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An engaged Facebook community can make all the difference in achieving your fundraising goals.

Just ask Rachael Zoe Miller and The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean! Since we first shared this case study in 2017, Miller’s fundraising efforts have gone even further above and beyond her original goals.

4/26/17 Update: 8,635 backers have pledged $353,461 to further bring this project in this case study to life.

10/9/19 Update: You can now purchase Cora Balls online or at these fine retailers.


Reaching 100 percent of your fundraising goal is a pretty good feeling. But how would you feel if your organization reached 25 times that?

Rachael Zoe Miller is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean. For the past year, she’s been focusing their communication strategy squarely on Facebook. Now their page has become the primary and most frequent way they connect with supporters, share information about the cause, and inspire action to help protect the world’s oceans.

In 2017, Miller launched the group’s first Kickstarter campaign in support of its new Cora Ball, which captures microfibers shed off our clothing while in the washer.

Fundraising Goals

They primarily advertised the campaign through the project’s active Facebook page. But Miller had no idea just how active it really was.

Miller’s initial fundraising goal was $10,000. She thought maybe they’d reach in a couple of weeks. Imagine her surprise when she reached that goal only three hours later!

Why was this campaign so successful? Facebook. And we can prove it.

The Perfect Fundraising Jumpstart

With an already active Facebook community, this Kickstarter not only got off the ground easily—it rocketed off.

“Our awesome and enthusiastic community jumped in right at the launch! Because of their amazing and immediate response, we managed to get on Kickstarter’s popular page on that first day. From there, things started snowballing, mostly via Facebook!”

Nonprofits know that change comes from reaching the right people at the right time and with the right message. Today Facebook gives organizations an incredible opportunity to do just that, and on a huge scale.

The project’s Facebook page accounted for 30 percent of the project Kickstarter traffic and monetary support.

“Facebook has been our single biggest source for pledges. I am sure it is the ease with which people could share our story that made Facebook the fastest vehicle for spreading the word about our Kickstarter.”

The fact that this fast support led to a feature on the Kickstarter page was likely the tipping point into “mainstream” awareness for the cause. As a result, NowThis featured them in a video, Martha Stewart featured the Cora Ball on her sites, and Kickstarter itself choose to feature the Cora Ball under Projects We Love and Project of the Day.

None of this would have been possible without the initial support from their Facebook community.

How Did She Do It?

Fundraising Goals

A year before Cora Ball was launched on Kickstarter, Miller recognized the potential of Facebook. She knew that, to be truly successful online in the way she envisioned, her organization would need a strong Facebook presence and community. That’s why she threw herself into learning as much as she could about Facebook best practices and strategies.

We asked her what helped her the most and what she’d recommend to others. Here are her top tips:

Post content your audience loves to engage with.

If a post falls flat, learn from it! Ask yourself: Why didn’t this post take off like others?

“Our breakthrough moment came from an ActionSprout webinar when I learned that you can’t force an underperforming post to go big by boosting it,” Miller explained. “Pay attention to the analytics on Facebook and ActionSprout and use any dollars to boost posts proven to be engaging. I am sure that saved us a lot of money and helped me zero in on what our audience likes.”

Post content consistently.

“I think consistent posting really helps build an audience and keep their engagement,” Miller told us.

We agree. Posting at least once a day is a must, and even two to three times per day is ideal. Not everyone will see every post, so this helps ensure your message gets through.

Post when your audience is on Facebook.

Scheduling posts for times when you know a lot of your followers will be on Facebook can lead to greater organic reach and engagement. Miller used both Facebook and ActionSprout to get this information… and you can, too!

Post related content proven to resonate with your audience.

Miller used ActionSprout’s Inspiration feature to find and share trending content about our oceans.

“ActionSprout’s data is so valuable. Being able to easily know when to post, see what’s resonating with our audience and find stories from other sources that are likely to connect with our audience has saved us so much time. It also keeps us from having to guess,” said Miller.

Sharing other’s trending articles, images, or videos can greatly increase the reach of your Facebook page.

clean ocean inspiration

How Can YOU Do It?

Give yourself plenty of time to invest in Facebook and grow your community before your next big project. You’ll need at least six months or so. Whether you have a Kickstarter coming up or a more traditional fundraising effort, having a solid Facebook community can make all the difference in getting the word out and raising those necessary funds.

As Miller says, Facebook is just so easy to share links with family and friends. And given Facebook’s nature, these links can quickly spread like wildfire to reach a lot of people.

Now is a time to focus on building relationships with your followers. Get to know what interests them, what resonates with them, and what motivates them. This will shape every piece of your Facebook strategy, from what types of content to share (image, videos, or articles), where that content comes from (Pew, Huffington Post, NOAA, etc.), the tone of your content (optimistic, angry, sad, etc.), the length of your content, and more.

It will take some time to figure out, but once you have it, you’ll be pleased with the results.

With two-billion people on Facebook, you can find your tribe of supporters. Just put in the time, research, and effort to figure out what will resonate with them. Once you provide it, they’ll be there ready to chime in and lend their support.

About The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.43.21 AM

The Rozalia Project’s mission is straightforward: to fight to protect our oceans and keep them clean. Their ultimate goal is thriving, healthy waters for all of us to enjoy. They accomplish this mission through education, innovation, research, hands-on work, and much more. You can learn all about the project and their good work here.

About the Cora Ball

Fundraising Goals

The Cora Ball is an easy-to-use laundry ball that catches microfibers that shed off our clothes in the washer. It’s inspired by the natural design of ocean coral and its ability to effectively filter water. Cora Balls are reusable, easy to clean and take no extra time to use.

Creating a Facebook page for your nonprofit was a smart move, but what’s next? It’s time to really think about why you made the page, to begin with. What are those big, pie-in-the-sky dreams you have for your nonprofit that Facebook will help you achieve? Using these three essential Facebook goals, you can make your nonprofit organization’s page work harder for you.

Goal: Build Awareness for your Nonprofit

Original content 

Creating your own original content by tapping into the talent and expertise of your colleagues is just plain efficient. Industry-specific posts

Facebook megaphone

Facebook is like a powerful megaphone for your brand messages. Are you using it to its maximum potential?

or articles by your organization along with captioned shots of your team in action give life to your Facebook feed! And this content doesn’t just raise awareness about what you do, why you do it and how it makes a positive impact. Original content helpt retain existing supporters, too! Your expertise – or thought leadership – is a time and talent investment that really returns.

Content curation

Content curation sounds like an easy way to keep your feed active without having to create daily content yourself, right? What may not be clear is how sharing stories from other pages will help build awareness for your nonprofit. It’s simple: Facebook pages that post daily get more organic traffic and grow faster than pages that post inconsistently. In other words, the more content you post (original or not), the more your Facebook page – and your organization – will get noticed. 

But before you decide to make curation the center of your content strategy, remember that curation isn’t a quick fix.

Why? Because when you’re using curated content (i.e. content made and published outside your organization) source reliability, reputation and quality matter. Like, a lot. The content you curate should be targeted to the interests of your audience, is shareable, and curated from respected and fact-checked sources. No time to research every article you read before posting? Learn how to get free ActionSprout access for your nonprofit and kickstart your feed with custom content curation today.

Goal: Grow your supporter network on Facebook

Volunteers & Staff

Are you wondering why more people don’t participate in volunteer activities? It’s probably because no one asked them to! Start your volunteer recruitment efforts within your community of existing supporters on Facebook. You could simply post a call for volunteers, but it’s so much easier to catch a scroller’s eye with a flashy image or by linking to a Facebook event page where you can meet hopeful volunteers and interns. Recruiting volunteers on Facebook also makes it easier for existing supporters to invite new volunteers who may not know much about your organization – yet. 

Announcing staff openings on Facebook is a great way to create an industry buzz about the position and an even better way to find a candidate with a demonstrated passion for your cause – especially if they are already one of your followers or are tagged in the job post by a friend who is. Posting on Facebook also helps your existing staff share employment opportunities within their personal networks.

Partner organizations

As a nonprofit communications manager, the most valuable tool I had in the box was an awesome network of like-minded professionals and agencies that my team collaborated with to host events, build coalitions and advocate for policy change. Whether your organization is already part of a larger network or if you’re just looking to learn more about other programs, services, and industry announcements, Facebook networking is an invaluable tool that will benefit your organization by keeping you in-the-know about grant opportunities, industry resources and trends, policy and advocacy news, and so much more. This Facebook goal is essential, but often missing from nonprofit social media strategies. Do yourself a favor and make sure to include it in yours!

Goal: Raise Money for your nonprofit on Facebook

Direct asks

Remember what we learned about volunteers? The answer is always no if you don’t ask! Want to fill a food pantry fast? Or provide dozens of Thanksgiving meals to families in need on-the-fly? Need 1,000 individuals to each donate $5 for a new school library? All of these projects are made easier with Facebook.  Your post or event page can be used to inform supporters exactly what you need and make it easy for them to help – especially if your ask includes a range of ways to get involved for potential donors at all levels. Don’t want to muddy your feed with donation requests? See how you can use direct asks and the Facebook fundraiser event tool to raise more for your next fundraiser or drive without spamming your audience.

Host and promote fundraising events

From start to finish, Facebook is a nonprofit’s best friend when it comes to hosting and promoting events. Let Facebook act as your event assistant by sharing important event info (like maps, menus, schedule) and last-minute guest updates (“The location has changed due to weather!”). With Facebooks, you’ll know when guests post questions on the event page and even telling you who has RSVP’d. Then, after the event, you can share photos and thank attendees for their support. So much easier than individual email or phone calls, right?  

Finally, let Facebook help others fundraise for you! Once your page has been signed up to accept donations, you can also choose to allow people to fundraise for you. Your supporters can choose to use this feature to get involved in a bigger campaign you’re already hosting (say, #GivingTuesday?) or they can even host a fundraising effort on your behalf in honor of a birthday, anniversary or baby shower. Whether the event is live or 100% online, Facebook is every nonprofit’s best friend when it comes to event communications.

 

Are these essential Facebook goals a part of your nonprofit’s social media strategy? 

Tell us how you’re using ActionSprout to work smarter and see bigger results on Facebook.