A highly effective approach to fundraising events called ambassador fundraising harnesses the Internet’s power and social influence to drive donations for your annual event. This strategy mobilizes your most loyal supporters to fundraise for a specific event to attract sponsorships, registrations and donations.
Finding the Right Ambassadors
First, recruit your active supporters. Your best ambassadors are people of influence who have a connection to the cause, strong networks and social clout. This could include enthusiastic volunteers, your board members, major donors, local officials, and event honorees.
Make a Resource Kit for Your Ambassadors
Make being your social ambassador as easy as possible by providing all the necessary resources; this will increase the likelihood that those individuals will want to post on behalf of your nonprofit. Make the job as easy as copy-and-paste while also encouraging your ambassadors to use their unique voice.
Create a folder with a document including a link to your website, links to your nonprofit’s social media channels and a brief summary of what’s expected of your ambassadors. Also include cover photos for each social media channel and profile pictures. These pictures should be a combination of the giving campaign logos and your nonprofit’s branding.
Make It Easy to Share Social Posts
Make it easy for your online ambassadors to share posts with their networks and to monitor progress. Simplify access to communication tools and customizing their own fundraising page. Empower them to share their unique story and their personal connection to the cause.
A simplified experience is also critical for potential donors. It’s important to find a communication solution that makes it easy for ambassadors to share appeals and donors to give donations.
For example, Giving Tuesday is coming, and your organization is busy getting ready for the most important day in online giving. Having a group of social media ambassadors ready to share your posts and create their own can help extend the reach of your Giving Tuesday campaign significantly.
Keep in mind that your social ambassador program won’t replace your Giving Tuesday and fundraising and marketing efforts. It’s supposed to help the work you’re already doing. Keep the things you ask of your ambassadors to a minimum. Ask for actionable, concrete tasks that someone with a full-time job can easily accomplish.
Consider offering some incentives and prizes to increase the chances of your ambassadors participating and doing what is needed. The ambassador with the most donation referrals could get a goodie bag from your organization, or you could share their posts and give them a “shout out.”
Communicate with Your Ambassadors
Don’t just assume that your social media ambassadors will be all set after one email! You need to contact your ambassadors two weeks before the event, a week before and a day before. When reaching out, emphasize the positive effect your ambassadors can have by being a part of your campaign. And be grateful!
During Giving Tuesday or any online campaign, keep the ambassadors updated on your progress. Treat them like family: Live updates will motivate them to share more about your campaign.
In the end, this is all worth the effort because a good social media ambassador program can increase the reach of your campaign to thousands of new people, which will naturally result in more donations.
By Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS