3 ways to boost your Facebook fundraising in 2019
Nick Burne spoke at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2018 on Facebook fundraising as a strategic activity. Here he shares his tips for three ways smaller charities can boost their Facebook fundraising this year.
Facebook's giving tools have now raised over 1 billion US dollars for charities across the world but what's exciting to me is that a lot of smaller charities are seeing significant income being generated by new supporters.
Last year saw Facebook waive all fees associated with the tools. It is still very early days and the tools are not without their niggles but here are three ways you can increase your charities income through the tools in 2019.
1) Use Facebook Ads to get more birthday fundraisers
The Facebook Ads platform allows you to easily target people based on their birthdays, with very little set up which means you can reach people who already know about your charity (for example they have visited your website or liked your charity’s Facebook page) and ask them to set up a birthday fundraiser.
The great thing about using Facebook Ads to promote birthday fundraisers is you can test different creative. For example Sands, a charity that supports anyone affected by the tragic death of a baby tested an amusing birthday image vs a more sombre candle image to see which would work best.
2) Give your Fundraisers some love!
It's so easy for people to start a fundraiser on Facebook that many don't ever get going and the ones that do could always raise more. You want to be reaching out to your fundraisers - firstly to thank them, which will help motivate them, but also to encourage them and to give them tips on how to raise more. You want to show them how to invite more people to their fundraiser, how to keep posting engaging content on their fundraising page, and how to thank their friends who have donated to their fundraiser.
One frustrating thing for charities is that you don’t get the contact details for fundraisers automatically so there is a bit of work involved here. The current best practice is to post directly onto the fundraiser page as your charity and start a conversation. If possible, invite them from here into a conversation using a link to Facebook Messenger.
The other option is to contact fundraisers directly through Facebook Messenger which many charities are doing under “Legitimate Interest” as it one to one and about supporting them with their fundraiser.
Either way, once you get the fundraiser into a conversation on Facebook Messenger you can thank them, find out what motivated them to start their fundraising, and support them to hit their target. Chat is a great way to build a relationship with these extremely important people - some of who will have raised a lot for your charity and will do again if you show them some love.
3) Create your own Facebook fundraiser for your charity
Creating your own Facebook fundraiser as a charity is a bit like starting a crowdfunding campaign. You can set a target (which can be increased later) and add an end date. Although this is a new feature, there is already some best practice starting to be developed for it.
Firstly you will want to start your target small, to begin with. Then as you start to make progress towards it you can increase it over time. Make sure to invite as many people to the fundraiser as possible and post regular updates with engaging content to keep people engaged.
If possible, it can be really effective to find a donor - whether this be a corporate partner or a major donor - to offer matched giving. As with a lot of fundraising, the more specific, urgent and emotive the need is the better it will perform.
Finally when you set up your own fundraiser, it creates a post on your page. Which itself can be boosted or turned into a Facebook advertising campaign. Any questions, feel free to get in touch.
Below is an example from Safe Haven for Donkeys (a small animal charity based in the UK) who created their own Facebook Fundraiser, called "raising money for Otto" it had a powerful, emotive story which would appeal to their audience and they also secured a small matched funding by a generous donor. They have now repeated this strategy a number of times.
I expect income from Facebook Fundraising to increase exponentially in 2019 as more charities become familiar with the platform and as Facebook roll out the tools further (they still haven’t launched them on Instagram yet!).
A final tip… If you’ve got questions about the tools I run a free online community on Facebook with over a thousand charities supporting each other using the giving tools. I’d love to see you there.
Nick Burne, Senior Global Digital Advisor to the International Rescue Committee and MD of Nick Burne Consulting.