Social media fundraising advice

Raising money using an online platform like JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving is one of the fastest ways to kick start your fundraising. Below are some of our top tips on how to make the most of your online giving page.

1. Tell your story

We’re so grateful you’ve chosen to fundraise for Battersea – the money you raise will help us care for the 7,000 dogs and cats that come through our gates each year. Not to mention the countless animals we may never see, but who we campaign for when we speak out about animal rights issues across the UK.

Let your friends, family and colleagues know why you’ve chosen to fundraise for us, and use the ‘Story’ section on your page to tell people your story. How will you be raising money? What will it involve? Why did you choose Battersea? What does it mean to you? Don’t be afraid to be creative - you could write your story as if it were coming from your dog! A different perspective may encourage more donations.

2. Upload photos or add a video

Next up, personalise your page even more by adding a photo. This will be one of the first things your supporters see when they visit your page and it’s a great way to show who you are, or speak about your cause, and even tell a bit more of your fundraising story.

A picture paints a thousand words, so why not add a photo of you with your beloved four-legged friend or your teammates. Once you’ve completed your challenge, you can add another photo of yourself to help boost donations.

If a picture tells a thousand words, just imagine what a video could do! Most smartphones are now the equivalent of carrying a professional video camera in your pocket – so it’s easier than ever to record a quick (we would recommend no longer than a minute) video. Use it to tell your supporters even more about your cause.

JustGiving makes it even easier to get your video out there: you can add a YouTube link to your JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving page the same way you add photos.

3. Communicate your target

Communicate your target

Do you have a target for your fundraising? Pages with a fundraising target raise on average 45% more than those without – letting your supporters know that target, and that they’re getting you ever-closer to your goal, may just encourage them to give that little bit more.

But it’s not just for your supporters – there’s no denying how satisfying it’s going to be when you see your total raised reach that 100% mark! And if you really smash it before the event day, you can always increase your target...

4. Show donors what their support will do

People love to know the impact of their giving, so if you can, tell them exactly how their donation will help. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn a dog or cat away in need of our help. We reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners and when we are unable to do that we provide them with care and comfort until they find a new home.

Below are just a few examples of how your supporters' money could be used:

  • £5 pays for 1 kit used to screen a cat for leukaemia and FIV
  • £34 covers the cost of running one dog kennel for a day
  • £300 will pay for all the costs associated with rescuing one dog
  • £1,000 can pay for a month’s worth of microchipping for the Home
  • 5. Share, share and share some more

    Be sure to share your page with your friends, family and colleagues on social media, WhatsApp, and email.

    Facebook provides more than 20% of all incoming traffic to JustGiving, which means thousands of people are using it to fundraise every day. Once you’ve added your page, share it with your Facebook friends. Not only can they donate, they can also share your page with their friends and ask them to donate too.

    Twitter is brilliant for fundraising, helping you reach out to a huge community. Tweet your followers with your page link and ask them to retweet it to their followers. The more people that retweet, the more people that will see your page. Try adding ‘#CharityTuesday’ (if it’s a Tuesday!) or other relevant hashtags to your tweets about it in order to help increase your reach.

    Send the link to your page round again on pay day to remind people to donate – it’s an easy way to boost your fundraising.

    6. Email your contacts in groups

    Start by emailing your family and closest friends. They are most likely to support you and get the ball rolling – having a couple of donations from them already on the page should encourage other supporters. People also tend to match the amounts already listed on the page, and your family and close friends are more likely to get you started with some generous donations.

    Next up why not let your colleagues know that you’re fundraising for Battersea. You could also try exporting your LinkedIn contacts and emailing them. Details of how to do this can be found here

    Don’t be afraid to be persistent! It may take more than one round of emails to reach your target. And remember to thank the people who have already supported you so far and ask if they wouldn’t mind passing on your page to their contacts.

    You could also add your page address to your email signature to help spread the word about your fundraising and get your page out there. You can just add a hyperlink, or you can contact us to get a footer image to attach. Once you set up the signature template, every email that you send out will be raising more awareness of your fundraising and attracting more donations.

    7. Print your page

    Both JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving offer poster templates for you to print out to encourage even more people to support you. They're really handy for sticking up in the office, your local shop or on the school notice board.

    8. Get a JustTextGiving code

    With JustTextGiving by Vodafone you can now create your very own text code and get people to donate to your fundraising page just by sending a quick text! Once you have your code, you just need to promote it. You can do anything from sticking it on your cycling jersey, putting it on a poster or a banner, or posting it on Facebook.

    9. Contact your local and internal press

    Contact your local and internal press

    A bit of exposure such as a feature in your company newsletter or magazine, or even a few lines in the local paper, or an appeal on your local radio station can really help. If they publicise your page address, it will be really easy for readers and listeners to support you. For a sample press release please get in touch with our Supporter Services team.

    10. Thank people

    Saying thank you is really important and there are plenty of ways you can express your gratitude to your supporters. Why not update the story on your page (you could even add a new photo or video!), send follow-up emails out to your donors, tweet a thank you and update your Facebook status. Let people know how your fundraising went, what their support has meant to you and what a difference it will make to us here at Battersea.

    For more specifics on how to make changes to your JustGiving or Virgin Money Giving pages, click on the links to see their FAQs.

    Fundraising ideas

    Some more fundraising ideas to help you on your way.

    Get fundraising