How to Turn Social Media Followers Into Donors

It’s no longer an option for nonprofits to overlook the increasingly important role of social media. From fundraising to increasing brand presence and brand loyalty, social media has created a world of opportunities for growth. Done right, social media marketing can be an invaluable tool for finding new donors. In this article, we’ll show you the best way to turn your social media followers into donors.

6 minutes read
How to Turn Social Media Followers Into Donors

60% of the world’s population uses social media. That’s over half of the global population, showing social media’s hugely popular presence in our modern life. 

Despite this, most nonprofits don’t have a clear social media marketing strategy, and social media management responsibility typically falls to only one employee (or no one at all).

Furthermore, even when social media engagement is high, converting a follower into a donor takes work and isn’t always clear-cut.  

There’s no need to panic! Whether you have a social media team or are a one-man band, here are a few tips that will help you convert social media followers into long-term donors.

5 Steps to Turn Social Media Followers Into Donors

1. Change Your Approach to Social Media

Many nonprofits use social media to announce events and milestones and share occasional videos or articles. This approach often generates little to no engagement, resulting in sparse donations.

Moving away from “the megaphone” approach and seeking out conversations can make a world of difference. Focus instead on the three Es of social media. 


Part of your job as a nonprofit is to educate the public about your mission – why does it matter? This is part of nonprofit advocacy, but it’s also a great way to inspire urgency in your followers. If they understand the problem, they are more likely to want to join the solution and donate. 


Entertainment is, after all, why we turn to social media in the first place! Your content should be interesting enough to grab our short attention spans. With the rise of TikTok, short-form video is an extremely popular option to entertain your audience and share your mission in a way that holds their attention. 


Engaging content interacts with the audience. It’s about having conversations – asking your audience what’s important to them, what they want to see from you, and what they want to know about your mission. Engagement helps donors feel like they already have buy-in with your organization, which encourages them to continue on the follower-to-donor pipeline. 

For example, check out SFT Animal Sanctuary’s Instagram posts. They strike the perfect balance of telling an entertaining story, educating about their mission, and engaging their audience to get involved. 

Get Started With Donorbox

In their bio, followers can easily find the link to their website where their Donorbox donation form is embedded and easy to find – making the donation process quick and seamless. 

Other tips

Here are some other tips to help you focus on the three Es –

  • Feature your donors and followers on your social media channels and tag them in photos.
  • Repost and retweet their content.
  • Offer donors exclusive content and insight into your activities.
  • Respond to your followers frequently and timely (did you know responsiveness is measured on Facebook?).
  • Offer something, don’t (always) just ask. Offer good content or even something like a giveaway or contest. 
  • When you’re advocating for your cause, make it fun. Use memes, gifs, polls, and videos to engage your followers.


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2. Use the right donation platform 

One of the most important steps for turning social media followers into donors is to make sure the donor experience is up to par. The right donation platform makes all the difference. Make sure you have an accessible, mobile-friendly donation form that streamlines the donation process and helps convert more followers into donors. 

Donorbox has you covered! Our sleek, customizable donation forms can be embedded on your website or hosted on ours. They look great on mobile and have quick response times, so donors never get frustrated and leave. Plus, UltraSwift Pay™ lets donors check out with their preferred digital wallet so they don’t have to fill in their contact information. And QuickDonate™ lets them log in to their own donor portal to make the same donation with just a click. 

Use features like Crowdfunding to encourage more donations from social media through sharing and social proof. Peer-to-Peer allows your top supporters to fundraise on your behalf, which is a great way to connect with new followers and expand your pool of potential donors. 

For example, JustAnswer leveraged social media to bring more donors to their Donorbox crowdfunding page, where they raised almost four million dollars. Plus, their donors could easily follow them using the buttons right on their campaign page. 

Start Raising More

Having the right donation platform will help you collect more donations from social media – and can turn those converted followers from one-time to recurring donors!

3. Build A Community Around Your Brand

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements and appeals.

We scroll through Instagram and in ten seconds we encounter an ad for a watch or an app that donates meals to children in need. Thirty seconds later, there’s a video of an influencer talking about this new skin cream that you just have to try.

It’s easy for social media users to become overwhelmed and experience the opposite effect – refusing to buy or donate at all.

Move away, as much as possible, from solicitation to building a community around your brand. Have your employees and friends of the company talk about your brand. Work with other organizations, and create useful and meaningful content.

We love how Coco’s Angels leveraged their recent partnership with a local business to create brand awareness and grow their online community – all while doing good! 

Here are some more tips to help you turn your followers into a community that wants to work alongside you – 

  • Create partnerships with like-minded organizations. Invite them to write a guest blog post on your blog and vice versa.
  • Invite your social media followers and donors to author blogs or posts.
  • Get creative, think of a name for the community of your followers and donors!
  • Get to know your followers and what matters to them.

Offer, if possible, rewards, incentives, and benefits to the members of your community. (Creating a Membership program is a great way to do this and bring in donations!)

4. Figure Out Your Audience

We talked about building an engaged community of superfans and donors on social media, but the strategy that’s best for you can vary drastically based on who you’re trying to reach. The more targeted your approach, the more followers you’ll turn into donors. 

For example, if  your targeted demographic is older, perhaps a better approach is using social media to collect email addresses and then sending email campaigns to collect donations. Facebook, too, often targets Gen X and Boomer audiences, whereas Instagram, Twitter/X, and TikTok target Gen Z and Millennials. 

Your audience’s expectations will likely vary based on which platforms you’re using, too. For example, your LinkedIn audience will be expecting different content than your TikTok audience. 

Beyond age demographics, there are other features of your audience to consider, like the following –

  • Do they leave comments? If you ask a question in your post, will they respond? 
  • Do they watch your videos and respond to them? 
  • Which other social media platforms are they using and how can you connect with them there?

Pro-tip: You can record any insights you gather about your top social media fans in your Donorbox donor management database. Even if they haven’t donated (yet!), you can manually add them and include notes about their preferences. You can also record communication with a prospective donor so you know exactly how often you’ve reached out. Here’s how it looks on your end –

Saving this data will also help you segment your outreach and turn that superfan follower into a donor! 

5. Tell Stories

Stories help your followers connect emotionally with your work, which encourages them to join your efforts with a donation. You can use blogs, photos, and videos to tell compelling stories of your impact.

Supporters and donors want concrete evidence that their giving has an impact. Telling a story on social media is a great way to demonstrate the impact of your work in a more digestible way than sharing facts and figures (although those still have a place in your communications!).  

We have guides to help with nonprofit storytelling, including how nonprofit storytelling increases donor trust. Here are some tips to get started telling stories on social media – 

  • Visuals win. Photos, videos, and  infographics boost engagement.
  • Create a personal connection by showcasing a real person the donation helped. 

    For example, check out how the Alliance for California Traditional Arts shared this compelling video of their grant recipients performing. This is entertaining and educational since it shows this nonprofit’s mission in action! They also include a clear call to action inviting followers to apply for their apprenticeship program. 

Tell Your Fundraising Story

  • Think outside the box. Is there something else you can tell a story about? Why was your nonprofit created? What challenges have you overcome?
  • Add a story submission space on your website to collect stories about your impact. 
  • Ask superfans to create user-generated content – aka, posts about your organization on their profiles that you can share with your network. 


Social media enables nonprofits to create relationships and engage with their supporters. It allows us to nurture online communities that create a viral marketing effect with little or no effort, especially compared to traditional marketing.

Sometimes social media engagement does not necessarily result in donations, which is a big source of frustration. It takes some time and skill to successfully convert social media followers into donors.

However, it all boils down to what’s it always been about – robust and genuine relationships with supporters and donors. 

Having the right tools to build those relationships starts with the right donation platform. Donorbox helps thousands of organizations capture as many donations as possible with comprehensive, easy-to-use tools. Our sleek and mobile-friendly donation forms help you bring in more social media donations, while features like Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer help you capture the power of your network – and the network of your followers. 

Plus, we have tons of resources on our Nonprofit Blog, in our Library, and on our YouTube channel. The Nonprofit Podcast comes out weekly with fundraising experts discussing pressing nonprofit topics. Take a course in Donorbox Academy to sharpen your fundraising skills. 

Whatever you need on your fundraising journey, we’re here to help. 

Ilma Ibrisevic is a content creator and nonprofit writer. She’s passionate about meaningful work, sustainability, and social movements. If she’s not working, she’s obsessing over coffee or cooking. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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