To Facebook Fundraise or Not?

Rob Winters Blog

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m conflicted when it comes to Facebook Fundraisers. It seems like the ideal solution. In roughly three clicks I can launch a simple fundraiser on my organization’s Page and begin collecting donations from followers and all of their friends. What could go wrong? Well, let’s break it down into a few categories rather than being completely cynical and pessimistic.

The Good:

  • Setup is quick and easy
  • Can setup as an individual or as an organization
  • Can share on my page, and with friends, in a few clicks

The Bad:

  • There is a delay in receipt of funds for the organization
  • Giving is not as limitless as promoted
  • Examples:
    • A recent donor we encountered in Europe, making a €250 gift received an over limit error
    • Users on Giving Tuesday 2020 received time out errors when using PayPal

The Ugly:

  • Data exports only provide first and last name, in the best case scenario
  • I can’t provide proper thank you follow ups, as I have no user contact data
  • Importing these donations into my database to create a complete user giving history adds a number of records…with no practical way of future engagement

So, what is the best way to create micro-fundraisers? The best solution is to create forms through your existing fundraising tools and have a specific page on your website devoted to that form with minimal content. This can be a page that is used over and over, only changing out the form as campaigns change throughout the year.

For example, Engaged Donor allows users to take the snippet code for any form and place it on any page, meaning it can be changed out with a few clicks. Additionally, if the Social Fundraising, or 3rd Party Fundraising (peer to peer) is the goal, but it’s not associated with a traditional event, you can define it any way you like. American Liver Foundation created Make a Difference with Engaged Donor and allows users to create their own fundraising pages in 5 different categories, aka registration forms, all within a single event.

By keeping your fundraising on a form you control, you capture the user contact data, which is as valuable, if not more, than the donation itself. When the individual gives, they are opening the door to a relationship. You want to cultivate this by reaching out through text or email to turn a one time donor into a life long supporter. Facebook, with their limited sharing of user data, doesn’t allow this type of relationship to cultivate with anyone other than Facebook.

External Source: Facebook Fundraising Help Center

Chief Operating Officer at Adcieo; a software and services company that provides professional marketing services and a suite of constituent management and fundraising tools.