Facebook Fundraising Guide

Facebook Fundraising successful setup message, congratulating you for creating a fundraiser and reminding you to complete the final steps (invite friends, share on your feed, make a donation)

Learn how to create your own Facebook Fundraiser for GV! Jump to the bottom of this article for advice on helping collect donations outside Facebook.

Facebook has a powerful tool called Personal Fundraisers and Donations. It's free to use and anyone with a Facebook account (with some major geographic exceptions — more below) can use for fundraising and donations.

Charitable organizations such as Global Voices qualify for Facebook Fundraisers, and the great thing is Facebook covers all of the costs. With fundraising for charitable nonprofits, Facebook charges no service fees or other deductions, so whatever money your Facebook friends contribute will go straight to Global Voices.

Fundraisers also take advantage of a Facebook algorithm that systematically promotes official fundraisers in the Timeline and with notifications, so it's an amazing way to let your friends know why Global Voices is so important, while also encouraging them to help support us financially.

Do you want to take advantage of Facebook fundraisers and help Global Voices stay strong and independent?

Read on for our FAQ of tips for building a successful Facebook campaign for GV!

When you're ready to go, jump down to our visual step-by-step guide to to the process!

Caveat: for now fundraisers only work in some countries

Unfortunately, at this point Facebook only supports fundraisers in the following 38 countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

Hopefully they will add support for more areas soon. In the meantime if you find yourself outside these places and want to participate in fundraising, see the [FB fundraisers don’t work in my country! section below] on how to run a simple campaign that doesn’t require the fundraising system!

Facebook Fundraising Tips

Screenshot of Facebook Fundraiser configuration for goal and length

Choosing a goal and timeline for your fundraiser, key point: Start with a small, achievable goal, then raise it if you get close!

What should my goal fundraising goal be?

Your fundraiser goal should be achievable. The goal should also be worth the time you've spent setting up your fundraising campaign. So, $1000 may be too ambitious to succeed, while having $20 as a goal is probably too small to be worth your time. To start off, consider a range of between $50 and $250.

Goals can be changed mid-campaign if it goes well! So consider starting low, and updating your goal if you start to get close to your target.

How long should the fundraiser be?

Once again, focus on an achievable and manageable timeline. You don’t want it to drag out forever, long after you’ve stopped posting, nor do you want it to be too short, and end up not having time in your life to do the promotional activities that will make it succeed.

Consider a 2-week fundraiser as a starting point. Enough time for you to schedule a couple of activities but short enough that it will be over and you can see the results fairly soon.

How should I write my fundraiser headline and description?

One of the hardest parts of this process will be writing the text that goes on your fundraiser.

An engaging explanation about why GV is important will make a huge difference in convincing your friends to contribute, and those small donations will add up.

There’s no knowing what exactly will work best, so we recommend you speak from the heart about what makes GV so important, and why you think it’s worth supporting.

Describe GV in your own words and tell them what makes YOU want to contribute your precious time and energy (worth so much more than a small donation!) to the project. Write about GV in a way that will make them both want to check us out and read our stories, and to donate if they can.

Not sure what to say? Here are some lines you can use in your description or elsewhere while promoting your campaign:

I volunteer with Global Voices because I believe in open and free organizations that focus on the experiences of all people everywhere.

I love contributing to Global Voices because I believe in open and free organizations that focus on the experiences of all people everywhere.

… [Tell us yours and we'll add them here!]

What should I use as a cover photo?

Example GV Fundraising image promoting Advox. Check out more GV Fundraising images!

Of course the cover photo for anything on Facebook is vital. It will show when you share the fundraiser and serve to bring the activity to life.

Ideally your cover photo should be something fun and interesting that also helps people understand what GV is and why you are hoping they will donate.

To help you get going if you aren’t sure what to use we’ve prepared some images that should work well, with photos of GVers and slogans relevant to our work. Please feel free to use any and all of these in your campaign!

View the GV Fundraising Images » 

How much should I donate to get things started?

When you first start your campaign, it will show a message like “0 dollars raised”. This is a bit of a bummer for your contacts to look at, so it’s recommended that you make a small donation just to get the ball rolling.

There’s no minimum, and this is not mandatory! Just a recommendation built into the Facebook system, so we figure it’s worth following this advice ourselves. Throw in whatever you can afford as an initial donation just to avoid that depressing zero.

How often should I post about my fundraiser on Facebook?

Sharing and posting about your fundraiser is key to making it a success, so consider regularly scheduling new Facebook posts about your campaign. You can also launch a Live video event at a time when your contacts will be online (more on this below).

The more you post, the more attention you will get, but also keep in mind that Facebook will make a lot of noise on your behalf to anyone you’ve added to the fundraiser, so they may get tired of all the notifications.

Using Facebook LIVE video to attract attention

One of the biggest pieces of advice we’ve heard over and over in relation to successful campaigns is that they took advantage of the Facebook LIVE video streaming tool. The reason LIVE is so valuable is that it sends out notifications to your contacts in the moment, and it’s just too tempting for those online at that time to click through and see what’s going on.

Then, once someone is watching, you have an ideal situation to share your reasons why you think GV is important and people should donate. Live video also gives you a wonderful opportunity to thank people who donate right in the moment, so if someone donates while you’re streaming you can thank them right then and there, which makes them feel good and inspires others to donate as well!

The other great thing about FB LIVE video streaming is that it’s so easy! All you need is a phone with the Facebook app and you can start streaming right away. You’ll be able to use your phone to film yourself, interact with people etc., though maybe it will be easier to use a mix of computer and phone to both chat and tape yourself.

So the big question is what you should do while you’re streaming to Facebook live?

Ultimately this is up to you, and we hope GVers will be as creative as always and come up with your own ideas and let us know what works!

Here are a few ideas specific to our community that we think could make fun and effective FB LIVE video streams:

  • Talk about your work with GV and why it’s so important, explaining the things about GV you love and the reasons you volunteer and participate
  • Invite friends to ask questions about GV and answer them
  • Make a list of your favorite stories you’ve worked on or translated for GV, and share them with your followers, explaining what makes them great and encouraging them to read stories and donate.
  • Offer to translate a specific story for anyone who donates.
  • Do live-translation and talk people through your process
  • Etc. etc. etc. Remember to encourage people to donate, and to thank them when they do!

FB fundraisers don’t work in my country!

Like we said above, the worst thing about this initiative is that a LOT of GVers live in places where the FB Fundraising system isn’t available, either because they can’t set up a campaign, or they have no way to send money through Facebook.

If that applies to you, and you’d like to participate anyway, we propose a more humble form of fundraising: Create a simple post linking to our general donate form, and encourage people to use it.

Creating a simple fundraiser on Facebook (or anywhere!)

  • Start by figuring out the image and text you want to use. You can read the advice above about writing a description and picking a cover image for advice and ideas on that. Even without the “fundraiser”, you can use this text and graphics to convince people they should donate.
  • Create a FB post with the image and text together.
  • Be sure to link to our homepage (https://globalvoices.org or your relevant Lingua site) as well as our public donation form in the post: https://globalvoices.org/donate
  • Ask people who donate to comment so you can thank them (and to keep the energy up on your post!)
  • Voila! It’s a fundraiser!

It won’t be a technical marvel, and sadly there won’t be any way for you to know which friends have donated or how much if they don’t comment, but you’ll still have spread the word about GV to your friends (worthwhile on its own) and done what you can to help us stay independent and sustainable!

Let us know how it goes!

Need Help? Contact Us?

You can use the Contact Us page on this site, or email fundraising@globalvoices.org with any questions!

Step-by-step guide to creating a Facebook fundraiser

If you’re ready to set up your campaign for Global Voices, follow the steps below on Facebook!

Go to the “Fundraisers” tool in Facebook

screenshot of facebook with "fundraiser" in the search bar and the search result of "Fundraisers" showing, with the "Visit" button highlighted on the Fundraisers search result.

To get started, login to Facebook and type “fundraiser” in the search bar.
Then, click on “visit” in the Fundraisers shortcut.

Choose “Select Nonprofit”

Facebook Fundraisers page with "Select Nonprofit" button highlighted.

You should now be on the Fundraisers page.
Choose “Select Nonprofit” (and be sure NOT to choose “raise money for you or a friend”).

If needed, search for Global Voices, then choose us from the list.

Screenshot of Facebook Fundraiser system showing how to search for and click on Global Voices in the Nonprofit selection window

Search for “Global Voices” as the charity and click on our main page in the results.

Choose your fundraising target, currency, and end date.

screenshot of facebook's "Let's start with the basics" popup with fields for how much to raise, the currency to use, and the date the fundraiser should end.

In this step, you set the fundraising goal (how much you want to raise) and how long the campaign will last. See the Tips section below for advice on what to choose for these values, or pick whatever you want!

Title and Description: Explain why you're raising money

Screenshot of facebook fundraiser "Tell your story" settings for title and description

Next, you'll need to customize the title of your campaign, and write a pitch about why you're raising money.
See the Tips section below for examples and advice on explaining why you're raising money for GV.

Choose a cover photo (or video!)

screenshot of the "Pick a cover photo or video" options screen in facebook fundraiser setup, showing a nice promotional image for GV

Finally, you'll be asked to choose a cover photo or video for your campaign.
See the list of recommended Cover Photos for ready-to-use images and ideas!

Finish creating your fundraiser!

Facebook Fundraising successful setup message, congratulating you for creating a fundraiser and reminding you to complete the final steps (invite friends, share on your feed, make a donation)

Once you click “Create” in the previous window, your fundraiser will be launched! Facebook encourages you to do a few important steps to make sure your fundraiser is a success:

  • Invite your friends
  • Share on your timeline
  • Donate to your fundraiser

Once you get to this point and hit Create, Facebook will walk you through the last few steps of sharing it with friends you think will be interested, making a post on your news feed, and making a donation to your own fundraiser.

Not sure why you should donate to yourself? Apparently it's important! See the section on donating to yourself below for why.