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Want to grow your donor base? Tap into people’s penchant to follow a crowd.

With our new social share buttons for every Firespring website, each time someone makes a donation on your website, they can let their Facebook and Twitter networks know with a click by sharing their recent activity: “I just donated to YourNonprofit.com. You should too.”

If you’re wondering if this is effective, the answer is absolutely. According to DonorDrive, 21% of peer-to-peer fundraising dollars are donated as a result of a direct click-through on social media. This is, in large part, because people tend to listen when their friends and family speak—way more than they listen to brands and businesses. Research by Nielsen shows that more than 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing.

How do social share buttons work? It starts with your confirmation page. After a donor completes an online donation, your confirmation page should pop up with:

  • A receipt. This assures your donor that their gift was processed successfully and includes a summary of donation details and tax deductibility.
  • A warm thank-you. Hopefully we can agree that a receipt is not a thank-you, and an important element of a confirmation page is a heartfelt message that really lets your donor feel your gratitude.
  • Social sharing buttons. This is your secret sauce to expanding your reach. Social sharing buttons make it easy for donors to broadcast your message with a click and raise money on your behalf by giving them a convenient way to recommend your organization to their Facebook and Twitter networks.

Social sharing buttons encourage your website visitors to help drive more traffic to your cause, event, crowdfunding initiative, etc.—whatever you want. With this new feature, you can enable the buttons on any form’s response message, and they’ll prompt your supporters to spread the word.

Why does this work? Because of a not-so-little thing called social proof. This is the powerful idea that if we think everyone else is acting in a certain way, we’re likely to act that way too. Social proof is based on the idea of “normative social influence,” which is a fancy way of saying that people will conform or follow a crowd in order to be similar to, liked by or accepted by society. Social proof is even more powerful when it comes from someone your prospect knows, which is what makes social sharing buttons so important. They make it easy for your donors to tell friends and family, “I like this organization enough to financially support it, so you should check it out.”

Simply put, people care about what others think and recommend. You can leverage social proof to attract new donors and recruit a fresh gang of supporters. Besides including social sharing buttons, you can also:

  • Feature testimonials on your landing page. Positive reviews (especially those from top influencers in your space) can increase the value of your social proof. According to a 2017 survey, 85% of customers actually trust local online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and significantly more than marketing materials.
  • Use numbers. Showcase how many people have given to your organization or started a fundraising campaign on your behalf. For example, Charity: water lists the number of people who have fundraised and are currently fundraising on their platform. Feature a fundraising thermometer (also available with a Firespring website). This is a great way to let online visitors know how close to goal you are with a specific initiative or campaign. According to Mobile Cause, a fundraising thermometer can boost donations by 35%. Why? Because, again, people tend to follow a crowd. Recognizing donations in real-time and showing totals inspires more donors to give toward the goal.
  • Recruit influencers. Influencer marketing is like 2018’s version of celebrity endorsement. Basically, an influencer is someone who either has a large following or an active and engaged network on social media—or both, if you’re lucky. They don’t have to be famous; they just need to be, well, influential. If you find someone like that who’s relevant to your niche or cause and they’re willing to be a brand advocate for your nonprofit, snatch them up and let them spread the word for you and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—wherever they have leverage, influence and street cred.

If you’re interested in learning more about influencer marketing, crowdfunding, social proof and other ways to get ready for (arguably) the biggest giving event of the year, #GivingTuesday, you’re in luck! It just so happens we have a free webinar designed to deliver those goods. We’ve been working with nonprofits for over a decade, educating them on the latest technology and marketing trends to further their cause. Here’s your chance to get in on the action. Learn how to Pave the Way for a Successful #GivingTuesday.