Facebook has rolled out a Donate Now button as a call-to-action option specifically for pages belonging to non-profit organizations. While some non-profit groups think Facebook should have offered a more comprehensive solution that handled all the details right on their site, the Facebook Donate Now button is actually a very powerful tool for nonprofits.
Think about it. Facebook, the biggest website traffic source in the world, is providing you with an opportunity to send some of that awesome traffic directly to the donation page on your own website. And, they are giving you a chance to provide a very specific call to action to every visitor to your Facebook page.
Instead of vying for Likes and Shares, you are now allowed to directly ask for donations. And bottom line, that’s really what all your social media efforts for your non-profit organization should be about — getting more donations and increasing your funding sources.
Plus, you can also capture more email addresses and physical address to build more real world (non-Facebook) interactions with your donor base and potential new donors.
Some nonprofit organizations are complaining that the Donate Now button is just a Facebook ploy to get you to buy more ads from them. Well, duh! Every donor acquisition model has costs. In some instances – think telemarketing – nonprofit groups are paying up to 90% of the proceeds as engagement costs. From there, they hope to turn those new donors into repeat donors and thus increase their long-term donor base.
Another example of high up front costs are mass mailings to donor lists. In some instances, the costs outweigh the donations received. But that equation doesn’t factor in the long term value of a new repeat donor.
Maybe the groups that are complaining that Facebook is charging them to reach thousands of potential new prospective donors should reevaluate their business model. Maybe those are nonprofits are among those who consistently fail to retain new donors and get a second donation from them.
Anyone in their right mind knows that the best place to get new donations is from people who have already donated to your cause. And yet, studies show that only 1 in 4 new donors ever give a repeat donation.
And why is that? Because they didn’t feel like their donation was appreciated. Maybe they never got any feedback that their donation made a specific difference. People give money because they want to be appreciated for their generosity and because they want to know that their donation made a difference.
Maybe if the groups that are complaining that the Facebook Donate Now Button isn’t a free ride would do well to rethink donor acquisition costs in the real world and give some thought to how they followup with their existing donor base.
Give a thought to how much online communication is now mobile-based. Do you have a text communication option as well as email and snail mail? Can your donation form be quickly completed on a smartphone?
How quickly are you thanking donors? Are you providing any special recognition? Are you providing social proof of the positive impact of their specific donation?
Lets all stop wasting time complaining that Facebook isn’t free. They’re a business that has overhead costs and therefore they charge for access to their database of users.
And oh what a database it is, chock full of hundreds of thousands of people who are interested in what your nonprofit has to offer. All you have to do is stop complaining and reach out to them.
For roughly the cost of a stamp, you can send them directly to your own website’s donation page. And, you can followup with them in so many ways, including thanking them publicly on Facebook for making a donation to your cause.
Non-profit organizations need to wake up and smell the coffee. The Facebook Donate Now button is the best thing that could have happened to any social media savvy non-profit organization.
Sure it costs money, but so does Starbucks. And guess what… coffee used to be free too!