Facebook Fundraising ends in the European Economic Area; what to do next?

The end of Facebook Fundraising in Europe

Meta put out a huge, startling announcement about their fundraising tools on April 25th. They’re removing the fundraising tools in all European Economic Area countries, starting July 1st.

What this means for charities in the EEA

  • The Facebook Giving Tools will stop working on July 1st
  • There is no mooted switch to the PayPal Giving Fund (as happened in the UK) – the tools are being completely shut down
  • This means an end to Facebook donation buttons, birthday fundraisers and fundraising pages (both individual and charity-created ones)
  • Also, anyone in the EEA who has not already donated on Facebook, will now be blocked from donating, i.e., only existing Facebook donors can donate. This will obviously have a big, negative effect on the last few months of our use the fundraising tools.

What should charities who are losing Facebook Fundraising do?

Friend of Digital Charity Lab, and Facebook fundraising expert Adrian O’Flynn, from Get Your Stories Straight, shared the following advice:

  • Meta are a huge corporation who have been cutting costs for over a year, successfully (in terms of their share price). They didn’t tell any of their partners this was happening or reveal why.
  • Meta is highly unlikely to reverse this decision.
  • Birthday fundraising income will be almost impossible to replace. Write it off and adjust your budgets and let your stakeholders know that this income stream is gone.
  • Donations via the Donate Button: you could build a streamlined version your website donation form, which requires the bare minimum of information. You could raise 50% – 60% of what you would have raised by adding the Donate button to Facebook posts.
  • Facebook Challenges: you should be able to raise 70% to 100% of what you expected to raise via Facebook, with web-based fundraising platforms. We have been doing this successfully for multiple clients for 2 years now. It actually works better than Facebook Fundraising for young and male audiences. Last week we switched a UK client over to Funraisin from Facebook Fundraising for a running challenge and they look set to raise 40% more income.

I would strongly agree that Meta are not going to reverse this decision, and any appeals from charities or sector organisations would be a waste of time and effort.

More sources for guidance

What about charities in the UK and US – will they be affected?

There’s no indication so far that Meta plan to make similar changes in the UK and US…but keep in mind that the EEA change was announced without any advance warning. Our advice to charities in the UK and US is to do the following:

  • Add the potential shutdown of Facebook Fundraising to your risk register, so your organisation isn’t blindsided by it
  • Any campaigns that you’re running that rely on Facebook Fundraising, such as virtual challenges, start testing alternative fundraising platforms. You can still use the funnel of Meta lead ads > Facebook Group > online fundraising, you’ll just need to test out alternatives at the fundraising touchpoint.

What do you think? Will this have a big impact on your digital fundraising? What alternatives are you testing? Tell us in the comments…

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