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How Dementia Australia connected with a new audience for a fundraising breakthrough
New to Facebook fundraising, but keen to increase their fundraising revenue, Dementia Australia ran their first ever Facebook Challenge in 2023 of 100 Crunches in June.
At Dementia Australia, making a meaningful impact on the lives of those impacted by dementia is more than just a mission - it's a commitment. We sat down with two key members of their digital fundraising team, Ligia Alves and Sheridan Jones, to delve into their innovative strategies and challenges in the world of online fundraising, in particular their latest exploration into Facebook Challenges.
Who is Dementia Australia?
Dementia Australia represents the estimated 400,000 Australians living with dementia and the almost 1.6 million Australians involved in their care. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and there is no cure. They offer a comprehensive range of services, from essential education and counseling to a round-the-clock helpline, as well as spearheading crucial research through their Dementia Australia Research Foundation. With such an expansive reach, Dementia Australia plays a pivotal role in improving the lives of those impacted by dementia.
The team leverages the power of digital channels to amplify their fundraising efforts across a diverse range of initiatives, including individual giving, community fundraising, campaigns, and flagship events such as their “Memory Walk & Jog”. In order to effectively communicate with both service users and supporters, the team employs a dual Facebook page strategy. On their main page, the tone is informative and formal, providing valuable insights into dementia-related matters. In contrast, their fundraising page emanates an upbeat and engaging vibe, rallying supporters behind their cause. By splitting the messaging between audiences, Dementia Australia can ensure their content resonates in the right way.
In their pursuit of fresh and innovative fundraising strategies, Dementia Australia entered 2023 with their sights set on Facebook Challenges. This approach, popularized by other successful charities, caught their attention as a unique way to engage their community and raise the bar for their fundraising initiatives.
100 Crunches in June
A Facebook Challenge is a virtual event that runs on Facebook and leverages the power of social networking through ads, groups and fundraisers. This means:
- Lower acquisition costs
- More fundraisers
- And a chance to meet supporters where they already are!
Dementia Australia were keen to avoid overlap with their existing fundraising efforts and wanted to stand out from the crowd so decided on the Facebook Challenge concept of 100 Crunches in June. Here are four things to note about their pilot Challenge:
- The team managed their Facebook Challenge solely in-house by a two-person team. That includes packing of incentives and group management!
- 100% of the Facebook Challenge supporters were new to the organization and were primarily women, aged 45+. This means that the team now have the opportunity to engage supporters further into various fundraising initiatives and tap into an audience they weren’t previously reaching.
- As well as a hat incentive for registration, Dementia Australia also included a $100 target incentive of a t-shirt for Fundraisers which acted as a powerful motivator for the group.
- With only two full-time staff managing the Challenge, the team relied on group members to support each other. Challenge Champions emerged organically from the Facebook group and, empowered by positive feedback from Dementia Australia, they became proactive voices, rallying others and embracing a pivotal role in driving engagement.
The Challenge in numbers
Top tips from Dementia Australia
Whilst their initial goal was to simply recoup expenses and gain experience, Dementia Australia’s first pilot Facebook Challenge resulted in so much more and was a testament to the team’s passion and engagement with their community. With more Facebook Challenges planned for the future, we asked the team for their top tips to give to Facebook Challenge newbies:
- Embrace the Opportunity: Consider trying out Facebook Challenges to tap into the uncharted potential of community engagement and fundraising.
- Fuel Passion and Commitment: The heart of any successful Challenge lies in the passion and commitment to connect with your community on a meaningful level. Authenticity shines through!
- Transparent Communication: Transparent and clear communication with participants is paramount. Keeping supporters informed and engaged ensures a positive experience throughout the journey.
- Preparation is Key: Anticipate challenges and prepare content well in advance. It’s better to be over-prepared than under but don’t be afraid to pivot when you need to!
- Impact Goes Beyond Funds: Remember that the success of engagement and positive impact often correlates with fundraising results. Building a strong, connected community is as important as meeting financial targets.