This article was published a few years ago. The options for Facebook fundraising were much more limited then. Take a look at the newest options….


We used to tell our members at GiveForward that there are three Ps to successful online fundraising: personalization, promotion, and persistence.  Recently, however, we came to the conclusion that it was time to update this basic strategy for the 21st century.  We now tell our members that if they want to be successful they need to follow the three Ps and an F.

Facebook FundraisingThe F, of course, stands for Facebook.  Over the last few years, we’ve seen that almost every medical fundraiser that has raised more than $10,000 on GiveForward has does so because of Facebook – it is simply the most effective tool for getting the word out about a fundraiser and getting it to spread quickly.

If you are fundraising here are four of the best strategies on how to use Facebook to help you reach your goal.

1. Create a Facebook Group.

Creating a Facebook group will allow you to get the word out about your fundraiser and keep your friends and family informed with news and updates.  As the group organizer you can send messages to all group members and use it as your platform to ask for donations.  Make sure to invite a few of your friends to become group admins and encourage their friends to invite their friends as well.  The larger the group, the greater the potential for donations.

* Bonus Tip: one way to grow your Facebook group really quickly is to create your group on Facebook with the message “For every person that joins this group, $1 will be donated to help [YOUR FRIEND] fight cancer [OR FILL IN THE BLANK WITH ANY ILLNESS]”.

In order to make this strategy work, you will need to find a donor (or a group of donors) ahead of time willing to donate $500, $1000 or however much you want to cap it at.  While this strategy takes a little bit of extra planning, we’ve seen it work incredibly well for our users in the past. Here is an example from a fundraiser that used this technique to create a Facebook group of nearly 4,000 members.

Setting up your group is the cornerstone to your Facebook fundraising strategy. Once you have your group set up, here are three additional Facebook strategies that have worked really well for previous fundraisers.

2. Do a Matching Donation Drive

The way a matching donation drive works is you issue a challenge to your network to raise X amount of money in a short time period with the promise that if the goal is reached, a generous donor will match the total raised.

For example, you might send out a Facebook message to your group that says “If we can raise $2000 in the next 36 hours, a generous donor will match it with another $2000.”

If you can secure a matching donor ahead of time, this is a great strategy to try.  We’ve seen fundraisers raise $2000, $5000, and even $10,000 in the course of 36 hours using this idea.

3. Ask For a Specific Amount on a Certain Date

Another tactic that has worked really well for our past users is to pick a date and ask people to each give a specific dollar amount on that date.  You may ask your Facebook group to donate $15 on the 15th of January.   Asking for a certain amount of money on a certain date helps because it creates a deadline and an extra sense of urgency for your donors.

For example, Erica Flament, raised over $10,000 to help with her friend’s daughter Maddie’s cancer treatments.  One of the more creative fundraising strategies Erica came up with was to hold a birthday fundraiser for Maddie that raised over $1500 in a single day.  Here’s how she did it.

To celebrate Maddie’s 6th birthday, Erica sent out a request to friends and family on Facebook asking that they each give $6 to Maddie’s GiveForward fundraising page to help Maddie beat cancer.  Through the amazing power of Facebook, word spread and over 85 people ended up donating on Maddie’s birthday.  Many of the donations were for $6 but many more were for $16, $26, $56 and even $106.

One thing that was helpful for Erica was that she was persistent.  She didn’t just send one Facebook message and hope that everyone would remember to donate.  She sent a couple reminder emails as the date approached and asked that people share it with their friends.

Holding a fundraiser on Maddie’s birthday was a really creative way to get people to give, buy you don’t necessarily need a birthday for this strategy to work.  You can pick any date on the calendar and then ask for donations for the amount of money that corresponds with that date.

For example, you could send a message to your friends and your Facebook group that says: “Let’s help raise $1000 for Joe on the 10th of the month.  If you can afford it, please donate $10 to Joe’s fundraising page here [insert your URL here] and please tell your friends as well.  If we get 100 people to donate, we will reach our goal!”

4. Hold a 24-hour Facebook awareness campaign

One additional Facebook strategy you can use is to do a 24-hour Facebook awareness campaign

Here’s how it works —  with a 24-Hour Facebook awareness campaign you don’t actually ask people to donate money.  Rather, you simply ask that everyone “donate” their Facebook status message for 24 hours by changing it to “Please Help [NAME OF YOUR FRIEND]” then a link to your online fundraising page.

The idea is that even if your friends can’t afford to donate money, they will be happy to “donate” their status message.  With hundreds or even thousands of people all with the same status message many friends, family and strangers around the world will see it and will be inclined to donate.

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Posted on 12 July 2010

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33 Comments For This Post

  1. Jan says:

    Great ideas for fundraising using the Facebook platform. Thanks for sharing some of the things that work. We’ll help spread the word with people we work with.
    An additional note: We are happy to help anyone who does wish to do some fundraising, particularly using Facebook friends and contacts. Special program in place that is attractive to Singles around the world and to anyone who travels locally or internationally, thus it’s easier to garner support for your charity. If you want our help to raise funds using FB (and/or other methods!), feel free to contact me. or skype id shi.symbol

    Together we can make a difference.

  2. Sue Anne Reed says:

    Why do you suggest setting up a group and not a page?

  3. Ethan Austin says:

    We’ve seen that our users have been a bit more successful with Facebook groups than pages, but either a page or a group would work! I suggested a group just for simplicity sake.

  4. Sandra Sims says:

    Here’s a great post from John Haydon about groups and pages: Facebook Pages And Facebook Groups – The Ultimate Nonprofit Cheat Sheet

  5. Shai Coggins says:

    Thanks, Ethan. Great stuff! Just posted this in my week’s Top 10 favourite resources round-up –

  6. John says:

    I love the last suggestion. The idea of “donating your status” is a great one and I can see how that could be a simple and effective way to market it on Facebook. People’s status updates are extremely valuable.


  7. Michelle says:

    Great ideas! Wish I knew them when I was fundraising…. Might have reached my goal! Happy with my $10,000 anyway! 🙂

  8. Kim says:

    I heard there was a way to do this and set up a link or something on that page where people can actually give money. Maybe it is something connected to paypal or something. We are trying to get the instructions down for our college class at church to set up fundraising pages because they are going on a missions trip to Kosovo. We would like for people to be able to pay immediately.

  9. Charity says:

    Can a Charity sue a Facebook group because it does not support the Charity? The group questions if the Charity is “real” and not just taking money from members in the group. The group has asked for id numbers, etc but no response except bullied answers about lawyers and local media pursuits. Can a Facebook group refuse these services to a Charity??

  10. Amanda says:

    I would like to have a fundraiser on Facebook, but I know NOTHING at all about fundraising. I have a few questions – How do people pay on Facebook? If I wanted to do a fundraiser that involves fitness, how would I go about that using Facebook? (I actually have a group on Facebook that I started for people to get/give support and share their workouts.) Also, I’m looking to raise money for Autism. Where do I begin? Thanks!

  11. Sandra says:

    Amanda, you can use Facebook Causes to collect donations on Facebook. You might also look at, where Ethan works. I would not recommend creating a Facebook Group, but a Page instead.

  12. Angela says:

    I learned a lot from this, thank you.
    I am going to be starting a fundraiser for my friend that just found out his 9 year old has lymphoma. It’s heartbreaking and I know the family needs help with the medical bills and missing time from work for the treatments. I still have a couple questions, Can I do a Facebook fundraiser without creating a not for Profit organization? Can people enter their payment info right through the Facebook page?
    Any info would help
    Thank you

  13. Emanuel says:

    YA am sending out my love to all 🙂 🙂

  14. Ssanvicente says:

    Still not sure how it works. I have bank account details. Do I have to enter these on Facebook donation secure page? And the send a link to the page for people to make a donation from their bank account. And do they get an acknowledgement and a thank you?

  15. Christy says:

    Hi, I was wanting to something for my daughter Mandie she has stomach cancer and hasnt been able to work. So need money for bills and things. She has a 4 year old boy and 2 year old daughter and times are tough plz help me post something and the one that is easy for me to do

  16. jane says:

    I have 2 signed books from the author of “A Dog’s Purpose” and “A Dog’s Journey” that I want to use to fundraise on FB for a rescue i volunteer for..
    any ideas how to go about this?

  17. Jay Vance says:

    Anyway, a great info. Sometimes I think that people are too resistant to fund for an initiative which is from third world? a campaign like this should get more attention and support. We live in a country where technology is boosted in its high and I am sure that most of the fundraising folks pay much to promote the campaign. I am sure the this person won’t know this type of strategies and we don’t contribute even the price of a concert ticket.

  18. Karen says:

    My daughter Is doing a fundraiser for the hurricane victims of sandy and I have a question. how do I set up a donation fund or my facebook page. and how does the money go to the victom State American Red Cross

  19. Tara Neary says:

    I would like to start fundraising to help pay for my daughter to receive stem cell injections. I’m totally new at this and I want to make sure everything is legal before I proceed. I live in Canada and I read somewhere online that your not allowed to fundraise for an individual it has to be a charity. If all is successful I would like to continue to raise money for other families to receive the same treatment. Where do I start a charity? Is it legal for me to collect money without it being a registered charity? Where do I begin? I just wanna have all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted before” jumping the gun”. I will also send this message to Jan and see if she can help also. Thanks.

  20. Cynthia says:

    Thanks to I was able to start a fundraising page for my sister her is battling cancer and i was also able to connect to my FB. I held a “donate your status” and it helped spread the word and get the donations in. I created an event for this and now realize I should probably have just as well created a group. I didn’t feel it was necessary to create a FB page since I already had a fundraising page on Giveforward. My next will be to ask for a specific amount on a certain date. These ideas are great ways to keep the funding going so people can remember to donate if there is an opportunity for them.

  21. Lee says:

    I wish to fund raise for a non-profit NGO, Project Kenya Sister Schools by selling tickets to a comedy house.

    Is this permitted on Facebook? If so how do I go about making a fund raising page?

    Thank you.

  22. A Mahalingam says:

    This is Good idea for fundraising using the Facebook platform. I am working one of the best Non Profit Organization in India called Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India. I will suggest this info to our fund raising dept – A Mahalingam / The Sankara Nethralaya Academy / India

  23. Kaitlyn says:

    How often do you encourage promoting the 24 Hour Facebook campaign? Should reminders be sent out during various times of the day?

  24. Juba says:

    Would like to do a fundraiser for family member running for Chieftancy for a very remote village in Sierra Leone. He is passionate about changing the decency syndrome to self sufficiency. I am fully aware of the stereotyping of the people on this continent and oftentimes when the word Africa is mentioned..a tentative connotation surfaces. I am here in GA and am so blessed and priveleged. Please help me so I can help build a few pit toilets, a classroom for girls, activities for little children, walkable roads during the rainy season. These thoughts haunt me nightly but I am only one. You too would be changed if you meet these loving, giving people. Love for the underserved…..

  25. Rob says:

    Phew guys, some important questions not answered here.

  26. john makongo says:

    hello, can anyone help us do a fundraising for a registered organization in Kenya. we have organization for children that needs help on the side of food,sanitory pads and educational needs

  27. Di Dennis says:

    I want to set up a Facebook auction for a friend who lost her sons in tragic circumstances, she is writing a children’s book in grief and we are raising funds to have it published. I have bee n give two shark diving vouchers worth $1950 each, I would like to auction as two items and would like to run the auction for about 4 weeks. How do I go about this, I would like the company who donated the trips to have as much publicity as possible. Where do I start?

  28. Charles Jukpor says:

    Very inspiring article. I have been looking for a way to do a facebook campaign for a polio victim. He needs correction surgery. Please feel free to donate here


    (bitcoins only)

  29. Linda Yanis says:

    Once you have done a fundrasier how do you get your money from the fund?

  30. Michelle Mdodana says:

    I have the same question. My fundraising page was closed yesterday. How do I get the money from the fund?

  31. Nancy Carlson says:

    I am questioning whether Facebook fund raisers are legitimate, who do I contact, a phone number or website address please…

  32. Trudy Smith-Allen says:

    To fundraise do organizations have the option on Facebook to simply post their website for direct donations, or do they have to use Facebook’s donation platform? Thanks

  33. Deborah A Leone says:

    I am raising money for Wounded Warriors. I have three posts(don’t know how that happened) that are accepting donations.
    Question 1- How do I shut down my fundraising pages?
    Question 2-How do the funds I raised get to Wounded Warriors?
    Question 3-My donors have used credit cards for donations. Will they see this on their statement?

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