Donate Now Button Added To Facebook’s Non-Profit Pages

Paypal call to action button donate now with broken heart

Facebook recently added a “Donate Now” call-to-action button for non-profit pages. Hooray! Break out the bubbly. It’s an all-night non-profit party and we’re not stopping ’til the sun comes up!

Hold on just a minute there, Speedy McSpeederston. Before we knock down the Statue of Liberty and replace it with a bust of Mark Zuckerberg, let’s analyze this new fangled “Donate Now” button a little closer. Does this announcement truly add up to a win for charities everywhere? Or is the social media giant the one with the most to gain?

What I like about the Donate Now button

There is zero downside to simply setting it and forgetting it. Facebook doesn’t charge you for having the button and it doesn’t charge you if anyone organically clicks it to get to your website. So why not add it and have one more access point from your Facebook page to your donation page?

It’s super easy to set up. You can have the button installed in three quick steps. You start by hitting the “Create Call To Action” button on the top of your page:

Paypal call to action button

You follow that up by selecting the “Donate Now” button from the drop-down menu:

selecting the donate now button on facebook

And you finish up by directing the button to your website and bashing create (which presumably ALWAYS explodes in a fury of neon unicorns and furry newts):

directing your donate now button on facebook to your website

Now don’t fret if you didn’t see a single unicorn or newt. I may have passed out with excitement and imagined those things.

The one thing I didn’t imagine was my “Donate Now” button being ready to go. As you can see, set up was crazy-easy. It takes 30 seconds. And if you stop right there, with the new access point set up, you’re a winner for sure. However, Facebook doesn’t want you to stop there… And this is where my problem with the button comes to the fore.

What I don’t like about the Donate Now button.

It’s the catch. Everybody’s got one. And they’re not all as pretty as Willie’s. And what is the catch on the Donate Now button? Well, if you want any traffic to see it, you either need to have a very large community of donors on the page already… Or you need to pay-to-play.

Yes, folks. It’s the dreaded Promote feature:

directing your donate now button on facebook to your website

If you don’t promote the button, you’re not likely to raise much money. So this raises the ante a bit, particularly if you’re a small non-profit with a limited budget. You’re now going to need to spend extra time and cash, and not just on paying Facebook to boost the ad. You need to take your time in designing the ad, researching the proper audiences to target the ad, and then commit time every day to monitor your campaigns. And you don’t really get many clicks for your money, so you better hope your website’s conversion funnel is in tip-top shape. If it’s not, you could lose your shirt.

As you can see in this image, Facebook estimates that 20 dollars will get you between 29 – 53 clicks a day, a range of 69 to 37 cents per click:

20 dollars on facebook getting you 29-53 visitors daily

Bank on your true number being closer to 29 clicks than the high range of 53. In order to maximize your clicks and get that high number, you’ll need to create a highly engaging ad, as you’ll be rewarded with more organic impressions when the audience reacts positively to your post. This will take some fine tuning, so you shouldn’t expect instant success. You can get some tips for promoting your cause on facebook here.

My takeaway on Donate Now

While a skilled social media team can likely maximize the value of a promoted “donate now” button, most small non-profits don’t have a dedicated social media team. It becomes very easy to predict a sea of small-budget, losing promotions. Facebook does make it very easy to test the feature at low budgets (you can bid as low as 1 dollar a day), so this feature won’t cripple anyone. But on a macro level, Facebook will likely pocket millions of dollars on these small failures.

With all of that said… Definitely set up the button. That much is free, after all. But if you’re going to drop ad dollars into it, make sure you begin a promotion with open eyes and the proper preparation. Have an engaging ad targeted to the right people. And make sure the page you’re linking to is ready to convert those visitors at a high percentage.