[3/6] Key Enablers around Social Fundraising in Your Educational Institution

If you think peer-to-peer fundraising is just for charities and crowdfunding is just for students, it’s time to think again. This is a sample of Blackbaud’s upcoming six-part whitepaper: Empowering the Crowd: How to Make Social Fundraising Work for Your Educational Institution.

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising has captured a lot of attention within the education sector in recent years. We explored these terms in our previous article, Utilising Peer-to-Peer Fundraising in Your Crowdfunding Efforts.

Advances in digital technology makes adding social fundraising alongside your online giving page easier than ever, in other words: the ability for supporters to fundraise for your projects rather than simply make a donation towards it. What’s more, the cost of social fundraising has decreased significantly. The project can be championed centrally by your development team, but much of the hard-work can be decentralised to an interested set of individuals or group to drive themselves.

This is the essence of social fundraising – expanding your reach and achieving more through the networks of constituents that support your institution, whether as donors or fundraisers.

There will be a significant increase in the number of small donations from social fundraising, but the immediate success-indicator should not be a £ figure. Instead, social fundraising will contribute to your advancement team’s success by:

  • Creating a pool of new first-time donors to build new relationships
  • Engaging a team of new volunteers to bring them closer to your institution
  • Decentralising smaller fundraising projects, freeing up your team to focus on the highest priorities
  • Equipping your major gifts team with valuable data to help drive your principal fundraising pipeline

To a major gifts fundraiser who is confident harnessing data intelligence, the data collected from social fundraising can be far more valuable than the immediate figure fundraised.

Thus, in order for social fundraising to drive long-term benefits to your cause, it’s critical that the platform you use facilitates not only the telling of inspiring stories, but also integrates into your primary advancement system and wider programmes. To run crowdfunding as a siloed operation, detached from your broader strategic objectives around data insights and major gift fundraising, is to forgo much of its value.


Look out for Part 4 of this six part series next week, where we explore things to consider for choosing the right social fundraising platform.


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