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Traveling has a different meaning for different people. Some do it for pure leisure; lying on a beach looking at the sunset while being served cocktails. Others do it to break the monotony of life. Some look for perspective, and some to quench innate curiosity. However, researchers have concluded that for whatever reason you pack your bags and travel, it alters your life, more or less.

Leisure travelers are likely to have a relationship that is more intimate with their partners. Students with international travel experience are twice as likely to complete college degree as compared to their peers who have no travel experience. They also earn higher incomes, nearly over 40% more. Traveling makes workers more productive, and less stressed and burned out. They are more likely to have higher morale.

Therefore, travel can be a healing touch that we all need in our daily stressful life. However, wherewithal, we all know, has been a limiting factor for our travel plans to be executed.

PhotoshopA Kenyan woman has shown that it is possible to get your travel funded. Though, it was her horrible photoshopping skills that made her viral world over. She photoshopped herself on Chinese heritage sites. Social media took notice of that and she became a subject of memes, worldwide. However, if you observe closely, you will know she inadvertently harnessed social media like a professional fundraiser.

If you do not know how powerful social media is as a fundraising tool, let me give you some stats.

  • About 55% of social media users, who engage with a cause, ultimately take some action for the cause, in one way or another, which include donation, volunteer work, starting or signing a petition and attending events.
  • Just in the UK, about $3. 2 billion was donated through social media last year.
  • An increase of about 13% in comparison to the year before. And, most organizations are making their presence visible on social media.

These numbers are a testimony that social media provides a great fundraising opportunity, which is only going to grow in the coming years. There is no surprise that the platforms that are frontrunners are Facebook and Twitter, followed by YouTube and LinkedIn.

By embedding social media platforms to your fundraising, you can drive people to seek interest in your cause and eventually donations. Let’s see how you can do that:

Identifying prospects

For a successful fundraising campaign, identifying potential donors is critical. Hashtag used on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, is an easy way to identify and pinpoint like-minded people. Another way is to keep a close eye on likes, shares, and comments. These indicators will help you strike up conversations with the people rooting for your cause. Established communities and groups also help to identify people with same-mindedness.

Cultivating relationship

Cultivating a relationship with the identified group or people is a major element in fundraising. Simply identifying prospects would not serve much if you do not interact and allow others to know your cause, your campaign. Build relationships that are reciprocal, where you learn about them, they learn about you. Creating online content such as blogs, photographs, or video makes your campaign accessible to your audience.

Message

Another key element in a fundraising task is an emotional message that helps people connect with your cause. The emotional element is critical while launching a fundraising activity on any social media platform.

People use social media for connections and enjoying content. Make engaging and interesting content like videos, images or stories, to communicate your message. Captivating content will eventually lead to signing ups or donations.

Make donation process easy

Create a donation channel that is free of obstacles for donors. An online and mobile-friendly channel for receiving funds is a must for your campaign. The other important element is acknowledgement. It is critical for retaining your support base. And to say thank you, social media come to foray, you can communicate your gratitude through it personally and publicly. An acknowledgment helps to secure future engagement and support.

In case of the Kenyan woman, identification, cultivation and solicitation was done through viral memes, which very effectively propagated her message—she wants to travel—to people, who gave her an opportunity to have a sponsored trip to China. May you too achieve your funding target following these tips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paige Sanders is a consultant and communicator at Australian Digital Marketing firm; SLAM Strategy. Paige has many years’ experience working with local businesses and startups on improving their digital marketing campaigns with a focus on search engine optimization (SEO). On the personal front, Paige loves to travel, and prefers a holistic lifestyle.