The Fundraiser - Practical advice and insight for the charity sector

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Four ways to use Facebook to boost your non-profit's fundraising efforts

Since Facebook introduced their charitable giving tools in 2015, people worldwide have raised over $1 billion through Facebook fundraisers and donate buttons, and over 20 million people have either donated to or started a fundraiser on Facebook. As opportunities to donate online continue to develop, the frequency of people raising money on behalf of charities and non-profit organisations through Facebook is growing on an annual basis. But how can your charity use social media to boost its fundraising efforts?

1) Connect with your audience

Building a strong community is at the heart of generating donations online, but even more important is being able to connect with your audience. With 41% of worldwide donors giving to crowdfunding campaigns that benefit individuals, cherry-picking powerful stories that best represent the work and commitment of your charity is key to connecting with your audience.

Try thinking of yourself as the user when planning your social media fundraising approach. What do you find interesting or powerful on social media? What makes you go the extra mile for a charitable organisation? Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes Facebook Live of your staff in the office, photos of a recent fundraising event or a video of beneficiaries, building trust and a connection is vital to boosting your charity’s fundraising efforts. 

2) Understand your audience with Facebook analytics

Who are your core audience? Which posts drive the highest number of link clicks and engagement rates? Using Facebook’s free analytics tool can answer these questions to help you plan your social media content and boost your fundraising efforts.

Be sure to check analytics when testing different formats. For example, Facebook Live videos produce six times as many interactions as traditional videos, however, your audience may be less likely to donate with live and reactive content. Continually monitoring and analysing your performance on Facebook will allow you to create bespoke content that better resonates with your audience. As a result, when you’re making the ask for donations, they will be more likely to follow through and commit to your cause.

3) Take advantage of Facebook’s new formats and tools

Year after year, Facebook release new tools to make the platform more engaging for both users and advertisers. Over the last few years, a huge focus has been on charitable donations. In 2018, it was reported that 18% of donors worldwide have given through fundraising tools. Of those, 88% say they are likely to give through Facebook tools in the future. It’s clear to see that although a minority of users have used Facebook’s fundraising tools, of those who have, a high proportion are likely to use them again.

Making it easy for your audience to use these tools is key to generating donations for your organisation. You could, for example, create a simple video that demonstrates how the Facebook Donate Button works. This could be a short, step-by-step video, recording a member of staff from your organisation using the Facebook Donate Button to showcase the tool and educate your audience. 

It’s not only the Donation button that will drive your audience to give to your cause. With 41% of donors giving in response to natural disasters, our friends at Islamic Relief UK are a great example of using Facebook Live to generate fundraising efforts. Where possible, they use Facebook Lives to broadcast relief support in response to natural disasters. This shows their donors and supporters how money raised for natural disaster emergencies is being utilised in real-time. In our latest #MakeItSocial guide, we interview Abdul Basit Ali, Social Media Manager, and Tufail Hussain, Interim UK Director to find out how they are making innovative use of Facebook and their tools. Find out more here!

4) Test and optimise using Facebook ads

Facebook ads are a great way to understand what works well in terms of audience and creatives and don’t require a huge budget or many resources. As a charity, you can test small amounts of budget and use existing creative and copy from different social media posts on your Facebook page. If you only have a small budget, make sure you only test one element at a time, either testing different audiences or creatives. For example, once you have established a pattern with your audience, you can then use your learnings to test creatives against your most engaged audience. Paid media will help you target the right people with the right creative and can ultimately allow your charity to reach a larger audience, generate greater engagement and drive higher conversion.

According to the 2018 Global Trends in Giving Report, Facebook was named the most inspiring giving social media platform, with 56% of people choosing to donate through Facebook, in comparison to 20% who chose Instagram and 13% who chose Twitter. Now is the time for charities and non-profits to capitalise on this, as well as the increasing number of donations, particularly in the run up to Giving Tuesday on 3 December.

Written by Angharad Francis, Community Manager at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities, non-profits and social enterprises better use social media and digital to reach their goals.

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