Facebook Fundraising: Don’t Fall for It

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As an article in The Philanthropy News Digest has stated, the International Medica Corps raised $10 million for Nepal disaster relief efforts in two days by use of a “DONATE NOW” button that was placed on top of Facebook pages after the earthquake.

As a nonprofit you might take a loot at these numbers and think it would be silly not to do a similar campaign on Facebook for your nonprofit. If Facebook could bring in $10 for a relief effort in just two days, surely it could bring in even a quarter of that for your vital nonprofit in a week.

Before you spend your resources on creating a fundraising campaign on Facebook for your nonprofit, you need to know what Facebook really does for nonprofits. Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and other Facebook heads have told the public multiple times that Facebook is not intended to be a fundraising platform and therefore it does not cater to that. A few years ago a study was done to see how well Facebook could raise money for nonprofits.  The results were that while the nonprofits did raise money from Facebook “Donate Now” buttons, what was raised was mere pennies when compared with their total raised across all methods.

Facebook is vital to your nonprofit as it raises awareness and gives your audience easy access to information. However, it is not the place for you to try to raise money. Of course you can partner Facebook with another fundraising tactic to help boost results. For example if you were to do a crowd funding campaign on KickStarter, you could promote it on Facebook so your Facebook followers knew they could donate. However, it is not advised to attempt to solely fundraise on Facebook.

While certain nonprofits can gain large amounts of money on Facebook when tragedies like the earthquake in Nepal hit, it is not a success when nonprofits use this tactic for “everyday fundraising”.

About the Author: Julia-Kaye is an undergraduate at the University of Iowa studying English, mass communications, and theatre. She hopes to work in the media business to help alter the way women are depicted.

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