The prevalent thinking is that fundraising doesn’t work on Facebook.
This is almost right.
Direct-response fundraising doesn't work on Facebook. Most people won’t leave the newsfeed to fill out a donation form on your website. It’s too much hassle.
But they will set up a Facebook Fundraiser. It's easy and quick. That’s why your charity has income flowing from Facebook every month.
Fundraising is already working on Facebook, but it's community fundraising. It's peer-to-peer.
And the point, which the whole sector has missed, is that you can use Facebook Ads to drive this, at scale.
We do this by setting challenges for people. They set up a Facebook Fundraiser and their friends sponsor them without anybody being forced to leave the app.
You don’t get a lot of data. You don’t put these people on a multi-year journey of upgrades and reactivation. But you do get large quantities of cash donations up-front.
We call these campaigns Facebook Challenges.
They've delivered a return-on-investment of 5.1 for our clients.
Graph updated: 9th September 2019
“The income has been spectacular. I kept asking if we should aim lower than €150,000, but that’s what we raised on Facebook in a month. We’re a small domestic violence charity and I can already see the difference the money is making. We’ve added to our frontline services. Suggestions that have been a ‘No’ for years are now a ‘let’s have a meeting about that.’ It’s amazing to see.”
“12 months ago I wouldn't have believed we could connect with so many dog-loving fundraisers and donors on Facebook. You have to be willing to give things a try. We've learned a lot about the algorithms and how the platform actually works. I'm blown away by our success. The income has been phenomenal and it's helping us save more dogs.”
“With my experience in community fundraising I felt that Facebook would be a natural fit for recruitment and developing supporter relationships. We decided to give it a real go. We were confident that it would work but the scale surprised us... when you crack something you can scale it rapidly. As a result, we've funded a new ECMO Life Support Machine and refurbished a ward.”
Get Your Stories Straight is a digital agency based in Dublin, Ireland. We specialise in Facebook Advertising.
The methods we use are unusual. But they work.
They were developed by trial and error and trial. Most of this was done by Adrian O’Flynn, who started Get Your Stories Straight.
His take on this is:
“I spent 7 years banging my head against the digital fundraising problem, both in-house and as a freelancer. Retention was always easy. Acquisition was always painful.”
“But people only hire you to work on the difficult stuff. So when banner ads, beautiful video campaigns and organic Facebook posts didn’t raise much, I had to keep trying things.”
“I found refuge in Facebook Ads. You can run cheap tests and get learnings and make progress. When you find something that works, the algorithm has your back. You get more donors, for a lower CPA.”
“Then Facebook Fundraisers came along with an avalanche of income that made everything else seem like a waste of time.”