Emily Collins Posts

Using Social Media for Social Good

Some of the most incredible people raising money for projects on GlobalGiving don’t work for nonprofits. They’re people like you and me who are passionate about a cause and choose to raise money on behalf of an organization from their friends and family. GlobalGiving makes this possible with a feature we call the fundraiser tool. This is part two in a series for people using the fundraiser tool. 

Photo courtesy of CDI Apps for Good

Photo courtesy of CDI Apps for Good

The hardest part is over. You’ve emailed your friends and family inviting them to support your fundraiser. Hopefully, those first donations to your fundraiser have started trickling in, but now what? How can you keep that momentum going?

Now that you’ve shown your friends and family that you’re serious, it’s time to start thinking about promoting your fundraiser to a larger audience. Thanks to the power of social media, reaching out to your vast network has never been easier!

The trick to keeping your networks engaged with your fundraiser is creating a campaign. Give yourself a deadline and let everyone know about your fundraising goal. Then, use Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to build momentum around your campaign. Do more than ask people to give; tell a story! Share your milestones, send your supporters shout-outs, and give ongoing updates about the project you support.

Check out our favorite tips below to get your social media followers to engage with your campaign:

Twitter: Twitter has a strict character limit, but there’s no limit to the good you can do with just 140 characters. Since Twitter is such a fast-moving platform, don’t be afraid to post 3-5 times per day about your campaign. Be sure to include intriguing facts and information about the project you’re supporting!

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.53.15 PM

Pro-tip: Always use shortened links on Twitter to optimize space. Bit.ly is a great tool to shorten your links and you can track how many clicks your link has gotten.

Instagram: Did you know that the human brain processes images 60,000 times fast than text? Use this to your advantage when you showcase pictures from your chosen project. Sharing a photo on Instagram will help your friends and family feel more connected to the cause.


Pro-tip: Make sure you put the short link to your fundraiser in your Instagram bio. This gives your supporters easy access to your page from their phones.

FacebookOut of all forms of social media, our most popular fundraisers have had the most success with Facebook. Since there is no strict character limit, you have the opportunity to tell the story of what inspired you to start your fundraiser. We recommend writing a 4-5 sentence paragraph about your story, the cause—and most importantly—asking people to give.


Pro-tip: If you share a link to your page on Facebook, it will automatically pull through the default image from your fundraising page. Make sure you’re using a good one!

So what are you waiting for? Get sharing! Be sure to tag @GlobalGiving on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can cheer you on!

4 Steps To Writing a Successful Fundraising Email

Some of the most incredible people raising money for projects on GlobalGiving don’t work for nonprofits. They’re people like you and me who are passionate about a cause and choose to raise money on behalf of an organization from their friends and family. GlobalGiving makes this possible with a feature we call the fundraiser tool.

Find out how one woman raised her own life event to raise funds for Kupona Foundation

Find out how one woman shared her story to raise funds for Kupona Foundation

As a former collegiate dance marathon fundraiser: I get it. Asking people to give to your fundraiser can be intimidating. However, reaching out to friends and family is one of the best ways to garner support for a cause that’s important to you! Starting out by asking your “inner circle” of close friends and family will help build momentum toward your fundraising goal.

One of my favorite ways to get started is to look at other successful fundraisers for inspiration! Check out Alison’s fundraising page that raised an incredible $2,474 for the Kupona Foundation. Let’s break down the email that helped her quadruple her goal:

1. Start with your connection to the cause. Odds are the people you are reaching out to care about YOU. Your personal connection is what will drive them to give. Providing your supporters with the story behind what motivated you to start fundraising will help motivate them to give to your fundraiser. Let’s begin with Alison’s awesome email opener:

Dear friends and family,

On July 22, 2013 I went into labor, never guessing it would be 5 days/6 nights until I delivered my baby girl! But not for a second did I worry about access to medical help if I needed it. One year later, I can’t help but think of other moms—those with high-risk pregnancies—who don’t have access to the life-saving care they need…

2. Introduce the project or organizationOn GlobalGiving, all projects already have descriptions of what they aim to accomplish. Take advantage of the information at your fingertips! Help your supporters understand the earth-changing work of the project you’re looking to support:

Tanzania is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth. The goal of the Make Motherhood Safe for Tanzanian Women project on GlobalGiving is to provide a safe space for women in Tanzania to give birth. Thousands of women do not have access to the quality care that they need and the Kupona Foundation is committed to changing that.

3. Demonstrate the potential impact. Let your supporters know how their donation will make an impact. The easier is it for your friends and family to see how their support will make a tangible difference, the more compelled they will be to give.

Your donation can make the difference in the life of a mother and her baby. Did you know that for just $10 the Kupona Foundation can provide an ultrasound for woman with a high-risk pregnancy in Tanzania?

4. Ask them to give. Be as clear as possible about what you are asking for: their financial support. Use one sentence to make a powerful, straightforward message to ask your friends and family to join you in supporting the cause. Always be sure to link it back to your page!

Join me by donating $1 for every hour you (or a loved one) were in labor. Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, but one thing we have in common is that most of us have access to emergency medical help if we need it during pregnancy and parenthood. Let’s make sure other moms and babies do too.

There isn’t just one perfect formula to ask people to donate to your fundraiser. But if you need a place to start, try describing your connection to the cause, introducing the project or organization that’s making a difference, sharing about the potential impact of a gift, and making a specific ask.  Chances are, you’ll be surprised to see how your community will respond!

This is part one of a five-part series of tips, tricks, and tools to help GlobalGivers make the biggest impact possible with their fundraiser page.

From the ground: Accountability Lab’s Nepal earthquake relief efforts

Mobile Helpdesk volunteer assisting Nepali man after the earthquake

For earthquake relief in Nepal, connection is key. Displaced Nepali citizens found themselves unable to connect with organizations to provide essential needs, like food, water, and medical aid. Accountability Lab is dedicated to making this connection possible.

At GlobalGiving, we were fortunate enough to get in contact with Narayan Adhikari, the representative for Accountability Lab: South Asia, and gather a bit of look into what is happening on the ground in Nepal. Through their Mobile Citizen Helpdesk project, Narayan and Accountability Lab have been able to visit over 65 communities and directly solve over 100 problems for citizens. Last month, we conducted this interview with Narayan over email.

GlobalGiving (GG): Tell us about the situation where you are right now.

Narayan Adhikari (NA): I am in Nepal now, working with 32 Citizen Helpdesk volunteers. Despite huge tragedy, the helpdesk volunteers have been working around the clock to visit places where people have sheltered, hospitalized and displaced. I am also working with other Citizen Helpdesk partners, the government of Nepal, and the donor community to consolidate everyone’s efforts to provide assistance to the people on the ground.

GG: What is the most urgent need facing survivors?

NA: Not enough tents for shelter, rescue operation are predominantly limited to urban areas and their peripheries, while many families from remote district have been left out from receiving the support they need. Food supplies are very limited in many remote villages. The aid agencies are facing huge challenges to coordinate with one another and conduct needs assessment for proper and fair distribution of relief.

People finding the resources they need to survive

GG: What kinds of assistance are you providing to survivors? 

NA: We are visiting the affected areas with the help of our volunteers, collecting information from direct interaction with victims, listening to their problems, helping them obtain appropriate information, and connecting them with relief organizations and the government. We are also working with the government to assess their data received from citizens through the mobile hotline 1234, where more than 25,000 voice calls have been received directly from citizens.

GG: What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in delivering aid?

NA: One of the biggest challenges is getting the right information about the disaster. The media reports and government data are frequently not available. Other key challenges in the aid delivery are: lack of coordination among relief organization and government; unequal and unfair distribution of relief packages; difficulty reaching the most affected areas in remote districts. We are working to help alleviate these challenges as much as possible. Our biggest challenges is quickly raising the funds needed to roll this project out as far as possible.

GG: What do you believe the long-term recovery needs will be?

NA: More mobile helpdesks are needed to assess needs and gather feedback from the local people. The information should be shared with government and aid agencies, and these stakeholders should manage relief efforts with strong and efficient routes to reach affected households and individuals.

The current mechanism of budget allocation and disbursement is a very slow, lengthy, highly corrupt, and overly political process, and it is not going to solve the problem at all as long as we are not able to create short-cuts for the current disbursement mechanism (i.e. from center to household without any intermediately).

Individual households need to be provided with enough support with technical skills, proper materials and labor to sustainably re-build their homes. There has to be citizen oversight to monitor relief and make sure it is utilized in effective ways.

Volunteers creating strategy for weeks ahead.

GG: How long do you expect to be working on relief and recovery efforts?

NA: At least 2 years. Even as we transition back to our other accountability programs, earthquake relief and the accountability of the aid system will continue to be a key issue and component that they cover.

GG: How does the situation compare to other disasters you’ve responded to in the past?

NA: We have not experienced anything like this before in Nepal. The other key country that Accountability Lab works in is Liberia—which just faced the deadly Ebola crisis last year. That it was a very different sort of crisis, and our response there focused more on creative awareness campaigns. However, in both situations we had to mobilize quickly, find ways for citizens to get involved in improving their community, and try to build trust between citizens and their government. Both have affected all aspects of the country and will have long-term repercussions.

GG: From your perspective, are relief efforts well-coordinated between the various NGOs and government responders? 

NA: Not really, and that is part of the reason why we’ve set up the Mobile Citizen Helpdesks. With better coordination between NGOs and government, the people would can get better quality support, sooner.

GG: What about the situation currently in Nepal do you think most people may be unaware of?

NA: People are traumatized and are full of fear. Many people, especially from affected communities, do not have any idea what to do and have not been able to get reliable information and direct channels to raise their voices.

Some of Accountability Lab's enthusiastic volunteer

GG: What are the advantages that a local NGO has over an international NGO? vice versa?

NA: Local NGOs are more connected with the locals and understand the situation better than INGOs. Thus they have more human capital and contextual understanding, while INGOs typically have more financial resources.

GG: What about Nepal specifically makes responding to this earthquake a unique challenge?

NA: Nepal hasn’t had local elections in 18 years so there is very little accountability in the local government, which has an important role to play in distributing aid. There is systemic corruption and a highly inefficient bureaucracy in the government that has delayed Constitution making for years, and is in many responding similarly to the disaster. Furthermore, given Nepal’s poor economy, a huge number of Nepalis work abroad, thus leaving a gap in an important work force. On the other hand, Nepal has a very active youth and civil society population that have risen to the challenge in many ways.

How Can You Help?

The relief effort in Nepal is far from over. Narayan and the Accountability Lab team are continuing to work tirelessly to provide more connection and information to the citizens of Nepal.  With the continued kindness and generosity of the GlobalGiving community, you can help make the Mobile Citizen Helpdesk network even stronger.

You can donate to Accountability Lab here on GlobalGiving.