Can a Facebook Timeline Increase Fundraising?

13 Apr

It seems like there is always something new in the social media realm. The latest trend seems to be focused on Facebook Timelines. So what is it, should you use it and will it help with online fundraising?

First of all, the name is pretty self explanatory. While this may be a technological version of your junior high history project, it basically is the same concept. A Facebook Timeline is simply a different format of your standard Facebook page. Instead of a small profile picture there is a custom masthead picture of your choosing and a timeline grid on the top right corner. This format allows you to highlight the most memorable or important days in your life or in the history of your organization. While a basic Facebook page lists posts in order of time listed, a timeline allows you to edit what is seen and by who, list various apps that define what’s important to you, and create a better understanding of the character of your nonprofit.

For a great example of how a nonprofit uses this online tool check out Livestrong, the organization founded by pro-cyclist Lance Armstrong.  His page is brilliantly constructed starting with the date that Lance was first diagnosed with cancer on October 2, 1996 and continues up to the present. With heart wrenching pictures, vivid graphics and amazing updates, their site truly gets the reader involved in the campaign and passion of this charity.

So on to question number two: should your organization set up a timeline on your Facebook page? Absolutely! Many donors base their giving on progress and what better way to show your impact than through a timeline? Furthermore, a report by the research company Simply Measured found that brands with the timeline gained an average of 46% more engagement through using this tool. Those companies and organizations that had videos and photos saw a 65% increase in engagement.

Finally, will this new feature help to garner more funds? Personally, I think anything that helps you to share your vision with more donors is surely worth a shot. A timeline gives a snapshot of your history, mission, successes, and humanity while causing the reader to emotionally invest into your organization. Through pictures, videos and storytelling, you will be able to capture the attention and the heart of your donors.

Online fundraising is progressing at a rapid rate and the tools that are being developed are allowing nonprofits to reach a monumental amount of donors. When your donors link to your Fundly site, their contribution will be posted on their Facebook page and therefore will guide traffic to your website or Facebook timeline. Just think of the potential!

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