When it comes to online fundraising, there’s one social media platform that—for better or worse—is too big to ignore: Facebook.
So, how can you make Facebook fundraisers work for your organization? We’ve got the lowdown on the best ways to raise money on Facebook, including:
- How to set up a fundraiser on Facebook
- Pros and cons of Facebook fundraising
- 6 quick tips to raise more in your next Facebook fundraiser
How to set up a fundraiser on Facebook
Since 2015, Facebook has unveiled a variety of fundraising tools for both charitable organizations and personal crowdfunding (medical emergencies, travel expenses, etc.). But as of November 2022, individuals are no longer allowed to fundraise for personal causes on Facebook.
Here’s a rundown of the two most popular tools that verified nonprofits and their individual supporters can continue to use to raise money on the platform:
1. Facebook donate button 💸
You can add a Facebook donate button to your organization’s Facebook page, posts, paid ads, and Facebook Live videos. The donate button is a convenient way for supporters to contribute to your cause without having to leave Facebook or create an account elsewhere. When a supporter fundraises on your organization’s behalf, your donate button appears on their personal page, too.
2. Facebook fundraising pages 📣
The bread and butter of raising money on Facebook, peer-to-peer fundraising pages bring in a whopping 97% of all nonprofits’ revenue from the platform. Both organizations and your individual supporters can create a dedicated Facebook page to raise money for your mission, but as with the Facebook donate button, you need to be a verified 501(c)(3) nonprofit to receive any funds.
The highlight of this tool is the Supporter Fundraiser. Anyone (aged 18 or older) can spin up personal fundraisers on behalf of your nonprofit for their birthday, another special occasion, or just because they care. This opens the door to stress-free crowdfunding. Like a typical Facebook page, it’s simple to add a cover photo, description, posts, and links. You can also set a fundraising goal, celebrate milestones, and match donations.
⭐ Note: In order to activate most Facebook Fundraising Tools, you first need to apply for Meta Pay—which can take up to three weeks to be approved for. To be approved, you must:
✅ Be a nonprofit in the US
✅ Be a 501(c)(3) charitable organization verified by the IRS
✅ Have a tax ID number and a bank account that’s registered with a licensed financial institution
Organizations that haven’t yet applied or shared their bank account info are processed instead through Network For Good’s Donor Advised Fund, which has limited functionality.
The pros and cons of fundraising on Facebook
Facebook fundraising has brought in more than $5B (and counting) for charity and individual causes (mostly from small donations of less than $25). While these numbers tell an exciting story, many nonprofits continue to have a love-hate relationship with raising money on the platform.
On the plus side, fundraising on Facebook is:
👍 Quick to launch: Once your nonprofit is verified, creating a Facebook fundraising page takes just a few steps.
👍 Easy for donors: Facebook users have the option of linking their credit card or payment information right to their Facebook account, making donating secure and speedy.
👍 Largely fee-free: Facebook no longer charges platform fees for verified nonprofits and even covers payment processing fees.
👍 Ripe for reaching new supporters: Roughly 7 in 10 U.S. adults use Facebook—that’s 190 million potential donors, volunteers, and champions for your nonprofit. And that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 3 billion active Facebook users worldwide.
Nonprofits also face several drawbacks when fundraising directly through Facebook, including:
👎 Lack of donor data: Facebook doesn’t share your donors’ contact information (not even email addresses) unless donors opt in—and few do. This enormously limits your ability to thank new donors and welcome them to your cause, which are primary ways that nonprofits retain and grow relationships with their supporters.
👎 Payout delays and limitations: For organizations approved for Facebook Fundraising Tools and Meta Pay, payouts can take between two weeks and a month. For those still with the Network For Good’s Donor Advised Fund, it can take up to 75 days to get access to your funds. If your nonprofit has a sudden need for funds, like a budget shortfall or a request for disaster relief, you’ll be in a pinch.
👎 Growing public distrust: Between privacy concerns, “fake news,” and data breaches, public perception of Facebook is a rollercoaster, to say the least. If users don’t trust Facebook, they’ll be wary of entering their payment details to donate. There’s a risk of losing donors with each scandal.
I love that Facebook donations exist, but I would always recommend using what you’re already using for collecting donations and processing transactions. It’s very hard to get the data from Facebook, so I definitely recommend using your own fundraising platform and page. A major part of your future success comes from relying on the data that you have—you use the data to make decisions for you, and you’re able to speak to your donors and build relationships with them.
— Floyd Jones, Givebutter Community & Partnerships
6 tips for successful fundraising on Facebook
These six tips will help you incorporate Facebook into your fundraising strategy and make the most of a hugely popular social media platform.
1. Drive donations to a fundraising platform instead 🧈
Hosting your campaign on an actual fundraising platform instead of creating a Facebook fundraiser allows you to get most of the benefits of fundraising on Facebook while experiencing fewer drawbacks.
When you create a fundraiser on Givebutter instead of on Facebook, you can share your campaigns and promote events on Facebook, all while collecting valuable donor data and enjoying much faster payouts of your funds. Plus, you get instant access to 100+ free fundraising features and integrations, including a simplified donor database, one-click social media sharing, automatic thank-you notes, and a whole lot more.
It takes less than five minutes to sign up for a free Givebutter account and start creating a donation form, fundraising page, or fundraising event. Once your campaign is live, you can share it with your Facebook followers just like you would a Facebook fundraiser. And instead of asking people to create a Supporter Fundraiser on Facebook, ask them to join your Givebutter campaign as a team fundraiser and share their personalized fundraising page with their networks.
The best part? All your key donor data will be stored in one place and seamlessly integrated with Givebutter’s free nonprofit CRM and email and SMS automation tools.
2. Build a passionate community 🤩
Before you start requesting donations and popping up on people’s News Feeds, you need to develop an active, engaged Facebook community. It’ll be a challenge to get a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser going, for example, if you don’t have many loyal followers.
So, take a look at your current Facebook page. Do people respond positively to your posts? Which users engage with your posts the most? Which posts perform the best? Your answers should build the foundation of your strategy.
Need to get your follower count up? Start by asking current supporters to recruit people in their inner circle. You can also try targeted Facebook advertising to build up your supporter base or reach out to social media influencers in your sector. Don’t forget member appreciation posts and other donor stewardship techniques.
3. Stand out in the news feed 📰
The Facebook news feed is a noisy, crowded place! We can’t overstate the importance of sharing unique content and regular updates to stand out. First, aim to strike the balance between relevant, interesting posts and promotional information. A helpful starting point is the 70-20-10 rule often used in sales:
- 70% of the time: Post content that builds your nonprofit brand, spurs interest in your cause, and informs or excites your audience.
- 20% of the time: Share content from other sources like educational institutions, other nonprofit organizations, and positive testimonials.
- 10% of the time: Share promotional content like ticket and merchandise sales or requests to join your monthly giving program.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule—the goal is simply to avoid overwhelming your supporters with asks. Instead, get creative and use different mediums to promote your cause and give each post a personal touch. Experiment with text and image posts, Facebook Live videos, Q&As, infographics, and more.
4. Coach your supporters through personal fundraising 📣
It’s tempting to think of peer-to-peer fundraising as a hands-off strategy. After all, your supporters are the ones who launch their fundraising page, determine their own fundraising goal, and encourage their Facebook friends to give—right? This is technically true, but you’ll see even more success if you coach your fundraisers first.
The reality is that most of your supporters will be nervous and inexperienced fundraisers. They may not know how to motivate people, or they may worry about bombarding their friends with posts. They could even be discouraged from fundraising again if they only raise $125 of their $500 goal.
You can avoid all of this by creating a step-by-step guide for your peer-to-peer fundraisers, which can include things like:
- Fundraising script to tell their story
- Goal amount suggestions
- Tips on posting and sharing
- Answers to FAQs (“What is this money going toward?” or “Is my charitable contribution tax deductible?”)
5. Create a thorough follow-up strategy 💛
We can’t say it enough: No matter where you’re fundraising, you need a strategy to thank your donors and start to build relationships so you can steward their next gift.
If you’re raising funds directly through Facebook, make sure to individually message each donor—especially those who didn’t opt in to share their contact information with you. Share your gratitude and request their email address, or provide a link where they can sign up for your email list. You can also skip this hassle when you fundraise through Givebutter: Donors automatically receive a tax receipt and personalized thank-you via email after every donation.
Another way to thank your donors on Facebook is to share a broad appreciation post after the campaign is over. You could tag each donor in the post, share an image with a list of donor names (if they’re provided), or even create personalized thank-you videos for your major givers.
No matter what, have a plan for how you’ll show your gratitude and hold onto these donors for the long haul.
6. Go all in on Giving Tuesday 🎁
According to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks Study, November and December together accounted for 26% of all Facebook revenue for nonprofits. This is in part due to Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity held the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and spending-heavy Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
To give you a sense of scale, Giving Tuesday fundraisers in 2021 raised over $2.7B in donations. This major jump in Facebook donations every year is the perfect opportunity to test different approaches and see what resonates most with donors.
🤿 Dive deeper: Check out our Giving Tuesday fundraising hub for free resources, webinars, and real campaign examples to inspire your next fundraiser.
Simplify Facebook fundraising and raise more with Givebutter
Create your free Givebutter account today to see how you can elevate your fundraising strategy and still get donations from Facebook.
Anna brings more than a decade of experience in community engagement, campaign planning, and strategic communications at small, progressive nonprofit organizations in New York City.