How to raise money for Walk using social media

By: Justin Kozuch, Digital Marketing Communications Specialist, JDRF Canada


It goes without saying that social media has become the way we share snippets of our lives. Not only has it revolutionized how we get a glimpse into those of our friends and family, but it has radically changed how we learn about the world around us, how we engage with government and how we unite to make our planet a better place to live.

I’ve been a long-time advocate for using social media within an organization and I firmly believe these platforms are well-suited for raising awareness about important issues, rallying around a particular cause and creating opportunities to drive change—a key part of my role here at JDRF Canada.

Inspired in part by some of the amazing content I’ve seen posted on social media by our fans, I wanted to share some of my knowledge and inspire you with a few easy-to-execute ideas that I hope will help you meet your fundraising goals.


Tell a Story

Storytelling is an act as old as time. For thousands of years, our ancestors told stories and passed down knowledge about how to hunt for food, build tools and make clothing. No matter where we’re from, the language we speak or what our background is, stories are something we all understand. They’re part of our DNA.

The most effective storytelling happens when we tap into the emotions of our audience. Stories that highlight a personal struggle, something we’re passionate about, a cause or ideal that we believe in, or something that inspires us to stand up and speak out is the type that will encourage others to rally around you and support your mission – like this one from Abby:

Think about the kinds of stories you’ve heard: the kind that inspired you, moved you, or have given you cause to think about the impact you have on the world—and write your own.

Social Media Tip #1: Use Instagram Stories to share one on the importance of funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and how it plays a role in finding a cure for the disease, similar to what Rina did here.


Nominate a Friend

It would be difficult to argue that the Ice Bucket Challenge was a smashing success. But why did it work? It comes down to one simple factor: It was easy. It was an act that could be easily replicated, easily shared and did not cost much money. Layer in social media and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Social Media Tip #2: Take on a 24-hour challenge and upon completion, nominate three friends to participate like our Central Canada Regional Director, Shannon Carkner, did here.


Be Your Own News Outlet

Just because your name isn’t Tom Brokaw (unless it is), doesn’t mean you can’t interview a politician and ask them to support legislation that increases funding for those living with T1D or talk about the importance of medical devices such as CGM’s:

The great thing about social media is that we all have a voice and that our individual voices matter—and that your voice can make a difference.

Social Media Tip #3: Use Instagram to answer questions about what life is like living with T1D like Max did on World Diabetes Day.


Incentivize Giving

Kickstarter perfected this model by providing the visionaries behind creative projects with the tools to give supporters various incentives in exchange for financial support of their projects.

To inspire people to donate to your Walk team, give away incentives or hold a contest to encourage donations. For example, you could ask for a $100 donation and in exchange, offer to babysit while they go out for a date night or to watch playoff hockey at a local sports bar.

Social Media Tip #4: Hold a 48-hour donation drive and for every donation received at/or above a certain limit, commit to doing something for a donor, like mowing their lawn or raking their leaves.


Highlight Milestones

Milestones are a great way to show progress, share your goals or even readjust them if you’re successful. We’ve seen excellent results when we’ve talked about our organization’s fundraising goals and successes.

Social Media Tip #5: Tell people when you’ve reached your fundraising goal. If there’s still time left over until Walk day, go double or nothing and increase your fundraising limit, like our friend Alyscia did last summer.


Some additional tips:

  • Include the link to your fundraising page in your posts and make it easy to find. Put it in the bio section of your social media profile and if you use email regularly, add it to your email signature.
  • Use hashtags to help others find your content, gain additional followers and be part of the conversation—especially on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Mix up your content by using images and video to keep things interesting and engaging.
  • Tag us (JDRF Canada on Facebook and @jdrf_canada on Twitter and Instagram) in your fundraising posts on social media—and make sure to add the #SunLifeWalk #JDRFWalk hashtags so that we can see your post.
  • Don’t forget to say thank you to your donors!


Have you come across a great fundraising idea? How are you using social media to raise money for T1D research? Tell us on our Facebook page, tweet at us or send us a message on Instagram—we’d love to hear what’s working for you!

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