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The nonprofit's guide to Facebook fundraisers

Learn all of the pros, cons, and best practices for raising money through a Facebook fundraiser—plus, some crucial new updates all changemakers should be aware of.

Anna Bean
September 20, 2023
January 11, 2021
Nerd Mr Butter

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When it comes to online fundraising, there’s one social media site that—for better or worse—is too big to ignore: Facebook. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through all of the ways that nonprofits can raise money on Facebook, along with the pros and cons of fundraising directly through the platform, as well as some tips for making your Facebook fundraising strategy the best it can be. 

How to set up a fundraiser on Facebook 

Here’s a rundown of the two most popular tools that verified 501(c)(3) nonprofits and their individual supporters can use to raise money directly through the platform:

1. Facebook donate button 🎁

Facebook donate buttons are a convenient way for supporters to give to your cause, without leaving the app. The donate button can be added to your organization’s:

  • Facebook profile page
  • Posts
  • Paid ads
  • Facebook Live videos
  • Reels

Plus, 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. With peer-to-peer Facebook fundraising pages, your organization can:

  • Create a page for your cause ⭐ List details, milestones, and more, to get your community engaged.
  • Utilize Facebook’s Supporter Fundraiser feature 📣 Anyone (aged 18 or older) can spin up personal campaigns on behalf of your nonprofit for their birthday fundraiser, another special occasion, or just because they care. 

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.

Important Facebook fundraising update for fall 2023

For the past few years, Facebook’s parent company Meta has processed the charitable donations made through the platform, which covered all of the payment processing fees for nonprofits. But as of November 2023, Meta is switching this process over to the PayPal Giving Fund (PPGF) entirely. 

This means that Meta will no longer cover charities’ payment processing fees through Facebook and Instagram. 

Instead, PayPal Giving Fund will:

  • Charge 1.99% + $0.49 in payment processing fees for verified nonprofits
  • Give donors the option of covering the fees

How can nonprofits prepare for Facebook fundraising changes?

These new Facebook updates may cause a lot of headaches for nonprofits that use Facebook for fundraisers, especially with Giving Tuesday and year-end fundraising campaigns in full swing. 

Luckily, changemakers have even better options for raising funds on Facebook. 

When nonprofits create easy donation forms and fundraising pages on an all-in-one giving platform (like Givebutter 👋) and then share it with Facebook’s optimized social features, they bring together the best of both platforms for maximum impact. 

The pros and cons of fundraising on Facebook

Facebook fundraising has brought in more than $5B (and counting) for good causes. While these numbers tell an exciting story, many nonprofits continue to have a love-hate relationship with raising money directly on the platform. 

Pros of Facebook fundraising for nonprofits 

On the plus side, fundraising directly on Facebook is:

👍 Quick to launch: Once your nonprofit is verified, creating a Facebook fundraising page takes just a few steps for both organizations and their individual supporters. 

👍 Easy for donors: Facebook users can link their payment information right to their Facebook account for fast giving.

👍 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.

Cons of accepting donations via Facebook

Nonprofits also face several drawbacks when fundraising directly through Facebook, including:

👎 Lack of donor data: Facebook doesn’t share your donors’ contact information unless donors opt in—and few do. This enormously limits your ability to thank new donors, welcome them to your cause, and build relationships for future engagment.

👎 Payout delays and limitations: For organizations approved for PayPal Giving Fund, payouts can take between two weeks and 45 days. For those not enrolled, it can take up to 90 days to receive your funds via check. 

👎 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 (or Meta), they may be wary of entering their payment details to donate.

👎 Inability to fundraise for personal causes: As of November 2022, Facebook users can no longer create individual fundraisers for their own personal causes like health care costs, travel, or creative projects.

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 strategies will help you incorporate Facebook into your fundraising plan and make the most of a hugely popular social media platform—without putting all of your eggs in one basket.  

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 that you share on Facebook, you can:

  • Collect valuable donor data in a free nonprofit CRM.
  • Enjoy faster payouts of your hard-earned funds.
  • Centralize all your fundraising activities, campaigns, and events—even nonprofit auctions.
  • Encourage followers to set up recurring donations and support your organization on a monthly, yearly, or annual basis.
  • Get instant access to an entire suite of donor engagement tools, from one-click social media sharing to automatic donation receipts, email and text messages, and a whole lot more.
  • Utilize one-click social sharing thanks to Givebutter's integration with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.

And the best part? It’s all free. 

Set up your dream fundraising page

2. Build a passionate community 🤩

It can be a challenge to get a successful peer-to-peer fundraiser going, for example, if you’re still building your base of loyal followers. 

Before you start requesting donations and popping up on people’s news feeds, create an active, engaged Facebook community by:

  • Creating targeted Facebook advertising 
  • Reaching out to social media influencers in your sector
  • Using member appreciation posts and other donor retention techniques
  • Assessing the performance of your posts 
  • Asking current supporters to recruit people in their inner circle

3. Stand out in the news feed 📰 

The Facebook news feed is a noisy, crowded place! To strike the balance between relevant, interesting posts and promotional information, we recommend using the 70-20-10 rule often used in sales:

  • 70% of the time: Post content that informs or excites your audience.
  • 20% of the time: Re-share content from other sources (e.g., partner institutions, testimonials).
  • 10% of the time: Share promotional content (e.g., volunteer opportunity, ticket and merchandise sales). 

Remember to experiment with different mediums like 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. But the reality is that most of your supporters may not know how to motivate people, or might be discouraged from past fundraising initiatives.

Share resources for your peer-to-peer fundraisers so they are equipped to reach their goals, for example: 

  • Fundraising scripts 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. 

When fundraising on Facebook, be sure to:

  • Send individual thank-you messages 💌 Write to each donor with a personalized message of gratitude. Thank you letters can take any form: Facebook message, email, direct mail, text, or even a thank-you video.
  • Broadcast your thanks 🔦 Share a broad appreciation post on your page, and tag all your donors.
  • Get the info you need 🤓 When donors give through Givebutter, you’ll receive the contact information they’re comfortable sharing with you, and you can even create custom fields to capture information unique to your cause and your donor base. 
  • Automate the paperwork ⚡ Skip the hassle of mailing donation receipts and use Givebutter to send automated email tax receipts and personalized thank-you messages after every donation. You can also reply to the email thread to take your follow-up message even further! 

No matter what, have a plan for how you’ll show your gratitude in order to hold onto these donors for the long haul.

6. Go all in on Giving Tuesday 🎁

Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity held the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, raised over $3.1B in donations in 2022. This major jump in Facebook donations every year is the perfect opportunity to test different approaches and see what resonates most with donors. 

Simplify Facebook fundraising and raise more with Givebutter 

A successful Facebook fundraiser is so much more than a donate button. Take your campaign to new heights with an all-in-one fundraising solution that complements the social features that Facebook has to offer. 

Create your free Givebutter account today to see how you can elevate your fundraising strategy and still bring in lots of donations on Facebook. 

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

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