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    Facebook Fundraiser for Nonprofits

    American Cancer Society gained more than 400,000 leads.

    Facebook Challenges are time-bound peer-to-peer fundraisers. During a Challenge, participants are added to a Facebook group to connect with one another as they complete a task (running, biking, etc.) and raise peer-to-peer funds from their respective networks.


    Should you incorporate Challenges into your fundraising lineup? A quick examination of the key performance indicators of early Challenge adopters, such as the American Cancer Society, points to yes.

    Let’s dig into the statistics collected during the American Cancer Society’s Facebook Challenges to understand just why these fundraisers work well.


    Support Acquired

    The American Cancer Society hosted three events, targeting three locations. Each Challenge lasted one month and featured a different physical activity— walking, running, and doing squats.

    Over the course of the Challenges, the following occurred:

    • Participants created 61,000 fundraisers.
    • Facebook’s record for the most money raised by a single organization in a single day was smashed, and the American Cancer Society received 23,000 donations in one 24-hour period.

    There are a few reasons why Challenges lead to such astronomical results. This type of virtual peer-to-peer fundraiser is easy for supporters to both participate in and donate to, as it’s conducted through a platform on which many already have accounts— Facebook. The reach is virtually unlimited and it only takes a few mouse clicks to join.


    Perhaps most exciting were the 443,078 new leads generated for the American Cancer Society, 95% of which were new to the organization. 


    We’ve seen time and time again that the individuals nonprofits connect with on social media are often new to the organization or mission. Challenges don’t detract from your current supporter base by asking existing supporters to participate, drawing their attention away from your other fundraisers. Challenges add new individuals to your audience.


    Cost Per Acquisition

    To be wading into a new type of fundraising event, you’d think that the American Cancer Society had to spend a pretty penny to start its program. However, here’s how the organization’s Challenge costs broke down:

    • The cost per lead acquired was $3.12.
    • The cost per participant (fundraiser) acquired was $22.41.

    The second number, cost per participant, is compared to a $600 peer-to-peer industry standard.

    Why are costs so low with Facebook Challenges? Well, you already have access to the main platform used to host the fundraiser. And, because Facebook has zero processing fees for nonprofit fundraisers, your organization keeps 100% of each donation made.

    To explore the American Cancer Society’s success with Facebook Challenges in-depth, check out the case study on the GoodUnited website.


    Wrapping Up: How to Plan a Facebook Challenge

    If you’re interested in incorporating Facebook Challenges into your fundraising calendar, use the following steps:

    1. Define the parameters of your event. This includes the Challenge task, start date, duration, and fundraising goals.
    2. Create the tech infrastructure. This includes creating the Facebook group for participants to join, and the corresponding ad campaign that will direct participants to join the Challenge.
    3. Engage with participants. Regularly post discussion prompts and updates in the group and connect with participants via Facebook Messenger to share one-on-one encouragement.

    Supporters want to give their time and talent— not just their donations. Facebook Challenges allow them to do just that. And, if you’re struggling to plan your first events, you can work with a social fundraising solutions provider to get started. Good luck!


    Written by Cassie Losquadro, Solutions Executive at GoodUnited, the social giving solution. Connect with Cassie on LinkedIn.