Blog       Here’s how to raise an easy €1000 for your charity at Christmas

Here’s how to raise an easy €1000 for your charity at Christmas

In this post, Adrian shares how your charity can easily raise €1,000 on Facebook for just €100 investment. Adrian O’Flynn is Creative Director at Get Your Stories Straight, an agency based in Dublin which helps charities raise more money on Facebook.

It’s that time of the year again…

In early November, It's Christmas time in direct-mail-land. I've sat in the review meetings and I know this method of fundraising really works. But, somehow, it leads fundraising teams to send email appeals and ask on social media far too early.

It’s Christmas time on the internet when people finish their last day of work and this year Christmas starts on December 20th.

In this post, I’m going to show you why you should invest a small amount of money into a Facebook ad to increase your donations. I’m challenging you to raise €1,000 by only spending €100.

Make it easy

By far and away the most underestimated aspect of digital fundraising, at all times of year, is easiness.

The easier it is, the more money you get. Pretty simple really.

Once, I removed phone and address fields from a donation form and the conversion rate doubled. Same design, same everything and instead of 19% of people donating, it was 38%.

People hate complexity and they hate jumping through hoops. And they live in a permanent state of semi-overwhelm. They are just about able to get through all the administrative details the modern world throws at them and if you add to this, they'll resent you for it.

Many, many digital fundraising ships have perished on the rocks of complex, long and slow and I've been at the helm of dozens of these.

Facebook’s Prerogative

Facebook are in the business of giving people what they want, faster and faster.

Just look at how theyve evolved the Facebook Fundraiser set-up process. It's now two thumb taps to set up a Facebook Fundraiser. Tap. Tap. That’s it.

Facebook get it because they understand people. They know they want slick, easy and clean. That’s why they’ve endured and continue to grow.

But what about the data?

Most people don’t want to give you their data, but you’ve seen and felt the value of data and the retention campaigns it enables. You’ve personal experience of this. It’s a real and tangible way to help the people you’re tasked with helping.

Much more real and tangible than anything on a social media app.

So let’s leave the big-picture, strategic debate for another day.

Instead, I’ll give you three good reasons to spend €100 and 15 minutes on the tactic I’m recommending here.

  1. Only 10% to 15% of new cash donors on your website will give again
  2. Only 15% of people give via direct mail
  3. Only 1% 2% of your warm Facebook followers will convert on your website

1. Only 10% to 15% of new cash donors on your website will give again

Out of the die-hards who wade through your website donation form and give you their name, email address, phone number and postal address, only 10% to 15% will donate again.

Add to this an inconsistent email programme and this will be lower.

If you have a strong automated email journey to welcome and inspire new donors, this might be 25%. But I’m betting that you don’t.

2. Only 15% of people give via direct mail

Let’s be honest about it, it’s the postal address you really want because that has proven to have the most valuable information. And you suspect that even if you only got a few postal addresses, that would be better than whatever you’d get on Facebook.

But in Ireland, for example, over 50% of people say they give to charity every year. 15% give via direct mail and you’ve already put the time, thought and tactics into targeting that segment. This tactic is for the 35% who are charitable, but don’t use the post.

Consider it a way to diversify your Christmas appeal.

3. Only 1% 2% of your warm Facebook followers will convert on your website

This is the depressing reality. This is the reason why you probably didn’t bother using your Christmas appeal on Facebook last year. People really don’t want to leave a social media app, where their friends are, and head over to their Chrome browser and wait for some static charity web page to load.

Recently I clicked ‘Donate now’ on a major charity’s Facebook post when I only had two bars of reception on my Samsung. It took 26 seconds for the donation form to load… that’s an eternity.

So, depending on how easy your donation form is to fill out, a mere 1% to 2% of people who read your Christmas Appeal on Facebook and click Donate Now will actually donate. But if you ask the same people to donate within Facebook, 10% to 20% will donate.

The real KPI is money, not data

The real KPI is total Euros raised to help the people who need your help.

Sometimes, in the 21st century, you should sacrifice the data to make that KPI go up.

Here are three examples from last December, where clients of ours have done this successfully.

€2,855 for Womens Aid

Women's Aid Facebook post

€5,647 for Dogs Trust Ireland

Dogs Trust Ireland fundraiser

€692 for Barnardos Ireland

Barnardos Ireland Facebook post

Your complete plan to raising €1,000

Now that I’ve persuaded you to give this a go, here are the exact 15 steps you should take on the 20th of December at 11.30am:

  1. Copy a gripping line that introduces the person and paste it into a new Facebook post
  2. Copy and paste 3 to 5 lines which summarises the difficulty they are facing, or one memorable aspect of it
  3. Copy and paste the line before the final call-to-action
  4. Put all of these sentences in inverted commas
  5. Hit enter twice
  6. Type the name of the signatory on the direct mail piece
  7. Hit enter twice
  8. Copy and paste the final call-to-action
  9. Click 'Support charity' and select your charity
  10. Click 'Boost post'
  11. Select 'People who like your page' as the Audience.
  12. Select 5 days as the Duration
  13. Select €100 as your Total budget (If your audience is larger than 20,000 people, you can spend more on this.)
  14. Click 'Set budget'
  15. Click 'Share now'

How this worked for Concern Worldwide

To help you execute this, I’ve gone to my former employer’s website, found their Christmas Appeal and went through all of the steps above.

It’s a walk-through and a talk-through and I think you’ll find it helpful.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s a screenshot of what the post looked like (on our FB page):

Concern Ireland Facebook Fundraiser

Now it’s your turn

If you’re feeling enthused, this is what I’d suggest you do for Facebook and Email. Take a different image and aspect of the direct mail pack and create a second appeal.

  • Facebook donate post on December 20th, 11.30am, boosted for 4 days.
  • Email appeal on December 21st, 9am
  • Facebook donate post no. 2 on December 24th, 9am, boosted for 2 days.
  • Email appeal on December 24th, 9am
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