We love seeing Sleep Out coverage on social media - it’s a great tool for recruitment and fundraising! Make the most of your social network with these ideas:
Recruitment | Progress Report | Statistically Significant | Challenge Accepted
Saying Thanks | Pictures? Perfect | Be Personal | Hashtags
When you invite others to join Sleep Out, you’re helping us grow the movement and inspiring entire communities to step and protect kids.
Post an announcement on your social media platforms letting folks know that you’re Sleeping Out and ask them to join you. If you have certain people in mind, make it a personal invitation by tagging them in your post (it’s bold, but effective!).
Here’s a sample message:
I’ve accepted Covenant House’s challenge to sleep on the street so homeless kids don’t have to as part of the #CHSleepOut movement to end youth homelessness - and you should too (talking to you, TAG PERSON HERE)! I’ll spend an evening getting to know some young people who live at Covenant House, and learning how they are using the services available to them to build new lives for themselves. At the end of the night, I will head outside for the night with nothing but a cardboard box and a sleeping bag. I can’t stay indoors while so many kids remain outside - are you up for a night on the street? (if not, please consider supporting me with a donation!) INSERT PERSONAL / TEAM URL
If you have a team page, include the link so it’s easy to sign up. Otherwise, include the link to your personal page.
Sharing regular updates about your fundraising progress along with other stories that are relevant to your campaign or Sleep Out is a great use of social media. It’s a reminder to your network to make a donation, it helps those who already donated track your progress, and it incentivizes people who may want to help you reach your goal.
Here are a two sample updates:
This week, I am INSERT % to my #CHSleepOut fundraising goal! I am so thankful to all of you who have helped me get this far (TAG DONORS HERE), and am so excited about what we’re doing to help the kids at Covenant House. I still have INSERT AMOUNT REMAINING to raise before INSERT EVENT DATE when I’ll head out for my night on the street - please help me get there! INSERT PERSONAL URL
I met my #CHSleepOut fundraising goal this week! I couldn’t have done it alone. TAG DONORS, you all have amazed me with your generosity, love, and support, and I am so grateful. There are still X DAYS until the Sleep Out, and you know I can’t stop now. I’m raising my fundraising goal to INSERT NEW GOAL - if you haven’t yet donated to my page, I need your help. Let’s do this! INSERT PERSONAL URL
Include a screenshot of your fundraising thermometer with your updates for added impact!
Sharing a statistic - with a related donation appeal - is an interesting, fresh way to talk about your Sleep Out on social media. Here are a few examples:
46% of homeless kids are on the street fleeing violence at home. That means that almost every other kid at Covenant House is there seeking more than just shelter - they need safety and support. Please consider making a donation of $46 in recognition of these brave young people. INSERT PERSONAL URL
50% of the teenagers who age out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within six months, with limited education and no social support. Covenant House will be there, providing the shelter and support they need. Please consider making a $50 donation to help keep the doors open for this 50%. INSERT PERSONAL URL
57% of homeless kids spend at least one day of every month without food. Not sure about you, but I find it difficult to concentrate if I miss a meal. So today I’m asking you to consider making a donation of $57 - so that no young person at Covenant House goes hungry. INSERT PERSONAL URL
Bonus: these posts are easy to shorten and great to share on Twitter.
Goal-oriented messages work, especially after you've collected approximately 1/3 of your fundraising goal. They’re also a great way to engage your social network in a collective effort. Here are some examples:
This week, I’m trying to raise $500 towards my #CHSleepOut fundraising goal. If five people contributed $100 each (or if 20 of you contribute $30 each!) we could meet this challenge and help kids at Covenant House. Will you be one of my 5? Or 20? INSERT PERSONAL URL
With help from my generous friends, I've collected INSERT AMOUNT RAISED so far for Covenant House, but I still need to raise INSERT AMOUNT REMAINING to reach my goal. I need 10 people to donate INSERT AMOUNT today to provide a safe space for kids. Will you help me? INSERT PERSONAL URL
Bonus: these posts are easy to shorten and great to share on Twitter.
Use social media to shout-out your donors in real-time, thanking them for supporting your Sleep Out. Whether you post on their wall or on yours (be sure to tag them!), the extra recognition will make them feel great and may inspire others to give.
Here’s a sample post:
A huge thank you to TAG DONOR(S) for making a donation to my #CHSleepOut page! Not only are you helping me get one step closer to my fundraising goal (only INSERT AMOUNT REMAINING to go!), but you are also helping provide kids at Covenant House with food, shelter, safety, and support. I appreciate your help more than I can say, and couldn’t do this without you! INSERT PERSONAL URL
Add an image to get extra attention. Use one of you and your donor, or one we created (and tag all your donors within).
Use images to grab attention. Handwrite a donation appeal on a piece of cardboard and take a selfie, include an image that represents the Sleep Out to you or share a photo from last year.
Short video appeals work too! Just be sure to direct people to your fundraising page and include the link in your caption.
Personal stories are effective and inspiring. Do you have a specific reason for wanting to help homeless kids? If so, write it out in a status update, or shoot a quick video of you telling the story and then post it to your feed. Help your audience connect with your commitment and passion for helping homeless kids.
The hashtag for the Sleep Out Movement is #CHSleepOut. All public posts to Twitter and Instagram that include #CHSleepOut are pulled into the Sleep Out Digital Mosaic at chsleepout.tv.
Integrating your Sleep Out page with social media channels has never been easier. On the left side of your personal page, you’ll find a box titled “Get the Word Out.” Click on the channel you’d like to use and a pop-up window will pre-populate with a link to your page - you can customize this, or post it as-is. Note: you will need to be logged in to the social channel you’re posting to.
When it comes to fundraising success, Facebook is the top social channel. Use it to share regular updates about your Sleep Out campaign, engage your network in conversation, and ask for support. Always include a link that directs people to your personal page (if people donate through the Facebook “Donate” button, it will not automatically show up on your page).
Photos can be powerful storytelling tools. Use this platform to get creative with your Sleep Out updates and appeals. Since you can’t include links in Instagram captions, be sure to update your bio with the link to your fundraising page. Here’s how:
Once your bio’s updated, you can include directions in your caption (e.g. “find the link in my bio!”) to help people find your fundraising page.
One more tip - customize your personal URL before adding it to Instagram (you can do this on the “Settings” tab of “Your Page” in your Participant Dashboard).
With only 140-280 characters, your Sleep Out posts on Twitter need to be concise and catchy - especially because you want to include the link to your fundraising page. Customize your personal URL to shorten it before posting (you can do this on the “Settings” tab of “Your Page” in your Participant Dashboard). If you need help condensing any of the sample messages into a Tweet, just ask your event lead.
LinkedIn offers a couple ways to reach your professional network. You can use InMail to reach people directly, or write an article that will be shared with your connections (use the sample emails as a starting point).
You can also use LinkedIn to download a list of your connections with email addresses. Learn how here.