Facebook Fundraisers take off in 2018
Facebook offers an incredible peer-to-peer fundraising opportunity for nonprofit development teams. Fundraisers are easy to create, users are prompted to support a good cause in honor of your birthday, and it’s easy to see friends and family who are helping out (and invite those who aren’t).
In 2018, our team worked closely with our non-profit clients to incorporate Facebook fundraisers into their social media content and online fundraising strategies. And we saw great results!
Collectively, our clients (tracking 5 clients) raised $68,660 through Facebook alone. Here are some of our key takeaways from 2018:
Historically, Facebook accounted for only 4% of all Giving Tuesday donations in 2016 and then 15% in 2017, raising over $45 million with improved fundraiser functionalities. This year, Facebook reported raising over $125 million for causes on Giving Tuesday!
Some highlights that really moved the needle this year were page and public figure fundraisers, the recurring donation option, zero fees, and donate buttons that can easily be added to posts, including video. We saw the most success around nonprofit pages creating their own page fundraisers for Giving Tuesday and End-of-Year fundraising, and this feature has only been available for most nonprofits for a few months.
PayPal also matched $7 million in donations made through Facebook on Giving Tuesday, and even though the cap was reached within a matter of minutes, this was a big improvement from 2017. Facebook created new rules in an effort to limit individual donations and setting a max for donations matched for any single organization. This helped spread the wealth, and many smaller, local organizations were able to match funds too.
Facebook Fundraisers can be an effective tool throughout the year, not just during the giving season. Throughout the year we worked with our clients to find key opportunities to encourage fans to create their own fundraisers. These opportunities could be around anniversaries, birthdays of people connected to your non-profit and trending days that connect with your mission.
Getting Your Supporters Involved
As with any PR, marketing or content initiative, these Facebook Fundraisers can’t stand alone. We worked strategically with our clients to ensure Facebook fundraiser promotions were included in e-newsletters and other key communications efforts. One easy and smart thing to do is to encourage key supporters and donors to set up their own Fundraiser or donate directly to Facebook as part of their donor support. By using a Facebook fundraiser, their support of your organization is spread to their friends and connections which should lead to more donations.
The biggest challenge is still the limited donor info, but if your team is proactive enough, you can reach out to donors to thank them and engage them beyond Facebook by requesting contact info via private messages. We were surprised to see how many donors were happy to follow up with us. New and improved advertising features that improve directing more donors to support fundraisers or create their own is also on our wish list for 2019!
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