In 2013, Facebook launched Facebook Donate and then Fundraisers in 2017 in the US (in beta) and then to 15 other countries across Europe six months later. These tools combined are called Facebook’s Giving Tools and the aim was to make it easy for people to raise money, directly on Facebook, to support nonprofits close to their heart.
Fast forward to 2019 and there are still misconceptions about Facebook’s Giving Tools so in this post we aim to demystify the myths! So far, over $1billion has been raised through Facebook Fundraisers and the Donate button – can you afford not to be using Facebook’s Giving Tools?
Here’s are 11 Facebook fundraising myths – demystified:
“Facebook Fundraising Tools don’t give you the data”
This is what we hear most often about Facebook’s Giving Tools – you don’t get the data. This simply isn’t true. You don’t get ALL the data, that’s true, but you get more than you think.
First things first – you need to differentiate between donor data and fundraiser data. For donor data, Facebook gives you a donation transaction report. All donors are given the choice to opt-in when they donate directly through your Donate button, to a Fundraiser for your nonprofit or donate to a Fundraiser created by your nonprofit. The people who opt in are amazing prospects.
What about fundraisers’ data, you ask? Well, people who donate to a friend’s fundraiser are not asked by Facebook to opt in. However, this can be improved using GivePanel as we will help you to get full data for Facebook Fundraisers – there is a way!
“Facebook aren’t improving the Facebook Giving Tools”
Because they’ve not improved the reporting side of their Facebook Giving Tools, there’s an assumption that they’re not invested and, therefore, not improving the tools themselves. This isn’t true. Facebook are constantly improving the tools, with a large team in California. In fact, they’ve released lots of improvements for both your fundraisers and donors, including integrating PayPal and providing Fundraiser tips. They’re hugely invested in the tools, and we expect them to innovate. They’ve already integrated the tools into Instagram with their Donate Stickers in Stories.
“It costs my nonprofit to use the Facebook Fundraising Tools”
In November 2017 Facebook announced that they were dropping their fees for nonprofits to 0%, making the tools completely free for nonprofits of all sizes! This includes all income from direct donors (through the Facebook Donate button), nonprofit’s own Fundraisers and from people who set up Facebook Birthday Fundraisers for nonprofits.
“Facebook forces you to use Facebook Donate instead of your own donation form”
This has some truth to it in that previously you could link to your own website through the Donate button, however this will shortly no longer be possible. However, you can still use links to your own donation form on your Page posts and in Facebook Ads.
“We don’t get notifications of all new Facebook Fundraisers”
Facebook only shows your fundraisers on your Facebook Page Fundraiser tab when they have reached $50. This could take a bit of time and some may never reach $50 so how do you make sure you don’t miss out on nurturing and thanking your fundraisers?
Through GivePanel, we will show you a list of new fundraisers as soon as they’ve had their first donation – using the ‘New’ label. That way you can send them a thank you message as well as tips on how to reach their goal.
“There’s no way to scale and grow our Facebook Fundraising and Donors”
Oh, yes there is! You can create Facebook Ads to promote posts with a Donate ask – watch our video below to see how.
There are also free ways to promote and grow your Facebook Fundraisers.
You can email your supporters to let them know they can create a fundraiser on Facebook for any occasion or you could ask them to donate to one you’ve set up – for example, celebrating a milestone, such as your nonprofit’s 50th birthday. Your website is also a prime location to advertise them – specifically wherever your ‘ways to support us’ information is.
“Reporting is time-consuming”
Ok, this is true, in that all reporting is time-consuming – but necessary. Right now, if you want to understand Facebook fundraising data and report on it, you have to work with Facebook’s transaction report and be an Excel expert.
The good news is, at GivePanel, we make reporting easier. Just upload your transaction reports and our clever visual dashboard will do the hard work for you.
By using a tool like GivePanel, you’ll save a lot of time when it comes to reporting. Time that could be spent thanking your Facebook fundraisers and nurturing them!
“Facebook Birthday Fundraisers are a fad which will end soon”
Facebook reported in August 2018 that $300m had been raised by Birthday fundraising. If each fundraiser had raised $100 on average, then that’s only 3 million people who have created a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser for a nonprofit. There are over 2 billion people on Facebook – each of which have a birthday each year – so in the next 5 years there will be 10 billion birthdays on Facebook. That’s a huge pool of potential fundraisers!
The average person on the street has probably never heard about birthday fundraising on Facebook so it’s probably not as big (yet) as you perceive it to be. There’s huge untapped potential. Also, Fundraisers are not just used for birthdays. They’re also used for in-memoriam giving, celebrating anniversaries, challenge events and more. Who knows what the next big trend will be, but if your nonprofit isn’t signed up to Facebook’s Giving Tools, you will miss out.
“We can’t thank our Facebook fundraisers”
Whilst you don’t get email addresses for Fundraisers directly from Facebook, GivePanel will give you that data so that you can thank them personally.
Even if you don’t use GivePanel, there are still ways to thank your fundraisers. For example, you could say ‘thank you’ in a Facebook post or you could get your CEO to do a quick ‘thank you’ shout-out on a Facebook Live.
We recommend not direct messaging fundraisers as this is not best practice.
“You should thank ALL of your donors”
For donors who donate directly, absolutely thank them! But let’s go back to the difference between a donor and a fundraiser in the context of Facebook Fundraisers.
A fundraiser is the person who has a connection to your cause and starts a fundraiser to raise money to support your work. Donors are their friends, colleagues and family who donate to their Fundraiser.
The majority of these people are not moved to give by the cause – they are simply supporting their friend. That’s why, in our experience, we know that thanking all of your fundraiser’s donors could alienate them.
It is best practice to thank your fundraiser and then empower them to thank their donors themselves.
“Facebook isn’t going to be around in two years”
There are always rumours floating about that Facebook is dying and that it won’t exist in a few years. Overall, Facebook is still growing. In fact, it grew 8% from the previous year and don’t forget that it also owns WhatsApp and Instagram.
Also, Facebook’s Giving Tools have already started to be integrated with Instagram through Donate Stickers in Stories so there is life in Facebook yet!