Calling all digital professionals! The largest campaigns in the world reach millions of people through effective engagement - and yours can do the same.

Thanks to online platforms and tools, it is easier than ever to build engagement for charity projects. But as every marketer knows, you need to think about your user first. How do you motivate your followers into engaged participants?

We’ve put together some key tips to guide you from a passive following to campaign success

1. Does your content compel?

When people decide not to take action it is because they believe it will have little or no impact. But by showing your community how their individual actions can incite change - and how easy it is to do so, you will naturally encourage further engagement.

First, you need to plan out your content.

  • Make the end goal clear, imaginable and exciting.
  • Break the project down: marking the map points with short term goals and explain how to get to each stage.
  • Use video and infographics to present information quickly and clearly on your website and social media platforms.
  • Provide milestone updates: prepare graphics in advance using Canva or use social media images from the fundraising platforms (check out Crowdfunder’s resources here).
  • Motivate your audience with compelling language. Keep it short and snappy. Use power words to evoke emotions and trigger curiosity.

2. How easy is it to share?

This is most relevant when thinking about your website. You’ll be surprised how many websites have great social media, but their social icons are hard to find!

  • Check that social and email icons are clear and accessible on every page.
  • Ensure sharable icons are available at the end of news/blog posts and in newsletters.
  • Embed actions in the website with a link to the fundraising platform.
  • When someone has supported the campaign, set up an automated reply including a link to share with friends and family.
  • Encourage shares at the end of your social media posts (“don’t forget to RT!”)

3. Do you celebrate the doers?

Recognition is empowering. It encourages engagement, turning people from passive watchers into celebrated participants.

For example:

  • Engage supporters with automatic thank you emails and text messages.
  • Congratulate a Facebook group member for their regular posting.
  • Highlight a media piece featuring a positive action.
  • Reshare / retweet / repost member updates - and remember to reply directly.
  • Consolidate the community achievements in your blog posts and newsletters.
  • Create a press release showcasing community efforts and results - tag any relevant partners.

4. What do your audience need?

No one needs information overload. Your audience are intelligent, but they are also busy - so keep communications simple.

  • Work out what makes your target audience tick, the language they use and their lifestyle.
  • Your audience is likely to be segmented into groups, make sure it is detailed in your fundraising social media strategy.
  • Remember to refer back to the strategy as the campaign develops. Is there a part of your audience giving more engagement than others - and why is that?

Also, take notice which of your messages create the most reaction. The insight sections on social media platforms are invaluable here, providing demographic data and stats on which type of posts have the highest engagement. Keep on the ball with recording your analytics and test and refine the content you put out and soon you’ll have a deeper understanding and connection with your audience. Meet your supporters where they are.

5. How can you deepen relationships with your supporters?

View your communications as if you were getting to know people face to face. Respond, react, find ways to deepen the conversation.

Reply to comments on social media, ask questions, listen to the answers. Not only will this bring your community closer together but it could also open up new ideas to support your project.

Listen to supporters and if relevant, invite them to shape the campaign with you. Shared resources are valuable. You can ask your supporters questions through:

  • Social media polls.
  • “Ask me anything” posts - with questions in the DMs or comments.
  • Newsletters via a survey link.
  • Comments at the end of blog posts.
  • Live videos.

Finally, show flexibility. Where possible provide an option for them to choose how much, when and how they’d like to interact with you. Tip: watch your newsletter stats to see how many emails are unopened. If a section of your community isn't clicking, try again - using an intriguing email subject - and ask them if they want to unsubscribe, or if they’d like different content, and what that looks like.

We hope these tips are helpful! If you'd like to find out more about making the most out of your content, take a look at our webinar How to create 10 pieces of content from one idea - presented by Richard Wilner

Photo of the news article author, Simon Evans

Simon Evans, Customer Success Director

As Customer Success Director and founding partner at Giant Digital, Simon champions the importance of great service delivery and customer care. From website build to post-launch maintenance, Simon understands the need for clear and regular customer communication to ensure projects meet the needs of charities and stay on track and within budget – two extremely important factors for charity-funded websites.