How to make friends and convince people (to give you their cash)

Sara ThomasA little while ago the sounding board group were having a chat about who should be the fourth speaker for the next BGBS event, and amongst a few names, a couple of people mentioned me, which was terribly nice. There’d been a few different ideas for topics, so we put up a poll and asked all you lovely people to vote and tell us what you wanted to hear about… the upshot of which is that I’ll be speaking about fundraising and social media strategy.

As exactly 50% of the fundraising team at MND Scotland, author of our weekly blog as well as usual person behind @mndscotland and www.facebook.com/mndscotland I’m all too aware that using social media and digital fundraising on the one hand offers a new, and tantalisingly low-cost source of income at a time when more traditional funding sources such as trusts and foundations are under significant pressure. On the other hand, many fundraisers encounter significant resistance to the idea of their organisation using this tweetbookfacespace stuff, because frankly it’s all just for men in anoraks and 13 year old children with nothing better to do with their time….

Can social media really be used to fundraise effectively? If so, how the hell do you do it? And what about this social media strategy thingy people keep talking about?

MND Scotland is 30 years old this year. We’re the only charity in Scotland providing care, support and information for people affected by Motor Neurone Disease. We also fund research into the condition. A year ago we barely had an online presence outwith our main website, but last June we raised £1000 in a week through a social media campaign, which led to us being finalists in the “most creative charity” category at this year’s JustGiving awards.

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