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6 key insights into 2023 Facebook Challenges in Australia

Facebook Challenges have become a dynamic way to acquire new supporters, engage communities, and raise funds for worthy causes in Australia and across the globe. But how does cause and concept affect that all-important bottom dollar? 

The GivePanel team has compared Facebook Challenges run by 16 different Australian charities across 2023, and the remarkable impact of these Challenges on the Australian fundraising landscape is clear to see. In this blog, we’ll dive into the top 6 insights and uncover the trends taking center stage down under. 

But first, let’s kick things off with a number that shows just why we love Facebook Challenges so much…

Over AU$2,330,000 raised

From January to September of this year, we have been proud to support 16 Australian charities to collectively raise $2,339,872 AUD through Facebook Challenges. This incredible milestone is a testament to the dedication in growing Facebook fundraising into a viable income stream, and showcases the generosity of Australians who are willing to invest in and give back to their communities and local causes. 

Have we got your attention? If you’re understandably excited by this seven-figure number and want a piece of the pie for your charity, then don’t fret; Facebook Challenges are still going strong and it’s not too late for you to get involved! Check out our guide to planning the perfect one and take our quiz to find out if Facebook Challenges could be your nonprofit’s next big thing.

6 insights on 2023 Facebook Challenges in Australia

From Sydney to Perth, these virtual fundraising events have created quite a buzz, and it's not just because they're fun – but because they're making a real difference for nonprofits and the work they do. Our team got stuck into the data of 16 Australian charities running Facebook Challenges in 2023 so, without further ado, let's dive into our top 6 insights:

1. Total Income: making strides with dog walking Challenges

Dog Walking Challenges have emerged as crowd favorites, enticing supporters to step up for a healthier lifestyle with their pooch whilst raising vital funds for causes they care about. These Challenges take the top spot for total income raised and have amassed an impressive average total income of AU$153,000. 

The popularity is not surprising - we’ve seen dog walking Challenges have success around the globe, including American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s event, Walk your Dog 50 Miles in February. After all, who can resist a Facebook Group filled with adorable pet pics? 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention success story 6

Example of a supporter post in American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Facebook Group for Walk your Dog 50 Miles in February

2. Cost Per Lead: more bang for your buck with exercise Challenges

When it comes to keeping lead costs low, exercise Challenges shine through in the Australian fundraising landscape. With activities ranging from squats to planks, these Challenges have garnered an average total income of AU$80,000, but have an average cost per lead of just AU$4.53. This efficiency in cost per lead highlights their effectiveness in driving supporters into the group whilst keeping expenses in check.

But, is it all as it seems? As this guide to Facebook ad best practice states, the lowest cost sign-up doesn’t always equal the best fundraiser! Whilst it’s important to manage your budget, we recommend you focus on your cost per Active Fundraiser instead, which will give you a better indication of how well your acquisition efforts are resulting in quality leads that will go on to raise funds for your cause. 

3. Average Raised per Active Fundraiser: an “out-of-the-ordinary” win

Whilst dog walking Challenges come in just one dollar behind, it’s the category of ‘Other’ Challenges that takes first place for Average Raised per Active Fundraiser. 

These "out-of-the-ordinary" Challenges include cycling, seed planting in honor of, and day-to-day concepts and it’s clear that for some supporters they hit the right notes with an impressive Average Raised per Active Fundraiser of AU$228. 

Whilst “out-of-the-ordinary” Facebook Challenges might risk a smaller total income by targeting a niche set of supporters, we think it’s worth testing a small budget on what’s dubbed as ‘wildcard’ events, to find out what your supporters are interested in and what works and what doesn’t. Check out some of our favorite Facebook Challenges run by GivePanel customers that are a little wackier than most… 


An out-of-the-box idea of a Big Cake Bake from Australian Red Cross

4. ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): exercising strong returns

An important metric for any nonprofit running a Facebook Challenge, the Return on Ad Spend or ROAS, speaks volumes about the effectiveness of these virtual events. Your charity needs to understand the campaign funnel as a whole and whether or not your ads are performing in the way that they should.

Luckily for Australian charities, ROAS results are high! Dog walking Challenges lead the way and boast an impressive ROAS of 7.93:1, while walking Challenges and exercise Challenges follow closely at 7.38:1 and 6.37:1, respectively. These numbers show that Facebook Challenges are not just fun and engaging for supporters; they're also helping charities reach financial goals and make a positive impact.

And here to prove it is Dementia Australia with their first ever Facebook Challenge of 100 Crunches in June. Their pilot campaign not only engaged a completely new audience to their organization, but it also resulted in an incredible 15:1 ROAS and raised an impressive AU$110,000. 

100 Crunches a Day FB Page Banner - Dementia Australia success story

Dementia Australia's first ever 100 Crunches a Day in June Facebook Challenge

5. Default Goal versus Average Raised: the dogs surpass expectations 

When it comes to surpassing expectations, the numbers don't lie. When we compared the default fundraising goal charities set in comparison to the Average Raised per Active Fundraiser, dog walking Challenges stood out with a whopping 118% average raised compared to the default goal. 

Anyone who has run a campaign where you need to set a fundraising goal knows the struggle of deciding what that number is. Set the goal too high and people feel it's unachievable; set it too low and supporters stop fundraising once they hit the target.  

To help guide charities in their decision-making, we've uncovered some interesting insights from our Facebook Challenge data. If you’re a larger, well-known charity, aiming for a fundraising goal of $200 to $250 is a good idea. But if you're a smaller or medium-sized charity, you might want to consider setting your default fundraising goal between $160 and $220 to get the best results.

Not to be outdone, exercise Challenges and walking Challenges maintain strong performances at 92% and 89% average raised. 

6. Group to Registration: walking together towards participation

The journey from group to registration is a critical aspect of Facebook Challenges, and will reflect the quality of leads you’ve brought into the group as well as the level of engagement within the online community itself. 

For the fourth time in these Facebook Challenge insights, dog walking Challenges lead the way with a remarkable 61% conversion rate, highlighting the strong engagement experienced within these events. 

By the same token, we know that there is a clear correlation between group engagement and funds raised, proven by Alderson Fundraising’s recent research. So, if your Challenge is struggling to convert, consider focusing on engaging your supporters or check out these 10 reasons why your campaign might not be hitting the heady heights you expected.

Facebook Challenges in Australia have become more than just a passing trend; they've ignited a powerful wave of support, engagement, and fundraising. As we've delved into these 6 key insights, we've witnessed the incredible impact of these Challenges, from dog walking to squats and beyond. With robust metrics and engagement statistics, these Challenges continue to evolve as a powerful tool for community connection and positive change.

Join us at FIA 2024! 


FIA Conference 2024 - Brisbane

Get ready to mark your calendars for the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) Conference 2024, taking place from February 28th to March 1st. The conference is all about exploring the meeting ground of curiosity and creativity, empathy and action, and features group masterclasses and sector-specific discussion forums. 

GivePanel is thrilled to be a part of this incredible event as a sponsor, and we're excited to connect with fellow change-makers and passionate individuals in the fundraising sector. Visit the official FIA Conference 2024 website for more details and to secure your spot. Don't miss out on the chance to save with discounted early bird registrations available until December 13, 2023!

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