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Canteen Australia

How Canteen Australia managed to triple its expected income on its very first Facebook Challenge


Health and Medical



Solutions used:

Facebook Challenges


GivePanel Partner

In just 3 and a half weeks, Canteen had agreed on a Challenge concept, developed event assets, and began advertising for its first ever Facebook Challenge.

Elizabeth Kwan and Helen Day, Digital P2P Fundraising Campaign Specialists at Canteen, shared their incredible results.

Set the scene

Who is Canteen?

Canteen is an Australian not-for-profit that provides free and tailored support to young people aged 12-25 who are impacted by cancer. Canteen provides:

  • connection with peers in similar situations through events and programs
  • free counseling and individual support
  • 24/7 online support services for young people and parents 
  • access to free information and resources
  • specialist support services for young cancer patients

After connecting with GivePanel, Canteen was keen to launch its first ‘test and learn’ event for Facebook, having already seen the success of similar charities in the UK. They had intended for this to be a small pilot, however it exceeded all expectations with over 5,000 people joining their Facebook Challenge group, together raising over $300,000.

What people are saying

GivePanel had the platform to enable us to retrieve, match and track fundraiser data. The platform was able to also send our emails and execute on-page messaging which was a great bonus in terms of being able to steward our fundraisers all in the one place. GivePanel was able to provide insights and advice on how to set-up and execute Facebook fundraising based on industry knowledge in the UK.

- Elizabeth Kwan

The challenge

100 Sit-Ups a Day in November

A Facebook Challenge is a virtual event that runs solely on Facebook and leverages the power of social networking through ads, groups, and fundraisers. This means: 

  • Lower acquisition costs
  • More fundraisers
  • And no fundraising platform costs!

In November 2021, Canteen launched their first-ever Facebook Challenge of 100 Sit-Ups a Day in November. 

Canteen partnered with agency, Elevate Fundraising, to run Facebook ads for their Facebook Challenge. These ads used broad targeting for the whole of Australia and were focused on the Challenge, the benefit of joining a Facebook group, and made reference to a t-shirt incentive that would be received by everyone who registered. 

Canteen has both a strong brand recognition and supporter base which meant they could keep fundraising messaging within the ads to a minimum. 

Before the Challenge started, Canteen’s main call-to-actions for their Challenge participants were to register and set their fundraisers up. Once the challenge began, the focus shifted to supporting and encouraging those taking part. Due to the initial group engagement, Challenge participants naturally posted on why they were doing the Challenge and supporting Canteen.

From their experience with 100 Sit-Ups a Day in November, Canteen adapted their next Facebook Challenge in the following three ways: 

  • A group posting schedule was created in advance, giving the team a better structure for group engagement and more time to react to group posts. 
  • More frequent posts reminding participants of the registration process were added to the beginning of the content schedule to encourage more active fundraisers within the group. 
  • They increased their ad budget to allow them to recruit even more people into the group. 

The GivePanel difference

Meeting supporters where they are

With‭ ‬GivePanel‭ ‬you can run virtual events and challenges entirely on Facebook and manage all of your data with ease‭. ‬Our Facebook Group event registration forms sync with Facebook transaction data so that you have all of your data in one place‭. ‬Our fundraiser engagement and messages tools mean that you can give Facebook fundraisers the experience they deserve resulting in more contact details collected and funds raised‭.‬

GivePanel‭ ‬gives you the analytics and reports you need to track campaigns and enables you to build custom imports for your CRM‭. ‬All of this saves significant staff time‭, ‬allowing you to focus on what matters‭ ‬‮–‬‭ ‬fundraising‭!‬

As well as our online platform‭, ‬GivePanel‭ ‬offers a range of consultancy and outsourcing services for nonprofits to help them get to the next level with Facebook fundraising‭.‬

The results

The Challenge in numbers


Group Members


Active Fundraisers


Average Raised


Total Raised

Final thoughts

What's next for Canteen?

Canteen had originally aimed to raise AU$120,000 with 100 Sit-Ups a Day in November but the Challenge raised over three times that initial amount. 

Following the phenomenal success of their first Facebook Challenge, Canteen:

  • Recommend GivePanel to other nonprofits 
  • Recommend Facebook Challenges as a viable income source 
  • Turned Facebook Challenges into an annual repeated income stream – with three per year planned! 
  • Is in the process of testing stewardship post-challenge participants into a regular donor conversion journey via email and telemarketing

Elizabeth Kwan


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