In a world where charities, non-profit organisations and social enterprise groups have to change and adapt to digital screens, Facebook has just made it a little easier. Budgets for marketing spend are always tight because the funds raised go towards providing the services the charity advocates, not back into creating bigger marketing campaigns. So when Facebook last week announced their new fundraiser feature, I can imagine non-profits everywhere stopped and listened.
In the official Facebook blog they released on the 18th November, Naomi Gleit, VP of Product Management writes that, “with more than 150 million people around the world connected to a cause, Facebook is a community of volunteers, donors and activists coming together to make the world a better place”. Organisations are out there creating awareness and driving donations for a wide array of causes, but due to the previous limitations of Facebook, any marketing campaign on the platform drove people away from Facebook to a charity’s website to complete a Call-to-Action (CTA) which is commonly urging people to donate money.
Now, while it may seem Facebook are driving their new fundraiser tool because they want to make it easier for people to donate to charities, don’t be fooled. Facebook don’t want people to leave Facebook. Previously, when people were being directed to an organisation’s website, in Facebook’s eyes, they are leaving the platform. Now, you don’t have to leave Facebook at all. It all works towards Facebook’s goal of being able to allow users to do everything they want, all within Facebook. Gleits even admits this in the official Facebook blog, saying, “… we’re testing fundraisers – a new tool – and improving our Donate button, to allow people to donate to charities without leaving Facebook”.
So where is this all heading? It’s not difficult to figure out that what Facebook are potentially building is an e-Commerce feature which will work in Facebook. Their ‘Donate’ button will become a ‘Buy’ button (which will happen within Facebook). Campaign stories will become brand stories. Rallying supporters will equate to gaining a bigger customer base and audience. Even being able to visibly track progress toward fundraising goals (whether this is a private or public function) could be tweaked so that customers can view the shipment progress of their bought goods. It’s not just big news for charities. If you are a business owner who runs an e-Commerce store, then watch this space!
The fundraiser feature is still in the testing phase, so we will have to wait and see how the tests go before we see it released to other charities and non-profits. If you work for an organisation that could be interested, you can sign up here to learn more.
Facebook can also potentially use the data collected during the testing phase for other purposes, such as a crowdfunding feature, as suggested by Josh Constine for TechCrunch. He states that, “… the crowdfunding process could feed into Facebook’s mission while also making it some money. The company’s goal is to connect people, and crowdfunding projects are becoming the premier way people rally together”. He’s not wrong either. Watching how Facebook develop this new feature is going to lead to better features later on down the track. Your best chance of taking advantage of it from a business perspective is to begin using Facebook more aggressively and thoroughly (if you aren’t already) for your online marketing goals. If you want to learn more about using Facebook for your business, get in touch with SponsoredLinX now on 1300 859 600.