From watches that allow you to make calls to apps that will tell you when it’s time to water your plants, everything is going digital nowadays — so it only makes sense that online fundraising is becoming a trend, as well. While sites like GoFundMe tend to work better for individuals, Facebook has introduced a powerful fundraising tool to help registered 501(c)(3) charities. This tool has been around for some time, but, unfortunately, many people aren’t using it to its full potential. The good news: you can easily change that.
First things first, you have to get all of the paperwork out of the way. Facebook only allows people to fundraise on behalf of registered 501(c)(3) organizations, and they want to make sure the money is going to the actual charity and not a scammer who set up a fake Facebook page. There are three main components to complete before you can start raising money:
Verify your Facebook page. You can do this one of two ways. First, you can provide a phone number that Facebook will call. They’ll give you a verification code you can type into a box. Your second option is providing an image of an official document containing your organization’s name and address, such as a bill, business license, or article of incorporation.
Submit your Facebook page for review. The platform wants to guarantee that your content follows its community standards. They’ll essentially make sure your posts don’t advocate violence or criminal activities, contain illegal or troubling messages, spread false information, and are your own intellectual property.
Create your donations account. You can’t save a draft during this step, so avoid the hassle and collect all of the necessary documentation before getting started. Make sure you have your organization’s official name, address, contact info, tax ID, and nonprofit category. You’ll also need your CEO or executive director’s name, date of birth, and business address, as well as a bank statement or official bank letter from sometime during the last three months.
Between gathering the correct paperwork and Facebook’s review of all your submissions, this process can take a while. Set aside a day to get all of the steps done at once to maximize your time.
Ok, you’ve set up your Facebook page to accept donations. Now how do you get people to donate? Fortunately, there’s an easy answer: keep your fundraising efforts top of mind. Check out some fun ways to do so organically:
Make a video, or link to an instruction page. Users may not know how to create a birthday fundraiser, so showing them how can serve as a gentle nudge. For more information about how users can create these campaigns, click here.
Post about relevant holidays. Last year on Giving Tuesday (the first Tuesday after Black Friday), Facebook matched all charitable donations made. Find holidays with a similar concept, and post about them in advance. This can get users excited and ready to raise money for your organization.
Show how donations can help. People are more reluctant to donate to an organization when they can’t see how it will use their money. Give statistics, interview people you’ve helped, or show images to create moving content that humanizes your charity.
Remind users that fundraisers aren’t just for birthdays. They can use this function on Facebook as a way to celebrate any occasion (anniversary, graduation, etc.), honor someone special, or even just do something good.
Interact with fundraisers. Show your appreciation for the efforts people are making. If you see a user has created a fundraiser benefiting your organization, consider commenting with a quick “Thanks for helping us achieve our mission.” Don’t be afraid to personalize the message.
Want to take it up a notch? Consider using paid ads to encourage people to set up a fundraising campaign. Unlike organic posts, this approach helps you reach people who don’t follow your page. Check out these tips for bringing in more support:
Focus on your cause. People who are unfamiliar with your organization have only a brief section of post copy to determine whether they’d like to learn more. Throw in an emotional appeal to entice users to click on your ad.
Direct them to additional information. Make sure your ad sends users to a page that explains how they can donate and set up their own birthday fundraiser.
Don’t be afraid to branch out to different platforms. You can encourage people to set up Facebook fundraisers through a variety of social media platforms. Think about where you'll find people with money to give and where people talk about your cause the most.
Fundraisers on Facebook allow users to share what they’re passionate about, and these could lead to more exposure for your organization and its mission. Taking the time to complete these steps can lead to positive growth for your charity and the ability to create a bigger impact in your community. Now go log in to Facebook so your network can help fund your passion for changing the world.