By: Cassandra Steele, online fundraising and digital marketing communications professional.
A solid Facebook strategy is essential for nonprofit organizations, but did you know that nonprofits can also fundraise on Facebook?
Nonprofits can accept Facebook donations and fundraise on Facebook in multiple ways. It’s a really great way to engage with your supporters and drive more revenue for your nonprofit. Here is all you need to know about Facebook fundraising tools and how your nonprofit can get started fundraising on Facebook.
Why Fundraise on Facebook
You may be wondering why your nonprofit should accept donations on Facebook, rather than driving for online donations on your website. While fundraising on Facebook can never replace the donation form on your website, it can help you reach a wider audience and raise more money.
In a 2019 press release, which was updated in February of 2020, Facebook reported that more than $3 billion has been donated through Facebook since the launch of Facebook fundraising tools in 2015. Yes, that’s billion with a “B”!
The size and diverse demographics of Facebook’s user base make it an ideal channel for nonprofits to spread awareness about their missions, and it can also bring in revenue with the right strategy for asking for and accepting donations on Facebook.
It’s Where People Are
- Facebook boasts more than 2.47 billion active monthly users around the world
- In 2020 the average adult Facebook user spends 34 minutes on the social media platform every day
- Facebook is used by people of all ages, or course it is reaching younger people who are more active on social media: 24% of users are in the 18-24 age bracket
- But Facebook also has a large population of older users, 10.4% in the 45-54 age range, the target donor audience for many nonprofits
- And while they currently make up the smallest portion of Facebook’s user base, users 65 and older are the fastest growing age demographic on the platform
With this worldwide user base that spans generations, nonprofits can’t afford to let the opportunity of accepting donations on Facebook slip past.
Fundraising on Facebook is Affordable
- Other than the time spent to cultivate and engaged audience and produce content for Facebook, there is no cost to fundraising on Facebook
- Facebook doesn’t charge any transaction fees – offering these fundraising tools to collect Facebook donations is part of Facebook’s own corporate social responsibility efforts
- This affordability and ease of access makes it a great option for new nonprofit organizations to start fundraising and growing a donor base
Fundraising on Facebook is Easy
- It’s easy for your nonprofit to set up and more importantly it’s easy for donors to navigate
- Facebook donations are quick and easy, donations can be completed in just a few clicks without ever leaving the app
- Fundraising on Facebook limits the amount of steps involved, and auto fills information, decreasing the chance that donors will drop off before completing their donation
Eligibility & How to Get Started With Facebook Fundraising
To accept donations on Facebook you will need to make sure your nonprofit is eligible, and find out how you will receive the funds from Facebook donations.
In Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom Facebook donations are processed through the PayPal Giving Fund. In other countries Facebook donations are supported by Facebook payments.
Countries that qualify for Facebook fundraising tools include:
- North America: Canada (as of late 2018) and the United States
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom
- Asia Pacific: Australia (as of late 2018)
How to Add a Donate Button to Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page and Posts
Here are the three steps you need to take to get started with fundraising on Facebook, please note you will need to have page admin access to your nonprofit Facebook page in order to complete these steps.
Step 1: Set up a Facebook page with the nonprofit category
Before you can get started with accepting donations on Facebook you’ll need a Facebook page and you’ll need to set your page category to nonprofit organization from the “Edit page info” screen.
If you don’t have a Facebook page already, you’ll need to create one. If your nonprofit already has a Facebook page, you just need to make sure the page category is set to “nonprofit organization”.
Step Two: Sign up for Facebook Giving Tools
You will also need to sign up for Facebook Giving Tools to accept donations on Facebook and fundraise on Facebook. You will need to log into Facebook to complete this step.
Step 3: Add a Donate Button to Your Facebook Page to Fundraise on Facebook
Once you have completed the steps above, you can add a donate button to your nonprofit’s Facebook page!
Here’s a sample Facebook fundraising donate button on the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Facebook page. If you visit their page and click the button you can see the Facebook fundraising check-out process which is fast and easy for donors to navigate.
Facebook Fundraising on Posts, Stories and Live Streams
Accepting Facebook donations for nonprofits doesn’t stop at adding a donate button to your Facebook page. You can also add a donate button to posts, Facebook stories and even live streams.
How to Accept Donations on Facebook Posts
- When you are making a post, choose the option to add a donate button and it will appear on your Facebook post
- Donors will see the donate call to action and make a Facebook donation to your nonprofit right on the post
Here’s a sample fundraising Facebook post with a donate button from Humane Society International.
How to Accept Donation With Facebook Stories
- Add a donate button when you are creating your Facebook story
- Facebook stories are posts that disappear after 24 hours, and they appear at the top of a users newsfeed so it’s the first thing they see
- Just like using a donate button on a post, donors can give straight from your Facebook stories using the Facebook donate button
How to Fundraise on Facebook With Live Streams
Live streaming is a great tool for nonprofits to use for driving awareness and fundraising. You can use live streaming to fundraise on Facebook by adding donate buttons to your live streams.
- When you live stream on Facebook include a donate button on the stream
- Have staff moderate the chat to interact with your community and post messages about donating
- Make sure you mention the importance and impact of donations in your live stream as well!
Other Ways to Fundraise on Facebook
Facebook Fundraising Campaigns
With Facebook fundraising campaigns you can go beyond a donate button on your profile and posts and raise money for a specific part of your cause.
- Facebook fundraising campaigns allow you to set up a page for the campaign
- You can include a lot of details about what you are raising money for and why
- You can set a goal for the Facebook fundraising campaign and display a thermometer to motivate donors to give
- Create urgency by setting an end-date for your nonprofit Facebook fundraising campaign
Turn Your Followers into Fundraisers
Individual Facebook users can also use Facebook fundraising tools to raise money for their favourite nonprofits on Facebook.
Facebook fundraisers are a very easy way for your supporters to do peer-to-peer fundraising for your nonprofit right on Facebook. They are very popular, as of 2019 more than 45 million people have started or donated to a fundraiser on Facebook.
Your supporters can set up a fundraiser right on Facebook with a few clicks and then share it easily with their friends and family! When their friends and family see the fundraiser on their Facebook newsfeed they can donate on Facebook right from the post – very easy.
The Facebook fundraising response to the Australia Wildfires in 2020 is a great sample for Facebook fundraising posts. The Australia Wildfires prompted many Facebook users, including celebrities, to start, and donate to, Facebook fundraisers.
Facebook Birthday Fundraisers
If you’ve spent any time on Facebook in the past few years, you have probably seen at least one friend promote a Facebook birthday fundraiser. Birthday fundraisers are the most popular of Facebook’s fundraising tools.
Half of the $2 billion in Facebook donations to nonprofits that Facebook reported in September of 2019 came from birthday fundraisers. Facebook birthday fundraisers are so popular because when a user’s birthday is coming Facebook will prompt them to start a birthday fundraiser.
Make sure your nonprofit is top of mind for your supporters who start Facebook birthday fundraisers!
- Promote Facebook birthday fundraisers in your newsletters
- Include Facebook birthday fundraisers in your “get involved” or “ways to help” list
- Showcase birthday fundraisers on Facebook by sharing your supporters fundraisers
- Send a Happy Birthday stewardship email to your donors with instructions for starting a Facebook birthday fundraiser for your nonprofit
Understanding Facebook’s Algorithm
A key to finding success with fundraising on Facebook is to understand Facebook’s algorithm. There is no magic secret to cheating the Facebook algorithm, the best way to find success with Facebook fundraising is to follow a few simple guidelines.
What is the Facebook Algorithm
An algorithm is a list of rules that a computer program follows to carry out a task. Algorithms are used for processing and manipulating data and automating processes.
The Facebook algorithm automates what content a user sees on their Facebook page using a set of rules. Given the amount of content that is on Facebook, there would be no way for anyone to manually sift through it all, so the algorithm decides what content a Facebook user sees.
What the Algorithm Means for Fundraising on Facebook
What does this algorithm mean for fundraising on Facebook? The foundation of success with fundraising on Facebook is having a large and engaged audience to interact with your content and most importantly respond to your calls to action.
The Facebook algorithm favours content that gets a lot of engagement, which tends to be content posted by people and not content from brand and business pages – that includes your nonprofit Facebook page.
Thanks to the algorithm, just because someone likes or follows your page doesn’t mean they see everything, or even a majority of what you post. In fact, an organic Facebook post only reaches about 6.4% of the users who like the page.
This can really limit how many people see your content, and respond to your Facebook fundraising campaigns! There are steps you can take to work with the algorithm to find success with fundraising on Facebook.
How to Work With the Facebook Algorithm
There are ways you can work with the algorithm to grow an engaged community, and ultimately drive revenue with fundraising on Facebook.
Post consistently and frequently
Finding the right posting schedule may take some trial and error, and because every nonprofit is different, the audience they attract can be different, there is rarely a one size fits all model for all nonprofits.
Posting consistently and frequently is the best way to reach a higher number of your followers. You should also experiment with different days and times to see when your followers are most active on Facebook. Posting at varying times can help you reach more of your audience when they are active on the platform.
Ultimately, consistency is more important than frequency, so make sure your posting schedule is feasible for the size of your team and the resources you have available.
Post quality content
Posting consistently and frequently is not enough to build the engaged community you need to fundraise on Facebook. The best way to work with the Facebook algorithm to build your fundraising on Facebook is with good old fashioned quality and engaging content!
Make sure that what you’re posting is a mix of impact, mission information, interesting stories and helpful information that is relevant to your community. As well as including calls to action for Facebook donations by including donate buttons and starting Facebook fundraising campaigns.
Awareness Campaigns and Facebook Fundraising
While the main objective of an awareness campaign isn’t to drive donations on Facebook, it can help with building your Facebook audience which will ultimately bring you Facebook donations through your future Facebook fundraising efforts.
Awareness campaigns on Facebook support Facebook fundraising by
- Building an engaged audience
- Helping to overcome the Facebook algorithm with engaging content
- Spread awareness of your nonprofit, giving users engaging content to share with their Facebook friends
- Awareness campaigns compel your donors to remember your nonprofit next time they want to make a donation – If you have a great Facebook fundraising strategy it will be really easy for them to give straight from Facebook!
Fundraising on Facebook is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fundraising on social media, but it’s the best place to start! Facebook fundraising is a must-have for nonprofits hoping to raise more money through social media.