While charities and individuals in the US are enjoying all new Facebook fundraising features, Canadian charities on the north of the border have had a plenty of time to learn from our counterparts’ experiments.
Since 2015, five new Facebook features have become available for fundraisers thanks to Facebook’s Social Good team. Here is what you can do with Facebook now:
Guidestar-verified 750,000 US-based 501(c)(3) organizations are able to fundraise through Facebook. The verification process may take more than two weeks, but once you are approved, you can add donate button to your FB top page and Fundraiser for general support or for a specific campaign. Nonprofit Tech for Good writes a good introductory article about what nonprofits need to know about this Facebook’s new feature.
A GoFundMe-style peer-to-peer fundraising feature now allows individuals to raise funds for verified charities as well as for their friends and even for themselves. For now, it only allows fundraisers to help cover eight things: education expenses, medical bills, pets’ medical bills, crisis and disaster relief, personal emergencies, and assistance for families after a death, sports teams and communities such as neighbourhood services or environmental improvement. All fundraisers have to first go through a 24-hour review process to ensure they meet Facebook’s policy and guidelines.
Donate buttons on Header Post
Since 2016, people in the US can donate directly from the organisation’s Facebook landing page. You can also customize your donate page like this Humane Society of the United States FB Donation page.
Donate buttons in Facebook Live
If you are thinking about scrapping your radiothon or telethon, maybe it’s time to shift your focus to youtube live or Facebok live. With this new feature, people watching the live broadcast can donate as they watch, or give once the broadcast has ended and is posted on the Page. The amount you can raise could be much lower than your traditional telethon or radiothon, but this can have more impact as more people start to watch Facebook Live. Children’ Miracle Network Hospitals has done a great job during their #ChildrensHospitalWeek Facebook live stream.
Donate buttons on your post.
What if your emotion-provoking video has a donation button within the post, so that people who watch the shared video on Facebook can react and make a donation right away? This has been already happening in the US. Individuals and charities are now able to collect donations for charities that have signed up directly for Facebook’s fundraising tools (and being verified). Your supporters can share your charity’s video or photo and add “Donate” button to support your cause…(Tips: you have to click the smile mark to add the button).
Those are all amazing features. But adding donate buttons or simply posting Call-To-Action contents is not enough to make your Facebook fundraising campaign a success. To make the most out of the power of Facebook, you need to plan strategically and understand how Facebook works. Here are few tips for your successful Facebook fundraising campaign.
Facebook knows that a powerful personal narrative is at the center of a successful fundraising. That’s why they designed their Donate landing page in a way that people can see “Story” right after a cover photo and “Donate” and other CTA buttons. Quality professional photo with a text or link to a story on your website or engaging short videos is a must. It should be shareable and something dear to your supporter’s heart. Once someone like your page, within a few weeks, your posts tend to have a higher initial ranking in your fan’s news feed. So you must have an editorial calendar and enough content to feed your newly acquired fans with consistent/compelling posts like this UNICEF’s Facebook-targeted video.
The power of Facebook Ads is its ability to target a particular audience based on their behaviours, interests, geography and so on. You can purchase ads that target those who are interested in your cause and likely to give on online/Facebook. If you have a Business Manager account, you can do Split Testing to find our who your potential fans are. Although the Facebook’s metrics such as likes and shares are so-called vanity metrics (rather than actionable metrics) and doesn’t guarantee lead acquisitions or conversions(donate), the Facebook Ads can still help you to raise awareness to a larger audience before your specific, time-bound Facebook fundraising campaign.
You don’t need to have a large budget to acquire a new donor via Facebook. Maybe you can try a small Facebook campaign for your next #GivingTuesday campaign. What you need are only strategy, editorial plan, content, and these new Facebook features. If you want to learn more about another way to build community and raise funds on Facebook, you can read my blog post about Facebook Groups.