Facebook Fundraising: What to Expect in 2019
As one of the founders of GoodUnited, I’m in the unique position of being able to evaluate Facebook fundraising trends because we have more access to data than anyone else.
As you might expect, with the first full-tilt year of Facebook fundraisers coming to a close, nonprofits are wondering what to expect going into 2019. I believe the news is mixed.
On the one hand, nonprofits raised more money than they ever expected through Facebook - over $300 million from birthdays and $1 billion overall - so it’s logical to think those numbers could continue to grow. On the other, many nonprofits are experiencing their first drop in Facebook revenue growth, and the question is why.
Revenue from Facebook Fundraisers Will Grow
At GoodUnited, we think about Facebook fundraising all day, every day, so we're uniquely qualified to answer this question.
The answer is yes. Facebook fundraisers will continue to grow in 2019 because there will be more revenue from organic fundraisers and donors.
Earlier this year, Nonprofit Tech for Good released the 2018 Global Giving Report, providing for the first time a look at the impact of Facebook fundraising.
The report highlighted two statistics that indicate that Facebook revenue will continue to grow in 2019:
1. About 18% of donors worldwide have given through Facebook fundraising tools.
2. Of those, 88% say they are likely to give through Facebook fundraising tools in the future.
Why will more people donate?
As Facebook continues to promote their giving tools, we expect that 18% to climb in 2019. Also, Facebook continues to release giving tools in new countries, making their giving tools accessible to even more people.
Why will people donate again?
There’s a tried-and-true adage in the tech world: Reduce product friction to increase user adoption. Simply put - the easier your product is to use, the more people will use it.
When it comes to donating on Facebook, the friction is entering your payment information for the first time. However, after that initial donation, you never have to enter your payment information again. So that second donation is even easier than the first.
And guess what?
Facebook users are entering their payment information for a lot more than just donations. Anytime a user purchases something through Facebook their payment information is stored.
With click-through rates at all-time highs for e-commerce ads, more people than ever are signing up for Facebook payments. This means that their next donation is only a click away!
On the fundraiser side, our data at GoodUnited shows that 94% of fundraisers who receive a message from the nonprofit during their campaign say they’ll raise money again in the future.
Takeaway: Expect new donors and fundraisers to continue to give through Facebook in 2019
There Will Be Continued Volatility
So why are some nonprofits experiencing a drop in revenue from Facebook fundraisers? It’s too early to tell. From the data we have, we believe we’ll continue to see volatility for a while. We need another year’s worth of data to identify meaningful patterns and trends.
Facebook Will Improve the User Interface; Donations Will Increase
Even with the initial success of raising money through Facebook, the user experience is still far from perfect. In 2019, I suspect we'll see some MAJOR improvements when making donations, such as:
Facebook Will Process All Transactions on Facebook
Today, many Facebook donate buttons drive users off Facebook to donate.
As Facebook continues to evolve their payments solution, a Facebook user will be able to complete all transactions right through Facebook. Again, less friction = more donations.
iOS Users Won’t Have to Login to Process a Donation
Over the holidays, I was using the Facebook iOS mobile app and decided to donate to a friend’s fundraiser. As soon as I clicked the donate button, the iOS app opened Safari and asked me to login to continue. Like all good internet citizens, I use a password manager to manage my credentials, which means my password is, like, 20 random numbers, letters, and symbols. No chance I’m going through all that work to log into Facebook. More friction = less donations.
I have to imagine that Facebook brings this functionality into the iOS app, reducing the friction to donate. Say it with me: Less friction = more donations.
What can we say definitively about Facebook fundraisers in 2019? Right now is the time to capitalize on the growth of Facebook giving tools by putting together a strategy to cultivate and retain fundraisers and donors.