On the 31st of August 2023, Facebook announced, without warning, that they were making changes to their donation process and PayPal would soon be taking over processing transactions. This had major implications for anyone running Facebook challenges or doing any sort of Facebook fundraising. No warning meant no time to prepare.
The upshot of the changes meant that:
As an expert social media moderation agency who is regularly involved in Facebook challenges, this wasn’t our favourite ever news release!l For the charities that rely on the income raised through these challenges, there was a lot of fear and apprehension.
When working with our charity partners, we make sure to engrain ourselves within their team. For us this means getting stuck in and going above and beyond at all times, especially when times get tough. As soon as the news hit (our friends at GivePanel were able to give us an early heads-up), we made sure to learn as much as we could about the ever-changing details and communicate these changes to our partners. We then made bespoke recommendations and supported partners to put these into place.
Momentum is vital with a Facebook challenge. When situations like this occur, our extensive fundraising experience pays dividends. We are hardwired to keep working towards your target.
Facebook challenge groups run for around nine weeks. The first four weeks generally cover recruitment, followed by four challenge weeks and a final ‘wrap up’ week, In terms of income we tend to see up to 50% of total fundraising landing during recruitment and the remaining 50% coming in during the challenge and wrap up.As part of this, we traditionally see an income spike at the start and end of the challenge phase.
The news was a particular concern for the challenges taking place in September. Facebook made their announcement at the end of their recruitment, with the challenges about to begin. Restrictions were therefore placed on many participants and their donors during an essential time.
September challenges ended up following the same overall gradual increase trend as the average challenge, raising slightly less overall on average.
They did see higher spikes in week 5 and week 9 – coinciding with an increase in messaging around JustGiving as an alternative option and boosting moderation support to ensure participants could access the help they needed.
The first thing to note is that these started much more slowly compared to other challenges, in terms of income. This falls in line with the giving habits of JustGiving fundraisers – they tend to be slower burners in comparison to Facebook fundraisers.
From week 3 onwards we saw a steep increase in income, with particular peaks during weeks 3, 6 and 9.
In the end, October challenges raised an average of £37.16 per group member compared to the benchmark of £28.74.
It’s clear from this that Facebook fundraisers and JustGiving can work well together. With effective communication, you can encourage supporters to have both pages. We are currently testing and working with our partners to establish how we can best promote fundraising through both platforms.
We look forward to sharing more about our findings soon. If you’d like to chat with us about this in more detail or would like to chat tactics for your upcoming challenge, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Just click on the ‘Contact Us’ button in the top right corner!