Facebook Fundraiser Feature

How To Thank Donors on Facebook: A Primer For Nonprofits

October 15, 2020
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As a nonprofit professional, you’re well aware of the importance of thanking donors to continue stewarding them for long-term support. However, there are a few questions that arise when it comes to thanking Facebook fundraiser donors, in particular.

For example, how do you find Facebook fundraiser and Challenge donors? And, how do you thank these donors even though you may not have contact information?

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t make it easy for nonprofits to thank donors. At GoodUnited, we’ve dedicated resources to researching and optimizing the Facebook fundraising process for nonprofits. This research has provided us with insight into how nonprofits can build lifelong relationships with Facebook donors.

We’re going to cover the basics of thanking Facebook donors through the following points:

Are you ready to begin thanking and engaging Facebook donors? Let’s get started.

Why is it so important to thank donors on Facebook?

“Thank You For Your Donation:” Why is thanking Facebook donors so important?

Thanking donors is essential for building relationships with supporters that can last for years to come. That said, there are a variety of reasons why it’s so important to thank Facebook fundraiser donors in particular. These include:

These are the reasons that it's so important to thank donors on Facebook.

  • Maintaining a positive reputation for your nonprofit. Nonprofits that don’t engage their Facebook donors with gratitude risk being seen as ingenuine.
  • Connecting with and capturing information about social media donors. While thanking donors, you can capture information such as why they gave and how they would prefer to continue contributing going forward.
  • Opening the door for continuous stewardship. Keeping donors is significantly more cost-efficient than finding new ones— when you gain a new Facebook donor, you want to keep them!

Thanking donors is a key step in making the most of Facebook fundraising. This channel often connects nonprofits like yours with supporters you may not have reached otherwise. Thanking these donors is one important way you keep the newly acquired first-time donors around and grow your nonprofit’s audience over time.

How can you see who donated on Facebook?

How To See Who Donated On Facebook

The first step to thanking donors on Facebook is discovering who those donors are! That said, there are a few unique challenges that arise when discovering who has given to your nonprofit on Facebook.

For example:

  • There is a decent chance these donors aren’t in your database already, and this is their first time interacting with your organization.
  • Facebook only shares a limited amount of information about donors, with no contact information guaranteed.
  • If you’re not signed up for Facebook Payments, all donors are reported as anonymous.
  • Facebook will report your nonprofit’s page as spam if you manually monitor fundraisers and contact each and every donor one-at-a-time.

For some nonprofits, these challenges are enough to write off Facebook giving as a whole and instead ask donors to give using another platform. However, considering Facebook fundraising is incredibly popular and has zero processing fees, we think it’s worth the donor discovery challenge. So, let’s walk through how you can discover Facebook fundraiser and Challenge donors.

Can you access your nonprofit's Facebook donation history?

Can you access your nonprofit’s Facebook donation history?

You can technically access a history of all gifts made to your nonprofit through Facebook. But, this history isn’t necessarily helpful on its own when it comes to thanking donors.

This is because the history of donations made to your nonprofit is available through the Daily Transaction Report. This is a massive file containing a variety of information, some of which does little more than to clutter the information you receive and make it overall more challenging to decipher. For example, this report contains:

  • Payment ID
  • Charge Time
  • Donation Amount
  • Payout Currency
  • Sender Currency
  • Charge Action Type
  • Donor First and Last Name
  • Donor Email Address
  • Campaign ID
  • Fundraiser Title
  • Source Name (ex: donate button, fundraiser)
  • Permalink
  • Charity ID
  • Campaign Owner Name
  • Matching Donations
  • Fundraiser Type (ex: birthday, API, groups)
  • Charge Time

This is a ton of information! Plus, all of this information may not be available for each supporter. For example, donor identification information (their name) will be reported as anonymous if your nonprofit isn’t aligned with Facebook Payments and instead relying on Network for Good. Further, the donor’s email address will only be reported if the donor has opted to share it with the social platform.

This can make gleaning valuable information from the Daily Transaction Report a complicated process. And, there can be major gaps when it comes to actually contacting your donors. For example:

  • When you only have the first and last names of donors, you don’t have any actionable ways to make contact. If “Adam Smith” donated to your organization via Facebook, there is no way you’ll find the right Adam Smith’s email address to say thank you.
  • The Daily Transaction Report shows all donations in one mass .CSV file. If you receive a decent amount of donations, this can be a ton of information and a challenge to decipher.

Luckily, we’ve discovered a process that your organization can use to make the Daily Transaction Report a more useful resource. Continue reading to learn how.

Here's how you can discover donors using Facebook donation reports.

Discovering Donors Using Facebook Donation Reports

To make the Daily Transaction Report useful, your nonprofit will need to turn it into a usable spreadsheet first.

Because you download this report in a .CSV file, you can import the data directly into Excel or Google Sheets. After doing so, follow these steps to discover top donors for your organization:

  1. Organize the data into useful spreadsheet columns. Learn how to do so in our guide to Facebook fundraising.
  2. Apply a filter to view the donation data only.
  3. Sort the donation data by donation amount, highest to lowest. Select your donors who gave in the highest amounts, including name and potentially their contact email address.

From here, we recommend prioritizing contacting those donors that have made the highest donations. Soon, we’re going to cover how you can thank those donors— but, how do you discover the donors if you’re not a spreadsheet wizard?

This image illustrates Facebook donation reports.

At GoodUnited, we understand that data manipulation isn’t a task for everyone. Because of this, we use the information from the Daily Transaction Report to create an insightful dashboard that contains the most important information such as:

  • Names of fundraisers and donors
  • Verified email addresses of fundraisers and donors (if available)
  • How many fundraisers were thanked
  • How many fundraisers opted-in to messaging
  • The average revenue lift due to messaging
  • Demographics of respondents
  • Why users are fundraising
  • The success of calls-to-action
  • And more!

This dashboard summarizes the information found in the Daily Transaction Report as well as any information collected while carrying out our services (more on this later). This information can help your team connect more effectively with both fundraisers and donors alike. Now, let’s look at how you might use the donor information available to thank donors on Facebook.

Here are four strategies to say "Thank You For Your Donation."

How To Thank Donors On Facebook: 4 Strategies

So, you have a first name, a last name, a donation amount, and— if you’re lucky— an email address. How can you use this information to craft effective thank you’s to donors? We have a few ideas.

How to thank donors on Facebook? Make the most of the information provided.

Make the most of the donor information provided.

Let’s say you’ve unlocked a goldmine of Facebook donor information, and your donors have opted in to share their email addresses. In that scenario, we recommend sending a thank you email to those donors— but, not a canned, run-of-the-mill gratitude note.

This email should be personalized and informative. Here’s why:

  • A personal letter begins forging a positive connection. An impersonal thank you feels distant and disconnected. Oftentimes, Facebook fundraising donors are first-time givers to your organization. In addition to expressing gratitude, the goal of the email should be to draw those donors closer to your organization and encourage them to engage in new ways.
  • An informative letter gives donors clear next steps. New donors to your organization may be interested in continued support, but they may not know how to pursue it. Providing specific instructions and informative resources is key.

How can you write an email that hits these key points? Well, reflecting the donor’s giving history, such as including a reference to the campaign they gave to, is a great start. And, listing out upcoming events, online campaigns, and even tips to create their own fundraiser are great ways to provide actionable next steps.

Here’s a short template to spur your imagination, written from the perspective of an animal welfare nonprofit:

This image shows one method to thank Facebook donors.

“Hi [Donor’s Name]!

We are so thankful for your donation to [Campaign Name]. Your donation provided 10 days of meals for dogs at our shelter— check it out!

[Insert image of donation at work]

At Southwest Animal Shelter, we help dogs and cats find their forever homes each day. This includes coordinating transportation, daily feeding, vet care, and of course enrichment! Donations just like yours are how that work is possible.

We would love to keep in touch with you going forward. Here are a few resources where you can learn more about our organization and how to get involved:

  • Learn more about homeless pets in your area
  • Learn more about Southwest Animal Shelter
  • Get Involved: Volunteer, Give, Start a Fundraiser

From the pups and kittens at Southwest Animal Shelter, thank you!”

We’ve found that there are a variety of ways to engage with Facebook fundraisers directly on the platform. But, sending a thank-you letter to the donor’s email addresses is one of the most straightforward methods to engage donors in the long run. When you can access this information, make the most of it!

How to thank donors on Facebook? Ask the fundraiser to post a thank-you.

Ask the fundraiser to post a thank-you.

As we’ve briefly mentioned, it’s easier to discover and connect with users who have created fundraisers rather than the donors to those fundraisers. So, why not leverage that connection to say thank you?

To do this, you first have to discover users who have started Facebook fundraisers or joined Challenges on behalf of your nonprofit. In our Ultimate Nonprofit Guide to Facebook Fundraisers, we break down the steps for how your organization can do this using the Daily Transaction Report and the newly released “Sort & Filter” function.

After you’ve discovered the top fundraisers for your nonprofit, you can begin engaging with the users that have started them. Consider writing a personalized thank you note and sending it to the fundraisers. Thank the user who started the fundraiser, and then ask them to share the note on their personal Facebook page to thank their donors as well. 

Here’s a template to begin brainstorming:

Use this template to ask a Facebook fundraiser to post a thank you on your behalf.

“Hi [User]!

We are so thankful that you started a Facebook fundraiser on behalf of the Southwest Animal Shelter. Donations from your fundraiser [describe impact].

We would love to thank your donors as well. Would you be willing to share this note from us on your Facebook Timeline?

‘To the donors of [Campaign Name],

Thank you from the team at Southwest Animal Shelter! We can’t begin to express our gratitude for this gift, as it funded [describe impact].

We’d love to keep in touch with you and continue working together to benefit homeless dogs and cats. If you’re interested in getting involved, please reach out to us today!’

Thank you again for your generosity and effort raising gifts on behalf of the Southwest Animal Shelter. We would love to keep in touch with you going forward. Here are a few resources where you can learn more about our organization and how to get involved:

  • Learn more about homeless pets in your area
  • Learn more about Southwest Animal Shelter
  • Get Involved: Volunteer, Give, Start a Fundraiser

From the pups and kittens at Southwest Animal Shelter, thank you!”

This option knocks out two birds with one stone— stewarding both the fundraisers and the donors in one communication. 

How to thank donors on Facebook? Post a thank you and tag the fundraiser.

Post a thank-you and tag the fundraiser.

This is a great option if you haven’t already interacted with the fundraiser, prior to the end of the campaign. Start with the same steps as before to discover the top campaigns created on behalf of your nonprofit, either using the “Sort & Filter” function within Facebook or the Daily Transaction Report.

Then, after discovering the highest-raising campaigns, consider publicly thanking them on your nonprofit’s Facebook page. Simply write a personalized message that reflects the impact of the campaign, and tag the fundraiser that started it. 

For example:

Consider using this template to thank donors on Facebook.

“Thank you [User’s Name] for dedicating your birthday to the Southwest Animal Shelter! The [Amount] you and your friends raised purchased 10 new dog beds for animals in need.

We can’t overstate how much gifts like yours benefit the animals in our community. We hope to connect with you again in the future!”

This is a straightforward way to acknowledge the gifts raised on behalf of your nonprofit on Facebook. That said, there are a few essential aspects to keep in mind:

  • Personalize the message. Repetitive, copy-and-pasted messages across your Facebook page do not make a good impression!
  • Continue engagement on the post. The user who started the fundraiser, and their donors, may comment on the post. Be sure to respond to each comment with a one-on-one thank you!

We realize this can be a time-consuming effort— especially if your nonprofit is lucky enough to have many ongoing fundraisers at any given time (such as during a Facebook Challenge). If you feel overwhelmed dedicating time to Facebook fundraising, consider contacting the GoodUnited team today. We can thank each and every user on your behalf and encourage further engagement.

How to thank donors on Facebook? Respond to tags on the fundraiser itself.

Respond to tags on the fundraiser itself.

Last but not least, connect with Facebook donors on the original fundraising post itself. 

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Monitor Facebook fundraisers started on your behalf. If someone comments that they made a gift, thank them!
  • Monitor when your nonprofit is tagged in posts. If a user tags your nonprofit saying they made a gift, comment back to them!

Here is a quick template that you can build off of:

Comment back to tags to thank donors on Facebook.

“Hi, [Donor Name]! Thank you for giving to our organization— we can’t overstate the impact of gifts just like yours! To learn more about the Southwest Animal Shelter and how you can help, check out this page. We’d love to keep in touch with you going forward!

The goal is to acknowledge those who are publicly announcing gifts to your organization and start a two-way conversation with them. 

This is our final tip to thank donors on Facebook.

Thanking Donors on Facebook: A Final Note

So far, we’ve covered why it’s so important for your nonprofit to thank the donors to Facebook fundraisers and Facebook Challenges. And, we’ve covered four strategies you can use to do so.

But, what if your internal team isn’t particularly data-savvy, and you’re struggling to find information about these donors? Or, if you’re lucky to have a huge number of fundraisers conducted on your behalf, and you simply don’t know how to engage with each and every one of them

That’s where we can help.

At GoodUnited, we specialize in helping nonprofits thank and continue stewarding each and every Facebook Challenge participant and donor. We start off with thanking 100% of the users that start fundraisers on your behalf. Then, we invite that user to opt into a custom messaging sequence conducted directly in Facebook Messenger. In the case of a Facebook Challenge, we also invite that user to join a dedicated, moderated Facebook group through which they can connect with other participants.

With that messaging sequence, we steward the fundraiser, share tips and encouragement, and express gratitude every step of the way. In addition to creating connections with the fundraiser, this opens a clear path to thank the donors as well.

Beyond that, we also simplify the Daily Transaction Report into a useful and intuitive dashboard full of actionable insights. To learn more about GoodUnited’s services, contact our team today.

For more information about thanking donors and Facebook fundraisers in general, explore the following additional resources:

Contact the GoodUnited team today to schedule a demo.

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