We all know that the use of social media in any aspect can be powerful. How many of you have been called to action to support a cause on Facebook? Twitter? How many times have powerful people been brought to their knees for the inappropriate use of social media? Politian Anthony Weiner ring a bell? That is a cautionary social networking tale if there ever was one. However, while there are inherent risks associated with its inappropriate use, the power of social media in the context of sport fundraising can not be denied.
Sport athletes, organizations and administration are some of the heaviest users of social media for branding and fundraising. The ability to reach out to potential donors is one of the biggest reasons most college institutions adopted an online presence in the infancy of the social networks. Marquette even list potential fundraising as one of the four goals for their online initiatives. If done correctly, the ability to raise money using these online tools can be invaluable.
There are three easy steps to using social media platforms for sport fundraising: engage, call-to-action and recognize. To engage, you simply need to reach out to your fans, alumnus and donors. Tell your story. Use the social media outlets to build a closer connection to your fans without barriers. The first step to any means of revenue building to build relationships. Call to action! Don’t just tell your story and expect the money to come flowing in. Show your fans and donors how to contribute. Provide links or contact information. If they don;t know where to send the money, they simply won’t send it. Finally, don’t forget to recognize contributors for their support. What easier way in which to give a shout out to the folks that made the magic happen for you than to post a thank you on the same sites in which they learned of your need in the first place?
The ability to use social media for fundraising is an equalizer in that anyone can use it regardless of their level of organization. Small interscholastic institutions have the same access to the sites for engagement that professional organizations do. It all comes down to how you use it. As long as your message is powerful, honest and well-targeted, even the smallest sports teams have the ability to make a huge impact when they harness the power of social media for fundraising.