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My Love/Hate Relationship with Facebook Fundraisers

It’s #GivingTuesday, that wonderful day of the year when after we have just been inundated with marketing and appeals from companies on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the nonprofits of the world get a day to shine!

Upon opening Facebook today, I was greeted with a number of friends promoting organizations that they are involved with, seeking donations via Facebook for #GivingTuesday campaigns. This in and of itself is a victory. Software and social networking #forthewin! It’s hard to get constituents to promote and raise funds on behalf of your mission and Facebook makes it SUPER easy for them to do so.

The Negatives

Having said that, there are a few things that frustrate me about fundraising through Facebook. Let me explain:

Data Security Concerns

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have most likely seen or read news stories about Facebook’s very public data security issues. A simple Google Search will show you many such stories that span the years. It is for this reason that I, as a donor, refuse to make a donation through Facebook.

Let’s take a look at the modal (fancy term for pop-up) that is displayed when you choose to make a donation via Facebook. In order to make the donation, I either have to choose to either connect my PayPal account to Facebook or add a credit card to my Facebook account. YIKES — I don’t like either of those options! Unlike other secure online donation software that can be embedded on an organization’s website, with Facebook I would have to store/connect a payment method to my Facebook account in order to make the donation.

Again, with previous examples of Facebook’s lackadaisical data storage, I do not trust to keep a stored or connect payment method to my account. Sorry :(

Distributed Donations

Did you catch it? Let’s take a look again at the fine print at the top of the modal:

45-75 DAYS! It will take 45-75 days for the funds raised via Facebook to actually make it to the nonprofit organization. This may not be a big deal for a larger nonprofit organization or for a campaign that is not time sensitive. However, for many small organizations on tight budgets or for campaigns that are time sensitive, this is a tough pill to swallow.

For those of you not familiar with Network for Good, it is a reputable partner for Facebook, but it does work differently than other payment processors/online fundraising software. Instead of processing and distributing funds directly to the fundraiser/nonprofit, Network for Good compiles the donations via a Donor Advised Fund and then will distributed the funds raised in a lump sum with limited data. By reading more, you will see that only when the nonprofit creates a Network for Good account will they actually have access to any donor data at all. Again, a tough pill to swallow for organizations looking to gather donor data and continue to cultivate donor relationships.

The Positives

Ok, I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom. There are some things that you just can’t argue with.

Results

The results speak for themselves, some people are not scared off by data concerns and/or don’t care that the money may not make it to the nonprofit very quickly. They are donating anyway. Look at the amount of money raised via the fundraisers above!

Visibility

Again, looking at the example above there are a few things that show that Facebook is doing what it can to promote fundraising to its users. Suggesting fundraisers I may find interesting, as well as showing popular fundraisers are a couple of ways to promote this type of social activity. And let’s face it, people are on facebook…all of the time! Worldwide, there are over 2.27 billion monthly active Facebook users for Q3 2018…Q3 ALONE! (via Zephoria). Those are a lot of eyeballs!

Partner Campaigns

Matched donations…need I say more?

On #GivingTuesday, Facebook and PayPal are matching donations up to $7 million! Money in the bank. Software platforms bringing in the dough can do cool stuff like this for nonprofits.

Takeaways

So what does this mean for you? It means that you should think twice before going all in on Facebook. Like you should before putting together any fundraising campaign, you should consider who it is that you are targeting and what is the best medium for those “personas” to give. You should also consider if donor data and time of disbursements are important with said campaign.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you did and you would like to talk discuss this further, or if you would like to learn about other fundraising and marketing strategies, please Contact Me today and let’s chat!

Update

Facebook announced that over $125m was raised on #GivingTuesday via Facebook fundraisers.

Matt Clark