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Facebook Events for NPO Fundraisers

You have a fundraising event coming up and you want as many people as possible to attend. You want an indication of how many people to expect on the day. You want to share information in one place that is accessible to all. You don’t want to flood your Facebook page with event information that annoys your audience.

If this is what you want for marketing your fundraiser, then Facebook Events is the perfect tool for you. Facebook Events have a number of advantages if used effectively, including:

  • All event information is available in one place
  • People who are interested can follow your event to receive all the details
  • Facebook provides statistics on reach, people interested in or attending your event
  • Events can be linked to multiple pages, so your sponsors can also share your event
  • Event links can be widely shared on social media
  • If details on your event change, you can update the event and it automatically updates everywhere else too
How does this compare to an event flyer or graphic?

If you use a flyer or graphic you have no idea:

  • who has seen your flyer
  • who has shared your flyer
  • who is coming to your event
  • who is interested in your event

And most importantly, if you need to make a change to event details you have no way of finding all the flyers and notifying all these people.

So how can you maximise the value of your Facebook event?
  1. Create the Event as soon as you have a confirmed date.  Your supporters can then save the date in their diaries.  Even if you have no details, go ahead and create the event. You can then add information as it becomes available and your supporters will be notified.
  2. Use a Short Catchy Name.  The event must have a name people will remember. Tools like rhyming, alliteration and metaphors help with this. Use two to four words maximum.
  3. Maximise your Cover Photo.  This is the photo that will appear in everyone’s news feed each time the event link is shared. Make sure it has the important information, such as event name, time, venue and cost.  Make sure it indicates what the event actually involves. Keep it visually appealing. Don’t clutter it with too much information. Remember some of your supporters will be looking at it on their phones.
  4. Share updates to your event. Don’t be tempted to share updates to your page. Some of those who are “interested”, might not like your page yet and could miss critical information. Therefore always share updates to the event feed.
  5. ReShare the important stuff to your page. Make sure you share the critical updates from the event to your Facebook page.  This draws your supporters to your event page and reminds them about it. But be careful not to overshare on your main page, as this means your event information risks overshadowing other important posts to your page.
  6. Share the event link widely. Share the link in community groups or forums. Post the link to local community Facebook pages, especially those that will repost to their main page. Share the link to your personal timeline with a brief explanation. Share the link with your Wattsapp contacts and groups. Ask others to share it too. Always use the link, so that those who are interested can opt to follow the event and keep updated.
  7. Monitor the Event Statistics. Facebook has incredible analytics that tell you how many people you have reached; how many people are interested in your event and how many people have committed to attend. This information is helpful for convincing potential sponsors to get involved. It also helps with planning logistics for the event. Rule of thumb is roughly 50% of those that are interested actually attend.
  8. Say Thank You. Thank volunteers, sponsors and those who have registered on your event page. Remember you can never say thank you enough. Tag them in the post by using the @symbol.  Never miss an opportunity to thank them.  Each time they are tagged, all their friends, family and acquaintances also learn about your event.
  9. Advertise your Sponsors. If a sponsor has a Facebook Page, share their page link to your event page. Give them some free advertising by thanking them. This shows them they appreciated and will make them want to sponsor your events in the future. Everyone loves free exposure for their business.
  10. Share Sneak Previews. Everyone likes to know what to expect at an event. Post pictures or videos from previous events. Share pictures of what will be sold or activities on the day. Share pictures of your team setting up and preparing for the day. It helps create excitement for your event.
  11. Ask sponsors and co-hosts to add the event to their page. Instead of creating a new event, they have the option to add your event to their page.
  12. Frequency of Posts. Initially you need to post two to three times per week. As the event draws closer you can start posting daily. In days prior to your event, increase this to two or three posts per day.  I often do a countdown … five sleeps to go … and so forth.
  13. Facebook Ads are an efficient way of getting your event to the public. You can tailor your ad to people in a certain geographic area. Investing R100 in a Facebook  can increase your reach by between 1000 to 5000 people.
  14. Share on the Day. Don’t forget people want to see pictures of themselves at your event. Share pictures throughout the day so that they can share with their friends and family.  This is publicity for your next event when they see their friends having fun.

If you found this article useful, also visit Maximising Facebook Traffic for your NPO for more tips.  Watch this space for more articles on crowd funding, newsletters and unpacking Facebook insights.

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