5 tips to fundraise on Facebook

Facebook can be a great tool for fundraising with over a billion users to interact with, but it can be daunting – here’s five top tips when using Facebook for charity.

| 1st Apr 15

In the age of viral, social media offers an exciting and profitable tool for raising money. However, with 1.35 billion users worldwide logged into Facebook, it can seem slightly overwhelming.

To help you, The Guardian has put together five top tips to exploit Facebook for charity:

  1. Eye-popping content

Ross McCulloch, director of Third Sector Lab, says: “Too many charities assume that people will be interested in their news. The reality is that people are on Facebook to connect with family and friends. You’re competing with photos of someone’s baby and videos of cats falling off TVs – your content has to be really good to compete with that. My advice would be to take a step back, think about who makes up your core audience on Facebook and what content is likely to strike a chord with them. Use Facebook Insights to really understand what types of posts work and put your effort in to those in future.”

  1. Be positive

After a young midwife, Hannah Seeley, tragically died in a raod traffic accident, her grieving fiancé donated money for a birthing pool where she formally worked. Dave Gooderham, fundraising manager of West Suffolk Hospital Charity employed Facebook to share photos of the room, encouraging people to share their tributes to Seeley. The story reached 40,000 people, gained 866 likes, 40 comments and 58 shares.

The post gained the hospital charity 200 likes, Gooderham commented that they now, “have a bigger audience to promote some of our fundraising events and messages”.

  1. Integrate across media

Use Facebook as a core driver for awareness, but ensure to use alongside traditional media and other social channels. MND Scotland raised nearly £500,000 from the #icebucketchallenge, with Facebook central to its efforts, the charity also used celebrities to make their brand synonymous with the effort.

Ross McCulloch says: “This presence across TV, radio and press drove traffic to their Facebook page and encouraged people to tag MND Scotland in their Ice Bucket Challenge statuses. Ultimately, this resulted in the charity’s biggest ever online fundraising campaign.”

  1. It’s all about the picture

The Guardian highlights a recent case when a day centres garden was vandalised. Leonard Cheshire’s garden at its day centre in Farnham was victim to vandalism, they shared the photo on Facebook which caught the attention of the local area and beyond.

David Hunt, its digital manager, says: “It’s an emotive subject that people could grasp in an instant. There was a clear photo of the damage that had been done, and there was one simple ask: help us rebuild.

“We exceeded our fundraising target to rebuild the garden, which meant we could not only rebuild but further improve the garden with a new watering system. 40% of the online donations we received over the course of the week came via this Facebook post.”

  1. Employ Facebook ads

The Norwegian Cancer Society employed Beate Sørum of fundraising consultancy b.bold to develop a simple and effective Facebook ad asking people to become members. The ad resulted in 7,22 kroner in new membership fees for every 1 krone invested.

Beate says: “Facebook has given the Cancer Society an opportunity to directly connect with people who are affected by cancer, but may not yet be in an age group where it is possible for us to reach them through traditional channels. The main reason the ads succeed, is because the rest of the time, the focus is on really high-quality content on the Facebook page. Patient stories, advice, impact, thank-yous – letting people know how the money is spent and how they are helping.”