According to the Charitable Giving Report, online giving reached a record high last year, representing 8.5 percent of overall fundraising revenue. Since 2016, online giving has grown 17 percent with no signs of slowing.
One reason is Facebook. If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you’ve probably noticed requests to support a cause on behalf of a friend’s birthday. Launched in August 2017, the Facebook birthday fundraising feature raised more than $300 million in its first year, and Facebook now waives its fee on every birthday-related donation.
Facebook currently has about 750,000 charitable organizations approved for fundraising. For nonprofit organizations, getting approved is simple: You must be a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, be registered with the IRS, have a tax ID number, and have a bank account registered with a licensed financial services institution.
Programs like the Facebook birthday feature are low-cost, low-effort ways to build awareness and raise incremental funds—but the key is getting your constituents to use them. Here are a few ideas to do so:
Gain reach: Keep your organization’s online presence current and vibrant, and tag photos of your staff, board, volunteers, and donors to create greater reach and awareness.
Promote participation: Remind your staff, board, volunteers, and donors of online fundraising opportunities, and ask them to participate on your organization’s behalf.
Create a bond: Use social media to thank your supporters and “claim” them as your own. Creating a public relationship can inspire individual supporters to reciprocate in a way that benefits your organization.
Online fundraising will no doubt continue to grow, and it will be interesting to see how other social media outlets integrate fundraisers into their platforms moving forward. It’s wise to check state solicitation requirements to ensure compliance and stay on top of this trend to take advantage of every type of fundraising opportunity.