a charitable initiative, or an individual with a noble mission, social media is here to help you boost your fundraising efforts.

But remember: you’re competing with 4.74 billion social media users for attention. Your message has to cut through the noise, capture attention, and then inspire generosity.

That’s right: just Tweeting “money please?” won’t cut it. But here’s what will:

Understand your audience

It’s impossible to craft an effective message if you don’t know who you’re talking to. Study up on your target audience and understand just who your followers are now by reviewing your social media analytics and practicing social listening.

You’ll use a pretty different tone depending on whether your audience is made up of Gen Z Canadian boys or Japanese grandmas.

What is appropriate to ask of these audiences might be different, too — can your audience realistically help you create an endowment fund, or is asking for a $10 one-time donation a better fit?

Learn more about how to find your target market here.

Be specific in your ask

Most nonprofit organizations (heck, most people) are always in need of money… but there’s nothing really compelling about just an ongoing, bottomless request for cash. Instead, create campaigns oriented around specific amounts of money and specific outcomes for optimum results.

For instance, “We’re raising money to pay for Jeremy the Dog’s vet bills” is a specific, achievable goal that people can get behind. Or “It’s Sloth Month! For every $100 we raise in May, we can sponsor toe surgery for one endangered sloth!”

Be clear about what you are asking for, and what impact that money will have.

Create a sense of urgency

It’s easy to put things off without a deadline (this blog post certainly wouldn’t be here without one). By giving your donation request a time limit, you’re inspiring your potential donor to take action before it’s too late.

You can do this by setting a fundraising goal to achieve by a certain date (“We need to raise $10,000 by the end of the month to start our Habitat for Humanity project!”) or offering limited-time-only rewards for donors (“Everyone who donates this week will receive a special sticker pack!”)

Tell specific stories

Sure, your organization may have tons of impressive stats about the good your funding does, but ultimately, humans connect with stories. If you’re able to share a personal, specific instance of impact with your social media followers, you’re going to make a powerful impression.

So share a heartwarming picture of that little kid wearing the new pair of glasses your charity bought for her (we’re crying here!), or post a video of your scholarship recipient reporting from his dorm room. You can even share the story of a volunteer or employee who has been touched by your organization’s work.

Get granular, and share those specific, authentic, personal tales… just don’t forget to include a call-to-action to donate, too.

Share data about your impact

Of course, that’s not to say every post needs to be an emotional personal story. Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up with some bigger-picture information about the impact your organization has had over the years too.

If you have data about what a difference you’ve made, consider posting an infographic or video. These sort of celebratory moments are a nice way to prove that the money that’s coming in is being used well and that, even if you’re facing a daunting project (e.g. stopping global warming), you’re at least making some sort of progress.

Share your fundraising progress

Sharing your progress towards a fundraising goal or celebrating milestones can be a great excuse to post about your donation drive. These sorts of posts also offer social proof, confirming to donation-curious followers that other people have taken the plunge, and that they can feel comfortable doing the same.

Make it easy to donate

If you want people to give you money, make it as frictionless as possible to do so. Put that donation link front and center every chance you get.

The Trevor Project Mental Health Awareness Month Facebook donation button

Anywhere you have a chance to leave a link directly to your donation page, do it — whether that’s in your social media profile or added as a sticker on your Story.

Curate a mix of content

This might seem counter-intuitive, but stay with us: sometimes, to collect donations, you need to not ask for donations.

That’s right: a good social media content calendar for nonprofits includes more than just requests for funding. Foster a good relationship with your followers by creating engaging content that offers value — like sharing interesting insights about your cause or industry. Entertain, educate, inspire, and then caaaasually slip in that donation request on your next scheduled post.

Backpack Buddies, for instance, shared this helpful video about how to save money on groceries, while also letting its audience know exactly what their organization is about (and how far they’ll be able to stretch your money, should you be inspired to donate).

Add a donate button to your page

On Instagram and Facebook (both Meta companies), you can allow people to donate directly through your page with a donate button. Just set yourself up with Fundraise with Facebook here and then add a button directly to your profile.

Global Good donate button on Facebook
Source: Facebook

These donate buttons provide a quick and easy way for people to give funds to your organization without even leaving social media (you just need to sign up for Meta Pay first). More on signing up for fundraising tools on Meta here.

Incentivize sharing

Get your followers to help you spread the word about your fundraising campaign by offering incentives for sharing. Maybe they’re entered into a special prize draw, even if they haven’t donated themselves?

Whatever donation platform you’re using to actually collect money should offer an option to prompt donors to share. Take this opportunity to encourage them to humble-brag about how they’ve made a difference — “Tell your friends about why you support this amazing cause!”

Even if only a fraction of donors actually post about their donation, that’s still increased the social reach of your campaign, so it absolutely never hurts to ask.

Use the word “you” and action verbs

There’s an art to asking for donations, and it involves making the reader the hero of your post. Address the reader directly with the word “you” (or “we”) and incorporate as many action verbs as you can.

You can make a difference. Your donation impacts horses all over the world. Donate today, and you will fund a brand new schoolhouse. (You get it!)

Post at the right time

Getting your donation request in front of the most people possible means scheduling your posts for the right time.

Use a scheduling tool like the Hootsuite dashboard to plan ahead for optimal posting times on all of your preferred social media platforms.

Hootsuite's Planner: multiple social media posts scheduled a week in advance

Embrace hashtags and social SEO

Get your donation-request posts discovered with strategic hashtags and social SEO practices. That means using three to five relevant, specific hashtags that will reach your target audience — think #GivingTuesday or #RescueDogs.

Using strong keywords in your captions is important too, as social platforms improve their search functionality. Be clear and accurate in everything you write to improve your discoverability. Learn more about how to help people find you on social media here.

Encourage supporter-run fundraisers

Facebook has a fundraiser functionality that allows users to raise funds for a specific charity or nonprofit. All you have to do as an organization is set yourself up to allow for that functionality, using Facebook’s fundraiser tools here.

select nonprofit to raise money for a cause you care about

Once you’ve got the capability in place, let your followers know this is a possibility and encourage them to run their own micro-fundraisers whenever they want. Celebrate a birthday? Honor a loved one’s memory? Whatever their personal reason, we love to see the whole community getting involved.

Collect donations in a livestream

Hosting a livestream is a great way to encourage donations in a short, specific period of time. Remember telethons? There’s an excitement and urgency around a specific fundraising event that can incentivize people to open their wallets.

Your livestream could be a Q&A interview, an “ask me anything” session, a special concert or speaker, a behind-the-scenes or on-the-ground look at the impact you’re making. Here are some tips for creative social media live streams to get the juices flowing.

collection donations during livestream

Source: Facebook

Though you can go live on lots of social platforms, Facebook Live and Instagram Live allow you to add donate buttons right on your livestream, as does TikTok, so those are the easiest ways to encourage donations.

Say thank you

Once your campaign is over, don’t neglect your good manners: honor your amazing donors with a big thank you post. They deserve to be celebrated (plus, shouting out your supporters is just one more chance to remind others that you heartily welcome donations, please and thank you).

Examples of how to ask for donations on social media

Kids charity The Spot put up a Facebook post promoting a Support a Student donation drive, and it ticks all the boxes for a strong ask. It mentions a specific, attainable goal (supporting 700 students) and clarifies exactly what impact a $25 donation can have (e.g., purchases a backpack and supplies for one student). A link to donate with Paypal is right in the post.

Easy, effective and clear. A potential donor isn’t going to have very many excuses to not click that link.

World Vision Canada shares a moving real-life story of one of their charity recipients in this Instagram post. The image is authentic and the story is personal and inspiring. The post ends with a call for the reader to also sponsor a young girl, and “experience the transformation in her life, her family and entire community.” Whoa. Yeah, I’ll visit that link in bio.

This B.C.-based food bank partnered with all-star babe Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively for a matching-donation program. The promise of double the funds from a star-studded duo gave the donation drive a “why now” hook that helped the organization raise thousands and thousands of dollars.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society clearly lists off all the benefits of donating in their call for donations here on Facebook (with fun emojis, to boot). There’s a time pressure here, with the urgency of donating by May 19 to make sure your funds are doubled. If you were on the fence about donating, this post would push you right over the edge. Calling it a “gift” instead of a donation is also a nice touch, as is including a photo of someone affected by M.S.

Podcast network Maximum Fun promotes donations by offering special prizes and content when certain donation milestones are “unlocked.” It’s a fun way to gamify the donation process and to rally the community together towards one common goal.

Social media post templates for fundraising and donations

Want a head start on your next social media fundraiser? Here are a few templated captions to get you started. (But hot tip? Hootsuite’s new AI caption generator would definitely have a few good ideas for your specific campaign needs, too.)

Ooh, and in case it’s helpful as you’re whipping these up: here’s a list of all the social media image and video sizes for every network.

Instagram

Today’s the day to make a difference.

We’re raising funds for [cause/organization], and need your help — every dollar counts towards creating a brighter future for [beneficiaries]. Donate today and join us in changing lives. Link in bio.

Facebook

Join us in our mission to [describe the goal or impact]. By donating today, you’ll be part of something meaningful and transformative. Together, let’s create a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Your donation of [amount of money] will be used directly to [what will the money be used for?]. Together, we can make a difference and bring hope to those who need it most.

LinkedIn

[Cause/Organization] is dedicated to making a positive impact in [describe the cause/issue]. We believe in creating a better world for everyone, and we need your help to make it happen.

This month, we’re looking for support for [specific project or need]. Even just [smallest amount of money] makes a powerful impact — so please join us in our mission to [describe the goal or impact].

Your generosity will make a significant difference and empower us to create positive change.


TikTok

We need your help! There are only [number] days left to reach our fundraising goal. Your dollar today could help us [goal of fundraiser] and make a real difference in the world. Ready to give back? Donation link in bio.

Twitter

We’re raising funds for [specific project or need] and the clock is ticking. Will you take five minutes to donate now? [link to donation site] No amount is too small, and every contribution matters. (And if you can’t donate now, would you consider helping us spread the word with a retweet?)

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