When carried out strategically, Facebook Challenges and fundraisers can generate millions of dollars for your nonprofit organization. Stop Soldier Suicide, for instance, has raised over $2 million for its cause by leveraging Facebook fundraising and conversational messaging tools.
These numbers demonstrate the power of Facebook fundraising in motivating supporters to take action in support of an important cause. Nonprofits can tap into this platform’s vast potential all throughout the year by promoting Facebook birthday fundraisers. These are impactful opportunities to strengthen supporters’ connection to your cause and give them a chance to drive positive change on their special day.
To help your organization make the most of Facebook birthday fundraising, we’ll cover some basics and key tips in this guide:
- What is a Facebook birthday fundraiser?
- How can nonprofits benefit from Facebook birthday fundraisers?
- What are some best practices for optimizing Facebook birthday fundraisers?
With over $7 billion raised through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram since the tools became available, it’s clear that social media is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to contribute to a positive impact in their communities. Chances are, your supporters are ready and eager to engage with your nonprofit on Facebook, so let’s get started.
What is a Facebook birthday fundraiser?
Facebook birthday fundraisers are a specific type of Facebook Challenge in which supporters ask their personal networks to give to a specific nonprofit in lieu of birthday gifts.
On Facebook, friends and family members from all around the world can send well-wishes for their loved ones’ special days, contributing to over 45 million birthday wishes every day. In order to present users with the opportunity to make their birthdays even more meaningful and memorable, Facebook automatically notifies them about birthday fundraisers about two weeks in advance.
Once a supporter decides to donate their birthday to a cause that’s close to their heart, the process for setting up a fundraiser is quick and convenient.
How to create a birthday fundraiser on Facebook
Facebook users have the ability to choose which nonprofit they’d like to fundraise for on their birthday. To maximize your nonprofit’s support, it’s essential to be informed about the details of this fundraising process so you can promote this opportunity to the fullest. Let’s walk through the steps your supporters will take to create a birthday fundraiser, then discuss how the funds will reach your organization:
- Supporters will click on the “Create Fundraiser” button, either when prompted by a Facebook notification or after navigating to the “Fundraisers” tab.
- They will search for your nonprofit and select it as the recipient of donated funds.
- They will fill in basic information about the fundraiser, such as a cover photo, their personal connection to your cause, and the fundraising goal.
- After clicking “Create,” supporters will share the fundraiser with those in their personal networks, encouraging them to make a donation in honor of their birthday.
Once the fundraiser is complete, your nonprofit can collect the Facebook birthday donations in one of two ways:
- If your organization is registered with Meta Pay, you’ll receive direct payouts bi-weekly. These payments begin once you’ve accumulated a minimum revenue threshold from fundraisers.
- Donations will filter through Facebook’s donor-advised fund, Network for Good, if you’re not registered with Meta Pay. Network For Good will process the donations and send the funds to your organization, often within 45-60 days after the fundraiser.
Depending on how quickly you’d like to receive funds, you might choose to sign up for Meta Pay over using Network for Good. The application process is relatively simple, requiring a verified nonprofit or charity Facebook page and some basic information such as your organization’s tax ID.
Understanding Facebook birthday fundraising fees
With the popularity of online fundraising comes the prevalence of transaction and processing fees. Whether you’re accepting gifts directly from your website’s donation page or collecting them on-site at fundraising events, there is always a percentage lost to some payment processing fee.
Facebook, however, covers all associated fundraising fees for verified nonprofit organizations, allowing 100% of all donations to go directly toward supporting your mission. This advantage, along with several others, makes it essential for your nonprofit to optimize Facebook fundraising as part of your overall fundraising strategy.
How can nonprofits benefit from Facebook birthday fundraisers?
As with any fundraising channel, many nonprofits weigh the pros and cons of Facebook fundraising before diving fully into the opportunity. Some organizations may worry that promoting Facebook birthday fundraisers is risky due to a lack of control over which nonprofits the platform recommends for fundraisers and a lack of understanding of how to leverage the platform.
However, with 18% of worldwide donors having given through Facebook fundraising tools and 88% reporting that they’ll likely give through Facebook again in the future, the benefits are plain to see. Some notable advantages of Facebook birthday fundraisers include:
- Added convenience for donors. Research indicates that social media usage is rapidly rising, with the average working-age internet user spending over 2.5 hours a day on social media platforms. Donors are much more likely to give through a Facebook Challenge while they’re already on the platform than navigate away to your nonprofit’s website to make a donation.
- The ability to motivate others through social proof. When social media users witness other individuals they admire and trust giving, they’ll feel inspired to make contributions of their own.
- Facebook’s active role in promoting philanthropy. Facebook handles much of the heavy lifting for your nonprofit by sending notifications encouraging supporters to create birthday fundraisers and providing the necessary information for them to do so.
- Processing fee coverage. As one of the few no-fee online fundraising channels, Facebook fundraising helps your nonprofit make the most of supporters’ gifts.
- Greater supporter engagement with your mission. By allowing supporters to take the lead and fundraise on your nonprofit’s behalf, you can strengthen their connection to your mission and impact, leading to productive, longer-lasting relationships.
While these benefits are available to all nonprofit organizations, you’ll still need to develop an optimized Facebook birthday fundraising strategy to set each fundraiser up for the greatest success.
What are some best practices for optimizing Facebook birthday fundraisers?
With thoughtful planning, your nonprofit can play a significant role in the success of Facebook birthday fundraisers and Challenges created on your behalf. The Susan G. Komen Foundation, for instance, managed to raise $2 million through its Facebook Challenge by using GoodUnited as a conversational messaging tool and relationship-building resource.
To optimize Facebook birthday fundraisers for your nonprofit, be sure to follow these best practices:
Establish a strong and consistent presence on Facebook
For any peer-to-peer fundraiser, it’s important to provide guidelines and templates that promote cohesion and trust across individual efforts. This ensures that your organization maintains a consistent brand on all fundraising platforms, which in turn gives donors confidence that their contributions will go toward a legitimate cause.
Since each birthday fundraiser features a cover photo, your nonprofit’s mission statement, and a personal statement from the supporter, lay a useful foundation for your fundraisers by:
- Choosing an engaging cover photo. Your nonprofit’s Facebook cover photo will be the default image set for supporters’ birthday fundraisers. While users have the option to change the photo, many will opt to keep the preset one. Therefore, choose an engaging photo that includes your organization’s name and logo to make your familiar branding available to birthday fundraisers.
- Creating a clear, motivating mission statement. Provide an overview of your organization and compelling details that convey your impact. Supporters will be more likely to use your well-written mission statement in their birthday fundraisers to inspire donations.
You can offer suggestions and ideas to guide supporters in creating an impactful personal statement as well. By encouraging them to share their connection to your cause, you’ll help them cultivate empathy from their audience and drive motivation to give.
Promote Facebook birthday fundraisers across multiple channels
The more you spread the word about Facebook birthday fundraisers to your nonprofit’s supporters, the more engagement you’ll see on the platform. First, be sure to inform your followers about the opportunity directly on your Facebook profile. For instance, include a quick message encouraging supporters to “donate their birthday” and publicly appreciate those that have solicited Facebook birthday donations on your organization’s behalf.
Additionally, include essential information about Facebook birthday fundraisers on your nonprofit’s website. This is where many prospective donors will go to discover more about your organization, so be sure to promote this opportunity in a visible location. Stop Soldier Suicide, for example, directly mentions Facebook fundraising on its website and informs potential donors that 100% of gifts made through its Facebook page will go directly toward its cause.
Other channels for promoting Facebook birthday fundraisers include:
- Your email newsletter
- Birthday eCards
- Other social media accounts
- Direct mail
- In-person conversations with supporters
Facebook ads can be another effective way to inspire supporters to start Facebook birthday fundraisers. With detailed targeting, you can refine your audience to advertise the opportunity to supporters, or those in their personal networks, who have upcoming birthdays.
Analyze Facebook birthday fundraiser data
Facebook’s Nonprofit Manager provides a streamlined place for nonprofits to manage and review their fundraising activities as well as engage with donors and supporters directly on the platform. Gathering and analyzing data is not only important for measuring your current performance, but for securing greater success moving forward. When it comes to Facebook birthday fundraisers, some key metrics to pay attention to include:
- Donor demographics, such as age and location
- Fundraiser names
- Total number of donations received
- Total number of fundraisers created for your nonprofit
- Total gift amount received by your nonprofit
Additionally, Facebook’s updated Giving Tools will automatically opt donors into receiving updates and Messenger communications from your nonprofit. This means that every birthday fundraiser not only has the potential for bringing in significant revenue for your organization, but for building new connections with new supporters.
With direct access to your supporters on Facebook, you can deepen their engagement by sharing tips, sending encouragement, expressing gratitude, and asking questions to learn more about their values and interests.
Strengthen donor connections with conversational messaging
With an average open rate of 88%, Facebook Messenger is a highly effective way to connect with your nonprofit’s supporters and encourage them to set up birthday fundraisers. With this platform, you can easily follow up with your supporters to give them tips and answer any questions they may have about the fundraiser they’ve started.
At GoodUnited, we’ve optimized the process of using conversational messaging on Facebook to interact with supporters. Working with nonprofits across all sectors, we’ve leveraged data from over 50 million Facebook fundraisers to determine how to make the most of your organization’s Facebook strategy, including:
- Automated thank-you notes sent to 100% of users who start birthday fundraisers. Set up automated thanking through Nonprofit Manager and automatically post a thank-you directly on each fundraiser’s page.
- Automated custom messaging sequences. These custom sequences encourage supporters, provide tips, collect relevant details about the individual, and continue stewarding them to maintain their support year after year.
- Facebook birthday fundraising metrics. Your nonprofit can easily review data such as how many users you’ve thanked, how many supporters have opted into messaging, contact information, demographics, and more.
- Ongoing engagement using Facebook Challenges. Facebook Challenges are time-bound fundraising events in which participants are asked to complete an engaging activity while raising funds on the platform. GoodUnited will manage every aspect of these Challenges, from the initial ad campaign to managing any accompanying groups and engaging participants via Messenger.
With GoodUnited as a conversational messaging tool, your organization can focus not only on empowering fundraisers to raise more revenue, but on cultivating strong, long-lasting relationships with supporters for years to come.
Facebook birthday fundraisers are one of the most powerful, no-fee fundraising initiatives your nonprofit can engage in. Drawing on your supporters’ desire to drive a positive impact and using Facebook’s tools to optimize their efforts, you can generate substantial funds to power your mission.
To learn more about maximizing your nonprofit’s social media fundraising results, check out the following resources:
- Online Fundraising: 20+ Innovative Ideas for Nonprofits. Beyond Facebook birthday fundraisers, there are many opportunities for your nonprofit to engage with donors and raise funds online. Get inspired with these 20+ ideas.
- How To Thank Donors on Facebook: A Primer For Nonprofits. Expressing appreciation to supporters is essential for recognizing their contributions and keeping them invested in your mission. Read and implement these strategies for thanking donors on Facebook.
- Repeat Challenges on Facebook: The Key to Recurring Revenue. Leverage Facebook Challenges to generate a reliable source of revenue with this guide to repeat Challenges on Facebook.