I know that everyone is winding down for the holidays, but I came across something this week that I need to share with you in order to help you make 2015 a successful fundraising year for you! As we gear up for 2015, a lot of you will be getting ready to ask for some serious donations. I'm here to share some major changes Facebook is making to how news feeds work, and to tell you how to adjust to make sure you are still getting much needed donation to find a cure for cancer.
To put it in a
nutshell (and without boring or confusing you with Facebook algorithms and how they work), I
have seen dramatic decreases in the amount of engagement in Relay
related Facebook posts over the last several months- including ones made
by Relay For Life pages for events (so, not just my personal page or
the Cancer Man Page). This has resulted in a massive decrease in donors
via Facebook (and will continue to). You see before now, I would tell you to go home, personalize your Relay page, and post links on Facebook to get your donations going. Unfortunately folks, it looks like Facebook isn't going to be your gold mine for donations the way it once was.
Starting January 1st, Facebook
will be making a change to what goes into individual news feeds. They
have already been rolling this out and testing it, which explains my
massive decrease in results. The goal is to 1) Make sure FB users are
seeing the content they want to see (and not feel like it is all page
advertisements, or in our case, asking for donations), and 2) to make
sure that businesses that want to be seen are PAYING to be seen. The
reason that is such a big problem is, of course, we are non profit, and
are not going to spend millions of dollars on advertising when we could
be curing cancer (and also, in my personal opinion they are a big fat
waste of money- see here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfHeWTKjag).
In other words, because of Facebook algorithms going into place,
something like a picture of my Christmas card will easily get to the top
of news feeds, and get a lot of likes and comments (and, I do have an awesome card, but wait until you see the difference between the two posts).
The worst part is, these posts are from now- in January it will get worse.
If you would like to read the full release by Facebook you can read it here:
is CRITICAL to our success that I get this information out to my fellow
volunteers! If we go into meetings and say, "YEAH! Just post it on
Facebook, everyone will donate!" volunteers are going to experience failure and
be very frustrated right off the bat. If it frustrated me, I know it's going to frustrate you.
Here's what you CAN do to increase your chances for success with personal donations in 2015.
-SEND SNAIL MAIL asking for donations this year.
AND, if you are going to take the time to mail out the letters, then take the time to make your letter personal. The pre-made ones are great, but they don't tell YOUR story. If you want some letter ideas, I've got a blog post for that!
-Face to face interactions. I know, I know- who does that anymore? But guess what? Its time to bring it back baby! Have coffee with a friend and make an ask, ask your co-workers, ask your boss- TO THEIR FACE.
of posting your Relay link on Facebook, and just saying, please help me cure
cancer! Post a video of you asking people to donate and telling your story. Why do you Relay? What services do we offer? Talk from the heart!
Facebook to redirect an ask. For example, someone like me who has a
blog would make the ask in a blog post. Then post a link to the blog on
Facebook with a catchy title like-Why I will not apologize for curing cancer (with a picture!!!)
-When you do make an ask on Facebook, you need to make it CREATIVE. Don't use a meme (a picture with text overlay like my warm fuzzy above will be buried with the new algorithm.) Remember the purple mustache challenge? That worked! It was creative and different, and got a lot of views and donations!
you see another Relayer posting about a fundraiser, asking for
donations, etc, like and comment on it. This will tell the FB algorithm
that the content is interesting, and release it to more news feeds.
You guys all wonder why I am always commenting on your stuff, right?
Well now you know that I am not ACTUALLY a stalker, I just want you to be successful!
Now, I know you are thinking- holy crapola- what will work and what won't? Kevan Lee does a great job of explaining what the algorithm likes, and what it doesn't. Now, keep in mind, this may be much stricter come January, but it is a great starting point for those of you more interested in wrapping your head around this entire concept. See it here :)
I don't want you guys thinking that posting on Facebook for donations isn't worth it anymore- IT CAN BE, if you do it the right way. After all, even a small amount of donations is better than NO donations at all.
That being said, I DO want you guys to go into 2015 prepared. Be ready to do things a little differently than you have in the past, and be open to new ideas! We were amazing fundraisers BEFORE Facebook, and we can still be amazing fundraisers now.
So, let's open up this blog post for conversation. What has been working for you? Do you have any creative ideas? Share below so we can all benefit!