Blog       How to create a buzz with your Facebook Challenge branding

How to create a buzz with your Facebook Challenge branding

If, like many, branding hasn't been a top priority on your Facebook Challenge checklist, it's time to reconsider. In our most recent GivePanel Stacks webinar, we delved into the pivotal stages where branding becomes the star player, showcasing that leaving a lasting impact doesn't necessarily demand an unlimited budget.

Whether you're a seasoned nonprofit or just dipping your toes into the world of Facebook Challenges, this blog is your go-to resource for creating a buzz that resonates and stands out. From the fundamental question of "What is good branding?" to practical tips on planning, recruitment strategies, and maximizing a limited budget, we've got you covered. 

Read on to find out how we’re mixing strategic branding with social impact to make your Facebook Challenge an unforgettable success.

Watch the webinar

Prefer to tune in? Catch up with our latest Stacks webinar where we cover the key stages of a Facebook Challenge where branding matters most and effective ways to make a meaningful impact, even with a modest budget!

What is good branding?

In the world of Facebook Challenges, we believe good branding is the linchpin of success and in a competitive market, it’s what can set your Challenge apart from the rest. But what does that look like in practice and how do you define good branding? 

Let’s consider what branding is to begin with; Shopify defines branding as “the process of creating a distinct identity in the minds of your target audience and the general population.” It is, essentially, your organization's or product’s fingerprint, making you stand out in the digital crowd. Good branding is about crafting a visual and narrative identity that lingers in the minds of your supporters, cutting through the noise and making your cause and Challenge unforgettable.

As well as being about creating a unique and memorable identity, branding also:

  1. Drives low cost per acquisition: Effective branding is an investment that not only attracts attention but also reduces the cost of gaining support. A well-branded Facebook Challenge becomes a magnet for engagement, making each click and conversion more cost-effective.
  2. Boosts retention and warm acquisition: Think of good branding as the glue that binds supporters to your cause. It's not just about getting attention; it's about keeping it. A memorable brand creates a sense of familiarity, nurturing retention and fostering warm acquisition. People are more likely to engage and contribute when they feel connected to a cause they recognize and trust.
  3. Bridges from Facebook Challenges to corporate funding: Your brand acts as the bridge connecting Facebook Challenges to corporate funding, making your organization an attractive partner. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading for a real-life example!

Common misconceptions

Like everything though, branding comes with its own set of misconceptions and these can often hold nonprofit organizations back from fully investing in this crucial aspect of their Facebook Challenge strategy. Contrary to popular belief, here are four things branding is NOT: 

  1. A waste of money

Shouting it louder for the people in the back, investing in good branding is not a waste of money or a drain on resources. It's a strategic investment that pays dividends in the form of increased engagement, and support, and has an impact on potential future opportunities like corporate partnerships.

  1. A cheap gimmick

Good branding is not a quick fix or a cheap gimmick. It's a thoughtful and intentional investment that requires time, creativity, and resources. The impact of strong branding extends far beyond the immediate, creating a lasting impression on your audience. So when it comes to your next Facebook Challenge, don’t think that you can just throw a cheap incentive your supporter’s way and think that they’re going to get the message! Good incentives are worth the investment and the experts at Bluestep Solutions know all about them. 


  1. Just a brainstorm

While creativity is crucial, good branding goes beyond brainstorming sessions. It involves thorough market research, understanding your audience, and aligning your brand with your mission and values. It's a calculated process that combines creativity with strategy and should form a core part of your Facebook Challenge concept creation.

  1. A shortcut

Just like how a Facebook Challenge should not be viewed in isolation as a one-off event, building a strong brand is not a shortcut to success; it demands substantial effort and dedication. It's a continuous journey of refining and evolving, but the rewards are significant in terms of increased support, credibility, and sustainability.

Planning for Facebook Challenge success

So you now know what good branding looks like but how do you build this into your Facebook Challenge strategy planning and who do you need to make it happen? 

8 weeks before the Challenge start date

Begin by engaging stakeholders and your event team early in the process. To garner their buy-in, present the importance of a strong brand, and remember, timing is crucial; start this process a solid eight weeks before recruitment to avoid any last-minute rush. Not sure what your Facebook Challenge team should look like? Check out our guide to building a perfect Challenge squad.

6 weeks before the Challenge start date

Next up, you’ll need to look at bringing your brand to life. Collaborate with a creative designer (or someone who knows their way around Canva!) and provide them with a comprehensive brief six weeks before recruitment, ensuring they have ample time to craft essential assets such as logos, taglines, banners, e-badges, and merchandise. This step is the visual heartbeat of your Challenge, so invest time and thought into the creative process. If you get it right, this creative can span across several event campaigns and provide a return much greater than the investment. 

2 weeks before the Challenge start date

Finally, your Challenge needs a team of brand ambassadors who embody and represent your brand's identity. Sign them up and brief them well, ideally two weeks before recruitment kicks off. These ambassadors play a crucial role in amplifying your message and fostering a sense of community around your Challenge. And the best bit? You can use this as another opportunity to connect with supporters and recruit volunteers as your brand ambassadors! 

Don’t forget! You need to get stakeholder buy-in during the beginning, middle, and end of your planning process; this will ensure that your team remains aligned with the brand strategy, incorporating valuable insights at every turn.

Can branding help with recruitment?

The answer is a simple, but resounding, yes! Recruitment isn't just about getting participants; it's about getting the right participants. Your Challenge's success hinges on recruiting high-quality leads that will convert into Active Fundraisers from the very beginning. 

This strategy is largely driven by valuable lead magnets; enticing offerings that attract your target audience, and ties into both your brand and Challenge concept. Whether it's t-shirts, medals, or something specific to the Challenge, these magnets can significantly boost recruitment by making your event irresistible and rewarding participation.

Remember, the first step in recruitment is grabbing your audience’s attention so the visuals matter. Compelling visuals have the power to attract attention and engagement and effective branding is the key. Use eye-catching representations of your Challenge across your ads and content, including images, videos, and teaser content that not only communicate your brand but also evoke curiosity and interest through showcasing your lead magnet.

Presentation slide from the webinar. Title is 'Branding during recruitment'. Below are three images showing various images used for Facebook Challenges ads.

What about participation?

When supporters are actively engaged and participating in your Facebook Challenge, the magic really happens and strategic branding can help to elevate this experience, fostering a sense of community and shared achievement. 

Because participation is not just about engagement; it's about creating a vibrant community of advocates. Your supporters can become ambassadors for your cause, but they need the right tools. That’s where your supporter toolkit comes in and here’s everything that we think should be included in it: 

  • Strong cover image: Your supporter needs a cover image that not only stands out but also tells a compelling story at a glance. It's their way of interrupting friends and family from newsfeed scrolling and harnessing their interest straight away. Use our guide to create this correctly for Facebook’s image specifications.   
  • Clear tagline: A clear tagline is the supporter's elevator pitch, succinctly conveying the essence of your cause and why others should get involved by donating or joining the Challenge themselves. 
  • Physical identifier - t-shirt (or other Challenge-related item): Beyond the digital realm, a t-shirt acts as a physical symbol of belonging, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. It can transform them from an individual participant to a proud member of a collective movement.
  • Physical signifier - medal: Medals serve as tangible reminders of achievement, anchoring the supporter’s experience in a concrete symbol of the impact they've made.

Presentation slide from the webinar. Title is 'Branding during participation - help me help you!' Below is a cover image with the Challenge concept

I have a limited budget; how can I brand effectively?

Good news, folks - having a limited budget doesn't mean compromising on the impact of your Facebook Challenge branding! We’ve got some practical tips to help you get the most bang for your buck:

1. Acknowledge the upfront risk

Branding does come with an upfront risk, but it's a risk worth taking. Acknowledge that investing in your Challenge's brand is an essential step toward creating a lasting impact and attracting supporters. The key is to strategize and allocate your budget wisely.

2. Price out different elements

Before diving into branding, price out different elements. Whether it's bespoke t-shirts, medals, or simpler options, understanding the costs allows you to make informed decisions based on your budget constraints.

3. Leverage corporate sponsorship

When it comes to branding on a budget, we’ve saved our favorite strategy for last, and that is involving corporate sponsorship. Events and corporate sponsorship are a natural fit, but we don’t think the pairing is currently utilized to its full potential in the virtual world. 

One shining example of how this can work is the 2023 Dublin Pride Run. The Dublin Pride Run, led by the volunteer committee of Dublin Front Runners, redefined success through strategic branding. Previously relying on budget-friendly t-shirts, they made a bold shift, investing in vibrant branding for their 2023 event. Despite their small size and absence of formal funding, the group committed to their vision and secured £16,000 in corporate sponsorship from various organizations.

This sponsorship covered the cost of eye-catching branded t-shirts and resulted in a remarkable doubling of fundraising income for LGBTQ+ charities. The Dublin Pride Run exemplifies the transformative power of branding on a limited budget, proving that even small nonprofits can make a significant impact with the right strategy to seek corporate partnerships.

One thing is clear: good branding is not just a luxury for the well-funded; it's a strategic necessity for all nonprofits looking to connect with supporters, bridge fundraising opportunities, and amplify their cause. 

Related resources

Sign up to our newsletter

We’re at the cutting edge of Facebook Fundraising and are always finding new ways to support nonprofits to hit their fundraising goals. Sign up to our monthly newsletter for the latest updates.

Sign up