Make It Awesome! Social Media Fundraisers

Did you participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? If not, I’m sure you heard about it from your friends and family, and saw videos posted on social media.

A similar fundraiser was done by a United Way. They invited people to “Give A Buck” and then “Pass The Buck” by posting a video on social media about why they donated to United Way and encouraging their friends and family to donate, as well.


We have shared this “I Give A Buck” fundraising campaign in our presentations, as an example of how to raise money on social media. While this is a creative fundraising idea, I have three ideas to share with you to Make It Awesome!

How to Take This Social Media Fundraiser and Make It Awesome!

  1. Communicate about a single issue. In a news article about the United Way holding the “I Give A Buck” fundraising campaign, this is how they described what the United Way does:

    Through their Community Impact Grants, the agency helps provide everything from aid for homebound seniors to scholarships for children to attend daycare. Some programs help at-risk youth, others provide after-school tutoring. The United Way of ______’s network of non-profit, business and government partners identifies and addresses the most pressing issues that affect ______’s residential and business communities, going beyond what any single organization can accomplish alone.

    This description isn’t dissimilar to how other United Ways describe what they do. United Ways do a lot of great things and it can be difficult to communicate a focused message. When you do your social media fundraiser, communicate about a single issue, such as: hunger, homelessness, school readiness, etc. Your message for the fundraising campaign could be something like “Give a buck to United Way of ____ to help end hunger in our community.” Remember, it is better to be known for one thing, rather than nothing at all, and people will be more likely to give if they understand what their donation supports.
  2. Add a fun challenge. In addition to asking people to “Give A Buck” and then “Pass The Buck,” get creative and add a challenge. If you want people to take part in your social media fundraiser, it will be easier to get them involved if you add a fun challenge, like dumping a bucket of ice over your head if you don’t donate to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Even if people choose not to donate, you will still raise awareness of your United Way and what you do in your community, and your fundraiser will be more likely to go viral if you add a fun challenge!
  3. Get your young leaders involved. A great way to start the chain reaction of asking people to donate is to get your young leaders involved! They are already on social media and have tons of friends. Ask your young leaders to post videos on social media, inviting their friends and family to participate, and remind them to communicate about your issue during their videos.

If you implement these three simple ideas, you will take this social media fundraiser and Make It Awesome!

If you would like us to review something your United Way is doing and Make It Awesome! send me an e-mail at As your marketing consultant, I will share great tips and ideas with you about how to enhance what you are doing, and will provide you with the information your donors and community want to know, based on our research and experience in working with United Ways.