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Facebook Fundraising Facts for Nonprofits Published on Thursday, August 6, 2009 by

Facebook Fundraising Facts for Nonprofits

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Facebook has been touted by several organizations regarding the potential to raise money on Facebook’s community.  As a user, I have been invited by several friends to join a “CAUSE.”  But rarely do I because I receive quite a few friend invites, updates, game invites and more. 

Nonprofits can use the tool as a means to engage with their members.  Nonprofits can also find new members and spend time driving users to their main website.  But this is tedious and requires almost as much attention as a nonprofit’s website.  I find that many nonprofits and businesses are jumping on the Facebook bandwagon because it is the “new sexy” thing to do online.  But Facebook is very cluttered in my opinion.  And entities promote the fact that they have a Facebook page in their email and on their website with the goal of trying to send their members to Facebook to become their nonprofit’s Facebook fan.

The problem with this process is that nonprofits should realize that you are sending your hard earned traffic to Facebook.  And even if a visitor clicks the link from your email newsletter to become a fan on Facebook, they are more interested in how Facebook can benefit them.  So they will hop off of your page and build their own page or never visit again.

My current struggle has been to remove the Facebook “fog” from the eyes of my nonprofits and show them why they should go to Facebook and move traffic to their website.  The best way is by getting Facebook members the opportunity to sign up for the email newsletter.  I find that it works best when they visitor receives something free, such as a blueprint or e-book.  It is a slow and tedious process but the benefit is that the people who actually sign up are members that will respond to action requests to volunteer or make a donation directly on the nonprofit’s website. 

According to a recent BusinessWeek article, Cameron A. Marlow, a research scientist at Facebook, conducted a study to find out how close Facebook users are to their friends online. Marlow looked at how often people clicked on their friends’ news or photos, how often they communicated, etc.  “Facebook users with 500 friends actively follow the news on only 40 of them, communicate with 20, and keep in close touch with about 10. Those with smaller networks follow even fewer,” the article mentioned.

Facebook users don’t pay much attention to most of their online friends. Marlow’s study sheds even more light on the Washington Post article that said Facebook Causes are not raising much money for nonprofits.

Here are the stats:

  • Only a small fraction of the 179,000 nonprofits that use Facebook Causes have brought in $1,000.
  • Less then 1 percent of Facebook members who have joined a Cause have actually donated money through the Causes App.
  • The median donation is $25 as compared to average online donations from email fundraising appeals, which is about $71.
  • Less than 50 of the 179,000 groups on Causes have raised $10,000, and just two –
  • The Nature Conservancy and Students for a Free Tibet — have raised more then $100,000.

So are you on your way to Facebook?  Why not add me as a Facebook friend?

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