It’s no secret that for a nonprofit to be successful in our rapidly changing and complex world, it needs to be present and active on social media networks. And the most prominent social media platform is without a doubt Facebook. You can therefore gratefully use it and even collect donations via Facebook.
According to Q2 2018 figures, Facebook has more than 2.23 billion Facebook users, who are active monthly, which is an annual increase of 11%. On average, 1.47 billion people log into Facebook every day and are considered daily active users. Five new profiles are created every second.
While other platforms are increasing in reach and influence every day, Facebook still rules the other social media networks. While Facebook has been around for a while, its algorithm is constantly changing and evolving. For example, Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2018 that “public content,” meaning posts from Pages (such as nonprofits) will be shown less to users to make room for posts from friends. It was also announced that Facebook will prioritize local content (which is good news for nonprofits on a local scale).
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How do nonprofits use Facebook?
These changes, combined with increasingly fierce competition and an overcrowded space where everyone is looking for attention, can make it difficult for a nonprofit to get noticed for Facebook donations. It can feel like screaming into the void, especially with the organic reach and engagement shrinking. To help you maximize the reach and engagement of your Facebook donation posts, we’ve put together a list of ways you can get the most out of your Facebook fundraiser.
1. Have A Facebook Strategy
What does your nonprofit hope to achieve? And what is your mission? What are your goals? Answering these questions will help you start your Facebook donation strategy.
Once you’ve answered those questions, think about how your Facebook account fits in with the rest of your organizational and marketing strategy and how it fits in with your other social media accounts like Instagram or YouTube.
Brainstorm with your team and take notes:
- What are you trying to achieve by using Facebook? (e.g. fundraising, brand building, community outreach, etc.)
- Decide who will maintain your nonprofit’s Facebook account. This can be one person or several people. Who will handle most of the interaction?
- Who are you trying to reach? What does your target audience look like? What are their passions and interests? What are their motivations?
- What are you trying to convey and share? What is your core message?
- Finally, set specific and measurable goals for your Facebook account (for example, the number of likes, shares, or a specific click-through rate).
- How do you keep track of progress and your KPI (critical performance indicators)?
2. Take Care Of Your Profile
Your Facebook profile represents your organization. It is essential that your profile is complete with a profile picture, cover photo, description, contact details and more.
Here’s what you can do:
- Make sure you use a Facebook page for Facebook donations for your nonprofit. It is against Facebook rules for an organization to use a personal profile.
- For your site, select a username that is as close to your nonprofit’s URL as possible.
- Use your organization’s logo as your profile picture. Make sure it fits neatly into the small square and is still recognizable.
- Complete the “About Us” section. Google pulls content from your About Us section, so make sure you’ve filled in all the fields. Most important are your web address, physical address, contact information, and a keyword-rich description.
A pro tip: Make sure to enable the page suggestions for similar pages in your page settings on Facebook so that people can find you after commenting with content on a similar page.
3. Become A Content Guru
If you want to grow in today’s social media space, it’s no longer enough to just ‘post randomly’ or use Facebook as a one-sided advertising space.
In 2022, content is the most important thing. To really get the most out of the Facebook donation tool, you need to post high-quality, relevant, and compelling content that engages your target audience. And you should also post regularly and consistently. While regular posting is best, you should never prioritize quantity over quality.
– Provide different types of posts. Sometimes share links to your blog posts and sometimes share your donation page. Occasionally, post photos and videos that can bring your programs and services to life. Post your results of the Facebook donations and share ‘thank you messages’ with an appreciation for your donors.
– Don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they would like to see from your nonprofit. You can collect this information in person, through an email survey or by asking them on social media.
– Ask for involvement. Don’t be afraid to post things like “Like as…” or “Fill in the blanks. I volunteer because… “. Simple additions like these can increase your reach and engagement.
– Post 1-4 times a day depending on how many followers you have .
– Select content with the “Save” feature that allows you to quickly select and save relevant content for you to use at a later time.
– Post visual content. Here are some ideas:
- Images with quotes
- Short videos (30-45 seconds, with captions as 85% of Facebook users play videos without sound)
- Facebook 360 photos
- Emoticons (Posts with emoticons get 57% more likes and 33% more shares)
– Use the 70/20/10 rule. This is recommended by many social media experts.
- 70% Valuable Content: Most of the content on Facebook should add value to your community. Post content that is interesting, informative, fun or inspiring. Ideally, this content should be created by you.
- 20% Shared Content: Sharing ideas from others or Facebook posts (curated posts). This can even be user-generated content.
- 10% promotional content: promoting your programs, events, fundraising campaign, Facebook donations, your blog, or anything predominantly promotional in nature.
– Optimize for mobile. Since the majority of social media usage takes place on mobile devices, make sure you optimize your online content for mobile display.
4. Share Posts With Links Instead of Photos
Facebook found that people prefer to click on links that appear in the link format that appears when you paste a link when composing a post (see the image below), rather than links that appear in photo captions.
Compared to links embedded in the photo’s caption, these posts received twice as many clicks.
It is believed that this is because the link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, making it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have smaller screens, for Facebook donations. Facebook currently prioritizes displaying links in the link format and shows fewer links shared in subtitles or status updates.
5. It’s All About The Video
Video is the best choice for Facebook (and almost all other online platforms). The combination of visual content, voice/dialogue and music/sound makes video a uniquely powerful medium to communicate with donors and supporters. Video can grab attention and stir emotions. When you post a video to Facebook donation pages, especially if it evokes a certain emotion, it has the potential to go viral in a way that no other form of content can.
Video content earns 12 times more shares than text combined with images.
More than 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day.
Here are some tips for using video on Facebook:
- Post your video content on Facebook locally. Due to Facebook’s timeline algorithm, you’re much more likely to have your video seen by your community than if you’re linked out.
- Videos on Facebook will automatically play in users’ timelines, but will not play the audio until the user chooses to activate it. That’s why it’s important to use convincing images even without the sound that attract enough attention for Facebook donations. This is the same reason why it is important to caption your videos.
- Keep your videos short and effective. Videos that are too long are ignored or not watched by the public.
- Deliver your videos for Facebook in a square format. It is important to format the video to cater to the viewers on mobile devices.
- Explore live videos. They build connections and trust. Facebook’s algorithm has also been updated to favour live videos, as live videos usually have a user’s interest for a longer period of time.
- Make sure your video has a descriptive and compelling title so that it can be easily found by users.
6. Make Social Engagement Your Priority
Investing time and resources into creating and sharing great content is incredibly important, as is measuring and evaluating progress and results. But more importantly, the social engagement of your supporters on Facebook.
Sprout Social suggests that 35% of your time should be spent engaging your audience.
This can include:
- Respond to questions
- Reply to direct messages
- Respond to comments and posts that tag your organization
- Search for relevant hashtags to find new conversations to join
- Contact supporters individually to show the ‘personality of your organisation’
- Sharing a look from ‘behind the scenes’ (from the field or at the office)
This will humanize your nonprofit and is also an excellent opportunity to create your own voice and brand identity. It helps you build trust with your audience, create momentum, and show that you care about everyone who is interested in your work.
Due to the nature of the work, nonprofits can’t always display a sense of humour, but it can be good to include humour in your communications every now and then.
7. Measure, Evaluate, Decide
It’s vital that your non-profit organization decides what success means to your organization and how exactly you will measure it while creating the strategy. Select some KPIs that, when it comes to Facebook, usually fall into one of these categories:
- Awareness — impressions, views, range
- Growth — followers, likes, subscribers
- Engagement — comments, clicks, comments, shares
- Conversions — event registrations, Facebook donations
By measuring key performance indicators, you can evaluate progress towards your goals and determine an appropriate course. For example, if a certain type of post isn’t doing well, you can decide to stop making such posts. Only by measuring and evaluating is it possible to really understand what works and what doesn’t work for Facebook donations.
8. Experiment With Ads
While not free, Facebook ads can be a great way to increase your presence and your results on Facebook donations. You can boost a post or create a Facebook ad. Boosting is a form of Facebook advertising that makes it easy to invest a little bit of money in a Facebook post and make it appear in more news feeds. This is the easiest way to advertise on Facebook.
Boosted posts don’t all have the same customization features as Facebook ads. To create an ad campaign, you usually start from scratch in Facebook Business Manager and the process is a bit more complicated. Before you hit a “Boost Post” button or create a generic Facebook ad, think about what you hope to accomplish. Running ad campaigns without a goal or a plan is a waste of money.
What exactly do you hope to achieve with the campaign: more Facebook donations, more blog views, email newsletter signups, etc.? Your CTA (call to action) should be crystal clear and directly related to your nonprofit. Set a budget and then track the performance of the boosted post or ad.
Pro tip: only promote the very best. Choose content that evokes emotion, sparks a discussion, or has received shares. Choose your text and your images carefully. Use images and language that have worked in the past.
9. Use The Facebook Donation Tools
In 2013, Facebook launched the Donate button. The Facebook Donation button allows you to add a donate button to your page and/or ads to let people donate to your organization. You can direct potential donors to a landing page of their choice, such as your donation page hosted on your website. Alternatively, visitors can make a donation without leaving Facebook if you have activated the “Donate via Facebook” setting.
Facebook also recently launched a Fundraising feature that allows individual users to raise Facebook donations on behalf of a nonprofit. This means Facebook users can now raise money for things like community and neighbourhood projects or improvements, Facebook explains. This tool is based on the concept of peer-to-peer fundraising.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a crowdfunding strategy that leverages your donors’ existing networks. It encourages supporters to reach out to their peers, friends, colleagues and family members for Facebook donations. In peer-to-peer fundraising, individual fundraisers usually set up a personal fundraising page to receive Facebook donations, which are then transferred to your nonprofit.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the best donor acquisition strategies because it allows your nonprofit to reach a group of supporters that would otherwise be unreachable.
10. Make Use Of Facebook Groups
Especially with the changes to the Facebook algorithm to show users more content from people and groups they care about and less from Pages, Facebook groups can become a very useful tool for your nonprofit. Facebook groups are a valuable place to generate discussions and create a sense of community among volunteers, workers, donors, and community members interested in your cause.
You have three options for creating a Facebook group: open, closed, and secret. Which one to choose depends a lot on your nonprofit. Having a closed group might be the best option for most nonprofits because they can be found by anyone, but it requires admin approval to join and doesn’t allow non-members to see the content.
While it can be time-consuming to manage a Facebook group, it is certainly an excellent platform for discussion and community building.
Here are our top tips for Facebook groups:
- Promote your recurring donation program in the group. However, keep in mind the balance between ‘promoting’ posts and valuable content. If you are too ‘spammy’ with the promotions, your group members may decide to leave the group.
- Learn from other nonprofits. Join other nonprofit Facebook groups and ask for tips. Also, take the time to build partnerships and relationships through conversations, re-sharing, co-promotion and more.
- Connect with users. In this way, you build trust, loyalty and involvement. And this will ultimately drive the group members to donate and contribute to your nonprofit.
- Share stories about the impact. Clearly show where the Facebook donations go.
You can be active in the group in several ways. You can:
- share updates about work or progress;
- thank donors and supporters – label them individually;
- share job opportunities or volunteer with your non-profit organization;
- ask for donations (but do so sparingly);
- share resources;
- give a behind-the-scenes look and share other exclusive content;
- discuss relevant news and updates;
- ask questions and answer questions.
Can A Charity Have A Facebook Account?
Yes. There is a provision for charities and nonprofit organizations to have a Facebook account where they can start fundraisers in order to raise money.
Does Facebook Charge Fees For Donations?
All fees for donations made on Facebook to charitable organisations are covered by Facebook itself. For personal fundraisers, payment processing fees are deducted and, in some countries or regions, additional taxes when the money raised is distributed.
Plan Your Facebook Fundraiser With WhyDonate!
Here are some of the most essential and practical tips for Facebook for your nonprofit. Don’t forget to keep posting, as well as tracking times to post to find out what days and times you can reach most of your audience. Don’t forget to get creative with your Facebook strategy.
Take the time to review and understand your Facebook analytics and use it to make your content valuable and professional. Always prioritize your supporters and your donors.
As a nonprofit, your goal is to help your nonprofit move closer to its mission. And social media networks, especially Facebook, can be great tools for achieving that. Facebook, when done right, has tremendous potential to help you move forward.
Smart non-profit professionals also understand that their supporters and followers can be found on social media these days and that’s where you need to meet them. Facebook campaigns can really work alongside your fundraising software as part of a holistic strategy to help you achieve your goals. Choose Whydonate as your donation system and check out our Charity blog for more non-profit resources and tips.