Whether you're new to fundraising or a seasoned nonprofit expert, you probably already know that mastering Facebook is one of the keys to fundraising success. As the most popular social media platform in the world, Facebook boasts nearly 3 billion active monthly users, and counting. That's huge! Tapping into that massive market of potential supporters translates to major gains for your cause.
In this article, we talk about how YOU can leverage Facebook freebies to benefit your mission, transform supporters into donors, and promote your next fundraiser like a marketing pro!
Promote a Personal Cause: For Users
If you're not a registered nonprofit organization but still want to use Facebook's impressive toolkit to inspire support for your personal project or idea, you totally can! Whether you need to cover your dog's medical expenses, start a rock band, or launch a community garden, you can raise money with a personal fundraiser on Facebook.
Just remember: while Facebook makes fundraising free for charities and nonprofits, personal fundraisers incur a small fee. You can find a step-by-step guide to setting up your own fundraiser here
. Once your fundraiser page is up and running, use these tips to make sure it takes off.
1. Tell a powerful story.
Use the About section of your fundraising page to give your supporters a good reason to part with their hard-earned cash. Anticipate questions: why are you fundraising? Where will the money go? Why should your visitors donate?
2. Use imagery.
Pictures speak louder than words. If you're raising funds for your cat's hip surgery, for example, make sure to include a crisp cover photo of Mittens looking her most adorable.
3. Be strategic about invites.
People are much more likely to shell out money if they see others are chipping in. Send the first batch of page invites to your closest friends: you KNOW that your Great Aunt Maude and your BFF from middle school will donate to your cause no matter what. Once you build up some momentum, invite the folks from the rest of your network.
4. Create a Facebook group.
If you have a bunch of like-minded contacts in your friends list, set up a Facebook group to discuss and share ideas. Once you establish a solid presence among your little set, ask your group for donations. This might take some time, but people are more likely to support you once they get to know you!
5. Use Facebook Live.
One of the surest ways to build trust is to show your face in real time to potential donors. A live stream gives you the chance to describe your cause and address your network directly. Get creative with your live video: think cool locations, entertaining stories, and including your furry friends.
6. Say thanks.
As you get closer to your fundraising goal, post shoutouts to your donors and keep your network in the loop about how your cause is progressing. Even if you're not seeing the response you hoped for, stay upbeat. Remember: donations are a gift, not your birthright. Be encouraging, enthusiastic, and thankful, so people are inspired to help you out.
Promote a Fundraiser: For Nonprofits
Social media fundraising
is a powerful way for nonprofits to attract supporters, build awareness, communicate with donors, and add a human touch to important causes. This isn't news: 97% of nonprofits have a Facebook page. Whether your organization is making the most of its Facebook presence, however, is a completely different story.
Only around half of nonprofits take advantage of free tools like livestreaming, groups, and stories to promote themselves on Facebook, and slightly more than half admit that they have zero social media strategy. Leveraging your Facebook presence takes some prep work, but the extra effort will pay off when donors flock to your cause.
To make the most of Facebook to promote your next fundraiser, follow these 6 tips:
Tip #1: Collect Donations Through Facebook
Sure, you can have a link on your Facebook page that takes visitors to your organization's website, where they willâ€”maybeâ€”scroll through your entire website andâ€”maybeâ€”land on your donation page andâ€”maybeâ€”hit the donate button. The hard truth? You've lost them the moment that little blue â€œDonate through another websiteâ€ icon popped up. The easy solution? Add a donate button
to your Facebook page. It has zero fees, and as long as your page is categorized and verified by Facebook
as a Nonprofit or Charity organization, you can collect donations through the channel's payment system. Your donors will appreciate it!
Tip #2: Encourage Your Supporters to Create Fundraisers on Your Behalf
Here's where the genius of Facebook really shines: all those people who already know and support your nonprofit's mission can create fundraisers for you directly on Facebook, tapping into their own friend networks. While people can fundraise any time, Birthday Fundraisers are hugely popular on Facebook. They involve users celebrating their special day by asking for donations to their favorite organizations instead of gifts. Ask your supporters to donate their birthday to your mission and see the difference it makes!
Tip #3: Create Facebook Challenges
These virtual, time-bound fundraising events make the most of your network while creating a sense of fun and community. Facebook Challenges encourage participants to complete some activity, or set of activities, while raising cash for your organization. When creating your challenge, draw inspiration from your cause. If you work with vulnerable populations, host a 7-day canned food donation challenge. If healthcare is your jam, opt for a walking challenge. If you work with children, your challenge can be as simple as participants sharing pics of their child's artwork every morning. Be playful about it, challenges are intended to be fun!
Tip #4: Express Gratitude
Anytime someone creates a Facebook fundraiser or challenge on your behalf, thank them publicly with a quick blurb about how awesome they are. Not only is it a nice thing to do, but the user is very likely to re-post your shoutout, boosting awareness of your mission.
Tip #5: Engage Often
Regularly touch base with your supporters in a variety of ways with photos, GIFs, short videos, and live videos. Video is especially key: nearly 1/3 of all internet activity is watching videos. Since videos play automatically in Facebook's timeline but sound doesn't, make sure that the visual content is interesting enough to stand on its own. Live videos are a great way to speak directly to your audience, ask for donations, and give your supporters an authentic, unedited glimpse of who you are and what you stand for. And they come with a perk: Facebook lets you add a Donate button to all live videos
, making them extra effective!
Tip #6: Post Catchy, Sharable Content
When you post, aim to engage your audience. Lead with fun, punchy stories and images that speak to your audience while shining a light on your values. For inspo, check out the YMCA's Facebook page
: their posts are frequent, simple, upbeat, and always have that special love of all things human that make the Y the iconic organization it is. Sometimes they cite facts, other times they tell stories, and sometimes, they keep it simple with poignant images that make you sit up and pay attention. Change it up, but always be true to your organization's mission and brand. Pro tip: Look at your online presence as a conversation, not a monologue. You're sharing, not preaching, so ask your audience questions, thank them often, and try to respond to comments.
Promote Your Fundraiser on Facebook and Change the World While You're At It.
If you're not capitalizing on digital fundraising tools, now is the time to start! Since Facebook began allowing donations in 2015, personal and charity fundraising on the platform has raked in $5 billion dollars in donations across the globe. Impressive, right?
As more and more people connect, share, and play digitally, stay ahead of the curve by empowering your organization to engage effectively online. Meet potential donors where they are and give them a strong reason to support you!