Fundraising for International Students: Harnessing the Power of Social Media Platforms

So you’re an international student living in student accommodation with big dreams and, let’s be real, a not-so-big budget. 

 

Fundraising sounds like a great idea, but between cultural differences, not knowing a lot of people locally, and the maze of rules and regulations, it can feel like you’re climbing a mountain with no gear. 

 

We have curated a friendly guide to using social media to smash through those fundraising barriers and how to get your story out there.

Instagram

Available On:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

 

Accessibility:

  • As of 2023, Instagram boasts over 1.5 billion users worldwide, making it a highly accessible platform for diverse audiences.

 

Fundraising Tools:

  • Donation Stickers: Add a donation sticker to your Instagram Stories to encourage followers to contribute directly.
  • Instagram Live Fundraisers: Host a live video session where viewers can donate in real time.
  • Shoppable Posts: If you’re selling merchandise to raise funds, use shoppable posts to direct users to your online store.
  • Link in Bio: Use the bio section to add a direct link to your fundraising page or website.
  • Crowdfunding Partnerships: Instagram allows integration with popular crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe.

 

Price:

  • Basic Account: Free to use, includes most features.
  • Business Account: Free, but offers paid promotions to increase post visibility.
  • Sponsored Posts: Costs vary based on reach and targeting.

 

Security and Trust:

  • Two-Factor Authentication: Enhance account security by enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Verified Badges: Accounts with a large following can apply for a verified badge, increasing credibility.
  • Privacy Settings: Users have control over who can see their posts and interact with them, ensuring a level of privacy and trust.

X (Formerly Twitter)

Available On:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

 

Accessibility:

  • As of 2023, X has over 400 million active users, providing a substantial platform to reach a global audience right from your amber student accommodation.

 

Fundraising Tools:

  • Tweet Donations: Use the built-in donation feature to collect funds directly through your tweets.
  • Pinned Tweets: Pin a tweet about your fundraising campaign to the top of your profile for maximum visibility.
  • Twitter Threads: Create a thread to tell a compelling story or provide updates about your fundraising efforts.
  • Twitter Polls: Engage your audience by running polls related to your fundraising goals or initiatives.
  • Hashtags: Utilize trending or campaign-specific hashtags to increase the visibility of your fundraising tweets.

 

Price:

  • Basic Account: Free, with access to all essential features.
  • Promoted Tweets: Costs vary based on the reach and targeting, starting at around £0.50 per interaction.
  • Twitter Ads: Customizable ad campaigns with varying costs based on objectives and audience.

 

Security and Trust:

  • Two-Factor Authentication: Add an extra layer of security by enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Account Verification: Verified accounts are marked with a blue badge, enhancing credibility.
  • Privacy Controls: Customize who can see your tweets and who can’t, giving you control over your online presence.

Facebook Fundraisers

Available On:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

 

Accessibility:

  • As of 2023, Facebook has a staggering 3 billion active users, offering unparalleled reach for your fundraising efforts.

 

Fundraising Tools:

  • Personal Fundraisers: Create a dedicated fundraising page right on Facebook to share your story and collect donations.
  • Facebook Live Donations: Use live video to connect with your audience in real time and encourage donations.
  • Charitable Giving Tools: Partner with a registered nonprofit and use Facebook’s tools to raise funds for them.
  • Donation Buttons: Add a donation button to posts and videos to make giving as easy as a click.
  • Fundraiser Milestones: Set and share milestones to keep your audience engaged and updated on your progress.

 

Price:

  • Personal Fundraisers: Free to set up, but Facebook takes a small percentage (around 5%) of each donation for processing fees.
  • Charitable Giving: No fees for registered nonprofits.
  • Sponsored Posts: Costs vary based on targeting and reach.


Security and Trust:

  • Payment Encryption: Facebook uses secure encryption methods to protect transactions.
  • Verified Nonprofits: Only verified nonprofits can use charitable giving tools, ensuring credibility.
  • Privacy Settings: Control who sees your fundraiser and your posts, allowing for a secure fundraising environment.

LinkedIn

Available On:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

 

Accessibility:

  • As of 2023, LinkedIn has over 800 million users, making it a powerful platform for professional networking and fundraising.

 

Fundraising Tools:

  • Posts and Articles: Share detailed posts or articles about your fundraising campaign to engage your professional network.
  • LinkedIn Events: Create a virtual event related to your fundraising, such as a webinar or panel discussion, to attract donations.
  • Direct Messaging: Utilize LinkedIn’s messaging feature to reach out to potential donors in your network personally.
  • Company Partnerships: Leverage your professional connections to seek corporate sponsorships or matching donations.
  • Recommendations and Endorsements: Use recommendations and endorsements to build credibility for your fundraising efforts.

 

Price:

  • Basic Account: Free, with access to essential networking and posting features.
  • Premium Account: Starts at approximately £24.98/month, offering additional features like InMail and advanced search.
  • Sponsored Content: Costs vary based on targeting and reach.

 

Security and Trust:

  • Two-Factor Authentication: Enhance your account security with two-factor authentication.
  • Verified Profiles: LinkedIn verifies email addresses and often employers, adding a layer of trust.
  • Privacy Controls: Customize your profile visibility and post settings to maintain a secure and private fundraising environment.

TikTok

Available On:

  • iOS
  • Android

 

Accessibility:

  • As of 2023, TikTok has an impressive 1.2 billion active users, providing a youthful and highly engaged audience for your fundraising efforts.

 

Fundraising Tools:

  • Donation Stickers: Add interactive donation stickers to your TikTok videos to collect funds.
  • Live Gifts: During live streams, viewers can send gifts that can be converted into “diamonds,” which you can cash in.
  • Link in Bio: Use your profile’s bio section to link directly to your fundraising page.
  • Viral Challenges: Create a viral challenge related to your cause to boost visibility and encourage donations.
  • Collaborations: Partner with influencers or other users to expand the reach of your fundraising campaign.

 

Price:

  • Basic Account: Free, with access to all essential video creation and social features.
  • Promoted Videos: Costs for promoting your videos vary based on targeting and desired reach.

 

Security and Trust:

  • Two-Factor Authentication: Add an extra layer of security by enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Privacy Settings: Control who can see your content and who can interact with you, providing a secure environment for fundraising.
  • Community Guidelines: TikTok has strict community guidelines to ensure the platform remains a safe and respectful space for all users.

Conclusion

We hope this article helps you to identify various ways to harness social media platforms for fundraising. There are hurdles like cultural gaps and legal red tape for an international student, but with the right strategies and a dash of social media magic, you can turn those challenges into stepping stones.

 

How can amber help you?

amber is an online student accommodation platform that helps you secure accommodation of choice on your study abroad journey. Having served 80 million students (and counting), amber is your one-stop shop for all your accommodation needs, with great choices for student housing. Check out their Facebook and Instagram and stay connected!

 

Author’s Bio

Archit is an avid writer who is keen to get his doctorate. When not writing, he can be found reading, taking the metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.

 

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