Late last year Facebook finally launched their Charitable Giving Tools here in Australia. Should you be dancing for joy? Is this going to change the face(book) of fundraising for ever?
We’ve been talking to a few non-profits who’ve used Facebook Fundraisers both here in Australia; and over in the UK, US and Europe where the toolkit has been available for a bit longer.
What are Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools?
In short, Facebook’s Charitable Giving tools give registered charities the opportunity to raise more funds, specifically:
- They’re a great opportunity to increase the contribution of digital channels to your organisations fundraising efforts.
- You and your supporters can set them up very quickly which make them a useful tool for emergency campaigns.
- For those supporters who love using Facebook it’s a great way for charities to connect with them more effectively and give them another route to take action.
Of those people I’ve spoken to a key benefit that people mentioned repeatedly is the removal of friction from the donation journey. That is people are already spending time in Facebook, they’re used to interacting with the Facebook interface and now they can donate with just a few taps.
Example Mobile Donation Journey
What are the options?
There are two key tools that allow you to raise money through Facebook:
- Donate buttons – as a registered non-profit you’ve been able to add a donate button to your Facebook page for some time. Now, rather than directing people to your website and (potentially clunky) donation pages you can push people directly to the Facebook donation form. In a similar manner to Facebook lead ads you’ll probably see a much higher conversion rate than when you direct somebody to your website. But what of average donation value? We don’t have the data on the impact of average donation value at this stage but our assumption is that it might end up being lower – more on this in a future post.
- Fundraisers – Fundraisers allow you to enable your supporters to reach out to their friends, family and whoever else they may be friends with on Facebook to raise money for your cause. This is where things get really exciting!
Should I sign-up for Facebook Giving Tools?
I’m being asked this question a lot recently, I would always ask why wouldn’t you? After all it’s about enabling people to support the causes they’re most passionate about as easily as possible. Alas, things aren’t always that simple, so to help you decide we’ve produced a list of benefits and limitations for non-profits.
Benefits of Facebook Giving Tools to the charity:
- Another channel to raise money for your cause. You can start asking for donations through your Facebook page, posts, live videos, ads and personal fundraisers. Facebook fundraisers can complement activity you’re running in other channels, remember people often need to see a message way more than once to absorb it yet alone be convinced to take action!
- Peer-to-peer – All fundraisers are featured on your Facebook page, effectively creating a little “fundraising community” for this group of your supporters. Facebook are essentially competing with some of the peer-to-peer fundraising platforms here, making it easier than ever for individuals to raise money for a personal challenge, event or even their birthday.
- Donation receipts are handled by Facebook.
- Easy to donate – the lack of friction in the donation process is likely to give you much higher conversion rates than you’d see through sending people to your website (unless you’ve invested in some serious optimisation of your site donation journey).
- Basic reports – you can track exactly how much you raise through Facebook. No more relying on Google Analytics UTM data (although we’d always recommend you still pay attention to this in other campaigns).
- Email Opt-in – your supporters can opt-in to receive updates via email during the donation process. I honestly believe this is far better than getting EVERYONE’s details, if people don’t opt-in then it’s usually for a reason.
- Network effect – obviously the beauty of Facebook is that it makes it really easy for people to share and inspire others to take action. Tying this capability to donation processing makes sense!
- Fundraisers promote – when you run a fundraiser through Facebook, you’re essentially getting free promotion of your cause when the individual starts sharing and promoting their efforts. Hopefully inspiring others to get involved too.
- 100% of donations passed to charity – charities receive 100% of the donations made to them, no hidden service or processing fees.
Limitations of Facebook Giving Tools:
- Limited Donor Data – The topic of personal data is somewhat of a hot potato for Facebook at the moment. Right now, you will only receive the name, email and donation amount if the donor chooses to share their details with you when making a donation. It’s not currently possible to get contact preferences for the charity, including additional contact options such as phone number or postal address.
- Lack of CRM Integrations – integration options with CRM systems is minimal and are not customisable, meaning that it’s not possible to automatically add data on Facebook donors to your CRM system. So that’s another import for your data team.
- Restricted Countries – As of time of writing Facebook Giving Tools are only available in 16 countries (which isn’t great if you’re not one of the lucky countries).
- Manual and limited reporting – Currently all reports are manual and your donor and donation data is bundled into a single file. This isn’t so bad if you’ve got a data team with time to spare but if you haven’t you’ll need to get yourself familiar with Excel Pivot tables and charts.
- Paid media support is challenging – As of time of writing you can use paid Facebook ads to drive traffic traffic to your Fundraiser page, however you can’t track whether people actually donate, this makes it pretty much impossible to optimise your paid media spend effectively.
- No monthly donations – There are whispers that Facebook is going to make it possible for charities to take recurring donations, however this functionality isn’t live just yet.
- No notifications – There are no notifications to tell you when one of your fantastic supporters creates a new fundraising page. You’ve got to monitor your page and fundraisers manually to see who’s doing what.
How do I sign-up for Facebook’s Giving Tools?
You’ll need to check that you meet the eligibility criteria and apply here. Facebook have partnered with PayPal in Australia (which is a bit different from how things work in other countries) so you’ll also need to apply to the PayPal Giving Fund here.
See the below example of a birthday fundraiser set up by a supporter of International Rescue Committee in the US: