Blog       5 top tips for Facebook Challenge success by Nonprofit Megaphone

5 top tips for Facebook Challenge success by Nonprofit Megaphone

In the world of nonprofit fundraising, how can organizations make the most out of Facebook Challenges? 

We teamed up with Nonprofit Megaphone, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping nonprofits in North America, to uncover their five top tips for success. With their vast experience in social fundraising, Nonprofit Megaphone knows what it takes to transform a good Facebook Challenge into a hugely successful one. Read on for practical advice for maximizing the impact of Facebook Challenges!

Who is Nonprofit Megaphone?

Nonprofit Megaphone is a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping nonprofits thrive in the online world. They're a team of experts who specialize in two main areas: Facebook Challenges and the Google Ad Grant

Their track record speaks for itself as they’ve helped nonprofits raise an impressive $65 million in just two years. They've also engaged 2.4 million people through Facebook groups, showing their commitment to making a real impact.

What sets Nonprofit Megaphone apart is their personalized approach. They understand that every nonprofit is different, so they tailor their strategies to fit each organization's unique needs. Whether it's creating effective ads, optimizing donation tracking, or providing hands-on support in Facebook groups, Nonprofit Megaphone is dedicated to helping nonprofits succeed in the digital age.

5 top tips for Facebook Challenge success

Facebook Challenges are the pinnacle of social-first fundraising; nonprofits can raise more, connect with new supporters, and create a community of Active Fundraisers engaging with their cause. 

But they are not a “turn on and forget” income stream and there’s the potential for a lot of things to go wrong if you don’t know where to focus your attention. With more experience than most in running Facebook Challenges, we turned to Nonprofit Megaphone for their top five pieces of advice for nonprofits trying to make the most out of their social fundraising.

1. Simplify Challenge concepts

Creating a successful Facebook Challenge hinges on a clear and compelling concept. Regardless of your organization’s cause, Nonprofit Megaphone emphasizes the importance of simplicity in crafting Challenge concepts. Rather than overwhelming participants with complex tasks, focus on straightforward goals that resonate instantly. 

For example, American Cancer Society kept things simple with their 62 Miles in August Facebook Challenge but succeeded in raising over $630,000. This campaign marked the American Cancer Society's debut in activity-agnostic Challenges, allowing participants to accumulate miles through any activity, such as running or cycling. This adaptable approach widened their audience reach and provided an accessible goal for Challenge participants. As a result, they attracted over 11,500 supporters to their Facebook Group, with over 3,000 actively fundraising.

American Cancer Society success story 3

By keeping Challenge concepts simple, nonprofits can attract a wider audience and inspire greater engagement. For your next virtual event, consider following this 4-step approach to develop a winning concept that resonates with your target audience while maintaining simplicity.

2. Align your Challenge concept with your audience

Simplicity isn’t the only thing to consider when it comes to choosing your Facebook Challenge concept. Nonprofit Megaphone advises nonprofits that they should also consider the demographic makeup of their supporters when choosing their month-long activity. 

Tailoring the Challenge to fit the age and gender of your participants can enhance engagement and fundraising success. For instance, if your charity has primarily older supporters, consider shorter walking Challenges. On the other hand, if your audience skews younger, longer distance Challenges like 60 miles or 100 kilometers may be more appealing. 

Additionally, think about whether your supporters are predominantly male or female. Nonprofit Megaphone have found that Challenges like push-ups resonate well with male participants, while walking or biking Challenges tend to be preferred by female participants. 

PA Research Foundation directed their first Facebook Challenge at supporters affected by breast cancer. They found that the activity of squats resonated with their audience and provided an activity that was inclusive and didn’t involve equipment. The goal total of 3000 squats in the month also tied into their messaging of how 3000 lives are lost to breast cancer in Australia each year which meant the team could relate their fundraising ask with the activity. 

PA Research Foundation success story 6

By aligning your Challenge concept with your target demographic, you can create a more inclusive and engaging experience for all supporters.

3. Prioritize group support for enhanced engagement

A lively community is key to making Facebook Challenges work well. Nonprofit Megaphone emphasizes the importance of giving strong support in Facebook groups to get people involved and keep them interested. Whether through dedicated staff, volunteers, or hired assistance, proactive engagement within groups is essential for answering questions, providing encouragement, and guiding participants through the fundraising process. 

How people get involved can make a big difference too. SocialAF (formerly Alderson Fundraising) found that the correlation between comments per group member and funds raised per group member was stronger than that of posts or reactions. The ‘secret sauce’ lies in how engaged supporters are with the larger mission, their fellow challengers, and the collective success of the Challenge itself. 

For example, in Parkinson’s Foundation's first Facebook Challenge, Jog 60 Miles in April, supporters in the group shared stories and cheered each other on during the Challenge. One person who was new to the charity raised $10,000, and another even got engaged during one of their walks!

Parkinsons Foundation success story 2

But keeping supporters engaged for the full Challenge timeline isn’t for the faint-hearted. Read Canteen’s top tips for creating a hyper-engaged community that keeps your supporters’ attention and most importantly, gets them fundraising. By prioritizing group support, nonprofits can create a vibrant and supportive community that drives collective action toward shared goals.

4. Expand your communication channels

In addition to concentrating on your Facebook group community, Nonprofit Megaphone recommends diversifying your communication channels to include various touchpoints for added engagement, such as email journeys, on-page messaging, and text messaging. 

While setting up additional channels may require extra effort, it offers a more direct and personalized approach to engage participants and prompt action. When GivePanel launched segmented email journeys for Challenges, we noted that the channel not only inspires action (with an average $40 return for every $1 spent on an email campaign) but is also a great way to capture your supporter’s attention. In fact, GetResponse’s 2022 report stated that the average open rate for a welcome email is an impressive 68.6%!

By leveraging multiple communication channels nonprofits can expand their reach and encourage more participants to join as fundraisers. This multi-channel approach ensures effective communication with participants throughout the Facebook Challenge, enhancing engagement and improving the overall supporter experience. 

5. Partner with experts

Running a Facebook Challenge with an engaged group community and various communication channels might seem daunting if you're a fundraising team of one or have limited resources. But don't worry – there's a solution.

As Facebook Challenges and social fundraising have grown over the years, so too has the support available to nonprofits. Whether you need help crafting your Challenge concept or guiding your fundraisers, expert partners are here to help.

By collaborating with specialized teams like Nonprofit Megaphone, nonprofits can access personalized strategies, creative resources, and technical expertise. This ensures that your Facebook Challenges run smoothly and you’re able to tackle the challenge of fundraising on social media platforms head on.

But we understand that every charity is different, and how you manage Facebook Challenges will vary. That's why GivePanel partners with carefully selected specialists who can support you in various ways, from managing your ads to guiding your fundraisers. Explore our new partner marketplace to find the support that best suits your needs.

In the ever-evolving landscape of nonprofit fundraising, leveraging Facebook Challenges offers unparalleled opportunities for impact and growth. By implementing the top tips shared by Nonprofit Megaphone, nonprofits can make the most out of their Facebook Challenges. From simplifying challenge concepts to embracing multi-channel communication, these strategies can help nonprofits raise more, connect with new supporters, and create a community of Active Fundraisers engaging with their cause. 

Related resources


Grant Hensel - blog image

Co-authored by:

Grant Hensel - Nonprofit Megaphone

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