Grow Your Network with #Share4Schools

This post is part of our #Share4Schools social sweepstakes series, designed to help schools engage supporters in social circles to promote fundraising—and possibly win cash prizes. While some of these articles reference #Share4Schools, the concepts are universal.

The #Share4Schools campaign is designed to help schools grow their social networks.

The contest: get as much of your school’s network to share from the #Share4Schools sharing platform as possible! The more shares, the more entries you get in the final contest pool—and the more likely you are to win.

The prize: $1000 for your school!

Even if you don’t win the contest, you’ll be expanding your reach just by participating—and getting more people in your school’s community involved in what you do (the real win.)

Consider the long-term benefit. Usually people walk into contests thinking about the short-term: enter a contest, forget about it. And if you don’t win, then oh well.

But every entry is an opportunity to expand your reach. Each time a member of your community shares for your school, it’s an opportunity to grow your email list; expand your social media following; or attract a new guest to your annual gala. Whenever you spread the web of your network, you also grow the audience waiting to hear from you! Think of this as expanding your avenues, and creating new potential volunteers for future events.

The more entries you have, the better your chance of winning—and the more people who have learned how to act on your behalf.

Even if you don’t win the contest, now you’ve connected with lots of parents and people who support your school’s mission—who want new computers, too, or more arts supplies. Use that swell of support to get another few hundred people on your newsletter, or invite that many more people to your annual gala or walk-a-thon.

Turn that share into an email subscription. Give people who are already engaged with your organization and sharing your post an incentive to put their name on your email list, too. Do a raffle, or offer a small, negligible “goody” such as a sticker, bookmark, or tote bag. The more people on your email list, the more people will hear about it when you send out an event invitation or call for volunteers.

Okay, so now what? What do you do with all of this data you’ve collected? The new names and email addresses?

These are people that you know now support your cause. The next step is to inspire them to stay in touch with you even after the contest is over, and become advocates on your behalf.

Keep your network consistently engaged. You’ve already given people a reason to subscribe to your newsletter. But how do you turn that passive action into something greater?

Do stay on top of sending out newsletters—good ones, with useful information, fun photos, stories of new events and activities your school is engaging in to improve student life and experience. Also, weave this content into social posts to keep the conversation going.

Send reminders about upcoming events, and provide incentives for folks to volunteer. Consistently shout out to people who do great work within your community and thank them for everything they do. Send personal emails to important nodes in your network—people who hold a lot of sway within their own community, who can reach even more people in your target audience.

So be sure to spread the word about the contest!

Email. Post. Tweet. Repeat.Tell everyone about it—and especially tell them about what winning could mean for your school. Focus on clearly describing your mission. Add an image about what you plan to buy with the money if you were to win it. Show people what’s possible if they spread the word!

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