In 2016, Facebook took the non-profit world by storm by beginning to allow fundraising on their platform. Over the course of the last four years, $3 billion* has been raised for non-profits via the social media giant. Naturally, NEADS clients are eager to take advantage of this fundraising phenomenon and they can do so, as long as they learn the ins and outs of it first.
Now that Facebook has proven itself to be a valuable asset within the fundraising community, how can clients go about using it to fundraise for NEADS? It’s actually pretty straight forward once you understand how Facebook fundraising works and how best to navigate around certain issues that it has.
The first and most important thing to understand is that donations made through a Facebook fundraiser are not immediately sent to the non-profit that the funds are earmarked for. There is no direct connection between Facebook and NEADS. Instead, Facebook uses various other parties to process the donations and those 3rd parties send the funds to NEADS, which can take some time. It often takes weeks for the money raised through Facebook to arrive at NEADS and if your fundraiser is active for an extended amount of time it will take even longer.
The fact that Facebook uses 3rd parties to manage donated funds creates a number of complications…
- Funds are not immediately received by NEADS which means they will not immediately appear on your NEADS fundraising page. Once we do receive the funds they will be manually entered to your personal fundraising page, yet they will likely be in varied amounts instead of a lump sum (bits and pieces of the donations are sent to NEADS over time).
- No donor info. is sent to NEADS along with the funds. This means that NEADS can’t send out thank you letters and tax receipts. The donor does receive an emailed tax receipt from Facebook for their records but since NEADS doesn’t know who the donors are their names will not be reflected on your fundraising page.
- Anyone who donates to your campaign through Facebook will not receive updates as you add them to your NEADS fundraising page. Their email addresses won’t be available to you as they normally would be if they had donated directly to NEADS.
- You MUST set up an actual Facebook fundraiser! Facebook offers two options when fundraising for a non-profit. You can either take the time to create a fundraiser or you can simply add a donate button to a random post. If you create a fundraiser then it will have your name attached and we will know that you raised those funds when we receive them. If you add a donate button to a post we can’t track that so we will never even know that you did it. There will be no way to attach those funds to your fundraising campaign. If you want credit for bringing in money through Facebook you have to create a fundraiser, and make sure it is in your name and not a friend’s name since that would again make us unable to trace the funds back to you.
In light of all of these factors, it’s imperative that you notify me in advance if you are going to set up a Facebook fundraiser. While a Facebook fundraiser can be a valuable tool for clients it does require a lot of tracking and monitoring on the NEADS end of things. Advanced notice of your Facebook fundraiser is a critical part of us being able to allocate the funds correctly toward your $8,000 fundraising goal.
Bottom line, if you feel that creating a secondary fundraiser through Facebook will help you reach more people, and raise more money, then go for it.
-for more information on Facebook and other fundraising platforms click here