Lost in the Crowd: Is There Room for More Online Challenges?

You asked. We answered. Find out if Challenges on Facebook are the right move for your nonprofit.

Adam O’Brien
February 17, 2023

As a leader in the nonprofit space, let’s establish what you already know: 

  • The importance of diversifying your organization’s fundraising stream as a way to de-risk your revenue and with it, your mission 
  • Social media offers a way to get in front of your supporters throughout the entire year, outside of your events, generating increased awareness and affinity
  • An online community can be passionate, loyal advocates for your organization, and are willing to drive your mission forward with donations, stories, and organic reach if you’re able to inspire them into action 
  • And if you’ve already talked with us, you know that Challenges on Facebook have incredibly low acquisition costs (we’re talking $22 versus $600). If you’re not quite here yet, check out Challenges on Facebook: What, Why, and How for Nonprofits for a quick recap.

Now, we’re addressing one of the most common questions we are asked: 

Is the Challenge market saturated? 

The short answer: no. 

You read that right. It IS possible for nonprofits to keep raising this much money at super low costs, even as more organizations adopt the model. We see it every day, and we have the data to prove it.

The long answer: still no, but let us elaborate… 

We expect you to be asking this question—you wouldn’t be the leader you are if you weren’t critical of trends. However, we know the cost of inaction.

A few stories: 

  • Over $1.6M raised: Three organizations ran their first Challenge more than a full year after GoodUnited started this initiative to help nonprofits raise money through this channel. They were all huge successes, collectively raising over $1.6 million. 
  • Over 9,000 donations in a single day: A well-known nonprofit giant who has held Challenges with us since August 2020 broke the record for most Facebook donations received in a single day over a year later with over 9,000 donations in late 2021.
  • 20%+ repeat fundraisers: We’re still in early stages of understanding repeat action, but so far in 2022, partners who have held a second virtual Challenge YoY are seeing 20%+ repeat participants, and that number continues to climb.

They all would have rightly asked: “Is the market saturated?” 

Clearly, the answer is no, but if that question had made them hesitate to test in order to see the results for themselves, they would have raised $0. 

Look, social media is not a pie with limited slices. People want to give, sometimes to multiple organizations. They are raising their hands. Providing an opportunity (not to mention a convenient opportunity) for a virtual Challenge proactively places your organization in their line of vision. Right where they are. With little risk.

And there are very few barriers in place for organizations like yours to host a virtual Challenge—no implementation cost, no investment in a venue or physical materials, no software fee (Meta does not take a cut from donations). Maybe it’s time to find out if your nonprofit can be successful with Challenges on Facebook.