Facebook has recently introduced a new “Donate Now” feature for charities, allowing regular Facebook users to quickly nominate an amount of money and give a donation to the charity through Facebook. Charities who are accepted into the program will be able to feature a “Donate Now” button on both their Facebook Page and posts, which are easily shareable across Facebook.
This is great, but not immediately useful for charities that are not eligible for it (at the moment, this is most charities). So, what else can a charity do to be successful on Facebook? Let’s take a look.
Which Non-Profits Are Doing Well On Facebook?
It may be hard to pinpoint exactly what your charity might do to improve its Facebook presence, but with an eye on what’s working for other charities, plus some good general advice to follow, you’ll be on the right track.
Here are a bunch of great charity pages on Facebook:
Why not makeover your Facebook Page and try a few of the things you can see working well for these charities? However, do keep in mind Facebook’s promotions policy if you decide to run any competitions via your Page.
Learn Why People Share Charity Links
Most people sharing links to a charity via social media do so because it’s a way to show they really care about a cause. Try to create a short summary of your cause so that it’s easily shareable by your fans. Do the same for every update you post — readers need to know in just a few words why people care about your cause and what sort of impact a donation will achieve.
Successful charities use corporate and community ties as effectively as possible. On Facebook, this means forming alliances with like-minded Facebook groups who will promote your efforts. It also means looking for Facebook Pages linked to companies who may want to donate to your cause. Large companies who are looking to do internal charity fundraising yet also have an active Facebook presence are the best, as they will be likely to share photos and links to your charity with their fans.
Get Kids Involved
When kids want to fundraise, adults want to help them reach their goals. If there are children trying to raise money for your charity, promote their efforts as best as you can. It’s likely that your fans will be moved by their campaign and willing to make a spontaneous donation.
Like.. Then What?
It’s a sad truth that many Facebook users will “Like” a charity Page, then feel as if their contribution is complete. If you want to capture these users and turn them into more meaningful contributors (such as helpers or philanthropists) there are a few tactics you can employ suggested by “The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action” [PDF]. Most importantly, you need to get Facebook users to note how well their own values align with yours.
“Draw attention to the values the organization stands for, and how these values are congruent with the consumer’s own values.” — Kirk Kristofferson, Katherine White, John Peloza.
Thank Your Donors & Supporters
Randomly praising your donors and fundraisers can be an awesome way to thank people and reach an even bigger audience by having your thank you message shared. On Facebook, the best way to get viewed and shared is to upload a Facebook video, so no matter how you create it, upload a copy to Facebook directly. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to thank people, and people really will appreciate it! You might also want to read about some amazing social media campaigns for inspiration.
Diabetes UK created a short Vine clip to thank a fundraiser for their work:
Mailing List Tools For Facebook
If you’re looking to collect email addresses for future contact, it’s really important to use a mailing list service that makes it easy to link in to your Facebook Page. Some good suggestions are DotMailer, Mailchimp, and MadMimi through GroSocial. Read MakeUseOf’s MadMimi review and also an example of using MadMimi as one of many important Facebook apps for your Page. You should also check out many other useful tabs for your Facebook Page while you’re reading, such as Woobox for Pinterest, as well as Twitter and YouTube integration.
Alternative Donation Strategies
If you are unable to meet Facebook’s standards for direct donations (which is the case for most charities right now), there are other ways to get donations almost immediately, using Facebook-ready tools. One fantastic example is Justgiving.com, where you create a charity page, then use all manner of social media tools and widgets to collect your donations. JustGiving makes it easy to collect the payments, keep track of goals and make the best of the tools you have available to you.
It’s also possible to use Facebook and JustGiving to promote a text-to-donate campaign, which have been really effective for some charities (don’t forget that a huge amount of web traffic is via smartphone these days).
Before you go asking for charity dollars though, it may be worth your while to make sure your fans know that it is really the legitimate charity running the Facebook Page. Here are some tips to ensure your fans know your Facebook Page is real.
Make Your Charity Page Awesome
It goes without saying that all good advice for Facebook Pages is relevant to charity Pages as well. So, with that in mind, be sure to read up on how to make your Facebook Page popular and how to keep your Facebook Page interesting.
Read more about Facebook for charities. Don’t just make updates about your own events and goings-on. Share anything that is noteworthy and relevant to your fans. For instance, promote something from a like-minded charity or news that relates to things your charity believes in. Keep making connections between your charity and things people love talking about, such as current events, special days, TV shows and sport. Keep going back to your charity’s message, but with a new focus or twist.
How does your charity use Facebook? Let us know in the comments.