Facebook fundraising and white label solutions - A FAQ

Jesper Juul Jensen
Min to read

The growth of Facebook fundraisers have been explosive, and seeing the wave of donations being made is amazing. The extremely easy call to action and encouraging all users to create fundraisers in advance of their birthdays is a tremendous powerful force. Facebook leveraging their data for good have without a doubt had a positive impact on charities.  

This is a comprehensive FAQ that will help you evaluate facebook fundraisers, and if you in addition to the tools provided by Facebook need a white label solution.  

So why even bother with white label solution for P2P fundraisers?

Facebook charges no donation fees, and the fundraisers do all the work, so why even bother considering doing anything other than P2P fundraising on Facebook?  

Getting sweet free donations from Facebook comes at a cost. You are given very little in terms of administration tools, you receive next to no data on donors, and have limited reporting capabilities at hand.  

When fundraising on Facebook, it is Facebook who owns the relationship between the fundraiser and the donor. You don’t get to change how Facebook communicates with the donor, influence the branding, tell your stories, or build long term relations. Facebook is in its very nature a short term fundraising tool that provides new donations, but does little to build a sustainable income stream.  

That is why you need a white label solution too. If you want your community and event fundraising efforts to have a long term impact, you need to own the relationship with your donors. If you want to build relations with supporters, then you have to have more control over the fundraising experience.

Sounds bad - should I stop using Facebook for fundraising?

No, no! Remember those sweet free donations - don’t say no to those 🙂

We believe there is evidence that facebook fundraisers and donations doesn’t cannibalise other channels in the short term.  

BetterNow have customers across Europe. Facebook has opened up gradually for fundraising across Europe, and at no point has there been a drop when Facebook opened up for fundraising in a country. In addition to that, Denmark is an interesting case study.  

Facebook disabled fundraising in Denmark after just a year, due to a change in the Danish fundraising legislation. Just as we didn’t notice any drop in overall activity when Facebook opened up for fundraising, neither did we see an uptake in fundraisers when Facebook shut down in Denmark. In other words - new Facebook fundraisers seem to be a clear addition to the overall number of fundraising pages being set up. So, no reason to say no to these donations and fundraisers!

Okay, so what charities should have a white label fundraising solution?

If you work strategically with your peer-to-peer fundraising, you should definitely consider a white label solution. In this case you will need analytics, testing, payment methods, reporting, data, administration and customisation possibilities that Facebook won’t or can’t give you.  

If you either organise your own challenge events or buy places in sports event for fundraisers - then it is a clear sign you need your own solution. In this case you recruit the participants, and it is simply a bad idea to send them to a third party site where you lose control and can’t leverage donor data.  

If you want to expand your monthly donation program - then a white label is a must-have. You will get very few contact permissions through Facebook, and therefore very little data from Facebook. With a white label solution, you are the data owner and get all data that is collected. You set privacy policies and consent statements and you determine how your work with the data and who you share it with - not Facebook.  

A white label comes at a price. It is a more advanced solution, customised and designed for you. Count in the value from converting donors to monthly donors and the effect of better and long term relationships with your fundraiser and donors - then the return on a white label platform is quite massive. A good white label platform comes with automation to reduce the workload on your community and event fundraising teams - this in itself can provide a return on an investment in a white label.

Is there any charities who should just use Facebook?

Yes, definitely. Small charities without resources to go big on peer-to-peer fundraising or who don’t have a monthly donor program should definitely just use Facebook. We sometimes encourage small charities to start with Facebook and then later consider a white label solution.

What should I use Facebook fundraising tools for?

Don’t refer fundraisers to Facebook. Don’t encourage anyone to create fundraisers on Facebook. Facebook is good at encouraging this inside their platform, and you should just free-ride off of Facebook’s efforts. As the case of Denmark showed, saying yes to this doesn't seem to cannibalise donations from other channels (at least in the short term). Facebook has an incentive to encourage this besides the social impact as they get paid through advertising and personal data.  

So do sign-up, and enjoy the free donations! If you have a substantial volume, then you might consider investing resources in tools to make the work of administering and thanking Facebook fundraisers easier. These are not cheap, but will help you overcome some of the downsides there is with Facebook fundraisers.

So, what about other giving platforms, a perfect middle ground?

No, giving platforms doesn’t make sense! And we say that as a former giving platform turned white label solution! The rasion d’être of a fundraising platform is to match potential donors and fundraisers with charities. To do this you need scale in data and users. So small platforms are basically software solutions where you cannot leverage your own branding, they are - just as we were - noisy middlemen.  

Facebook works because not only do they have the scale in users and data - they also have users who log in every single day. Very few people log in and check their profiles on ‘pure' giving platforms on a regular basis. Users of these platforms will therefore not be presented with encouragement to create a fundraising page very often. This is where Facebook stands out, as many of their users log in every single day.  

That said, giving platforms suffers from fewer of the problems than Facebook does. There is way better administration, reporting and functionality. But, white label solutions are so cheap now, that it there is very little reason to not just to choose a white label instead. And, not to forget, you get +71% contact permissions and +12% donations compared to giving platforms.

Hey! Aren’t you incredibly biased?

Yes we are! You should definitely check other sources too. 🙂 That said, BetterNow’s mission is to make the world more generous, and we really don’t want to have unhappy customers who don’t get a good return on our product, so we try to design everything from how we do support to how we price so that it fits this mission.

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