Facebook Fundraisers: Creativity, Challenge and Stickiness

Facebook Fundraising is transforming digital fundraising; it’s activating new donors and I’m hearing that it’s bringing in higher average gifts than the platforms like JustGiving.  Facebook’s familiar UX and constant nudges to people to donate are bringing about fantastic results for charities and individuals that are doing it well. 

Digital fundraiser Adrian O’Flynn is currently running an extremely original and effective Facebook fundraiser for his own favourite cause: his local GAA club.  Adrian has undertaken the following challenge: he is swimming outdoors every day in January, for a minimum of 60 seconds. For every extra euro donated, he is adding a second to his swim.

Some highlights from his fundraiser so far:

  • Day 1: 60 seconds in a lake, started sharing the fundraiser
  • Day 2: 5 minutes 11 seconds in the same lake
  • Day 13: Twelve minute swim in the Irish Sea. TWELVE MINUTES.
  • Original target: €250
  • Amount raised (at time of writing this): €4,207

There is lots about this fundraiser that is really clever – the challenge element, the way the ask plays on people’s altruism and cruelty, the daily videos that capture Adrian’s freezing dips. What I really like about it is its ‘stickiness’ – by changing the challenge every day depending on the amount donated, there’s a great incentive for people to check back in regularly and see how it’s going. Adrian is keeping this appetite well fed with lots of content: daily videos, bringing other people into the water with him, swimming in different places, setting new targets within the campaign (e.g., two players from the GAA club said they’d join a swim if the fundraiser reached €3.5k).

Due to this, Adrian is seeing repeat donations, people that he hasn’t seen for years stepping up with donations, and people messaging him to explain why they’re not donating – without even being directly asked.  The social proof that Facebook Fundraisers offer is fantastic, as you can see at a glance which of your friends have given to the donation.  

A few other Facebook Fundraisers that have caught my eye recently:

There’s lots more out there – if you spot one, share it in the comments below…

Adrian’s fundraiser is continuing till the end of January by the way, so there’s still time to donate. And check out his digital fundraising work at Get Your Stories Straight.

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