The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Donations For Nonprofits

With Facebook being such a large, high traffic website, it makes sense that nonprofits would want to engage their audiences there. One feature that Facebook offers nonprofits is the ability to run a fundraiser right on its platform. Facebook offers the ability for nonprofits to start their own fundraisers and for individuals to run birthday campaigns for a specific nonprofit.

How To Sign Up As A Nonprofit

The first step in signing up for Facebook donations is to make sure that your organization is eligible. You must operate within one of the countries approved by Facebook before you can begin the process. As of this article, there are 16 countries that are permitted. You can find the complete list in Facebook’s help documentation. You will also need to provide proof of nonprofit status, a bank statement, and contact information of your CEO.

If you are determined that you are eligible, the next step is to have your Facebook page’s admin sign up for Facebook Payments. Here is a shortcut for you to click to get their faster. Create a donations account. You will want to be sure to enable people to create fundraisers and allow them to add a donate button to their posts. For all of this to work your Facebook page will need to be set as a nonprofit organization and your address must be in the about section of your page.

Once you have completed the above steps, you are ready to start setting up a fundraiser.

How To Receive Money From Facebook

There are two ways to accept donations from Facebook, though one is clearly superior to the other. If you decide not to sign up for Facebook payments, then your donations will come via either Facebook’s donor-advised fund or through a PayPal giving fund. If you are signed up for Facebook payments you will receive your donations directly from Facebook in the form of an ACH payment. Below you can find a table taken from a Facebook help article

Facebook PaymentsNetwork For Good’s Donor Advised FundPayPal Giving Fund
Eligible countriesAny country where you can access Facebooks fundraising toolsUnited StatesAustralia, Canada, and the United Kingdom
Processing feesCovered by FacebookCovered by FacebookCovered by Facebook
Payout ProcessingEvery 2 weeks45-75 days after a donation, depending on enrollment15-90 days after a donation, depending on enrollment
Donate ButtonThrough Facebook Payments on Page headers and postsOn postsOn posts
ReportsDaily Transaction Report and Payout ReportTotal amount for the payout periodTotal amount for the payout period
Donor contact informationYou’ll receive contact information for donors that opt-in to receive emails from your organizationNot availableNot available

Be aware that Facebook’s minimum payout threshold is $100, so if you fundraise less than that amount, you will not receive any funds from Facebook.

It is also worth noting that while Facebook processes donations every 2 weeks, the payout doesn’t occur until about a month after the donation. Donations made in the first half of a month are usually paid out in the first couple of days of the following month, the same is true with donations for the second half of the month. You can expect to see those donations around the 20th of the following month.

What Facebook Charges To Collect Donations

The short answer: Nothing.

Facebook used to charge upwards of 5% for card processing but that has changed and now there is no hard cost for collecting donations on Facebook. The only costs associated with Facebook donations are the time that you have to wait until you receive your payout and the fact that a payout won’t be initiated until you have raised at least $100.

How to Use Birthday Fundraiser Campaigns

You may have noticed some of your Facebook friends creating a fundraiser on Facebook for their Birthday. This is a great way to crowdsource your fundraising efforts. The first step you will need to take to be eligible as a recipient of a Facebook birthday fundraiser campaign is to set up Facebook Payments set up. Right now birthday fundraisers are only available for nonprofits in the United States.

Once you have made sure that your nonprofit can be selected as a recipient of birthday fundraiser funds, you will need to engage with your more active donors and invite them to set up birthday campaigns. Currently, Facebook sends each individual a notification 14 days before their birthday inviting them to set up a campaign. They can select the end date, how much they want to attempt to raise, and can opt to match a certain amount of the donation.

One of the best ways to make sure that your nonprofit is selected for a birthday campaign by your existing donors and contacts would be to communicate with them directly and ask for them to consider setting up a birthday fundraiser with you as the recipient. You could do this with an early birthday card, through an email, or if you have a big enough Facebook audience, you could possibly run ads to everyone who’s birthday is in the next 30 days.

#Giving Tuesday Donation Matching

Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It is one of the biggest donation days of the year for many nonprofits. In an effort to have more people interacting with their website and to increase charitable giving, Facebook will match up to $20,000 from any individual donor and up to a total of $100,000 to any organization.

This isn’t chump change. If you are able to utilize Facebook’s Giving Tuesday program well, you could receive an extra $100,000 in donations that day. It is worth planning accordingly to try to get as many donations as possible for Giving Tuesday.

How To Find Your Facebook Donors

It would be wise to connect with your Donors who gave through Facebook. You probably want to thank them for their gift, and even create/update a giving record for them so that you know to ask for donations from them in the future.

To get access to a list of individuals who have donated to your nonprofit through Facebook, you will need to be receiving payouts from Facebook Payments and not Facebook’s donor-advised fund or PayPal’s giving fund. If you have this set up, then follow these steps that can also be found here:

  1. Click Publishing Tools at the top of your nonprofit’s Page.
  2. Select Donation Settings on the left side of the Page.
  3. Click Download Donation Reports.
  4. Select Transaction Report (reports download as .csv files).
  5. Choose a timeframe for report.
  6. Click Download.

In the Transaction Report, you will be able to find a list of donations that include the first name, last name, and possibly email for each of the donations. If you have a donor database or CRM, you may want to soft credit anyone that you can match in your system. you do not need to send them a receipt as they are sent a receipt from Facebook.

Strategies On Using Facebook Donations

It is okay to simply set your nonprofit up to receive donations on Facebook but unless you use some of the strategies below, you may find it difficult to raise a meaningful amount of funds.

Run Small Goal Campaigns

One of the reasons that people give is because they want to make a difference and feel good about where their money is going. When a donor gives to a large fund, say $50 to a $1,000,000 campaign, they don’t really feel like they’ve moved the needle very much towards completing the goal of that campaign. If, however, you were to set up multiple $1,000 campaigns, it might be more encouraging and enticing for your donors to give.

When an individual donor can provide 10% of the needed funds for a small project they will feel very accomplished and can internally be sure that they made a difference for your nonprofit. This psychology can be used to still reach larger donation goals by splitting up a large campaign into multiple smaller campaigns and specifying the purpose of each campaign.

It is understandable that this might cause issues from the viewpoint of a CFO because of the difference between restricted and unrestricted funds. Luckily, there is no need to worry. All donations that come through Facebook are considered unrestricted funds. So even though you may have broken down a campaign into smaller sub-pieces, the donations can be moved around the meet the needs of the campaign or organization, whatever they are.

Encourage Individuals To Fundraise

Facebook is a social platform. From its core, it is designed to be a place where people interact with each other. Because of this, Facebook users are more likely to interact with people than with organizations. Also, users are more likely to respond to what their friends are posting.

The best use of Facebook for a nonprofit is to treat it like a peer-to-peer fundraising network. A random stranger is probably never going to donate to your nonprofit after seeing a campaign on Facebook. If, however, one of their friends shares your fundraising campaign and asks them to give, there is a much higher chance of that actually happening.

Because of this, one of the best strategies for using Facebook to collect donations is to use it as a way to generate new donors. Make a campaign post and request that the individuals that like your page not only donate but share the campaign with their friends. This generates the potential for the exponential growth of awareness of your organization and the cause your campaign is addressing.

Run Ads

This might seem like a crazy idea. Why would you run ads on Facebook when you are trying to collect donations? It’s as the old saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. The truth is, organic reach on Facebook is all but nonexistent. Without paying to promote your fundraisers, your giving campaigns will likely only reach a small fraction of your Facebook audience. How small? Less than 7% according to Social Media Today.

That means that if your nonprofit has 250,000 followers on Facebook, only about 17,000 will ever see your campaign in their news feed. That is unless you pay to promote the post. This can be a scary venture for someone unfamiliar with promoting Facebook posts. The truth is, you may end up losing money if your campaign post is not compelling enough or your donors are not very engaged with your nonprofit.

In the end, it is a risk worth taking at least once or twice, even if it is only spending $20 to promote the post, just to see if you get a return on the investment. You can expect to see diminishing returns as you increase the amount that you spend to promote your post, but a small $20-$100 promotion may be what it takes to double or even triple the amount your campaign generates on Facebook.

Related Questions

Are Facebook donations restricted?

No. All donations received from Facebook are considered unrestricted funds and can be used as such. This is a huge advantage for some nonprofits that have an issue receiving funds for their general operating costs.

How do nonprofits get verified on Facebook?

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. From General, click Page Verification
  3. Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
  4. Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language
  5. Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
  6. Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue

Do I need to send a receipt to my Facebook donors?

You do not need to send a receipt. Facebook sends an email receipt to anyone who makes a donation on its platform. That being said, it would still be wise to reach out and thank the individual who made the donation.

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