This week Facebook announced that over $1 billion has been donated through their fundraising platform…an impressive figure considering it’s only been gradually rolled out to 20 countries over the last 3 years. The figure will continue to grow exponentially as they’ve just added the likes of Australian and Canadian non-profits…with more to come.
With more plans ahead – such as a bigger emphasis on matched giving – this is the first big fundraising revolution we’ve had since…what? Maybe the internet?
A lot of fundraising products and large-necked men at conferences have promised ‘the next big thing’…but these always fall flat.
So why is Facebook Fundraising different?
Firstly, they have an audience. When tech bros set up a new charitable giving website or fundraising system or shopping add-on or whatever, they usually have a product and no audience. You’re still relying on a charity to find and ask interested supporters. If you don’t have that audience or you have an ask you’d much rather put in front of them (like a good ‘ol fashioned donation) then the fancy bit of fundraising tech gets lost.
Not only do they have an audience, but they have your credit card details.
Secondly, they ask. Fundraising only works when you actually ask. And Facebook has gone ahead and asked your followers…their users…if they want to set up a fundraiser for you, if they want to donate their birthday, if they want to complete that donation they abandoned, and if they want to support their friends. They’re doing the asking that you might not have gotten round to.
It’s only going to get better…the U.S. will see a huge chunk of Paypal money going towards matched giving this #GivingTuesday. It’ll encourage more people to give and encourage them to give more. No doubt in the future we’ll see more companies latch on to this matched giving through Facebook, and might even see it integrate nicely with company’s Facebook advertising.
It’s all wonderful, isn’t is? Sha la la la.
Yes there’s still a few teething problems in terms of how data is being collected, how non-profits can access that data and really just how the whole thing works. But these will get better of course.
We might also be concerned that it’s Facebook…remember that whole Cambridge Analytica thing? And remember how Facebook pretty much collectively lowered the happiness levels of our whole society through a never ending thirst for dopamine while we present an edited version of our miserable lives?
It’s their data…isn’t it? And while some non-profits (check out my podcast below, for example) have been good at thanking donors and moving them off Facebook in to their own arms, we still leave ourselves vulnerable when they ‘own’ the supporters and the data that goes with them.
And finally…is this going to clog up Facebook even more? I mean…the quality of posts is rapidly declining already…are more and more fundraisers and asks without thanking going to speed up the death of Facebook? Let’s see.
It’s definitely a positive right now.
If your non-profit isn’t using Facebook Fundraisers then get on it now. Capitalise on a successful platform while you can and build the relationships you can while it lasts.
If you need help then please let me know, and do listen to my podcast below to hear how Jill and I have made it work so well.
In the latest podcast, Simon talks to Jill O’Herlihy about Facebook Fundraising and how Mental Health Ireland have made it work for them. Hear about Facebook’s big announcement this week, the good and bad things about Facebook Fundraising, and what the future holds for FB and Instagram and matched giving.
Listen and subscribe on spotify here.