Back in March I spent the week helping the digital team of Open with the ACLU Stand For Rights telethon.
Before I logged into Facebook that night I hesitated. It was the first telethon held on Facebook Live. Tom Hanks was presenting. Everybody was excited. But I wasn’t convinced.
If there’s one thing my digital roles have taught me, it’s that when everyone else gets excited, you should get realistic. When everyone else is amazed, you should be critically evaluating whether or not this technological triumph / creative concept / viral video / hyperbolic headline is going to lower your cost-per-acquisition.
But after another few seconds, I gave into the impulse to open Facebook and this is what I saw:
My skepticism remained in-tact. Yes, 449 people had donated, but they had Alec Baldwin and Usher talking about a cause which could not be more topical.
It was entertaining and seeing other people’s donations and comments racking up was alluring, but I didn’t see how this was going to change the fundraising-game… until I hit the Donate button any my eyes bulged slightly, at this sight:
This was the entire donation process.
The effort required from a user (who albeit had given before on Facebook) was two thumb-taps.
Tap. Tap. Thanks for donating Adrian.
I stared at the Thank You screen for several minutes and arrived at the conclusion that this was going to reduce the cost of recruiting a new donor on Facebook by 50-80%. Why? Two reasons:
1) People don’t go “on Facebook” to leave Facebook
Every social campaign I’ve ever run has reminded of this infuriating truth. Facebook is a break from reality, a self-contained browsing experience. Even people who are engaged in a cause, don’t want to leave the social party to come hang out on a boring charity website. And that’s why conversion rates from Facebook are so low.
2) People let themselves off the hook if a donation process is complex
Giving your money to a charity isn’t like booking your holiday with Easyjet. If it’s a pain, you’ll just give up because there’s no carrot to motivate you. And better still, you can tell yourself you’re still a good person… at least you tried. Most charity donation forms involve over 100 thumb taps on mobile… by making the process 98% shorter, you can’t let yourself off the hook.
When I went back to Facebook Live and saw my name appearing beside the other donors. I was buzzing. It was so easy and yet, I felt like Tom and I were making a difference.
And then… I really got it.
This event made donating to charity a live and pleasant experience, which is what people in their twenties and thirties want. They don’t mind parting with cash, as long as there’s an experience and it involves them.
As a result, over $500,000 were donated in a few hours.
Forget SnapChat. Forget Twitter. Give some thought to how you can use the Facebook Donate Button. It already fundraised $6.8 million for other US charities on Giving Tuesday and now it’s here in the UK.
Digital Media Strategist
Who at your organisation remembers the first cheque you received from a donor? How about the first Direct Debit run?
Do you remember the first time you took a donation online? Your first PSMS campaign?
Today’s a big day. From today, charities in the UK can register to take donations in Facebook* with Facebook Donate.
We’ve been waiting for this day since we used Facebook Donate to raise money for the ACLU on Stand for Rights back in March.
We’re excited, and you should be too.
At the beginning of 2017, it was estimated that 78% of the UK’s 32 million Facebook accounts were being accessed daily.
That’s a huge audience, who very soon will be able to make donations with the tap of the finger.
How are you going to make sure you stand out in the crowd of charities? We’ve got some ideas… get in touch!
* Get registered for the Facebook Donate button here: https://donations.fb.com
Since we started out in 2008, our team of more than 60 fundraising experts has raised millions of pounds for great causes. Digital has always been part of the mix, but done right, we truly believe that digital channels have the potential to transform how charities interact with their supporters for the better.
That’s why we’re building our very own digital crack squad (yes, it’s a thing) to put Open’s clients at the forefront of the strategic and tactical development that’ll help reshape the UK fundraising model. (And so we can legitimately use terms like “digital crack squad”.)
We’ve already started our digital revolution. We’re the only agency in the UK to have used Facebook Live and Facebook Donate for a fundraising campaign – and not looking to humblebrag, but our work there was nominated for an Emmy.
Now we’re on a quest to find the very best digital thinkers – and doers – in the business, and that business is making the world a better place. First up, we’re looking for a Digital Content Strategist.
Someone who’s ready to get stuck in to coming up with great campaigns across digital channels, writing great content at pace, testing hypotheses, delivering learnings and optimising every part of a fundraising experience online.
Team-work makes the dream work, so our Digital Content Strategist will need to live and breathe collaboration. The right person will be fired up about all things digital, and ready to share their experience, skills and enthusiasm with colleagues across Open and the fundraising sector.
As a reward for your campaign experience and limitless digital enthusiasm, you’ll have the chance to work with our amazing charity partners (think Unicef, Amnesty International, Crisis, Battersea Cats and Dogs, Sightsavers and Movember) to actually make the world a better place. And there’s a salary too – changing the world alone doesn’t pay the bills. And finally, you get to work in our beautiful London canal-side offices.
Sound up your street? We’d love to hear from you – email your CV and a cover letter about why you’d be right for Open to firstname.lastname@example.org.