3 trends changing Facebook fundraising
With so much talk about the power of Facebook, how could charities approach it better to improve their fundraising? If you think about it as much as I do, you start to realise Facebook is not one thing, but a set of tools that you can use in many different ways.
- Pages allow charities to have a presence on the platform and push out content
- Groups allow charities to gather together different communities (e.g. around support or fundraising)
- Giving Tools now allow charities to get donations from donors and fundraisers
- Facebook Live allows charities to tell stories about their work in real time
- Facebook’s ad platform allows charities to pay to reach new audiences on Facebook, Instagram and beyond
This collection of tools is called the Facebook Ecosystem, and with billions of people using these tools every day you could easily argue it’s the most important set of tools ever assembled for charities to promote themselves. And this isn’t just about Facebook either. Throw in Instagram and WhatsApp and you’ll see that the ecosystem will be around for a long time to come.
So with all this complexity, how do we best maximise the opportunity both now and in the future?
There are three trends really driving the need to change your approach:
1. Declining page reach, driving a shift from organic to paid
Facebook Pages have been declining in power in recent years. It’s not a new thing. But for those paying attention this is actually a massive opportunity.
Facebook has given us amazing advertising tools to reach pretty much any audiences we want.
Don’t forget that “organic” doesn’t mean free. Most organisations are paying in some way to feed their “organic” page monster, which is gobbling up daily content and resources.
Facebook is now bigger than any TV channel, and much more cost-effective to get started.
Your Facebook advertising isn’t dependent on how many people like your charity’s page. This means you can reach some of the millions of people who are on Facebook and don’t know you yet and find specific audiences that will respond to your unique message.
2. Giving Tools take off
We can’t talk about Facebook fundraising and not mention Giving Tools. Since launch they have seen massive traction, ending the question of whether or not the public are happy to get out their payment card details and put them into Facebook.
The biggest so far has been over USD $20m but the real power of Facebook Giving Tools is the millions it has raised for many small organisations through birthday fundraisers and small one-time donations.
There are currently some limitations with Facebook’s Giving Tools though. The way reporting works means, at the moment at least, it’s hard to use them with the advertising platform and charities are unable to follow up with and thank fundraisers and donors.
Partnerships with influencers is where I believe you can really maximise Facebook’s Giving tools right now. You need something off which to “hang” a fundraiser. For example, getting influencers to do fundraisers for their birthdays (like the WarChild example here with Sam Smith) or even for key moments like an awareness week.
3. Content and creative context
As Facebook evolves, so does the need to produce content and creative that achieves your objectives. Among our clients, we are seeing creative being the biggest differentiator for success.
What worked 18 months ago on Facebook isn’t the same as what works now and there are a myriad of new content options for Facebook posts. The context of each platform is very different and creative for one platform will not work as well on another. Gone are the days where you could develop a generic campaign video and use it on your website, YouTube and on Facebook.
Also, we are finding very different response to different creative to different Facebook audiences, mean that the old adage of “test, test, test” was never truer than on Facebook.
The fundraising magic happens when you find audience to creative fit.
Nick Burne, Founder of the RAISETHRU training programme which helps charities generate leads and fundraise on Facebook