Blog       A guide to incentives for Facebook Challenges

A guide to incentives for Facebook Challenges

If you’ve run a Facebook Challenge or two over recent years, you’ll know how important incentives and welcome packs are for a successful campaign. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • They are a great lead magnet to attract people to your Challenge.  
  • They encourage registration and give a reason for full data capture.
  • They help to expand your brand reach (just think about all those participants wearing incentives with your charity name on them!).
  • They create a "buzz" in the Facebook Group with people excitedly posting when their incentives arrive.

Most commonly, we will see Facebook Challenges offering a free, branded t-shirt. However we have recently been seeing nonprofits thinking outside the box and offering different types of incentives which tie together the cause and the Challenge, whilst offering an appealing freebie for prospective fundraisers. They include:

  • Dog bandanas for dog walking Challenges
  • Swim caps for swim Challenges
  • Medals for distance Challenges
  • Woolly hats for winter running Challenges
  • And much more!

But how do you know what makes a good incentive from a bad one? How do you strike the balance between offering an exciting incentive, and ensuring your Facebook Challenge provides return on investment for your cause? And how do you manage the fulfilment of all those incentives so as not to take up hours and hours of precious staff time? 

We’ve caught up with design and merchandise agency, Bluestep Solutions, to provide you with the answers. They’ve worked with over 500 charities in their time, so know a thing or two when it comes to nonprofit merchandise, fundraising packs and, you guessed it, incentives for Facebook Challenges. 

So, without further ado, over to the Bluesteppers for their tips!  

First up, what makes a good incentive?

The key measure of a good incentive is the desire it creates for potential fundraisers to sign up to your Challenge. Here are our top Bluestep tips to master a good incentive:

  • Keep it connected! Choose an incentive that aligns with both your charity’s branding and the Challenge identity itself.
  • Keep it relevant! Choose an incentive which matches the type of Challenge your fundraisers are undertaking. If they’re swimming, give them a hat; if they’re doing a long distance running challenge, give them a medal.
  • Keep it engaging! Choose an incentive that is engaging for the participant and that they will want to use/wear and take lots of pictures of for their socials. You want them to be filling up your Facebook Challenge Group with lots of amazing, user-generated content to drive engagement and a sense of community amongst your supporters.
  • Keep it unique! Don’t use the same incentive for every Challenge. Incentives have become somewhat of a collectable item amongst hardcore regular givers. Switching up the incentives may motivate recurring fundraisers to take part in new Challenges, which is always a good thing. We love that lifetime value!

Top tip: If it’s your first Challenge and you’re not sure how many incentives you are going to need, keep it generic so you can use any leftovers for future events or campaigns. 

But what comes before an incentive?

Before you (Blue)step into design (see what we did there?), coming up with a strong Challenge idea and creating an event identity should be first on your list.

We are passionate about branding and all things visual. Strong event identity will leave a lasting and memorable impression, create engagement and show true brand purpose. It will also help you stand out from the crowd, and rise above the noise of the cluttered Facebook feeds of all those prospective supporters.

All your printed and digital assets should be consistent with the Challenge identity, and the incentive should have charity branding. 

Think: bespoke identity + branded incentives = winning combo!

What incentives do you see working well with Challenges? 

So many of our nonprofits are nailing effective incentives for Facebook Challenges, it's hard to pick. Here’s a few incentives we’ve seen and worked on that we think are pretty awesome. Hopefully they will get your creative juices a-flowing!

We live, breathe and scream bespoke! If you want help brainstorming incentives and creatives for your next Challenge, we can work with your teams to develop a kick-ass event identity, design a winner incentive and store/deliver your Challenge merch effectively. 

From medals, hats and pin badges, to festive jumpers, advent calendars and dog bandanas (to name a few), our Bluesteppers are quite literally merchandise experts. 

Can you use seasonal incentives? 

The creative formula for a perfect Facebook Challenge is a clear event identity that encompasses the charity branding and a seasonal incentive to match. 

So if you’re planning a Facebook Challenge to take place over the festive months, why not try a festive t-shirt or knitted jumper? If it’s a winter running Challenge, offer your fundraisers a wooly hat to keep them toasty and warm. But most importantly, keep it relevant to both your cause and the Challenge.

Can incentives be sustainable?

We are sure that your nonprofit is conscious of your corporate social responsibility and practices around sustainability. More and more consumers expect charities to ensure their activities are sustainable and in keeping with their own values. So when it comes to Facebook Challenge incentives, it’s important to be conscious of this, and that’s why we only make recommendations that we as an agency follow:

  • Choose biodegradable/recyclable! Make sure your packaging and incentive materials are eco-friendly.
  • Check for a transparent supply chain! We make sure our incentives are sourced from ethical suppliers.
  • Road is best! Be conscious of the shipping methods used; we ship by road wherever possible. 
  • Bulk order! Store incentives in larger quantities at our warehouse and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • No waste! Don’t throw away unused incentives instead think of creative ways to make use of them for future events and campaigns.

We understand the enormous pressure charity fundraising teams are under to create positive and impactful change, all whilst reducing their environmental footprint. At Bluestep, we are conscious of the effect we have on both people and the environment. We can work with you to ensure your Facebook Challenge doesn’t cost the earth and your incentives are as “green” as possible. 

Take a look at what makes us sustainable…

Bluestep Eco Infographic NEW

Tips for storage, fulfillment and incentives management

Now, we know the thought of all of those boxes of incentives arriving in your office fills you with dread. We’ve all been there. Here are a few top tips for making the storage, fulfillment and management of all your incentives that little bit easier:

  • Enlist the help of Bluestep! We can store (for free), package and fulfill your incentives to help free up precious staff time.
  • Choose lightweight! If your incentive and literature fit within a large letter, you’ll save a bunch of costs on your mailing. We’ve done the research and figures, and know the winning formula to save you the money.
  • Use GivePanel labels! Use labels within GivePanel to keep track of who has been sent an incentive and who hasn't. 
  • Manage expectations! Keep communications clear and consistent in the Challenge group. Time and time again you’ll hear the question “When will my incentive arrive?” Produce a standard reply to these questions to save time with messaging. 

If you’re looking for additional support, why not let us Bluesteppers take the weight off you. We can offer your nonprofit a complete package to manage the creation, storage, fulfillment and distribution of all of your Challenge incentives. Order in bulk, store for free, and our incredible warehouse team will fulfill on demand keeping processes more eco-friendly.

Streamlining is our middle name and solutions is our last… literally!

And finally, back to GivePanel for a top tip… 

One initiative we are trialing with a number of our charity customers at the moment is fulfilling only those who have registered for your Challenge AND set up their fundraiser rather than those who have only registered. This can be a huge cost saver and increase the return of investment for your campaign. 

However, there are a few things to consider when trying this:

  • Getting the communication right: if you intend to do this, you will need to make it clear in the ad text, Group welcome post, welcome emails (and anywhere else), that Challenge participants must register and set up a fundraiser before they will receive their incentive. You may also want to tone down the references to the freebie or incentive in your ad copy and imagery. 
  • Using the 1-Click Registration with Fundraiser Activation: with this feature you will be able to match Registrations to Fundraiser pages much more easily, without all the manual work. 
  • Be prepared for potentially higher lead cost in your ads: if you are toning down the focus of the free incentive in your ads, it may cause less people to register for the event and join the Group in the hopes of a freebie. Of course, this is a good thing as you will avoid those dreaded “t-shirt bandits”, however be warned that you could see your cost per lead increase as a result. 

If you’re a GivePanel customer and want to chat to us about what is best for your next Challenge, get in touch with your Customer Success Manager directly, or via our contact form.

Get in touch with Bluestep

Bluestep Solutions offer stress-free design, production, storage and fulfillment of your Facebook Challenges, so why not take a load off and let the team handle the incentives management of your next Facebook Challenge. 

The Bluesteppers offer a complete package and will support your entire process from start to finish. They have a team of dedicated charity specialists that will deliver kick-ass campaigns for you, all with love and care!

Reach out on 01604 879 608, drop them an email at, or give them a follow on socials!


Co-authored by:

Sasha Wallen  Digital Account Executive

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