When it comes to ensuring your organization’s success, having a strong member community is a must. After all, your members are at the heart of everything you do. To maintain strong ties with your members, you’ll need to keep them engaged with each other and your shared purpose.
That’s where social giving comes in. This is when people become inspired to donate from the influence of their social networks, like their family and friends. Social giving is a powerful way to bring your member community together and encourage them to become more deeply involved with your organization.
Thanks to fundraising innovations, there’s never been a better time to incorporate social giving into your strategy. Keep reading to learn how you can amplify your member engagement with the help of social giving.
What is social giving all about?
Social giving is when someone learns about a cause from their network like a friend, family member, or colleague, and becomes motivated to donate. For instance, this can happen when your friend forwards an email, shares a social media post, or talks to you about a nonprofit cause. Then after learning about this cause, you want to get involved alongside your connection.
What is group giving?
Group giving is a collective form of philanthropy that connects people with shared values and goals to create a combined impact. It’s largely done through donations but can also be volunteer work. These days, the popularity of giving circles is on the rise.
Technology has made it easy for people to connect online over a shared cause. While people educate themselves and donate their resources to a cause close to their hearts, they’re also able to develop connections with fellow members.
What is a giving circle and how can I make one?
A giving circle unites people with shared values so they can collaboratively decide where to make a pooled donation. Not only do giving circles support causes through financial gifts, but they also help members grow their knowledge and connect with others based on a common vision.
What does a giving circle need to be successful?
Every successful giving circle needs three key components:
- A defined mission: People want to form a deep connection with the cause they are donating to. Every giving circle should outline your mission and the community it helps.
- Measurable impact: Donors also want to see how their contributions will make a difference. Show donors how you’ll use their donations and what their impact will be.
- Streamlined donations: People want the donation process to be fast and simple. Use technology to make the payment process seamless.
These key components ensure that your organization can encourage as much involvement from members as possible.
What are the steps for making a giving circle?
To create your own giving circle, you’ll need to:
- Gather together: Find a community that will rally alongside you for a shared cause, like your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.
- Find shared values: Discuss what values matter most to your group like supporting young entrepreneurs or preserving your local wildlife.
- Decide on a cause: Agree on a mission that everyone can enthusiastically champion.
- Get educated: Learn the ins and outs of the cause you are supporting so you can better carry out your circle’s mission, educate your peers, and motivate others to get involved.
- Donate and engage with that cause: Get your giving circle rolling by educating your group on the cause, gathering regular donations, detailing where funds will go, and outlining goals.
By uniting like-minded individuals, a giving circle can amplify their impact on your organization’s cause.
Tips for growing your giving circle
Keep these tips in mind while creating your circle:
- Be transparent: Since your members will want to see how the giving circle is growing and how the funds are being used, ensure that you make this information accessible. You can share the group’s number of members, the amount raised each month, the total donations received, and the communities helped.
- Analyze your social donors’ preferences: Consider what events will best resonate with your giving circle’s participants, like in-person meetups or video discussions.
- Map out annual giving opportunities: While monthly recurring donations are great to have, be sure to also identify events and campaigns for more donation opportunities. Members of your community will want to share interesting events with their own networks which can spark more involvement.
- Find influential members in your circle: See who in your community can become an ambassador for the cause. This person can help promote your events and campaigns on their social media platforms. Make sure you give the ambassador the resources they need to get the word out like message templates.
- Lean into storytelling: Ask members of your circle to share their reason for getting involved in the cause. These stories can be shared with the rest of your community on your website, in articles, social media posts, videos, and emails.
With the right foundation, your giving circle can be positioned to grow, inspiring more people to get involved and donate.
What are the benefits of group giving?
Besides the feeling of a good deed done, there is plenty to love about group giving. The top reasons why people participate in group giving are because it:
- Grows communities: Group giving is inherently community-driven and they are a way to bond with others over a shared cause through philanthropy.
- Makes people happy: People feel good when they donate and they feel even better when making a donation because they were moved by someone in their network.
- Has health benefits: As surprising as this may sound, donating is known to lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
- Inspires more good in the world: Donating creates a domino effect of generosity that ripples throughout our communities.
Those are all great reasons for your group’s members to keep on doing great work and welcome others into the cause!
Giving Circle Example
There’s nothing like a little inspiration to get you started on your group-giving journey! Let’s take a look at the giving circle called Black Trans Lives Thrive.
Founded in June 2020 in response to the Black Lives Matter liberation protests, this giving circle supports organizations run by black trans leaders. This circle collects donations to cover the operating costs of the organizations they support.
With the help of donations from Black Trans Lives Thrive, these organizations can focus on being support systems in their communities and promote equitable rights and resources for black trans people.
Every quarter, the members of Black Trans Lives Thrives vote on which organization they’ll support and gather donations for. The selected organization gets promoted over the next three months and receives the total amount of donations raised during that time.
To keep their community engaged, the giving circle shares plenty of information about the organizations they help, posts upcoming events, details donations received, highlights goals, and celebrates standout members.
Supercharge member engagement with social giving
Social giving is here to connect with your organization’s members like never before. By championing a shared cause, you can attract like-minded individuals. These people will gladly engage with your group and encourage their social networks to do the same.
That’s more engagement with your target community and a major win for the cause you’re supporting. From financial gifting opportunities to volunteer programs, there are so many ways you can keep your community active with your organization in the long run.