That’s a wrap! As another challenging year comes to a close and your end of year fundraising winds up, how did your peer-to-peer strategy perform? Did you hit or miss the mark in 2021? Maybe your nonprofit is still redefining their goals in light of changing social and professional environments. Either way, it’s important to go into 2022 with a strong digital fundraising strategy to take advantage of an increasingly more captive online audience.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced that since their introduction in 2016 they have raised over $5 billion through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram. TikTok have also started championing nonprofits and introduced donation stickers similar to those already available on Facebook and Instagram. How are these social fundraising tools different to peer-to-peer fundraising platforms? When should you use them and can you use social fundraising tools and peer-to-peer fundraising platforms together?
Social Fundraising vs Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Social fundraising enables nonprofits and private individuals alike to generate support for their cause utilizing tools within a social media platform to target their users. Facebook has pioneered the largest array of these tools on their platform, including donation buttons or stickers, fundraisers, livestreaming and challenges. Peer-to-peer fundraising refers to the overarching premise of encouraging a supporter to approach their network to fundraise for and increase awareness of a nonprofit or individual’s mission irrespective of how the ask takes place. However, there is overlap in these definitions as successful peer-to-peer fundraising is driven by social actions which are often performed on social media platforms.
There are already a plethora of peer-to-peer platforms to choose from with varying features and integrations. The entrance of social media platforms into the fundraising space creates even more choice for nonprofits looking to empower their donors and fundraisers. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok appeal to different demographics which will help determine when they might be suitable to implement as part of your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. Facebook arguably has the most comprehensive set of social fundraising tools with low lift, no transaction fees and the added advantage that most fundraisers are likely to already have an account. Further incentives like the $8 million donation match Facebook made to nonprofits on their platform during Giving Tuesday make Facebook fundraising an attractive proposition.
It seems inevitable that Facebook fundraising will represent a piece of all nonprofits’ digital fundraising pie, so what are fundraisers and donors using the platform for? Birthday fundraisers were and are still the most commonly undertaken fundraising activity among Facebook users in 2020. The rise in virtual fundraising during the pandemic also fueled an increase in Facebook challenges, increasing from 13% of fundraisers in 2019 to 33% in 2020 according to a Facebook Fundraising Benchmark Report from givepanel. Donate buttons can also be easily implemented and Facebook facilitates other ways their users can show non-monetary support through drives, volunteering and crisis response.
Can Facebook fundraising and Peer-to-Peer Platforms work together?
According to the 2020 Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising study, fundraisers who email their networks raise nearly twice as much as Facebook fundraisers. The average gift value made through a participant page on an organization’s website was also found to be between 78-199% higher than through a Facebook fundraiser. This could be due to the wider net cast by Facebook fundraising, potential donors are more detached from the fundraiser on social media than the relationships forged with a regular email contact.
Aside from the observation the organization websites built on a peer-to-peer platform create more valuable fundraising pages and encourage higher donor gifts – customizable branding, accessibility of donor data, tracking capabilities, payment processing and platform ethics may also discourage your nonprofit from Facebook fundraising. If you have developed specific brand guidelines and a tone of voice for your nonprofit or a signature event, this may not fit within the templated Facebook fundraising infrastructure. Facebook is also sparing with donor data, you need to create a FOMO experience where constituents want to share their information to stay engaged with your cause beyond a one-off donation. Finally, nonprofits need to setup Facebook payments for donations to be remitted every 2 weeks instead of 45-75 days through the Network for Good Donor Advised Fund. Other peer-to-peer platforms may offer choice in payment processors so that you can control disbursements and not have to wait for a donation threshold to be reached before receiving funds.
Using Facebook and a Peer-to-Peer Platform Together
Based on these insights, Facebook fundraising by itself is not yet a silver bullet that can fully replace your peer-to-peer platform. If your peer-to-peer platform offers a Facebook fundraising integration like Teamraiser, Classy or Funraise then you can combine the mighty reach of Facebook fundraisers with your organization’s peer-to-peer website. Alternatively, you can capitalize on birthday fundraisers and challenges in Facebook while deploying your signature event or testing a new event concept on your peer-to-peer platform. The pandemic adage of “meeting people where they are” rings especially true for fundraisers so make sure you understand your audience to choose the platform that resonates with them.
However your nonprofit chooses to implement social fundraising and/or peer-to-peer fundraising, empowering your fundraisers to be social is just as important as socializing with fundraisers yourself. Engaging with Facebook fundraisers increases the average raised per fundraiser by 23%. Peer-to-peer fundraisers are also more successful when encouraged to personalize their pages, given the tools to share their page and ask for support and given recognition at milestones throughout their fundraising journey. 2022 brings both opportunity and oversaturation in the digital fundraising space and remaining agile in your mindset as well as choosing innovative fundraising tools will be the key differentiators of success.