For some nonprofits, Facebook fundraising seems like an ineffective effort. Because the platform provides limited information about the users that launch fundraisers and those who donate to them, it can be challenging to actually steward the participants of these efforts for long-term donor relationships.
However, seeing as Facebook fundraising has raised $3 billion+ for nonprofits through the efforts of 45 million+ fundraiser participants, the platform can hardly be ignored. Nonprofit supporters are active on Facebook and if your nonprofit chooses not to steward them, you’re leaving valuable relationships on the table.
We’ve compiled a few of those best practices into tips that your organization can incorporate into your next social media campaign. Explore our tips for stewarding Facebook fundraiser participants through the following points:
Before we dive into our top tips for stewarding Facebook fundraiser participants, let’s walk through a quick overview of Facebook fundraising in general. This ensures that we’re all working from the same foundation before moving forward.
Overview of Facebook Fundraising
Facebook fundraising encompasses a variety of tools that empower nonprofit supporters to raise money for or donate to their favorite charities directly through the popular social network.
Most often, this is done through Facebook fundraisers. These are essentially peer-to-peer fundraisers, except rather than raising funds through a peer-to-peer platform, the funds are raised using Facebook’s fundraising tools. These fundraisers are initiated by Facebook users and generally follow this process:
- A user chooses to conduct a Facebook fundraiser.
- Using Facebook’s fundraising tools, they designate a beneficiary (your nonprofit) and write a personalized message to accompany the effort.
- They share the fundraiser with their friends, family, and acquaintances directly on the Facebook Timeline.
- The user’s Facebook friends donate to the fundraiser, and these donations are routed to your nonprofit.
There are a variety of scenarios in which these fundraisers can be conducted. For example, a Facebook user can “donate their birthday” and raise donations for your nonprofit on their special day. Or, you could hold a virtual peer-to-peer fundraising event where event participants raise donations through individual Facebook fundraisers.
When it comes to Facebook fundraiser “participants,” we’re generally referring to two main groups: the users who start fundraisers and the donors who give to them.
Due to Facebook’s privacy policies, there is limited information available about these two groups. However, there are methods that your team can use to connect with these participants and begin building life-long relationships.
Continue reading to learn how.
5 Tips to Steward Facebook Fundraiser Participants
1. Thank each user that started a fundraiser on your behalf.
Let’s begin with tips to steward the users who start fundraisers on behalf of your nonprofit. Because they’re raising funds for your nonprofit, you can be confident that they already have some existing knowledge or interest in your organization. But, that doesn’t mean you can sit back, relax, and simply benefit from their efforts!
Our first tip is to send a personalized thank you to the user who started the fundraiser. We recommend thanking each and every user that starts a fundraiser— either directly as a comment on their campaign, or on their Facebook page itself.
You can discover these fundraising campaigns by navigating to your nonprofit’s profile, accessing the “Fundraising” section, and using the newly unveiled Sort & Filter tool.
Sort and filter the fundraisers by creation date and status. Then, send thank-yous to the most recently created fundraisers that are active and ongoing! By doing so, each user knows that you are aware of and appreciate their effort. Plus, this initial communication can be the perfect segway into our next tip.
2. Communicate with the user throughout their campaign.
As with any other fundraising effort, a user can’t simply share the fundraiser with their Facebook friends once and call it a day. If they don’t actively promote the effort, they run the risk of having a zero-dollar fundraiser, something that has negative impacts for your nonprofit and the supporter alike.
Communicating with users who start fundraisers throughout their campaign provides an opportunity to share tips, tricks, and other motivators that drive the campaign further.
This could be as simple as telling the supporter that they can reach out to your team for tips and advice to help power their campaign to success. Share an email address when you send your initial thank-you and be prepared for questions!
Or, it could mean that you communicate with the fundraiser via Facebook Messenger, sharing tips, encouragement, and advice to help the user fundraise successfully.
Staying in touch for the duration of their fundraising campaigns is a great way to communicate clearly and show users that you’re invested in their success.
3. Use Facebook fundraising groups to create a community.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, Facebook fundraising has expanded beyond one-off, supporter-initiated campaigns. In fact, the social network is now the perfect platform to host virtual peer-to-peer fundraising events.
Just as with any other virtual peer-to-peer event, your supporters sign up to raise funds from their peers. But, instead of equipping them with personal fundraising pages via a separate peer-to-peer platform, the participants create Facebook fundraisers to seek donations from their peers.
With a non-virtual peer-to-peer event, these supporters would participate in a “challenge” aspect at the culmination of the event. This could be a 5k race, a walk-a-thon, or even a reading challenge! How can you replicate that atmosphere with a virtual event, where supporters complete the final challenge independently?
Use Facebook groups to create a community.
Create a Facebook group dedicated to the fundraising event and invite all participants to join. Encourage them to network with one another, share fundraising tips and ideas, and maybe even their training regimen if there is a physical challenge (like the aforementioned 5k race) involved.
This strategy not only creates a community for participants to engage with one another, similar to the in-person events, but also empowers your team to monitor the group’s messaging and be sure your nonprofit’s branding is maintained.
4. Make the most of any donor contact information provided.
One of the challenges of Facebook fundraising is that the platform’s privacy policies can drastically limit the information available about donors to Facebook fundraisers. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with and steward those donors for continued support beyond the campaign they donated to!
There are a variety of ways that you can connect, thank, and share information with Facebook fundraising donors, like posting a thank you to the fundraiser organizer’s wall.
However, we’re going to focus on one strategy — making the most of the donor contact information provided.
If your nonprofit registers for Facebook’s fundraising tools and signs up for Facebook Payments, you may be able to access the contact information of some of your Facebook donors. This isn’t guaranteed, as this information is only available if the donor opts-in to share it. However, when available, we recommend reaching out to those donors after you receive their donations with a personalized thank-you note.
A great donor thank-you letter not only shows your appreciation but also increases the chances that the donor gives again in the future!
5. Share additional resources for future engagement.
So far, we’ve stressed the importance of thanking Facebook fundraiser participants. That’s a crucial first step in stewarding these participants and lays the foundation for a long-term relationship between them and your organization.
Note how we said that it’s a first step. Effective donor stewardship is an ongoing process that continually draws donors closer to your organization and encourages repeat giving in the future.
That brings us to our final tip:
Share additional resources to encourage fundraiser participants to continue engaging with your organization.
There are a few ways to do this. For example, while thanking donors, direct them to your nonprofit’s website with links to educational resources and volunteer opportunities. Or, you could utilize Facebook’s ad retargeting tools to share future fundraising opportunities with Facebook users who have already engaged with your nonprofit on the platform. With these strategies, you’ll engage Facebook fundraiser participants beyond the initial campaign they engaged with.
When you consider the above tips, they can be boiled down to two main efforts: thanking participants and providing opportunities for engagement.
One of the main complaints that nonprofits have about Facebook fundraising is that it’s hard to connect with and engage participants for the long run. However, as we’ve seen, there are a variety of ways to steward Facebook fundraiser participants during the campaign and well beyond!