Beyond Likes: 5 ways to turn Facebook engagement into donations.

Nonprofit Marketing September 4, 2013 By Kevin Wolfe

DonorDrive Facebook Like IconWe’ve seen those numbers too. You know, the ones that give a monetary value to a Facebook Like on your nonprofit’s page. One statistic last year claimed the value of a nonprofit page Like was over $200. Then Forrester Research reported the realized monetary value of a Facebook Fan is zero. UNICEF recently launched a campaign stating that Facebook Likes won’t save a child’s life. The problem here is not how much a Like or a Fan is worth. The problem is this: if we’re using something as insignificant as a Like to measure engagement, we’re not seriously engaging our supporters on Facebook.

The issue with Likes is that they’re far too easy to get. If you ask people to like you on Facebook, they will. Many of these Likes come from people who probably clicked on impulse without actually knowing what your organization does or how you make an impact on those you serve. While Likes can help spread the word to people not already familiar with your cause, they shouldn’t be the ultimate measurement for how effectively you’re engaging. There are many other ways that you can use Facebook to engage your supporters and drive more money to power your mission.


Facebook is the social channel.

With Twitter, Followers go beyond friends and family, so the communication is more public. With LinkedIn, connections are less casual, so the conversation is more businesslike. But Facebook is different. Most of those we connect with are people we know well and communicate with more intimately. DonorDrive stats show that 95% of all social donations come through Facebook. And there’s a solid reason for that: Facebook is about people we know and people give to people they know.


5 ways to drive donations through Facebook.

Sure, Likes play a role, but they’re not serious engagement and they don’t lead to donations directly. These tips will help you to turn your Facebook page from a well-liked place into a donation driver:

  1. Talk about your mission. Like all social media, Facebook is a great place to introduce yourself to your future donors. What today’s donor wants to hear is:
  2. What their donation does Give them something tangible: $100 will house an abused teen for a week in a shelter.
  3. Heartwarming success stories Something simple, like a video or photo of one person helped by your organization.
  4. The impact you’re having on your goal Giving today is an investment in good, so donors need to see results. For example, Best Friends Animal Society helped start the no-kill shelter movements and reports shelter deaths are down more than 75% because of it. These tactics will communicate your mission and attract potential donors.
  5. Use Facebook to drive supporters to your website and to your fundraising software. In your updates and comments, include relevant links for people to get more information. When you drive your supporters to your site and your fundraising software you have more control over the message, branding, giving and tracking than you do in social media.
  6. Encourage your supporters to talk about their participation in your events on Facebook. Social fundraising is not so much about you making the ask over social media. Since people give to people they know, have your supporters do the asking to their friends and family. Making the ask in their updates and by posting links to their fundraising page are very effective at driving donations.
  7. Evaluate the stats. Go deeper than those “Like” numbers with Facebook’s analytics. “Reach” is how many saw your update. “Engagement” shows you how many are clicking, commenting and sharing your updates. Check which of your updates have the biggest reach and engagement and figure out why. Your fundraising software should also give you access to Google Analytics. This can help you track how much traffic and and how many conversions are coming from Facebook.
  8. Keep up the Likes. Likes may not be worth a dollar amount, but they will certainly help build your brand and drive more people to your organization. And that can definitely lead to more donations.

UNICEF likes Facebook.

unicef-linkes-donordriveWhile many took UNICEF’s ad as a slam at Facebook, they were actually slamming the idea that tapping the Like button is charitable enough. The truth is that UNICEF depends heavily on Facebook and has 2.5 million Likes. They use Facebook effectively to spread news about their success, tell stories about the problems they’re addressing, find qualified employees, and recruit community advocates.

Facebook for DonorDrive clients.

Since most social donations come through Facebook, it’s a proven tool for fundraising. The most important thing to do is encourage your supporters to connect their Facebook account to DonorDrive. In the Fundraising Motivation Engine you can personalize automatic posts to Facebook when your participants reach fundraising milestones or even each time a participant receives a donation. The reality of Facebook is that each update gets seen by relatively few people. DonorDrive's automatic updates improve the chances that all of their friends will know about their participation in your event and give. Social updates about their success are proven to inspire more giving and put your cause in front of thousands of potential donors.