The Power of Facebook for Fundraiser Acquisition

December 13, 2019 Emelie Oberg

For marketers across the globe, social media is quickly taking over as the number one way to build and maintain relationships with those in your networks. In fact, if you’re not on social media, you will be missing countless opportunities to connect with those who care about your cause. The reality is, the future of fundraising is online and, for those who wish to keep their supporters highly engaged and maximise participation in events, it’s a vital part of an effective fundraiser acquisition strategy.

Leveraging key features of Facebook’s powerful advertising engine to engage with your supporters will drive the growth of your campaigns and, ultimately, help you to achieve fundraising success. In Australia alone, 62% of the population uses Facebook on a daily basis. Most of those check the platform about 14 times throughout the day. However, the most exciting thing about Facebook isn’t its reach, it’s the way your supporters rely on this social network to connect them with all elements of their life. Facebook knows more about your database than you ever will.

From your supporters’ birthdays, their anniversaries, and who their friends are, this data is already used to personalise news feeds, prioritise status updates, and to remind users of important things going on near them. So, regardless of the size of your database or the size of your budget, here are three key Facebook targeting options that will deliver fundraising success:  

Interest Targeting

Interest targeting allows you to target people based on their interests and is best used for Acquisition campaigns. Here, the most effective way to use interest targeting is to combine it with the demographic information Facebook collects, in order to build out a clearer picture of potential supporters that best match the profile of the highest value supporters in your database currently.

This allows you to build an audience of people that have a higher likelihood to convert, as they already have an interest in your cause, or are possibly like-minded friends of people who do. Make sure to have a think about your database’s psychographics. Using their age, where they live and stage of life as indicators of what is of interest and importance to them will give you the best result.

Handy hint: Use interest targeting if you have a clear understanding of who you fundraisers or donors are, in terms of lifestyle, interests etc. Understand that this will be the least accurate way to use Facebook targeting and thus will provide the lowest ROI compared to other methods.


Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences is one of the simplest and most effective targeting options that Facebook offers: it allows you to upload a database of your supporters into Facebook and target them with your ads. Here, segmentation is key to success. Simply upload your database into Facebook using Custom Audiences and filter your audience by age, gender, and location with simple drop downs. This completely tailors your ad creative and messaging to appeal to the segment you choose and make your ads even more relevant to them. While you’re there, why not start bringing the fundraising tips you are emailing to your supporters, into Facebook ads and put your coaching straight into their news feed!  

Handy Hint: Use custom audiences if you want to target a specific, and large enough, list of contacts.


Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences help you reach people who are similar to your current database for the purpose of acquisition and brand awareness. To create a Lookalike Audience, Facebook analyses your existing Custom Audience list and creates a new segment of people it deems to be just like them.   

So, how do you create a Lookalike Audience you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple. Once you’ve uploaded your Custom Audience list, you just choose the option to create a Lookalike from the dropdown menu, choose how big an audience you want to build and that’s it. From there, Facebook will then do the hard work generating your audience and will send you a notification when it’s ready. The other great news here is that once your Lookalike audience is created, you can also segment it by demographics or interests and show relevant ads by age group, gender or location… the possibilities are endless!

Handy Hint: Use lookalike audiences if you have a known database, and you want to acquire fundraisers and donors with similar profiles (age, interest, location, etc.).   So, if there’s one thing you do today, make sure it’s looking at how you can maximise your fundraiser acquisition through Facebook ads. Here, using the right social media tools will not only attract new supporters to your cause but will leave your existing supporters feeling motivated, helping you to achieve overall fundraising success.   If you would like to learn more about defining Facebook ads strategies and implement campaigns for fundraiser acquisition, just contact us!

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