My First Experience With Facebook Fundraisers

If you’ve celebrated a birthday in the last 6 months and have it listed on Facebook then you got the same notification I got when I celebrated my birthday in May.

Facebook has partnered with the Network for Good to merge charitable giving and social media for the greater good. I work for a foundation serving at-risk youth in Orange County, California, and back in November 2016 we did a dollar-for-dollar donation match to raise funding for Covenant House California’s homeless youth programs.

My boss and I slept out on streets of Los Angeles to raise funding. I wanted to contribute to the cause and reached out through Facebook to create a fundraiser. My expectations were low because I had assumed everyone I knew was in the same boat as me, broke.

I set a high goal of $1,000 in hopes I’d make it to at least $500. After filling out the necessary information my fundraiser went live and I started to promote it weekly. What came next was amazing.

Friends donated $5, $10, $15, $50 and even a few $75 and $100 pledges. I was speechless. At the end of the fundraiser I hadn’t reach the $1,000 mark but I did break the $500 barrier and it felt great. I was so proud to call all of these people friends.

Reasons to Give to Charity Infographic

Fundraising through Facebook helped put a face and name with the cause I was supporting. It made the connection between organization and person hold weight. There was a person (me) everyone (my Facebook friends) knew and trusted, which made it easier to give a donation.

If the organization ran an ad to my friends, would they have donated? I don’t think so, because they wouldn’t connect with a logo and random nonprofit as much as a friend they know trying to make a difference.

Facebook fundraising is a game changer, but…

The check came in the mail and it was almost $200 less than raised. The Network for Good does tell you up front how much is kept, and it’s not much when it’s a small donation, but when the donation is higher so is the chunk taken out.

I understand everyone needs to make a buck, but damn. That felt bigger than a buck, and I can’t imagine how much is taken out from those who have raised thousands.

Take my experience with a grain of salt, no two fundraisers are the same. Do the research. Facebook fundraisers was a great tool to get my cause in front of friends and family.

But, it’s a business and takes a percentage out of each donation received. Now, would that many people have donated if they were asked to send a check? Probably not, weigh the outcomes. Where is your audience and what’s the best way to reach them? Will it get them engaged and is it worth the percentage?

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