Facebook Fundraising: everything your nonprofit needs to know

Since Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook’s in 2003, the social media platform has been taking over the world. Recent data shows that Facebook’s user base has grown to an incredible 2.32 billion monthly users worldwide. To put that into perspective, Australia currently has a population of approximately 25 million people, 15 million of which are active Facebook users.

Facebook has expanded into several diverse industries over the years and has more recently made a move into the fundraising space. At the end of 2018, Facebook released Facebook Fundraisers in Australia – a feature that enables a donate button to be added to the posts of eligible charities and nonprofits. All money donated via the button goes directly into the recently launched, PayPal Giving Fund Australia – a public ancillary fund and registered charity, which will then disperse 100 percent of the funds to the designated charities.

On the surface, Facebook Fundraisers sounds like a helpful new fundraising tool for nonprofits, however, there are several elements to consider before your nonprofit jumps on the bandwagon.

Funds are donated directly to Facebook

If your nonprofit is registered with Facebook Fundraisers, all posts that your supporters create to share their fundraising page with friends and family will automatically generate a donate button.

Image via Facebook

You’re probably thinking “that sounds like a pretty helpful feature right?” Well, what isn’t made so obvious is that the donate button forces supporters to donate via Facebook rather than to the fundraising page of the platform the page has been created on. The risk there is to create a poor user experience as your donors will be left confused and wondering why their kind words and donation don’t appear on their friends fundraising page, as well as demotivating your fundraisers when they see that their page doesn’t seem to take off.

You’re unable to protect your donor’s data

It’s no secret that Facebook came under fire last year for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal where it was revealed that Facebook was in breach of the Data Protection Act. Facebook faced heavy fines for its failure to safeguard user information and by failing to provide transparency on how that mined data would be utilised by others.

Utilising Facebook Fundraisers means adhering to its terms and conditions around data collection so, it’s essential to read the fine print. In an increasingly digital world, where more charities come under scrutiny, donor security and data protection should be of utmost important for nonprofits. The only way to ensure your supporter and donor data is and protected from third parties is by utilising a safe and secure peer-to-peer fundraising platform with the highest level of security compliance.

Developing long-term donor relationships is difficult

Comprehensive reporting data is essential for nonprofits who want to develop and nurture long-term relationships with their supporters. Unfortunately, compared to specialised peer-to-peer fundraising platforms, Facebook Fundraiser’s reporting capabilities are limited. Nonprofits will only be able to receive data that includes the donor’s name, donation amount, and email address, if the donor chooses to provide it.

While it’s great to see that Facebook is leveraging its global network for social good, it’s important to consider whether it’s the right tool for your nonprofit. Facebook Fundraisers may seem like an exciting new innovation in fundraising, but you can never underestimate the value of established fundraising platforms that specialise in peer-to-peer fundraising and invest their resources in security, data protection, and industry research.