Leveraging Facebook Fundraising is a bit of a double-edged sword in the nonprofit sector. We’ve hemmed and hawed on this topic before.
Facebook Fundraising: The Pros and Cons
On one hand, Facebook Fundraising makes it easy for users unfamiliar with your nonprofit to find your organization through shared posts and donate without heading to another website. It’s a great catch-all space for potential supporters that stumble upon your page. Supporters can “invite” friends to donate, which can result in donations from users that are learning about your organization for the first time. Revenue is pretty much always welcome, but fostering those relationships with donors is also critical.
On the other hand, Facebook was not built with nonprofits in mind. This fact manifests in a few different ways.
There are significant setbacks to fundraising on Facebook, mainly regarding data. When a supporter donates through a Facebook page, including an email is not a requirement. Continued communication with a new donor isn’t possible unless you’ve got the manpower on staff to acknowledge each gift by commenting through the platform itself. Public perception of Facebook is not what it once was, either. Post-Cambridge Analytica scandal, users have proceeded with caution when choosing to donate through the platform and are adjusting their Facebook habits overall.
What’s New With Facebook Fundraising?
Here’s what’s new since we last covered Facebook fundraising: APIs are on the horizon. Whether the integration will deliver, that is still to be seen.
As Facebook reports, “the Fundraiser API allows a fundraising website to integrate with Facebook to extend the effectiveness, reach and visibility of their campaigns.”
In other words, fundraisers hosted through fundraising platforms like Classy, Funraise, GiveLively, etc. will be able to integrate with Facebook to drive more donations. Ok, that sounds great. But we’re still cautious about what exactly will be possible with this new capability. This feature has yet to be released to the public, but you can learn more about how to apply here.
LiveSTRONG is among the select-few nonprofits that have taken a test drive of this new capability. LiveSTRONG set out to connect their existing fundraiser with Facebook in order to raise more money, decrease the number of non transacting fundraisers, and reach new supporters. To see if Facebook changed the way users donated, LiveSTRONG put the platform to the A/B test. One segment of supporters were prompted to fundraise with Facebook, while the other solely fundraised through a third party fundraising platform. Long story short, they noticed an uptick in donations when supporters connected with Facebook and collected donations from their friends and family.
So, what does this mean for my overall nonprofit fundraising strategy?
Facebook is a great tool to increase visibility and spread awareness for your nonprofit. Designating an extra space to receive donations doesn’t hurt, either. That said, it should not be your sole fundraising strategy. We’re curious to see how this upcoming API integration will work to benefit nonprofit fundraising and the sector overall.
Let’s talk Facebook Fundraising strategy. We’ve got Year-End on the mind.