Enhancing digital literacy, online communication and fundraising skills

Social Media in Fundraising

Social Media in Fundraising
Statistical data
Case study
Written by: Panna Ujvári, NIOK Foundation


Title: Ne intézd el egy lájkkal! – Don’t deal with only one like!

Trends in the country about the topic 

NGOs in Poland can use Facebook “donate button” to raise funds. Such button can be placed on the organization’s main page, right under the cover photo, under the post, or in Facebook Live video.


But to do so, an NGO must:

  • Set the activity field as “non-profit organization”,

  • Be verified by Facebook.


Moreover, NGOs can ask their supporters to organize a collection of money on their behalf. The supporters can organize a collection of money because of their birthday, for example.


Every time, when a person donates, (s)he is asked to share the information about the collection, so other people can join it.


100% donations are given to an NGO.


Organizations that use Facebook donate button:

NGOs working in different fields: Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, UNICEF Poland, Polish Humanitarian Action, Campaign Against Homophobia, Animal Shelter in Korabiewice VIVA.

Inspirational examples
  • Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity


Resource list 

https://nonprofits.fb.com/ (in English)

https://donations.fb.com/pl/ (in Polish)

Statistical data

Case study

Facebook Driven Fundraising
Written by: Jan Kroupa

Campaign Title: Zodiak of Assistence

 Short Description:  Facebook based donation campaign based on an offer for those who have been born during the astrological sign of fish to celebrate their birthday to benefit people who neeed personal assistance to live independently.

Financial Target: EUR 5,000
Amount Raised: EUR 27,000


 No.1 Learning Outcome:  Trend setters / opinion leaders on Facebook can reach rather unexpected results

Organization Name: Asistence, ops
www.asistence.org; http://zverokruhasistence.cz/
E-mail: erik.cipera@asistence.org

Focus / mission: supporting independent living and working for people with physical or combined


Campaign description
Following a year of testing P2P campaigns during which invidivual ambassadors celebrated their birthday to benefit people with multiple handicaps, asking their friends to - instead of birthday gifts - donate hours of personal asistence, Asistence, ops decided to organize a larger campaign that would concentrate such birthday ambassadors into a specific period of time to generate
more publicity and increase campaign momentum. Thus the idea of “Fishes for Assistance” was born, with a prospective view of developing a multi-year campaign to be repeated over next 4 to 5 years. A website Zodiak of Assitance was built (
http://zverokruhasistence.cz/) and “Pesces” was
selected to be the first astrological sign to be invited to celebrate their birthday for personal assistance. The principle remained the same: selected ambassadors ran a private P2P campaign on Facebook asking their friends not to give them presents, but donated hours of personal


Target group
Facebook users, 35-55 years of age, larger cities, upper middle class

Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)


  • To raise EUR 5,000 (the secret, unofficial goal/hope inside the organization was EUR 10,000)

  • To build a first year of a lasting campaign that can be repeated for other astrological signs

  • To build a trusted brand that will attract an increasing donor attention in the future

  • To build a pool of donors the organization can start building a relationship with (with full contact information)

Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)

  • 8 ambassadors celebrated their birthday, asking their friends to donote hours of personal assistance to people with muliple handicaps

  • 1,800 donors with full contact information

  • EUR 27,000 raised

  • Campaign to be re-used over the next 3-5 years ready and tested

  • One Facebook “Super Post” by a known photographer and facebook marketeer, Tomáš Třeštík, who has 4997 fcb friends and 38 200 followers resulted in:
    1426 sharings
    And EUR 20,000

  • The remaining 7 ambassadors raised the rest

  • Starting a brand that was recognized by thousands of Facebook users

Milestones, turning points, key decisions
The winner in this campaign was the involvement of a Facebook trend-setter and opinion leader who raised most of the money

Learnings and takeaways

  • even on-line campaign do not have to be one-off

  • Involving community / opinion leaders pays off

  •  People have their communities on Facebook and they respond to the “super users” - finding such a user is like fining a key to the door to the user community 

Closing notes
it will be interesting to see in the fall and during the following years, how this campaign and brand will holp up
The author of this material agrees to the publication of this material for non-commercial purposes.

Czech Republic
Statistical data 
Case study

Case Study – On-line Fundraising

Raising Money for Unpopular Topics On-line

Written by: Jan Kroupa


Campaign Title: You Want to Gas Them, We Want to Put them to School - Roma Scholarships


Short Description:

Financial Target: EUR 10,000

Amount Raised: EUR 12,000

No.1 Learning Outcome: It is posílejte to raise money on-line for unpolular topics and it is posible to raise it primarily from Roma

Organization Name: Romea

Web: www.romea.cz

E-mail: monika.mihalickova@romea.cz

Focus / mission: helping Roma to fair opportunities and education


Campaign description

Nearly thirty years after the fall of the iron courtain, Czech society remains to be rather xenophibic and rasist. The popular believe is that it is impossible to raise funds from individual donors to support Roma integration programs. Following an unfortunate situation in an elementary school in northern Bohemia (Teplice), during which a parent of a child in local school suggested that his child’s Roma classmates should be sent to a gas chaimber, and the story hitting national media, a decision was made to run a immediate response campaign to fundraise on-line for Roma scholarships and stipends. For the first time in history, an on-line campaign to raise money for Roma integration on-line was launched. And for the first time, it targetted Roma middle class as donors.

This decision was supported by Bader Philanthropies (a US family foundation operating also in the CEE region with focus on social entrepreneurship and Roma issues) with a promise to match the campaign 1:1, if they can raise EUR 5,000 in two months.

Target group

Roma middle class

Roma community leaders

Educated, liberal Czech city populations

Roma activists


Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)


  • EUR 5,000 from individual donors + EUR 5,000 in matching from Bader Philanthropies

  • To prove that fundraising for Roma integration programs is possible

  • To prove that Roma middle class is willing to finantially support scholarships for young talentem Roma children and youth


Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)


  • EUR 12,000 raised

  • 60+ % of donors Roma

  • Fundraising on-line for Roma integration project proven possible in the Czech Republic


Milestones, turning points, key decisions

This was a rapid launch, short lived campaign... The single most important decision was to do it:).


Learnings and takeaways


  • Fundraising is a great awareness raising tool: people are willing to listen and think about an issue when asked for money, i.e.awareness raising and informational campaigns can be

  • merged or designed in parallel.

  • Overcomming the fear and our own prejudices and test the real response is always healthy and can bring positive surprises

  • National media publicity is very helpful in running a fundraising campaigns; it is, however, short lived, so act without delays, if you want to ride on the wave

  • Matching is a great opportunity in on-line fundraising; it boosts annual giving and it brings major donors on board into the on-line world


Closing notes

Success of the campaign motivated both the orgnizers and the matching donor to push the experience further. Bader Philanthropies challenged Romea to raise EUR 12,000 in by the end of May 2018 offering again a 1:1 match. The follow-up campaign has just reached its target with success... Seccess breeds success.

Trends in the country about the topic

There is no aggregated data on use of social media by the nonprofit sector in Romania. There is only data on use of social media, regardless of the sector.


Internet penetration reached 73% in 2017, +3pp versus 2016.  All age groups have increased, with 16-24 y.o. as the most active, followed by 25-34 y.o. and 35-44 y.o. In terms of social media, the clear leader in Romania, Facebook, maintained the highest increase up to 9.8 mil users vs 8.4 at the end of 2016. It is followed by LinkedIn (which grew from 1.74 mil users in 2016 to 1.82 mil users in 2017), important numbers considering it has a prominent business perspective, Skype, TPU (local), Instagram and Twitter.


2017 revealed an increase of the online advertising budgets share of 14% vs 2016, from 64 Mio Euro to 73 Mio Euro. Google and Facebook kept the leading position with 66% share of digital market.


Source: media factbook ROMANIA 2018


Romanian NGOs use social media (mainly Facebook) more and more to communicate and to raise funds. Also the investments are not significant yet, many NGOs allocate increasing budgets to use Facebook advertising tools in order to raise funds.

Inspirational examples
MagicHOME – The shelter of parents, an SMS campaign of MagiCAMP, a Romanian NGO organizing camps in order to offer children who live their childhood between the walls of hospital wards the chance to regain their trust in themselves, the power to fight the disease and the motivation to go forward.
Resource list 
Statistical data 
Case study 

Campaign (2017)

Title: MagicHOME – The shelter of parents


Short description: In Romania approximately 2.500 children are fighting cancer. In most cases the burden for the family is too high, both emotionally and financially.

When they come to Bucharest for treatment the children can spend in the hospital weeks, months years. And the parents can not afford to pay for the hotel or to rent an apartment where to stay.


And so they live in the hospital with their child, on the chair near the child’s bed. This situation can last days, months, years.


The solution proposed by the NGO is MagicHOME - The shelter of parents, a home away from home, near the largest oncological hospital in Romania. 30 parents will be able to live here while their child is in the hospital.


People were invited to make a recurring SMS donation (2 EUR/month) to support the project.


They had furnished a central location in Bucharest as a hospital room. People sat on a chair, in turns of 2 hours, non stop, until they reached the 100.000 SMS donations.


Campaign website: https://pentrumagichome.ro/

TVC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xjabOFN6bo


Financial Target: 100.000 recurring SMS donations (2 EUR per month)


Amount Raised: almost 275.000 Euros in November 2017 (137.342 recurring SMS donations), 1.375.000 Euros from November 2017 to June 2018.

No.1 Learning Outcome: A strongly emotional campaign concept is key in achieving outstanding fundraising results.


Name: MagiCAMP

Web: http://magicamp.ro/

E-mail: contact@magicamp.ro


Focus / mission: organizing camps in order to offer children who live their childhood between the walls of hospital wards the chance to regain their trust in themselves, the power to fight the disease and the motivation to go forward.


Campaign description

  • Campaign context and mechanism: please see above

  • Campaign period: November 2017

  • Communication channels: TV (TVC and reportages), radio, social media.

  • Social media had a key role in the campaign. Those who sat on the chair in the location furnished as a hospital room in central Bucharest received a picture which they could share on social media. These pictures became viral on Facebook. Also, Facebook users could update their profile picture with a campaign frame. Thousands of people used the frame to support the campaign. There was no investment in social media, everything went organic. Also, all other media space was offered pro-bono.

  • Founder members of the NGO played also an important role in making the campaign a success (a former TV news anchor and the former Ministry of Health) thanks to their credibility and celebrity. They were invited in several TV show to talk about the campaign, many in prime time.

  • Many public personalities from various fields (media, business, politics etc.) got involved in the campaign.

  • Case study video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k-JJxcFcak

Target group

Romanian people with a mobile phone subscription (about 10 million people)

Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)

  • 100.000 recurring SMS donations (2 EUR per month)

Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)

  • Almost 275.000 Euros in November 2017 (137.342 recurring SMS donations), 1.375.000 Euros from November 2017 to June 2018.

  • The campaign raised the bar for the fundraising campaigns of NGOs. The campaign is considered as being the most visible and the strongest fundraising campaign in Romania. 

  • The organization managed to convince Telekom to offer its clients the possibility to make recurring SMS donations (previous to the campaign this kind of donation was possible only for clients of other telecom companies like Vodafone, Orange.)

Milestones, turning points, key decisions

The organization worked with an advertising agency to develop the campaign concept and had the courage to implement an emotionally very strong campaign concept (many NGOs prefer to go safe and implement campaign concept with moderate emotions). They decided to ask for permission from donors to further communicate with them even though this meant an additional step in the process.

Learnings and takeaways

  • In order to achieve excellent results in terms of fundraising there is a need for a strongly emotional campaign concept. Involving an advertising agency in the concept development is recommended.

  • Involving supporters in an activity to feel, live an experience related to the campaign or cause can be a key contributor to the success (in this case the sitting on the chair in the hospital wars). This experience should be relevant for sharing in social media.

  • Social media can be a huge contributor to the success of the campaign if the concept is attractive and engaging enough. Organic reach can be big enough to achieve excellent results.

  • Recurring SMS as donation method is very efficient. Even if attrition rates can be significant, ROI is excellent (this campaign had mainly (or only) human resources costs and even the campaign ended in December 2017 continues to raise important amounts every month (please see campaign outcomes).

Closing notes

An excellent campaign from many points of view (cause, concept, donation method, communication channels, results and ROI) which raised the bar for the fundraising campaigns of Romanian NGOs. It is considered as being the most visible and the strongest fundraising campaign in Romania.

  1. Q: Should we pay for the campaign media coverage?
    A: No. The ROI of SMS donations campaign is excellent if you can get unpaid media coverage. In Romania it is still possible to obtain pro-bono media coverage.

  2. Q: Should we invest in social media in order to obtain visibility?
    A: Investments in social media are still affordable even for NGOs. But, organic reach can make the difference and is the healthiest, if the campaign manages to raise sufficient attention thanks to its creative concept and credibility of the NGO.


Trends in the country about the topic 


Social Media Fundraising is an important part of NGO campaign management in Germany. More than 31 Million active users in Germany are using Facebook per month, more than 1.3 million users are using Twitter per week. 


Especially Facebook through its online donation mechanism can be used to convert visitors into donors.


One prominent example is the #klovember campaign by the Hamburg NGO Viva Aqua. Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli is a charity founded in 2005 in the Hamburg quarter of St. Pauli. The aim of the organization is to improve drinking water supply in developing countries in conjunction with
the Welthungerhilfe. The organization is built up as an "open network" which means that it mainly consists of individual initiatives with the support of the organization’s head office. 


The #klovember initative was focused on the social media network Instagram. The idea was to raise awareness for the lack of access to sanitation places in most parts of the world. People were asked to put pictures of themselves on the toilet together with the Hashtag #klovember on Instagram. The charity VivaConAqua would also put posts asking for SMS donations of 5 Euros. The impact was that people searching for #klovember would also see the fundraising message.


Short Description:
The aim of our present program was to extend the range of exercises for students with disabilities from January 2018. We wanted to further expand this activity so that more disabled children can experience and have a regular sporting experience.

Our specific objective was to involve 60 students with disabilities from 4 schools in 2018 with a group of weekly training sessions.


Participants also have free training sessions, of course, their costs (coach fees, amortization, overheads), so we needed 2300 euro for our plan, and we asked for help from the general public through a special community campaign.


Financial Target: app. 2300 €

Amount Raised: app. 10600 €


No.1 Learning Outcome:


Name: Suhanj! Foundation

Web: www.suhanj.hu

Focus / mission: SUHANJ! is a public benefit organisation that shares the joy of exercise with our disabled and handicapped fellow citizens, an integrated sports club where disabled and able-bodied participants can do sports together, a movement created by an open community of committed volunteers and amateur athletes, and a charitable foundation that provides regular training opportunities for visually impaired and motor-impaired people in several sports.


The SUHANJ! sports programs are organized for visually impaired, motor-impaired and intellectually disabled individuals. The programs’ volunteers enter running, swimming and triathlon competitions together with disabled participants, and SUHANJ! - organizes weekly training sessions in several sports as well as awareness-raising projects and programs.


Campaign description

At first look, the campaign is about a single Facebook post, but in fact they have implemented a well organized, well-constructed, well-prepared mini-campaign. The basic idea was given by a summer post of a Budapest nightclub, they have created a parody of it, as on the social media sites are now very popular "if there will be X likes and Y shares, then THIS and THIS will happen" type of posts. Contrary to the beverage action, they set out a charitable goal and indicated that it does NOT happen because the requested like and share numbers are reached, because it WILL only happen if the post’s readers will donate as well. In particular, they wanted to reach 300 people who donate 2500 forints (app. 7,5 euro) to the sports facilities of children with disabilities.


What happened before posting?

They wrote the post and they took the picture. They spoke with the night club, the creator of the original post, told them the idea and convinced them to be so keen to share the content on their social media page. As their Facebook page is followed by more than 120,000 people, this was very important right at the beginning of the campaign.

They have also prepared the campaign in the community supporting the foundation. Before the photo was posted, they exposed it to a closed, internal group of their volunteers, athletes and parents. They told them what this is about, and how important their cooperation at the beginning of the campaign is. This proved to be crucial, and their most active supporters were those who launched the first major wave.


They also searched for one of the most read news portal (index.hu), asked if they would write about the initiative when the campaign started. It was important that this was done even at the beginning of the campaign, but at the time when its success was already visible.


Target group

The first and main target group was the organization’s close supporters: volunteers, donors, athletes and parents. But they also tried to reach a bigger audience with the biggest news portal and through the night club’s Facebook page.  


Campaign goals (financial and non-financial)

The financial campaign goal was 2300 € to support kids and youth with disabilities in sport. The non-financial goal was to promot the Foundation’s goals and existence of the gym.


Campaign outcomes (financial and non-financial)

The total amount of donations collected is 3,448,846 forints (app. 10600 €), which is 465% of the targeted fundraising goal. The target (2300 €) was reached within three hours, after 1 day the amount collected exceeded 1,000,000 forints (3060 €). Number of donors: 741 people.

More than 14,000 people liked the post on Facebook and more than 18,000 shared it. We reached 1,891,551 people and triggered 57,249 responses.


The number of followers on the Facebook page of the Foundation on December 12, 2017 was 17,000. The same data on December 19, 2017: 20,012 people. Over a week, more than 3,000 people joined to their facebook page, the site produced a 17.7% increase with no advertising activity and no cost.


There was a strong tendency for new guests who knew from the facebook campaign about the existence of the gym.

Early in January, the number of student groups who could come free of charge from the previous two increased to four, and after one month they started discussions with 5 new institutions.

Milestones, turning points, key decisions

It seemed to be a key decision to prepare the previous supporters, volunteers and donors even before the campaign was launched. It was important to explain to them what exactly will happen and how they can help. And it was also important to collaborate with the night club who made the original post.


Learnings and takeaways

They also consider it important to highlight the educational impact. Their message was that we could help by likes and sharing, but they are not a substitute for true charity and donation.


To sum up: a parody post can get lots of donations in a very short time, contributing to a significant increase in the reputation of the foundation and the gym, and it did so by generally promoting charity.

The author of this material agrees to the publication of this material for non-commercial purposes.