Social media has become a dominating presence in today’s society, facilitating connections between people and organizations with just a few clicks or taps on a screen. Chances are, your nonprofit is likely already engaging with your supporters on platforms like Facebook, with the average nonprofit having 685 Facebook followers for every 1,000 supporter email addresses on file.
With Facebook’s fundraising tools at your disposal, your nonprofit can tap into the potential of your supporter base and significantly boost your online fundraising revenue. However, the key to making the most of nonprofit Facebook fundraising lies in understanding the specific tools and best practices that go along with it.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to optimize your Facebook fundraising strategy and inspire support:
- The Basics of Facebook Fundraising for Nonprofits
- Essential Facebook Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits
- Promoting Supporter Facebook Fundraisers
- Optimizing Your Facebook Fundraising Strategy
Since fundraising became available on Facebook and Instagram, over 100 million fundraisers have raised more than $7 billion for various causes worldwide. Take advantage of this valuable resource by developing a comprehensive Facebook fundraising plan for your nonprofit. Let’s dive in!
The Basics of Facebook Fundraising for Nonprofits
For many nonprofit organizations, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns are an effective means for generating necessary revenue and strengthening relationships with supporters. Facebook’s fundraising tools enable individuals on social media to raise funds on behalf of their nonprofit of choice, making it easy for them to drive impact and show their support.
What are Facebook fundraisers for nonprofits?
On Facebook, users can start fundraisers on behalf of a particular nonprofit, typically for notable occasions such as birthdays or current events. While it’s up to the individual supporter to create and promote their fundraisers, your organization can maximize their overall results by applying for Facebook’s Fundraising Tools. Having access to these tools will streamline the entire fundraising and payout process, so it’s a good idea to get this done in advance.
To meet Facebook’s eligibility requirements for Fundraising Tools, your nonprofit must:
- Be a recognized nonprofit, such as a 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S.
- Have a dedicated Facebook page that is at least two days old.
- Specify your nonprofit category, such as “Environmental.”
- Include your address in your page’s “About” section.
- Have at least one post on your Facebook page.
- Provide details such as your tax ID and contact information.
Once approved, you’ll not only have access to Facebook’s suite of tools for nonprofits, but you’ll be able to view detailed analytics for measuring your fundraising success across the platform.
What are the benefits of Facebook fundraising for nonprofits?
Applying for and gaining access to Facebook’s Fundraising Tools is well worth the effort, as it will open your nonprofit up to extensive resources and support for boosting your mission online. Some main advantages of leveraging Facebook fundraising for nonprofits include:
- Reaching supporters where they are. With 2.963 billion monthly active users, Facebook still reigns as the most active social media platform in the world. If your organization’s supporters are already spending their time on the platform, it will be much easier to engage them in sharing information and raising funds for your cause.
- Expanding your audience. Each of your nonprofit’s supporters has their own personal network of family members, friends, and acquaintances. Interacting with them on Facebook will put you in touch with prospective donors and advocates who likely share values and interests with your existing supporters.
- Encouraging support through social proof. Social proof describes the tendency for people to make actions and decisions based on the behavior of others. People influence other people with their choices, whether consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, when Facebook users notice their friends or family members giving to a nonprofit cause, they may feel personally compelled to do so as well.
With the added ease and convenience of modern technology, organizations around the world can forge powerful connections entirely online. At the same time, your nonprofit’s supporters are more empowered than ever to make a difference by fundraising on your behalf.
How does Facebook process donations?
There are two general paths that a gift secured from a Facebook fundraiser will take on its way to your organization: via Meta Pay or Network for Good.
Meta Pay is a direct payout method where, after your nonprofit raises funds over a minimum threshold ($25 for U.S.-based nonprofits), Facebook makes bi-weekly payments to your organization.
On the other hand, Network for Good is a nonprofit organization that processes Facebook payments, along with those from other online fundraising platforms, through a donor-advised fund (DAF). A DAF is a specialized type of philanthropic savings account in which a donor deposits their funds, which accrue interest, and later directs these funds to their organization of choice.
These two payment paths, which are the primary methods used in North America, have a few key differences:
- Gift processing time. With Meta Pay, your nonprofit receives gifts two weeks after reaching the minimum fundraising amount. However, because payments processed through Network for Good pass through a DAF, it can take 45-75 days to receive a payout.
- Information provided to your nonprofit. Meta Pay allows donors to opt into providing contact information, such as their email, to the nonprofit they’re supporting. This information cannot be accessed through Network for Good, since Facebook’s privacy agreements prevent it from sharing these details with a third-party entity.
If your organization does not directly apply for Meta Pay, Network for Good will automatically handle donation distributions. While the choice is ultimately up to your nonprofit, the advantages that come with Meta Pay, from a faster payout time to guaranteed funding distribution to your organization, make it the more compelling choice.
Does Facebook have processing fees?
Despite the convenience of online fundraising, there are often processing fees and administrative costs that accompany it. Most crowdfunding pages and peer-to-peer platforms have around 4-6% in associated fees. Facebook fundraising for nonprofits is no different. Fortunately, Facebook has chosen to cover 100% of all associated fees for accredited nonprofit organizations.
This wasn’t always the case. When Facebook fundraisers first emerged, nonprofit recipients had to cover all processing and administrative fees, similar to most other online fundraising platforms. This meant losing 5-6% of all donations raised on your organization’s behalf.
After a successful petition less than two years later, the platform decided to waive all of those fees, making Facebook fundraising one of the most impactful digital fundraising methods for nonprofits today. However, it’s important to note that this only applies to Facebook fundraisers for accredited nonprofit organizations, not personal fundraisers such as individual medical expenses.
Now, your organization can maximize support by receiving 100% of all gifts made to a Facebook fundraiser. If 100 donors make a contribution of $100 toward your mission, you’ll collect all $10,000 raised on the platform. With other popular online fundraising methods, that total could decrease anywhere from $9,900 to $9,300.
Essential Facebook Fundraising Tools for Nonprofits
Once you’re ready to dive into the world of Facebook fundraising for nonprofits, you’ll find a host of valuable tools at your disposal. To help you make the most of everything the platform has to offer, let’s take a closer look at the most prominent tools to leverage for fundraising.
Nonprofit Page Fundraiser
Take advantage of Facebook’s extensive reach and no-fee donation processing by creating a Page Fundraiser for your nonprofit. All it takes is a few easy steps to begin raising funds on the platform. Simply input information such as a fundraiser description, goal, and deadline, then add an engaging cover photo to create your nonprofit Facebook fundraiser.
Your nonprofit’s supporters have the ability to create fundraisers on behalf of your organization as well. Often, they’ll choose to organize a birthday fundraiser when prompted by a Facebook notification leading up to the special occasion. In these cases, they’ll encourage their personal network of friends and family to give to your nonprofit in lieu of birthday gifts. However, supporters have the ability to start up a fundraiser at any time, for any purpose.
To discover and keep track of these supporter-led fundraisers, you can navigate to the Fundraisers page on Facebook and use the “Sort & Filter” option.
This will allow you to sort by creation dates and filter by:
- Status, such as ongoing or complete.
- Type, like birthday fundraisers.
- Creator description, from generic to personalized.
- Thanked or not-yet-thanked by your nonprofit.
With this option, you’ll be able to reach out to supporters early on in the gift-raising process to thank them and share tips.
Facebook Challenges are time-bound, peer-to-peer fundraising events that take place entirely on the social media platform. During a Challenge, participants agree to complete a specific activity over a defined time period while raising funds for your nonprofit. They’ll join a designated Facebook group to connect with other participants, donate to one another’s fundraisers, and share progress updates.
To host a Challenge for your organization, you’ll follow these steps:
- Choose a Challenge activity, such as walking 10,000 steps a day.
- Create a Facebook group for participants.
- Use paid Facebook ads to spread the word.
- Thank participants for joining.
- Continue engaging with supporters in the Facebook group.
It helps to have a powerful conversational messaging tool like GoodUnited that can streamline the process of setting up a Facebook Challenge and enhance your results. We’ll help you activate your supporters by handling the initial Facebook ad campaign, managing Facebook Challenge groups, and ensuring 100% of fundraisers receive a thank-you from your nonprofit.
Additionally, we’ll provide custom, automated messaging sequences to build personal connections with each of your supporters to cultivate their investment in your mission. The Trevor Project’s resounding fundraising success serves as an excellent example of what GoodUnited Facebook Challenges can achieve—in only three days, they exceeded their fundraising goal, eventually generating $1.3 million in donations.
Facebook’s Donate button provides a convenient way for donors to give to your nonprofit without having to leave the platform. You can add this button to your Facebook page, posts, and livestreams. When your followers reshare your posts, the Donate button will be automatically included as well, allowing you to reach a broader audience. To take advantage of this easy fundraising feature, however, you’ll need to be signed up for Meta Pay.
It’s no secret that a key component of successful fundraising is engaging and building meaningful relationships with your nonprofit’s supporters. Facebook Messenger is a crucial tool for nonprofit Facebook fundraising, allowing you to interact with your audience on a regular basis, provide frequent updates, and solicit gifts to further your mission.
With GoodUnited’s Messenger Journeys, your nonprofit can make the most of the platform’s conversational messaging by using pre-built, optimized templates that are time-saving and designed to inspire supporter action. You’ll be able to track your messaging, analyze key performance metrics, and direct supporters to fundraising opportunities through in-message calls to action.
Thanking your nonprofit’s donors on Facebook is not only essential for effective stewardship, but it provides an opportunity to learn more about them by asking questions related to why they chose to give and how they’d prefer to engage with your organization moving forward.
To facilitate the process, you can set up automated thanking in your Donation Settings, which will automatically add a pre-written thank-you comment to each fundraiser about three hours after its creation. However, be sure to follow up using Facebook Messenger to strengthen and maintain your supporter connections.
Facebook’s enhanced recurring giving tools also allow nonprofits to generate more sustainable, longer-term revenue on the platform. Boost your ROI by leveraging recurring donation metrics and relationship management features that allow you to create a welcome message series for new recurring donors.
Your organization can inspire supporters to participate by setting up recurring giving campaigns with goals involving a certain number of recurring donor signups rather than revenue.
Promoting Supporter Facebook Fundraisers for Nonprofits
While many Facebook fundraisers for nonprofits are put in action by supporters, there is much your organization can do to promote and encourage their efforts. Once you’ve caught wind of newly created fundraisers, give them the best possible chance of success by:
- Thanking the supporter. Post a thank-you message to every fundraiser so that each supporter feels like you value and appreciate their efforts. This ensures that they’ll remain motivated to continue fundraising for your nonprofit in the future.
- Using Messenger to share fundraising tips. Connect with supporters through this conversational messaging channel to share tips and encouragement over the course of their fundraisers. For example, if the supporter chooses to donate to their own fundraiser, they’re significantly more likely to reach their goal.
- Sharing a Facebook fundraiser guide. Set your supporters up for success by creating a user guide for Facebook fundraisers and sharing it with everyone who creates a fundraiser on your nonprofit’s behalf.
- Staying connected after the fundraiser. Once a fundraiser is finished, continue to strengthen your relationships by continuing to engage supporters through conversational messaging and even communications beyond the social media platform.
Remember to share the impact of donations collected from Facebook fundraisers. After all, your supporters and donors chose to get involved with your nonprofit because they’re driven to help you generate more positive change in the community. Share high-impact fundraisers on your Facebook page to recognize their impact and inspire other supporters to create their own.
Optimizing Your Facebook Fundraising Strategy
It’s clear that Facebook holds tremendous potential for nonprofit fundraising. Aside from understanding how to utilize the vast array of tools at your disposal, there are a few steps your organization can take to make the most of nonprofit Facebook fundraising and bring in significant revenue.
Refine your nonprofit’s Facebook page
Your Facebook page is the primary place for users to go to learn more about your organization and its work. Be sure to leave a positive, lasting impression on your visitors by:
- Including a compelling cover photo that encapsulates your nonprofit’s purpose.
- Featuring your logo in your profile photo, ensuring that it’s clear and easily recognizable.
- Adding a Donate button to the page.
According to the M+R Benchmarks Report, engagement is essential for nonprofits on Facebook, with posts containing photos and videos generating the most engagement from followers. Be sure to encourage users to learn more and stay connected with your organization through frequent, compelling posts.
Utilize fundraising and donor data
As with any fundraising initiative, it’s crucial to collect and analyze data that allows your organization to measure your success and improve upon those results moving forward. You can easily identify insights for improving your nonprofit Facebook fundraising through Facebook’s Nonprofit Manager. This interface, built specifically for nonprofits, serves as a hub for all of your Facebook activities.
From there, you can access a fundraising dashboard with details on all fundraisers related to your nonprofit, along with the ability to download reports. A dedicated Supporters tab facilitates connecting to your supporters, providing a list of all users who have agreed to be in contact with your organization. This allows you to engage them through conversational messaging on the platform and suggest additional ways they can support your mission.
Leverage multiple channels for engagement
While Facebook is a powerful platform for raising significant funds and forging strong relationships with supporters, there are numerous ways your organization can drive more donors to connect with your cause. Remember to take advantage of other channels to encourage further support, such as:
- Email. Occasionally, a personalized email in a prospective donor’s inbox can catch their eye and inspire them to engage. Try to stand out by getting creative—you can even consider sending eCards that link to your Facebook page to promote your fundraising efforts.
- Other social media. Your nonprofit’s supporters may have different preferences for which social media platforms they frequent most. Extend your activity beyond Facebook to attract as much interest and support as possible.
- Your website. Your organization’s website is a vital place for people to learn about your mission and impact. Be sure to keep your messaging and branding consistent with your Facebook account to provide supporters with a cohesive experience across all platforms.
Ultimately, aim to develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy that will expand your supporter base and set your nonprofit Facebook fundraisers up for the greatest success. The strategies your organization prioritizes will depend on your unique supporters, so take the time to communicate with and understand them.
At GoodUnited, we’re committed to working with nonprofits to optimize their Facebook fundraising process. With our custom, automated messaging sequences, you can maximize your conversational messaging efforts to retain supporters and acquire new ones. By cultivating a community of enthusiastic supporters on Facebook, you’ll be able to develop sustainable relationships that bring in predictable revenue.
We’ve impacted over one million Facebook fundraisers for nonprofits and aided organizations in raising over $500 million on Facebook. To learn more, contact our team and request a demo today.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into nonprofit Facebook fundraising and optimize your results, explore these additional resources:
- Getting Started with Fundraising on Facebook: A Checklist. Whether you’re new to Facebook fundraising or hoping to improve your results on the platform, this checklist will walk you through everything you need to start raising funds on Facebook.
- How to Protect Your Brand in Facebook Fundraisers. Take your Facebook supporter-led fundraisers to new heights by making it easy for them to represent your organization in this guide to protecting your nonprofit’s brand.
- Facebook Fundraising. GoodUnited has perfected the process of effective nonprofit Facebook fundraising, and we’d be glad to share our knowledge with your team. Explore our Facebook fundraising services here.