Organizations are increasingly using Facebook ads to target audiences that look like their donors or members (sample grants for this here). In general, organizations applying to the PMF have tested and refined their look alike models to generate a lead (someone who opts in to their email list or to being called) for about $.70 per lead. This is an excellent way for organizations of all size to scale up quickly.
Building Look Alike Models
If you have not mastered this technique yet, a good first step would be to apply for a small grant ($5,000 or less) to build and test a look alike model for fundraising purposes. You can enter 1,300+ donors’ email addresses into Facebook to build a model, or rent direct mail lists from organizations that are similar to yours to get the sample size that you need.
Telemarketing and Email Leads on Facebook
Once organizations have created their look alike models, they use several techniques to raise funds:
- Email Communication – many organizations incorporate the leads into their regular email streams, first including the leads in a welcome stream that culminates in a fundraising appeal, and then incorporating the leads into their normal online fundraising program;
- Telemarketing – this is perhaps the least used and the highest ROI technique, calling people within 12-24 hours. Some non-profits with proven in-house telemarketing teams are able to generate new monthly donors for under $100 per donor, including staff and marketing costs;
- Immediate Asks – After signing up for their email list, some organizations redirect leads to a donation landing page, where a fraction of leads immediately convert to donors. This is not the primary method of fundraising from these new leads, but provides a nice bump in income; and
- Peer to Peer Fundraising — Some organizations are using Facebook ads to recruit people to host peer-to-peer fundraisers for their organization on Facebook.
Recruiting Leads to Facebook Messenger Lists
Several organizations are exploring building Facebook Messenger lists with Facebook Ads. Facebook Messenger fundraising is currently less competitive than email, signing someone up does not require the person to leave Facebook messenger and go to a different landing page, and the viral nature of Facebook Messenger means that the effective cost per sign-up (i.e. people who sign up from paid ads and viral content) can be as low as $.35. Accelerate Change is working with several organizations to pioneer a set of fundraising techniques on Messenger, including:
- Real people messaging new leads to ask them to donate;
- Incorporating financial asks into welcome series and after advocacy asks; and
- Sending fundraising appeals during times of crisis to support multiple local organizations.
Applying for Grants for Facebook Marketing
If your organization (or consultant) does not have a track record of running Facebook ads and generating leads or subscriptions for under $1, then you are welcome to apply for a mini-grant (i.e. $5,000 or less) to run a series of tests to reduce your lead generation cost.
If you do have a track record in generating inexpensive leads via Facebook, but do not yet have a proven track record in generating $2 for every $1 invested over time via emailing or phoning these leads, please consider applying for a grant to test the follow-up fundraising techniques.
Finally, if you have proven that your organization and team (including staff and consultants) can do both of the above, please consider applying for a recoverable grant with the Progressive Multiplier Fund.