8 considerations for social fundraising in 2023

Forward planning may have seemed impossible recently, with more curveballs being thrown at us fundraisers than we know what to do with. But – dare we say it – we’re finally in a space where we can look ahead to the year 2023 (and not have to cover our eyes whilst doing so). 

The last two years have shaken the foundation of fundraising as we know it, but it’s also paved the way for exciting new opportunities for nonprofits around the globe. So, to tackle the subject of the future of social fundraising, we brought together some of the sector’s leading experts, and deliberated over what opportunities and challenges lie in wait for nonprofits in 2023. 

Ready? Let’s go. 

1. More markets, more money

There are a few guilty faces in the crowd that have been, in our humble opinion, a little hasty in prophesying Facebook’s demise in the past. It may not come as a surprise, but we believe 2023 will actually be the year to prove that the power of Facebook’s Giving Tools is here to stay… and grow. Monthly Active Users are still going up for the Meta family of apps, and they are taking share back from TikTok.

GivePanel’s SVP for Strategy and Development North America, Megan Rouse, suggests that in the next year we’ll see a rapid expansion of Facebook’s fundraising capabilities. We’ve already witnessed a number of updates being rolled out, including new features for Facebook Groups, donation matching for regular givers, and native Facebook Fundraiser Challenges for nonprofits. 

But in 2023, we think it’s likely that more countries will have the tools made available, and there will be more opportunities to learn how these are received and used in markets around the world. Megan says, “I think there are going to be a lot of learnings on a platform that already has proven success in areas like the UK, North America and now increasingly, Australia”.

Don’t get left behind like low-rise jeans, and make sure your nonprofit has Facebook’s Giving Tools firmly turned on. Not sure how to check? We wrote a step-by-step guide to get you started with everything you need to know.

2. A cause-led creator economy 

Since 2020, the creator economy has grown with over 165 million new creators added to the mix. We’ve seen what impact this has had on businesses, but what about nonprofits? 

In Adobe’s Future of Creativity study, they found that whilst only 1 in 4 creators currently use their content for addressing social causes, the overwhelming majority believe that ‘creating online content has a big impact on advancing causes’ and when given the opportunity, creators don’t shy away from social cause activism. 

The study also found that particular causes stood out as being the most important to creators around the globe; with food and housing security securing top spot, and social justice and climate change following closely after. 

In this lies a pretty awesome opportunity for nonprofits to connect with creators who are passionate about their cause. But be warned – this type of fundraising will depend on a pull method rather than a push (like Facebook Challenges) so it’s a little trickier to plan for. That being said, the charities who nail their approach could see them reaching whole new audiences and finding a new source of income.

If you’re not yet thinking about incorporating Instagram into your fundraising strategy to open up new routes to creators, 2023 might be the year to start!

3. The importance of personalization is here to stay

When you’re scrolling through your social media feed or shopping online, have you ever noticed how many of the ads and recommendations are for things you actually like?

Whilst that’s the norm for many businesses advertising online, few charities have latched onto the importance of personalization and creating dedicated journeys designed to suit their supporter’s interests. But 2023 is your opportunity to do so. As more nonprofits move into the digital space, it’s key that yours remains at the forefront of supporters’ minds, and adding in personalized touch points will help you do this. 

Consider how you can better segment your content and audiences. One way to do this is incorporating Facebook’s new dynamic creative into your advertising campaigns, which uses Facebook’s algorithm to select ad creatives most suited to individual supporters. But be careful! Make sure the combined content makes sense together or you could end up spending money on some pretty confusing ads. 

4. Social adjacent fundraising is the new popular kid in town

First there was event fundraising, then there was social fundraising on Facebook, and now? The future is hybrid. 

Well, not completely. But we do think that there is an opportunity to develop a fundraising model that uses Facebook for supporter acquisition and moves them ‘beyond Facebook’ onto owned media channels, such as email or CRM. We talked about this model back in 2021, and we still think that there’s huge potential for nonprofits to grow the lifetime value of these supporters.

And it’s not just fundraising models we’re talking about. Social adjacent communication tools can also support your nonprofit to meet fundraising targets, which is why we’re introducing our brand new feature – GivePanel SMS for Facebook Fundraising. Want to get ahead of the game? Join our Product Launch on November 14, 4pm GMT / 10am CT, to find out why we think this is the next big thing in supporting nonprofits to raise more.

5. Social fundraising is the way forward (and every other direction) 

We mentioned earlier that we believe Facebook Giving Tools will be turned on in more markets, and rapidly, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. 

Next year, social fundraising as a whole will expand. David Burns, Product Manager at GivePanel, says “social fundraising is here to stay but it will expand beyond Facebook. There will be lots of testing on new platforms and we’ll see more launch their own variation of native fundraising.”

How do we know this? Because we’re already seeing it. Revolut, a global financial app, has launched their own donation feature which allows user to donate with ‘the tap of a button’; Twitch turned on their Charity Tool this year, allowing creators to easily fundraise on a charity’s behalf; and TikTok are continuing to explore how they can support charity campaigns direct from the video streaming platform. 

And these opportunities aren’t limited to certain charity causes. In fact, Simon Varley, GivePanel’s VP of Growth, notes that environmental and climate charities are performing better than ever in the social fundraising sphere, with the ability to tap into an audience ready to support their cause. Meta have even announced that they’re working on new tools within Facebook Groups to help stimulate conversation around climate change to aid these nonprofits further. 

Moral of the story? Invest in social fundraising now, if you haven’t already!

6. The data landscape is changing (and you need to keep up)

Trying to manage data and understand it can very quickly become overwhelming, especially when it’s an area that is constantly changing. 2021 into 2022 witnessed the impact of iOS 14, and next year we’re set to see Google make the switch from Universal Analytics to Analytics 4. No doubt, this time next year, we’ll be gearing up for another analytics minefield. 

While this is a challenge for nonprofits, the opportunities data can offer are still endless. Jean O’Brien, Founder of Digital Charity Labs, says “this is a good opportunity to completely overhaul the tracking that you’re doing. It’s really important to get data tracking right in order to see the value in the channels you’re investing in, like social fundraising. If you understand your data better, you’ll be able to see how various channels work in your supporter journey and use this to plan your acquisition and retention strategies.

Prepare for the year ahead by looking to invest in this skill set within your team and take note of Jean’s top tips to tracking your digital activities.

Top tip: If you’re a nonprofit in the US, Facebook’s latest updates will also give you better data insights into your recurring donors and help you to build a community of life-long supporters.

7. Test AI (but don’t put all your eggs in the basket)

According to GivePanel’s Founder CEO, Nick Burne, the biggest trend in social media right now is AI. It’s what social platforms are now investing heavily in in order to serve their users the content that they want to be shown. However, Nick believes that this may have a negative impact for fundraising. As algorithms are built based on behaviors, and the majority of supporters likely won’t engage with hard-hitting fundraising content at length, charities risk going under the radar and witnessing their formerly donation-persuading videos and images go unnoticed. 

But this isn’t to say there’s not an opportunity here for nonprofits as well. Tom Hickey, Fundraising Consultant, says that charities need to consider the issues that affect supporters; finding the relevance in their content and connecting with supporters this way. It’s all about storytelling. And while AI will potentially veer towards entertainment, if charities can find a balance between engaging entertainment and issue-led content, they should be able to find and connect with their audiences. What is key is understanding Facebook’s algorithm.

8. Every cloud has a silver lining

And now for the elephant in the room – the impending recession. Cue sounds of thunder, babies crying and general doom. It goes without saying that this will fall as a challenge for charities – supporters will have less disposable income to donate, government funding may be reduced, and costs generally will rise. 

This tends to be when charities batten down the hatches and increase their focus on cost, with many cutting back. However, in order to weather the storm, charities should turn their attention to channels and fundraising avenues which result in high return on investment, like Facebook Challenges

And some welcome news; while other areas will suffer from a rise in costs, there is one thing that will become cheaper and that’s Facebook ads. So whilst it may go against your nonprofit’s potentially risk-averse instinct, this could be the best time to invest in Facebook Fundraising and grow the channel to work for you and your supporters. 

So, to sum up…

In 2023 we’re predicting that the majority of nonprofits will move most of their services on to the Metaverse, MySpace will make a comeback and become the biggest social media platform, and the main currency of donation to nonprofits will be crypto. 

Only teasing, folks! But there will be a lot of noise similar to that about supposed opportunities for charities but, ‘scuse our skepticism, we’re not convinced. 

Our advice? Don’t get distracted. Plan your fundraising strategy as if it’s the year 2023 and not 2033. In other words, look at what’s working for you currently, and make measured decisions based on facts and data, on where to focus your attention. 

Need support with your Facebook Fundraising?

If you’re a GivePanel customer looking to get ahead of the game with your Facebook fundraising, contact your dedicated Customer Success Manager who will be happy to help shape your 2023 plans. 

Want to find out more about how GivePanel can support your nonprofit? Book a demo with one of our Facebook Fundraising specialists today! 

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