Ghostwritten by Holly Landis for RKD Group as Digital Content Coordinator
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Since the creation of Facebook fundraising tools in 2015, over 1 million nonprofit organizations in 19 countries have participated in this fundraising opportunity by receiving donations from users directly through Facebook. Since the start of this tool, over $1 billion has been raised in nonprofit support.
Facebook fundraising is going to continue to rise — so how do you best leverage it?
We’ve got your back. We’ve outlined what we like and dislike (because hate is a strong word) about Facebook fundraising campaigns below for you to carefully analyze, so you can decide how to best use this emerging fundraising tool.
LIKE - FACEBOOK REACHES ACROSS MULTIPLE GENERATIONS
From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, social media is an effective channel for reaching a variety of audiences. Paired with a strategic Facebook advertising campaign, you reach various donor types at every stage of the conversion funnel. 55% of those who engage with nonprofits via social media have been inspired to take further action, so a solid social media strategy is a must.
DISLIKE - DIFFICULTY MATCHING TEMPLATES TO BRAND
Your landing pages are optimized for conversions, A/B tested, and built with your brand in mind. Facebook’s templates are not. Building a fundraising campaign on Facebook requires use of their limited color palette and font selections, and chances are they aren’t going to match perfectly with your brand. Not being able to use your own donation forms is one of the biggest downsides to Facebook fundraising, but the lack of data capture is the greatest concern. We’ll get that to in a moment.
LIKE - IT CAN’T GET ANY EASIER
Once you launch a campaign, raising money on Facebook is pretty easy. The Facebook “Share” button is gold. Your donors can easily hit that golden button and share your campaign with their friends and family. Instantly, your brand is shared with hundreds or thousands of potential donors. If you allow your page to accept donations, users can launch birthday fundraising campaigns, a very popular trend that requires zero effort on your end. Did I mention this is all fee-free? Facebook no longer has associated fees, and every dollar goes straight to your organization.
DISLIKE - LIMITED DONOR DATA
We left the hardest hit for last. If you decide to launch a Facebook fundraising campaign, your donors have a seamless user experience, but you may never know who they are.
Let’s break down the process: users donate on the fundraising campaign page, then fill out a form that gives them the option to input their name, donation amount, and their email address. The key word here is “option”. It isn’t required for them to provide you any contact information.
1. Facebook donations will not be reflected in your CRM.
On your end, these donations are almost anonymous. If an existing donor sends a donation via Facebook, it will not be reflected in your CRM.
Luckily, this is something that has been brought to Facebook’s attention. In an attempt to solve this issue, Facebook recently integrated with Blackbaud’s products, Luminate Online and TeamRaiser. Donor transactions on Facebook are automatically imported into TeamRaiser and identified appropriately through source codes in Luminate Online. Unfortunately, TeamRaiser is the only fundraising software that currently holds this integration with Facebook.
2. You’ve acquired a donor but can’t say thank you.
The key to retention is a second gift! There is a halo period for first-time donors, and it lasts 60 days. Get a second gift within that timeframe and the donor is 3x more likely to renew the following year. However, if you don’t have that donor data then you can’t leverage the halo period.
Not all is lost. The data that does get collected is available in the Daily Transaction Report as a csv that you can import into your CRM.
ONE WAY TO GET AROUND THISWe would never give you bad news without leaving you with a little bit of help. An alternative method to Facebook fundraising is adding a call to action (CTA) to your page header.
A “Donate” button can be added to your Facebook page and linked to a donation page of your choice. The downside is that taking users to an external link can lower conversion rates. If you decide to go this route, it’s essential that your landing page designs are optimized to convert.
STOP AND ANALYZE YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL GOALSWhen considering whether to use Facebook’s fundraising feature, think about your priorities and organizational goals, then make the best decision based on a clear understanding of impact.
Just like other channels, use of Facebook fundraising needs a strategy—including a data strategy. Determine this strategy built upon the strength of the relationship you plan to build with donors. Critical thinking on what you’re going to say and do, including the data you can capture and leverage, is a must before testing this channel.