Complete Guide: How to Raise Funds on Facebook (with examples)

Terry Ibele 12 March 2018 4 comments

This is a guest blog post by Julia Campbell, a nonprofit digital marketing and online fundraising strategists.

Facebook Fundraising Tools

With over 2 billion active monthly users (450 million of them connected to nonprofit Pages), it may seem like Facebook is an easy place to look for potential donors and other supporters for your organization. 

But to many nonprofits, Facebook can be something of a riddle. Should we use it raise money? Does it really work? Is it going to take too much staff time to figure out? Do we have to spend hundreds of dollars on ads?

Having worked with dozens of nonprofits on their online fundraising campaigns over the years, I can tell you that you do not have to have a full time marketing person and a huge budget to get started with Facebook’s free fundraising tools. 

For example, the Polaris Project in Washington, DC registered with Facebook just in time for Giving Tuesday in 2017. Without doing any promotion, the small nonprofit raised close to $14,000 directly through the platform on Giving Tuesday and throughout year-end. 

They now use Facebook as one of their main peer-to-peer fundraising tools, and highlight individual fundraisers on their Page: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

In this article, I will provide an up-to-date overview of the 5 main ways you can leverage Facebook’s suite of free fundraising tools to drive donations to your nonprofit.  

I'll also answer questions like how to do a fundraiser on Facebook, and how to set up a donation page on Facebook.

 

How to Register and Set It Up

There are two main options when setting up your Facebook fundraising tools. You can set it up so that if a potential donor clicks on your Donate call-to-action button, (1) they go to the donation form on your website, outside Facebook, or (2) they can make a donation directly inside Facebook with 2 taps. 

If you choose option 1, you can start right away, no registration necessary. The donation will be processed through your payment processor. 

If choose option 2, and you want to raise money on Facebook in just two taps, there are some things to consider: 

  • 100% of donations made through Facebook Payments to nonprofits now go directly to those organizations. 
  • U.S.-based charities must be a 501(c)(3) organization, registered with the IRS, have a tax ID number and have a bank account registered with a licensed financial services institution.
    Only one Facebook Page can have the Donate button per IRS EIN (tax number). 
  • You may think that option 1 sounds pretty good - “Hey, our nonprofit doesn’t need to go through all the hoops required to register officially with Facebook! We can just send people over to our website to make their donation.” 

But, let’s think about this for a second. 

What’s easier for a potential donor? To leave Facebook, click over to your website, probably from a smartphone, then fill out your long donation form, then find a credit card to enter, then enter the credit card? That takes time and attention and will result in fewer conversions. 

Let me show you an example. 

I recently made a $5 donation to the Humane Society of the United States. Here’s how I did it.

First, I clicked over to their Page: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

Then, I clicked on the Donate button: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

Next, I selected $5. Facebook saves my credit card info, so I don’t have to scramble to find it and enter it. I then clicked Donate again:

Facebook Fundraising Tools

A screen popped up, inviting me to share my donation on my Facebook profile, check a box to sign up for email (I did), or see the receipt from my donation. 

I then received an email receipt: 

How to Raise Funds on Facebook

Easy peasy! 

The main pro to getting donations via the Facebook platform is ease of use for the donor. If your goal is purely revenue, then this is surely going to convert at a much higher rate than your website donation page. 

However, if you have a goal to grow your house file, therein lies the rub - Facebook gives complete control to the donor. If I don’t click the “check this box to sign up for the email list”, then you only receive my name and no other information about me. Nonprofits at this time are not able to personalize the donation receipt either.  

If you decide to register officially with Facebook (and I highly recommend that you do), then there are 6 ways you can leverage the site to raise money for your organization. 

 

The 6 ways to Raise Funds on Facebook using Facebook's Fundraising Tools

 

1) Collect Donations When People Visit Your Page via the Page Donate Button

Facebook has set up a number of tools to help you fundraise, but this is by far the most popular way to get donations from Facebook. When you create a Facebook Page for your nonprofit, Facebook allows you to put a call-to-action button on your cover photo: 

How to Raise Funds on Facebook

To start, first create your organization’s Facebook Page, then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your Page Category is set to Nonprofit Organization (visit the About section of your Page to see the Category). NOTE: You must be an Administrator of the Facebook Page to make these changes. 
  2. Click on the call-to-action button on your Page and select Edit Button. 
  3. Then select: Shop with you or make a donation, then select Donate, then click on Next.

    How to Raise Funds on Facebook
  4. If you are registered with Facebook, you will see an option to collect donations within Facebook. If you are not registered, you will see an option to add a Website Link. in this case, simply copy and paste the link to your donate page on your website. 

    How to Raise Funds on Facebook

2) Collect Donations Directly from Your Facebook Page Posts

You can add a donate button to your Page posts to allow people to donate without leaving Facebook.

This tool makes it easy for supporters to donate when they are inspired to give. 

How to Raise Funds on Facebook

 

3) Collect Donations from Your Facebook Ads

If you’d like to make it easier to collect donations from your Facebook ads, you can add a donate button.

It will look like this: 

How to Raise Funds on Facebook

 

4) Collect Donations During Your Facebook Page Live Streams

Before going live, tap on the “…” button for more options on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Tap “add donate button” and select a nonprofit.

Go live, and the donate button for the nonprofit you selected will be attached to the bottom of your live video, allowing friends or fans to donate directly from the video as they watch or after you post the video to your page.

People will be able to see how much money has been raised. 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

Pop star Ariana Grande used this tool to raise money after the Manchester UK shooting at her concert: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

 

5) Enable Individual Members of Your Network to Ask Their Friends and Family for Donations Through Facebook Fundraisers

Facebook Fundraisers exploded on Giving Tuesday - I donated personally to three of them! 

Fundraisers allow individual users on Facebook to raise money for causes directly from their Facebook Profiles.

These are not available to Pages to create and run, just individual Profiles.

The resulting campaign looks just like a peer-to-peer or crowdfunding page, but is completely hosted on Facebook. 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

Facebook users can then share the Fundraiser directly on their profiles and in their Feeds: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

The Polaris Project, based on their Giving Tuesday and year-end fundraising success with Facebook Fundraisers, now features them prominently on their Facebook Page: 

Facebook Fundraising Tools

To try this yourself, simply go to Facebook’s Fundraiser page where you can create your own personal campaign.

 

6) Collect Donations via Facebook Fundraiser Live Streams

Once a person has created a fundraiser, they can add the donate button to a live video to allow viewers to donate to their fundraiser.  People can then donate during the live video or from the published recording of the live video. 

This is a great way to take advantage of the growing video engagement on Facebook. Here's an example of what this looks like:

Facebook Fundraising Tools

If you have any concerns about how Facebook handles your fundraiser, head on over to their fundraising and donation help site, where they’ve answered a number of common questions.

 

One Final Word

Facebook shouldn’t be used like an ATM machine for donors. Success on the world’s biggest social network requires persistence, creativity, and dedication. 

If you’d like any help to raise funds on Facebook, or with creating your Facebook fundraising campaign, feel free to get in touch with me

All the best with your online fundraising plans! 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Fundraising event checklist download

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Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Posted by Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Published Monday, 12 March 2018 at 3:27 PM

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Comments

  • Mendy Rosenfeld said:

    Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 3:29 PM
    Does Facebook in Canada have the same arrangements for Canadian Charities?
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 4:48 PM
    Hi Mendy,

    Great question! Yes, Facebook has the same arrangement for fundraising in Canada.
  • Godsway said:

    Monday, 04 June 2018 at 1:57 PM
    I am from Ghana can I use facebook page for my fund raising from user's?
  • Jon Biedermann said:

    Friday, 08 June 2018 at 9:42 PM
    I am going on the record and saying that the most part, Facebook Fundraising as it stands now is a money losing venture for nonprofits. The reason is that a donation is just the tip of an iceberg to a nonprofit. By knowing more about the donor- including their name and email address- a nonprofit can properly cultivate the donor for future gifts.

    Make no mistake- the reason that Facebook makes it 'free' is because they make money on the data, and more than the nonprofit.
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