Useful Free Tools for Digital Fundraising

The following article is a shared blog post, authored by Cliodnagh Conlon of ammado:

I recently went to an insightful General Assembly and Eventbrite session on Digital Marketing for Events Professionals. Some of the free tools explored could be very effectively used for online fundraising. Here's an introduction to those we thought could be most useful for nonprofits.

1. Inform your content marketing with what's most talked about and shared on the web: Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo helps you discover the most shared content and key influencers on a particular topic. A quick search will indicate which content is working well and give you ideas of content relevant to your cause that you could be creating. You can also find out which of your contemporaries’ or competitors' content is proving most popular.

Let's take an example of a cancer charity. To find out what are the most popular articles on "cancer research" for instance, I simply visit Buzzsumo and enter this into the search box. The results, as per the screenshot, will show me the most shared content and also the platforms it has been shared on. You can also filter the information to access what's most important to you.

You can also use the "Influencers" to get (and export) a list of those that are most influential, in terms of social media, on "cancer research". 

Typing a website link into the search will show the content most popular from that site. For example searching we can see that content on smoking followed by an article on breast cancer have been the most popular this year.

You may find Buzzsumo a useful source of inspiration for potentially popular or even viral content that you can create. Taking a look at skilled content marketing companies like Buzzfeed may also give you formulas for articles that you can write: e.g. 10 Celebrities that have Beaten Breast Cancer.

2. Create attention-grabbing images with Canva

Evocative images are a key element of any fundraising campaign and are incredibly important in social media. A recent statistic suggests that adding an image to your tweet will increase retweets by 94%. Images are also very important for mobile fundraising, which accounts for increasing numbers of donations.

Some tips from Alison Battisby were that people and unique images tend to preform best. Also if you're posting a great image of your own with a message, you should drop your logo into it giving your brand visibility whenever it's shared.

Canva is a great online tool for creating professional looking designs. It's super easy to use and allows you to create optimal images for various social media platforms as well as your own custom sizes. 

You can quickly create a Facebook cover image, adding in a call to action or donate link right into the image. Or design an eye-catching image to help promote a tweet. Canva's also really useful for branding your ammado profile and fundraising campaigns. For example, try it for our new cover images (960 x 250 pixels), which give prominence to your campaign messages. 

3. Identify the best times for Twitter marketing with Followerwonk

A really useful feature of Followerwonk is that you can see the times of day that your Twitter followers are most active and the times that you are most active. Ideally you should try to sync with your audience for maximum impact and schedule tweets when they are most likely to be browsing.

Followerwonk will also help you get a better picture of your Twitter followers breaking them down by location, gender and other segments.

Enjoy trying these out!


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