Harry is our rockstar sales and marketing manager, here he shares his recent experience of running a Facebook Fundraiser.

Here at GivePanel, naturally we’re often asked questions about Facebook Fundraising.  We LOVE talking about all things Facebook Fundraising so please keep the questions coming! One question that often crops up is ‘what does Facebook actually send Facebook Fundraisers when they create a Birthday Fundraiser in aid of my non profit?’

To answer this question accurately, I needed to be the fundraiser. Luckily I was creating a fundraiser for a charity close to my heart anyway, so I thought I’d keep a track of what Facebook sent me so that I could share it with you.

Here is what I was sent, with a few thoughts on how to really make the most of this opportunity for your nonprofit.

How did Facebook prompt me?

About a week before my birthday, Facebook sent me a notification inviting me to create a birthday fundraiser for a cause close to my heart. They also let me know that there wouldn’t be any processing fees on the donations I raised. As a fundraiser, that’s pretty motivating – knowing that 100% of what I raise would go directly to my chosen nonprofit.

Choosing a non profit

When you click on the ‘select charity’ button, Facebook shows you nonprofits that your friends have supported as well as nonprofits whose Page you Like. The nonprofit that I had in mind wasn’t at the top of that list so I used the search box to find them.

Fortunately they had registered for the Facebook Giving Tools so I could choose to support them. If they hadn’t been registered, I would have had to choose another similar cause. This highlights the importance of getting registered for the Facebook Giving Tools, because you really do have to be in it to win it. If people want to support you and you’re not registered, they will go on to support another cause or simply not do a fundraiser at all.

 

Creating my fundraiser

After I had chosen the nonprofit I wanted to support, I was able to create my fundraising page. This was automatically populated with copy and an image that the nonprofit has chosen for their fundraiser’s pages. It’s worth noting though that I, as the fundraiser, can edit this. And this is what I did because I made it personal to me. Ultimately we know that people give to people, and on Facebook it is no different. If there’s a personal story along with why you are supporting that nonprofit, then you will increase the chances of people donating.

Get the ball rolling by making a donation

Once my page was set up, Facebook prompted me with a notification to donate to my own Fundraiser. Why? Because this is a great way to get the ball rolling, as it not only notifies my friends that I have donated to a fundraiser but it gives others the confidence to do so as well.

 

My donation receipt

After I donated, Facebook sent me a donation receipt. All donors to your fundraiser would also receive one of these. The donation receipt also prompts the recipient to share the fundraiser, which helps raise more awareness and hopefully more donations.

Manage your fundraiser

I was then given another notification, where Facebook was inviting me to manage my Fundraiser. This took me through to my fundraiser and made it very easy for me to invite my Facebook friends to donate to my fundraiser. This notification then remained there for the duration of my fundraiser being live.

What tips did Facebook send me

Facebook sent me an email after I had created my fundraiser, which included a list of top tips to help me to reach my target. They included:

  • Share your fundraiser in your newsfeed
  • Provide regular updates
  • Say thank you

 

What have I learnt

Being on the other side as a Facebook fundraiser, it has helped to really highlight some of the best practices that we already know:

  • Yes Facebook sends Fundraisers tips via email, but you should do it too! Facebook’s email might well get lost in the busyness of their inbox. Also the right message from you reminds them why they are supporting you in the first place and prompts them to promote their Facebook Fundraiser.
  • What worked for me, was that I started with a small target. Once I achieved this, I increased it ever so slightly. And continued to do so throughout the duration of my birthday fundraiser being active. Once your fundraisers are close to their goal, encourage them to increase it.
  • You can simply create the fundraiser and then leave it without doing any work. Yes my friends will have been notified at that early stage, but people are busy and notifications can easily be missed and forgotten about. Make sure your fundraisers are regularly sharing their fundraiser with their friends and family, you can make this easier for them by providing graphics and quotes, not forgetting to encourage them to share WHY they are supporting you.
  • Don’t thank all of my donors; empower me as the fundraiser to do that. Only thank the fundraiser. Here’s some tips on the best way to thank your Facebook Fundraisers.

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