How To Effectively Use Facebook Fundraiser Data

Facebook fundraiser data is incredibly valuable, especially given how difficult it is to access without a tool like GivePanel. But when you do get this data, what can you use it for? Can it offer insights to increase revenue and communication opt-ins?

Lan Freitag shares her experience collecting and using Facebook fundraiser data during a GivePanel pilot programme. She gave this talk at Social Fundraising Summit, March 2021.

Lan oversees third party fundraising at Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF). She’s been with the organisation a little over three years.

What we’ll cover

New to Facebook fundraising? Read our Facebook Giving Tools FAQs.

Watch the Facebook Fundraiser Data Video Here:

About Children’s Cancer Research Fund

The Children’s Cancer Research Fund focuses on safe and effective cancer treatments. Only 4% of federal funding goes to childhood cancer when compared to adult cancers. Their mission is to focus on supporting the brightest scientists across the country who are making an impact on cancer in children.

They have three areas of focus. The first is emerging scientists. These are young researchers that are struggling to find funding early in their careers. They have great ideas that risk going unexplored. The Children’s Cancer Research Fund provides grants to the next generation of leaders in cancer research. 

Their second area of focus is how to treat diseases. There are childhood cancers that are considered less worthy of study by the National Institute of Health, and other large organisations, because they’re rare or difficult to treat. They’re committed to closing this gap. 

The last area of focus is survivorship. Battling cancer is not over after treatment is done. The organisation funds research on giving survivors a chance to have a long and healthy life after treatment.

Teaming up with GivePanel for Facebook Fundraiser Data

Let’s talk about the best kept secrets to getting and using Facebook fundraising data. As part of my work, I oversee our Facebook fundraising. We decided to be early adopters of Facebook fundraising about three years ago. We have had quite a bit of experience within the space, but wanted to team up with a GivePanel for a three month pilot programe. 

The GivePanel Facebook pilot goals were:

  • To thank every fundraiser
  • To get contact data for Facebook fundraisers to engage with them on a long-term basis
  • To engage fundraisers to increase average raised per fundraiser
  • To gain insight on performance, income uplift, opt-in and optimization.

We also wanted to get as much data from those fundraisers as possible. We wanted to ensure that we can steward and cultivate them on a long term basis. As you know, we don’t receive any data in the current Facebook system. And so we thought that using GivePanel would be an interesting way to gather more donor data. We also wanted to know what was working, what wasn’t, and what really lifted revenue and conversion rates. 

We had a three month period over the winter, from November to January. We raised over $120,000 with over 4200 donations with an average gift of $72. We had a very successful Giving Tuesday campaign which resulted in a lot of fundraising on that particular day. We had a couple of large fundraisers that raised a significant amount of money. There was a revenue spike in the November, early December timeframe. As a result, we were able to thank 1500 fundraisers (99.9% of all our fundraisers!) We were also able to collect over 260 fundraisers’ donor data – out of this, 198 of them are contactable. Overall, 17.3% of them provided their contact data. We doubled this from 11.8% to 22.7% during the pilot. 74% of fundraisers opted into further communications from us. We raised over $120,000 through our pilot. It cost us about $10.80 per contactable supporter.

Our Testing Strategy

We tested a lot! We conducted a lot of AB testing during these three months. We really tried to understand what would work for us. Here’s what we tested.

Gifting to Facebook fundraisers

We tested asking fundraisers if we could send them a little gift or token. We wanted to say thank you for choosing us as a beneficiary. We had little butterfly pins that have our logo that we wanted to gift to them. Our board members wear these pins, and they’re also found at our in-person events. These are a very little cost to us, less than $1 per pin. 

A few weeks after the fundraiser had ended, we would send them a message to thank them for choosing us a beneficiary. We would also mention that we’d like to send them a little gift to say thank you, and ask them to share their address. When people shared their address through the form, they would be sent a pin. As this was a AB test, we also tested a ‘keep in touch with us’ messaging approach alongside the gift messaging. Our gift messaging had a 17.5% response rate, compared to a 5.3% response rate for the keep in touch message.

Result: ‘Gift’ messaging outperformed ‘Keep in Touch’ messaging by 300%.

Time of Messaging

Our second AB test was based around the timing of messaging. What we learnt from this was that thanking fundraisers in the afternoon, rather than the morning, increased conversion. That adjustment was very significant.

Result: Thanking fundraisers in the afternoon vs. the morning increased the provision of contact data by 27%.

Morning EST Before 8/12/19Afternoon ESTAfter 9/12/19
Sent360410
Contact Data6618.30%9523.20%
Contact Data with Consent5314.70%7217.60%
Opt in Rate80.30%75.80%

Imagery, Message Length and Calls to Action

There are other lessons we learnt too. One of these was not to include images in messages sent – this actually reduced the response rate. We also learnt that, the shorter the message, the better. Short and concise messages yielded much better results.

We also noticed a trend with call to actions. There were times that we had a couple calls to action in our messages. But when there was only one call to action, it had a much stronger impact.

For instance, on the Giving Tuesday campaign I mention, we raised over $10,000 in response to one key call to action. This is compared to the average daily revenue of $12,00 or $13,100 for that same month. 

The Future for Facebook Fundraiser Data

We plan to continue to test new messaging ideas, utilising surveys and sending out different kinds of gifts. We want to focus on improving that average gift raised by each fundraiser – we estimate that thanking them should increase this by around 10%.

We’re looking at increasing the conversion of fundraisers sharing their contact data and want to drive new birthday fundraisers to our organisation with Facebook ads. And then hopefully, we can continue to raise the bar.

Want to Read More on Facebook Fundraising?

How to increase your Facebook income by 23%... 🤔