Blog       How Prostate Cancer Research grew their fundraising from £50k to £1 million in 12 months

How Prostate Cancer Research grew their fundraising from £50k to £1 million in 12 months

Is your nonprofit making the most out of the social fundraising ecosystem?

Earlier this year, GivePanel joined Prostate Cancer Research and Social AF (formerly Alderson Fundraising) to consider how nonprofits can maximize their team’s resources, and their social fundraising efforts, through expert support. 

Through a combination of Facebook Challenges, strategic partnerships, and leveraging GivePanel's technology, Prostate Cancer Research were able to skyrocket their fundraising from £50k to over £1 million in just 12 months. Let's take a closer look at the key insights shared and learn how to identify areas of support, leverage expert insights, and grow your social fundraising with a sustainable, flexible model.

Who is Prostate Cancer Research? 

Prostate Cancer Research is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research and raising awareness about prostate cancer, a disease that affects millions of men worldwide. With a mission to improve early detection, treatment options, and ultimately find a cure for prostate cancer, Prostate Cancer Research plays a vital role in the fight against this prevalent and life-threatening condition.

Screenshot of the Prostate Cancer Research website homepage that includes their logo and a photo of two men outside beside a large body of water.

Prostate Cancer Research's website

Prostate Cancer Research have made significant strides in developing their social fundraising strategy and have seen significant growth and impact in a short space of time. In November 2022, they took their first step into Facebook Challenges, running a campaign entirely in-house and raising £50,000 from a modest £30,000 target. Recognizing the potential for further expansion, they sought expert support and strategic partnerships to grow their fundraising efforts. Collaborating with various partners, including Get Your Stories Straight and SocialAF, Prostate Cancer Research leveraged external expertise to drive success and increase their impact. By outsourcing moderation and investing in key areas, they not only increased their fundraising but also strengthened their team's skills, helping them to navigate the complexities of social fundraising with confidence. 

The organization has since orchestrated a series of impactful Challenges; from push-up campaigns to Walk 100 Miles in May, each contributed to their remarkable fundraising increase from £50,000 to an impressive £1 million in just one year. This strategic approach, combined with a commitment to innovation and collaboration, underscores Prostate Cancer Research's dedication to advancing their mission and making a tangible difference in the fight against prostate cancer.

Wondering how your nonprofit can achieve similar success? Our conversation with Prostate Cancer Research and Social AF revealed five key strategies that made all the difference.

5 strategies to grow your fundraising

  1. Partner with the experts

One of the foundational pillars of Prostate Cancer Research's success was their strategic partnerships with organizations like Get Your Stories Straight and Social AF. By tapping into the expertise of these partners, Prostate Cancer Research gained valuable insights and support in areas such as moderation, ad management, and storytelling. These partnerships played a crucial role in growing their fundraising efforts and supporting the team in their development. 

Forming strategic partnerships can be essential for nonprofits looking to excel in Facebook fundraising but it’s important to recognize where support is most needed in your organization first. Prostate Cancer Research’s Senior Events and Community Executive, Charlotte, advises nonprofits to start with an understanding of all elements of a fundraising Challenge, including moderation and platform capabilities, before deciding whether to manage it in-house or seek external partners. 

Are you confident in your content creation but not up to speed with ad management? Know your way around group moderation but need the extra hands for fulfillment? Check out our Partner Marketplace where we list the six expert topics your nonprofit could benefit from support on and find the relevant partners that could help. 

  1. Use educational resources 

Your nonprofit might be confined to a tight budget or it might have the funds to collaborate with experts, but either way, making use of educational resources is essential to growing your social fundraising efforts. 

Unlocking success with GivePanels Facebook Challenges Playbook-1

Helen Alderson, CEO of Social AF, recommends using free resources to educate your team on Facebook fundraising and its capabilities, such as GivePanel’s comprehensive Playbook and blog library. These resources provide useful tips and insights on social fundraising, helping your team understand the platform and its best practices. By using these educational materials, nonprofits can gain a deeper understanding of social fundraising strategies and improve their approach for better results. 

However, if your nonprofit decides to seek expert support, Helen also cautions against merely outsourcing tasks without any engagement from your team. She emphasizes that the true value lies in the collaboration between nonprofits and their partners, offering continuous, customized support that paves the way for fundraising triumphs.

  1. Prepare for challenges

No fundraising campaign is without its challenges. To set your nonprofit up for success, your team should proactively anticipate potential issues that could arise during your event. This could be strong opinions or conflicting viewpoints within your Facebook Group; whatever the issue, make sure you equip yourself with ways to address them effectively and share your intended approach with your team and partners. 

For example, Helen states that clear communication, proactive moderation, and adherence to group rules are essential for maintaining a positive and productive fundraising environment in a Challenge group. 

If an issue does arise, likely, you’re not the first nonprofit to experience it. A top tip of Charlotte’s is to consult your peers in the fundraising community and ask for advice on the problem you’re facing. In our experience, people are happy to share!

Screenshot of a Facebook Group: Facebook fundraising for non-profits - community support group (unofficial)

  1. Foster community engagement

Central to Prostate Cancer Research's fundraising strategy was their focus on fostering community engagement on Facebook. By creating a sense of belonging and connection among their supporters, Prostate Cancer Research was able to cultivate a thriving community of fundraisers dedicated to their cause. Through compelling storytelling, meaningful interactions, and proactive moderation, Prostate Cancer Research built a passionate and dedicated supporter base that drove their fundraising efforts forward.

Engagement is the lifeblood of successful Facebook fundraising campaigns (just check out Social AF’s research for proof!). For that reason, nonprofits looking to grow their social fundraising need to focus their efforts on engaging supporters and creating a sense of community in the group. Here are seven ways you can make that happen, from creating a safe space to concentrating on fun content creation. 

  1. Use the right technology 

Prostate Cancer Research's last step in boosting their fundraising involved using the GivePanel platform, through which they managed their Facebook Challenges, interacted with supporters, and enhanced their fundraising campaigns. With GivePanel's user-friendly interface and innovative features, Prostate Cancer Research could oversee their fundraising from one place and achieve remarkable success.

However, Charlotte emphasizes that the collaboration with GivePanel went beyond a mere supplier relationship. A key instance, she highlights, is GivePanel's assistance during Meta's transition to PayPal Giving Fund. GivePanel's guidance and information sharing played a crucial role in their fundraising development, ensuring Prostate Cancer Research's Challenges continued smoothly and had minimal disruptions. 

In summary, Prostate Cancer Research's incredible fundraising growth from £50k to £1 million in just a year showcases the importance of teamwork, learning, engaging with the community, and using innovative technology. With the right tools, support, and commitment, success in social fundraising is within reach.

Let’s talk

GivePanel is a powerful, easy-to-use platform that helps you grow your fundraising by meeting your supporters where they are - on social media. Our job is to grow your fundraising, social first.

If you’re inspired by Prostate Cancer Research’s success, book a demo with one of our fundraising specialists to see how GivePanel can support you in the same way. 

Related resources 


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