This article is part of our series on Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools, which has been in existence since 2015 and has led to $5 billion in funds raised for nonprofits.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Facebook Fundraising and these tools, the program can do three things for nonprofits:
- Allows organizations to accept donations directly through their Facebook page
- Enables individuals to start fundraisers inside Facebook on behalf of nonprofits they care about
- Enables organizations to target donors with ads
It’s amazing that you can both receive donations in Facebook while capturing the viral sharing component of the platform. Meaning, your fundraisers can share campaigns with friends, garner new donors, and encourage other people fundraising for your organization.
3 Problems with FB Charitable Giving Tools
As we shared in the previous article, in spite of the promise of Charitable Giving Tools, there are problems with the program. In particular, Facebook provides very little data and no automation tools to help you manage relationships with fundraisers and campaigns.
Issue #1: Lack of data
The amount of data Facebook gives you on fundraisers and their campaigns is limited. The current Tools give no data on fundraising campaign progress, and neither are you notified when new campaigns begin.
The more fundraisers you get each month, the bigger the problem this lack of data causes. If someone shares with friends and family that they are raising money for you, they are likely to become donors. Only, they are unlikely to become donors without this data (and automation). The best way to turn one-time fundraisers into long-term supporters is to be able to follow their campaigns from the start, encourage progress, and open the door to build a relationship with them outside Facebook.
Issue #2: Lack of automation
As mentioned above, there is no automatic way to capture, contact, and build a relationship with your fundraisers. You can see their (public) profile and you can post a thank you note for them in the campaign. But unless they are following your page, you cannot send them a Facebook message, and Facebook does not give you a way to email them (nor any other automatic way to follow up). If you are getting several fundraisers each month, manually reaching out quickly becomes too difficult to manage.
Issue #3: Lack of control
As the program currently works, fundraising campaigns come and go. Organizations like yours are dependent on Facebook (and the goodwill of your supporters) to get more. Most of the time, people run birthday fundraisers – and that’s the only chance you get from them.
What if there was a systematic, proven way to capture data, and automate the follow up process? What if you could turn fundraisers into subscribers, then donors, and finally help and encourage them to start more fundraisers?
How to Overcome FB Fundraising Issues & Grow Your Donor Base
I sat down with Simon from GivePanel, to talk about their strategy to solve this problem, a strategy that helps nonprofits increase the amount they raise through Facebook fundraisers by 15% while turning 40% of their fundraisers into long-term subscribers and donors.
Simon shared with me a specific story of a large Irish charity, who through a campaign they ran using this strategy along with personal calls to each fundraiser, was able to convert 87% of the fundraisers that they spoke with into ongoing monthly supporters.*
*To clarify, 87% of their FB birthday fundraisers didn’t turn into monthly subscribers; 87% of those they were able to actually speak to converted.
Let me explain their basic strategy in 3 steps. In this you will learn what your nonprofit can do to get new long-term donors through Facebook Charitable Giving Tools.
1. Thank and Invite your Facebook Fundraisers
For nonprofits of every size, the first thing you can do is to simply thank your fundraisers. As soon as you see someone start a campaign, reply to their post with a public thank you. Ask them to connect with you further, and link to a short form to verify their information. Offer them something for connecting – something preferably with no monetary value like a digital guide or resource.
The point of this is to appreciate them publicly and give them a way to become an email subscriber. Because they are publicly supporting you and you are publicly replying puts some healthy social pressure for them to respond.
After the first 10 days of the campaign (if they have not responded), you can take another action. Reply to their campaign post again to thank them and all those who’ve donated, then re-iterate your call to action.
Every nonprofit in the Giving Tools program can and should do this to grow potential future donor subscribers. Larger nonprofits getting more fundraisers should do this in an automated, systematic way, otherwise the process will become too time-consuming.
2. Encourage and Equip More Fundraisers
As shared above, most Facebook Fundraisers start around peoples’ birthdays. Use this fact to your advantage. Don’t push hard against the grain trying to give people other occasions and reasons to start campaigns. Instead, use their natural tendency to encourage and teach people how to set them up for their own birthdays.
The best way to encourage and equip is through email; meaning, your email subscribers are who you want to reach. Therefore, growing your email list is the best way to end up with more fundraising campaigns in the end.
Here’s one strategy: once you have a growing email list, set up automated emails to go to subscribers two weeks before their birthday. In the emails, teach about Facebook Fundraising, tell stories about what others accomplished, and show them how to set one up.
3. Automate this process and capture data
If your nonprofit organization is receiving 10+ fundraisers per month, it will quickly become too difficult to manually manage.
That’s why it was exciting to learn from Simon how to take this fundraising strategy to the next level. Here are some ways GivePanel can predictably and consistently turn Facebook fundraisers into long-term subscribers and donors.
- Automate the thank and invite process: because each new fundraiser should be thanked for their efforts and invited to subscribe, the message you send should be split-test for effectiveness. Furthermore, the sign-up form should be optimized to convert. GivePanel’s insights have enabled their clients to convert 40%+ of fundraisers into long-term email subscribers. Many of these subscribers go on to become ongoing donors.
- Capture and report vital data: through automated messages, split-testing, conversion optimization, and detailed granular campaign reporting, GivePanel enables nonprofits to turn Facebook Giving Tools into an effective and modern fundraising platform.
Your Next Steps
First, if you’d like to learn more about GivePanel, and how they’ve helped nonprofits grow Facebook fundraising, download this free guide.
Second, if you are already getting 10+ fundraisers per month, set up a call with GivePanel and our team. In the call, based on GivePanel’s data, we’ll share the amount you might be able to raise and the number of new people you could to add to your donor base.
If you have further questions, send us a message! We would love to equip you to take advantage of this unique opportunity in digital fundraising.