How to Use Social Media to Drive Nonprofit Donations

By Lisa Hirst Carnes | May 2022


Any nonprofit today must have some presence on social media. Whether you're posting daily or just a few times a week, it's a necessity for brand awareness. Social media is an excellent way to stay top of mind with followers, attract new potential donors, and draw attention to the cause you support.

But did you realize that social media is also a fabulous fundraising tool?

The Best Ways for Nonprofits to Use Social Media 

Social media can add an extra dimension (and donation tool) to your next fundraising campaign. We'll get to the tips and tricks for fundraising. But first, here are a few ways you can use social media posts to help your nonprofit whether for a donation campaign or just to awareness. 

1. Promote Awareness to Affect Change

Education is an integral piece that's needed to affect change for your cause. Promoting the issues you care about and the solutions your nonprofit has can help raise awareness and inspire action. Communicate your mission to motivate your followers to get involved and share any initiatives, events, volunteer opportunities, or fundraisers as well.

2. Build Community

One of the first uses of social media was to create a sense of community by bringing people with similar interests, hobbies, or causes together. That's where the "social" piece comes in. To build that sense of community among your followers, use language that addresses them directly and includes them in the conversation. Invite discussion and the sharing of ideas with polls and questions that you want to pick your audience's brain about. And don't forget to respond and show appreciation!

3. Share Your Impact

Your nonprofit is working hard to further your cause and solve the issues you care about. So don't be afraid to share your work! While social media has evolved to be a visual and video-heavy medium, try to find authenticity in your posts rather than perfection. With the rise of apps like BeReal, it's clear that audiences are looking for something beyond the polished image. Give your followers a look behind the scenes. Show the almost wins as much as the knock-it-out-of-the-park successes. 

4. Inspire Action

Let your followers know how they can get involved! It's great to share your activities and mission, but what you really need is for others to help! Share ways that your followers can get involved. And there are many ways to inspire action. Just be sure to make the ask specific and as simple as possible. Here are a few options:

  • Retweeting your messages
  • Sharing social posts with a specific hashtag
  • Calling their elected officials
  • Boycotting brands or businesses 
  • Finding volunteering opportunities near them
  • Donating to your nonprofit

The easiest way to get your audience to follow through is with specific calls to action and, if needed, landing pages that walk them through exactly what they need to do. 


How Nonprofits Can Drive Donations on Social Media

Now that we've covered the important ways that nonprofits should use social media, it's time to focus on fundraising. 

Today, there are several ways to incorporate fundraising into your social media presence across platforms. And while it may take a little time and energy to get set up, it will be well worth it. Online fundraising has been growing year over year. So, what could be a better way to boost your bottom line than by reaching your audience where they are already hanging out?

Set Up Your Social Accounts as a Nonprofit

When the Facebook page for your nonprofit was started 15 years ago, there wasn't an option to indicate that it was for a not-for-profit organization. Luckily, many social media platforms today have special tools, features, and resources for nonprofits. Many of these benefits include being able to fundraise right on the social platform!


To get started with fundraising on Facebook, first determine if you're eligible. If you are, get enrolled to access their Charitable Giving Tools. You will also need to enroll in Facebook payments as a charity and get signed up to accept donations from personal fundraisers that are started on your behalf. Letting Facebook users create fundraisers in your name is one of the biggest reasons to get set up! Don't forget to add the Donate button to your nonprofits page and to posts, stories, and other content. 


Because Facebook and Instagram fall under the Meta umbrella, getting started with fundraising on Instagram also requires you to enroll in Facebook's Charitable Giving Tools. Another requirement for accepting donations on Instagram is setting your nonprofit up as a business account. Not set up? Don't worry. You can easily switch your account over to a business without starting over from scratch. Instagram has a Donate button, too, so don't forget to add it to your profile, posts, reels, and stories. 


If you're using video to communicate your message, getting started with YouTube For Nonprofits is an absolute must. YouTube for Nonprofits is part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which hopefully you are taking advantage of. To qualify, your organization must be a certified 501(c)(3), so check your eligibility and apply if you qualify. YouTube offers nonprofits Link Anywhere cards to help with fundraising, as well as production resources, tech support, and other fundraising tools. 


TikTok has arrived as the newest kid on the social media block. It's become one of the largest content-sharing platforms behind Facebook and Instagram. If your nonprofit isn't using TikTok yet, you may want to consider it. It also makes it very easy to share content cross-platform to Instagram with the click of a button. Nonprofits can benefit from the TikTok for Good program, which includes promoted hashtags. 


While Pinterest isn't the hottest social media on the scene, the image-based platform is an excellent way to get your message out. And they offer Pinterest Academy, where you can learn how to leverage everything the platform offers to meet your nonprofit's goals. With nationally known brands and independent creators alike seeing growth through Pinterest, it may be worth looking into.  

Dive Into the Free Resources and Tools for Nonprofits

In addition to the obvious benefits of a donate button or promoted hashtag, these social media platforms also offer tools, resources, training, and support. These platforms want to help your nonprofit achieve as much as possible, so don't overlook the resources available. 

As you can see, there's a difference between having a presence on social media to leveraging all of the functionality and resources available for nonprofits. From now on, make sure you're using social media for more than just brand awareness. 

Topics: Digital Marketing