What they are
Facebook’s new tools for non-profits consist of a Donate button for Pages and posts, and a dedicated Fundraisers feature that allows organizations to solicit financial support for specific causes and campaigns.
With the new Donate buttons, non-profits can enable their supporters to send donations without leaving Facebook and to broadcast the news of their donations to their friends.
Adding Donate buttons to posts promises to be a particularly powerful fundraising tool, as supporters can make donations directly from the News Feed.
The Fundraisers feature allows non-profits to go beyond general solicitations for financial help.
As Facebook VP of Product Management Naomi Gleit explained, Fundraiser’s are dedicated pages that allow non-profits to “tell their campaign story, rally supporters, collect donations and visibly track progress toward a goal for year-end drives, themed campaigns and special projects such as building a clean water well or funding a clothing drive.”
How non-profits should use them
Facebook is currently testing the new Donate buttons and Fundraisers pages with several dozen organizations, including the American Cancer Society, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and World Wildlife Fund.
In the near future, it intends to make them available to other organizations that are registered as 501(c)(3) non-profits in the United States.
Organizations that are eligible to use these tools will obviously want to look for ways that they can take advantage of them.
At a minimum, most organizations will want to add a Donate button to their Pages and those that are actively publishing content on Facebook will want to look for opportunities to add Donate buttons to their posts.
Non-profits that support multiple causes or have well-defined fundraising campaigns will also want to consider employing the Fundraisers feature.
After all, individuals often attach themselves more easily to causes and campaigns than they do to organizations, so use of Fundraisers could help non-profits more effectively gain support, particularly from new donors.
Of course, non-profits will want to ensure that these new tools are integrated into their social strategies appropriately.
While money is the lifeblood of most charitable organizations, convincing individuals to open their wallets is a process, and non-profits should keep in mind that part of that process usually begins with convincing individuals to open their eyes and hearts.
As such, non-profits shouldn’t become too focused on donations simply because Facebook is offering tools that aim to facilitate them.
Instead, savvy organizations will ensure that their broader social and content marketing strategies are well-balanced.