Be social savvy – advice on making the most of social media

In this blog, Allchurches Trust's digital specialist, Hannah Filmer, gives her top tips for announcing your grant award and telling the story of your project and its impact on social media - a great way to boost buy-in from both funders and your community.

19th November 2019

Receiving a cheque towards your church or charity project from a grant funder should be the start of your relationship with them, not the end!

Most funders will be keen to keep in touch throughout the life of your project and beyond, and to help you tell the story of your project’s ambitions and impact. Posting to social media about your project is a great way to boost your profile and can help raise awareness among other potential funders and your community, including potential future service users and providers (and members of your worshipping community!). It’s also a fantastic opportunity to tell the world about the great work you are doing and give an insight into how your project is progressing to interested stakeholders.

How to announce a new church or charity grant

People on social media are most interested in what the longer-term impact of your project will be. Start your post by outlining the work you are doing before explaining how the grant from Allchurches Trust is going to help you achieve your goal. Don’t forget to tag us in so we can find your post! Our handle on Twitter is @AllchurchesT and on Facebook it is @Allchurchestrust. Here are some examples of our favourites:

  • Our new #sensorygarden is well underway and looking great! Once complete, it will enable the children of St Rose’s School to enjoy the great outdoors. We are so grateful to @AllchurchesT for their recent grant of £1500 towards the project #outdoorspace
  • The scaffolding is up and work is about to start! Here is project leader Vanessa in her hard hat about to get her hands dirty. Thank you to @AllchurchesT for helping towards making our dream of having a more accessible centre a reality #accessforall
  • Somerset Churches Trust now has grant money available for the installation of roof alarms to help protect against metal theft. With an award from @AllchurchesT SCT can grant up to £1,000 per installation. #architecture #churches”

Keep it current, keep it coming

Social media is very fast paced with content feeling dated within days of being posted. Keep up the noise level around your project by posting regular updates, but make sure you are actually saying something interesting (bombardment = unlikes!) and that people are at the heart of your posts. Scaffolding up around the church? Concrete poured into the foundations? Show people on social with a picture of your vicar in a hard hat, or of volunteers engaging with contractors. Posting regular project news can help make people feel invested in your aims and you may be surprised to find yourself building a loyal group of followers who like and share your posts beyond the life of your project. You may even inspire others to follow in your footsteps!

Use hashtags and handles in your posts

The best way of getting your post seen by a wider audience is to use hashtags and handles (a handle is a user’s name on Twitter, did I mentioned ours is @AllchurchesT ?) Top tip: you can insert hashtags into the body of text to save on space, see the above examples. It’s also important to tag relevant people and organisations. By tagging your funders and partners they can share your post and spread the word of your project further; and many of them have big audiences.

Trending hashtags are a great opportunity to talk about your project on social media. Look out for recurring days such as #CharityTuesday and special ‘Days of the Year’ such as #WorldHomelessnessDay. You can find a yearly calendar of these days here so you can plan in advance. It’s also a good idea to link to a webpage where people can find more information, particularly if your post is a call to action to attend an event or to contribute to the fundraising effort. Mix it up though…sometimes a simple photo share is a great way to boost reach and engagement.

And finally…have fun with it. Social media is a great way to reflect and develop your organisation’s tone of voice. It’s a chance to share the news of your project and your mission in a more informal, conversational way that can help you build networks and, even more importantly, make your volunteers feel valued. Take pride in your posts for making people smile, and watch your audience and community wellbeing grow. Happy posting!