Posted by: Ian Ross | May 28, 2008

A Successful Fundraising Drive Using Social Media

Using social media to fundraise for a wonderful Malawi orphanage proved to be a very smart move. 

My wife and I launched the campaign (called Project 42) last month using email, a Facebook group, this blog and an online service called The latter allowed us to use social bookmarking, Flickr pictures and other social media tools to bring attention to our cause.

The response from family and friends was outstanding and we raised $4,458 — surpassing our target of $4,200. I’m doubtful we would have had the same success using the traditional approach of canvassing our offices and calling friends on the phone. 

I had ‘Facebook friends’ (who I accepted last year but honestly haven’t communicated with for 10+ years) make donations.  Many of our donors added comments and well wishes to our fundraising website. 

We also had several donations from people we don’t know – perhaps friends of friends or people who stumbled across our websites.  Our fundraising webpage ranks second only behind the orphanage’s page when you google ‘Mulanje orphans’ and this blog comes up first when you google ‘Malawi orphan fundraising.’

Many people commented that they liked the online appeal approach. Compared to in-person or telephone canvassing, they said there was less pressure to decide immediately, it was easier to donate online and there was a community feel with the list of donors and dozens of comments posted on our fundraising website and Facebook group page.

So this turned out to be an excellent experiment that we may build on in the future.


  1. Congratulations, Ian.

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