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3 drawbacks of Facebook birthday fundraisers (what to do instead)

Looking to create a birthday fundraiser on Facebook? Check out the biggest drawbacks and how you can avoid them with Givebutter.

Rachel Ayotte
September 27, 2023
March 30, 2021
Nerd Mr Butter

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Social media platforms—like Facebook—make it incredibly easy to rally friends and family members to give in honor of your special day.

Below, we explain how to make the most of your Facebook birthday fundraiser, including fundraising tips on rallying your network, increasing awareness, and ultimately raising money for the cause closest to your heart.

How Facebook birthday fundraisers work 🎂

To create a Facebook birthday fundraiser, you must have an active Facebook account. Two weeks before your birthday, you'll receive a notification directly from Facebook inviting you to host a campaign for the nonprofit of your choice.

Creating a birthday fundraiser on Facebook is quite simple, although it comes with considerable drawbacks (more on this below). Here’s how to create a birthday fundraiser on Facebook:

  • Select your nonprofit 💘 Your Facebook campaign must raise funds for one of the 750K US nonprofits approved by the social network (You can create a campaign for a personal cause, but Facebook charges a hefty 6.9% plus $0.30 fee for each donation.).
  • Select your fundraising goal 💸 Next, set a campaign goal and end date for your fundraiser.
  • Add a personal story and a photo ✍ Facebook gives you the option to write a short caption on what this campaign means to you, and why friends and family members should give. Next, choose a cover photo for your post.
  • Share with friends 💁 Publish your post and invite your Facebook friends to give. You also have an option to match donations up to a certain amount.

3 serious drawbacks of Facebook birthday fundraisers

In 2019, Facebook announced that the platform raised over $2 billion for worthy causes, with half that amount coming from birthday fundraisers alone.

While that figure is staggering (and applause-worthy 👏👏👏), there are some Facebook challenges to consider.

1. You don’t always know who donates 🤷

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't share donor data with you or your chosen nonprofit unless a giver opts in (which few do), making difficult for you to thank friends for their generosity.

Plus, without any contact information, your nonprofit of choice won't be able to reach out to your donors to follow up and engage them through future campaigns.

2. You don’t get to choose just any good cause 🙁

In order to use Facebook fundraisers (and avoid their excessive processing fees), you must select a 501(c) nonprofit approved by the United States IRS. 

In other words, you won't be able to give to local, grassroots organizations and clubs—like the local cheerleading squad who just qualified for nationals.

3. There are payment delays 💰

For organizations approved for PayPal Giving Fund, payouts can take between two weeks and 45 days. For those not enrolled, it will take 90 days to get access to your funds. 

If you're raising funds for a time-sensitive campaign, donation payments could be an issue.

Why Givebutter + Facebook = the icing on the birthday fundraising cake 🙌

If the above three drawbacks dampened your birthday spirit, don't worry. Givebutter integrates with Facebook directly, so you get all the benefits of Facebook fundraisers (a vast network, peer-to-peer giving) without any of the cons.

Here's why harnessing the power of both tools can make your charitable birthday wish come true.

1. You can easily track your campaign's progress 📈

The Givebutter platform has a built-in donor database, which you can use to track your campaign's progress, send custom thank-you messages, or export contact info for later use (to invite your friends for a celebratory, post-campaign birthday toast, perhaps?).

In addition, trackable links allow you to see which friends and family members are drawing the most attention to your birthday fundraiser. If you really love data, you can install the Facebook pixel code to track your campaign's analytics.

2. You can really get creative 🎨

Posts made to your Facebook profile are all well and good, but a single caption on your newsfeed leaves much to be desired. With Givebutter fundraising pages, you can create gorgeous pages with videos, custom messages, GIFs, emojis, videos—you name it.

Now, doesn't that feel more like a party?

3. You can easily amplify your birthday message 🚩

We know the power of social media. That being said, it's not the only way to communicate (nor should it be).

Givebutter offers top-rated nonprofit marketing tools, so you can easily boost campaign visibility through one-click social sharing, text blasts, email invitations, and more. Plus, Givebutter offers integrations for 1,000+ platforms to ensure your campaign gets seen.

4. Friends can choose how they give 🤸

Public wariness of Facebook pages and donations may cause some of your loved ones to feel uncomfortable giving to your cause directly through the platform.

With Givebutter’s secure fundraising platform, your community can give through whatever payment method they’re most comfortable with: PayPal, Venmo, text-to-donate, credit cards, ACH, and even Apple Pay—no raised eyebrows or sketchy payments needed.

5. You can choose whichever cause you care about (and they'll keep the funds) 🤟

Givebutter creates a space where any worthy cause can raise the funds it needs—501(c) not required. You can choose to donate your birthday dollars to a sports team, school, club, group, or other cause.

Plus, unlike personal causes on Facebook, with Givebutter, your cause will (in all likelihood) keep every dollar raised. Givebutter offers the lowest rates in the fundraising industry. In fact, the average fee across all Givebutter campaigns is a mere 0.05%, because Givebutter is free to use and donors are given the option to cover payment processing fees (and 95% choose to do so).

Do more with your Facebook fundraiser, with Givebutter

On your special day this year, combine Facebook and Givebutter to create an effective birthday fundraiser. It's your best chance to launch a campaign where your chosen cause keeps 100% of the funds raised. 

Ready to fundraise toward your best birthday yet? You’ve got options: Sign up for free to raise money on behalf of a cause you care about, donate to an organization already using Givebutter, or join an existing fundraiser as a team member.

Get started
Set up your peer-to-peer fundraiser for free in just a few minutes →

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