Step-by-step instructions to supporting the American Red Cross with Facebook Fundraising, Facebook Live, and Facebook Donate Button. Engage your friends and family on Facebook to help provide relief to those in crisis.
I. Facebook Fundraising
You can raise money centered around your birthday or for any other occasion that inspires you to act without ever leaving Facebook.
Follow these 3 easy steps to create your fundraiser for the Red Cross on Facebook:
Customize your title, reason for fundraising, donation goal, timeline, and cover photo.
Follow the prompts from Facebook to invite your friends and start fundraising!
Facebook Prompts to Customize Your Fundraiser
1. Start with the Basics
Set a fundraising goal and end date for your fundraiser.
2. Tell Your Story
Update the text to say why this fundraiser is important to you.
3. Pick a Cover Photo
Select one of the photo options or upload your own.
4. Start Fundraising
Invite your friends, share in your news feed, and make a self-donation to get things started!
Additional Customization Options on Facebook
From your fundraiser homepage, you can edit your fundraiser at any time:
1. Title and Fundraising Goal:
Click the pencil button next to each section to update it.
2. Cover Photo:
You can choose a different Red Cross image or upload your own image for the fundraiser.
3. Add Organizers:
Fundraising as a team? Add up to three friends to help manage and run your campaign page
4. Match Donations:
You can pledge to match donations as another method to inspire donations from your network
Facebook Fundraising Tips!
Now it is time to start the campaign and tap into your network to raise lifesaving funds. Here are some fundraising tips to help you accomplish your goal:
1. Donate: The most successful fundraisers happen after the first donation, so kick it off yourself by clicking the donate button
2. Invite and Share: Invite your friends to donate to your campaign and share it to your news feed with an encouraging message to inspire your network to donate
3. Post, Photos, Live Videos: Post a message, upload a photo or video, or stream a live video onto your campaign to grab the attention of your donors. More resources about these can be found within this toolkit.
Facebook Fundraising FAQs
How can I donate to the American Red Cross on Facebook?
You can donate in two ways:
To someone’s Red Cross fundraiser, or
Donate to a specific Red Cross campaign (e.g. Sound the Alarm)
No. Facebook covers all fees for donations made to charitable organizations. For personal fundraisers that do not benefit a charity, payment processing fees are deducted.
Are donations made to the Red Cross on Facebook tax deductible?
A donation to the Red Cross through its Facebook Page or a fundraiser on Facebook may be tax-deductible. Since tax laws vary by country and region, you should consult a tax professional or review the laws for your area to determine whether a donation is tax-deductible. After you donate, a confirmation will be sent to the primary email listed on your Facebook account. This confirmation shows that you've made this donation as a charitable contribution and that you're not receiving any goods or services in return.
How does the Red Cross allocate funds raised on Facebook?
Funds donated to the Red Cross will be allocated to “Disaster Relief”, which will help the Red Cross respond to disasters big and small. We are monitoring donations on Facebook where a donor may make a designation for a specific disaster – if so, we will honor donor intent.
How do I add a donate button to my live video?
You can add a donate button to your live video using the Facebook for iOS app (iPhone and iPad) or Facebook for Android app. You can also add a donate button to your live video from a Facebook profile or verified Page.
How are donations made on Facebook distributed to the Red Cross?
In Facebook, go to “Explore” (on the left-hand size of the screen if you're on a computer), and choose “Fundraisers.” Then, choose “Manage,” or look under your fundraiser shortcuts to see fundraisers you've created or donated to on Facebook.
If for whatever reason you or someone you know needs a refund for a donation, please see Facebook's "How do I contact Facebook about my donation?"and fill out the linked form. If the funds have already been disbursed to the Red Cross, then you can contact our Donor Services Team to request a refund by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
A fun tool for engaging people on Facebook to support your fundraiser and grow awareness around your campaign is Facebook Live. Use Facebook Live to broadcast live video of events or activities and interact with your supporters in real time. You can field their questions, hear their comments and share powerful moments as they happen.
Follow these easy steps to use Facebook Live with your fundraiser:
Open the Facebook App. Open on your Mobile Phone and view your fundraiser. Where it says “Update Your Supporters”, click the field and select “Live Video” from the menu.
Add a Description. Write a catchy description before going live. A great description will capture people’s attention and help them understand what your broadcast is about.
Add a Donate Button. Incorporating this feature will allow friends or fans to donate directly from the video as they watch or after you post the video to your page. People will also be able to see how much money has been raised. You can add a donate button to your live video using the iOS Facebook app (iPhone and iPad) or the Facebook app for Android. You can also add a donate button to your live video from a Facebook profile or verified Page.
To add a donate button to your Facebook Live using an iOS device:
Tap Live at the top of the News Feed of your profile or verified Page.
Before going live, tap on the ••• button for more options on the bottom left-hand corner of the stream.
Tap Add Donate Button and select the American Red Cross from the nonprofit list or the fundraiser you created.
Tap Start Live Video.
To add a donate button to your Facebook Live using an Android device:
Create a fundraiser.
Tap Live at the top of your News Feed or timeline.
Tap ••• in the top right corner.
Tap Add Donate Button and select the American Red Cross from the nonprofit list or the fundraiser you created.
Tap Start Live Video.
To add a donate button to your Facebook Live from your desktop:
Go to the “Create Post” section at the top of the News Feed of your profile or verified Page.
Tap on the ••• button in order to see the Live Video option.
Before going live, tap the Support Nonprofit option underneath the post text box. Type in and select the American Red Cross from the nonprofit list or choose the fundraiser you created.
Go Live! Hit “Start Live Video”. You’ll see a countdown before your broadcast begins. When videos are live, there is a red Live button on them. It is a public fundraiser so your post will be visible to anyone on Facebook.
Engage with Your Audience. As people tune into your broadcast, they will be able to comment in real time. Respond to comments in the comment feed or through your broadcast.
Promote Your Broadcast. After your broadcast has ended a video replay will be posted to your Timeline. You can have supporters and staff share the video like any other video.
Important:If you plan on hosting a Facebook Live, you need to have a release form signed by all participating in the Facebook Live. Release forms are required for all people featured in the video.
Best Practices for Facebook Live
Promote Your Live Stream. Let your network know ahead of time so they can plan to tune in.
Create Engaging Description. Help viewers better understand your live stream content and why.
Rehearse ahead of time. Be ready to explain why you’re fundraising. Introduce yourself at the start of the video and why you’re advocating for the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross.
Be Friendly. Smile and be energetic.
Repeat Your Message. Periodically repeat what you are doing and why supporting the American Red Cross is important, specifically for people joining late to watch your Live Stream.
Get Support. Have a friend or family member watch your live video so they can tell you if there are any issues with it, such as sound or quality issues.
Engage and Thank Your Viewers. People viewing may comment on your video while you’re recording so try to thank them in real time for their support and donations. You should also post after your last live video thanking your network of supporters for watching and engaging.
Use Facebook Live Filters. Facebook filters can improve your video quality, especially if lighting is poor. You can also use filters to make your stream more visually compelling.
Live Stream in the Afternoon. Consider streaming during the highest traffic times on Facebook (1 PM and 3 PM) to get the most views, shares, likes, comments, and donations.
Call to Action. Throughout the video and at the end, repeat a “Call to Action” to get viewers to donate and share your video.
Forget to Get Signed Consent. If live streaming inside of someone’s home or private property, make sure you obtain written permission.
Pressure Volunteers. Don’t force people to be on your live stream if they don’t want to be.
Use Obscene Language or Gestures. Always keep your video clean and family friendly.
Use Pre-recorded Content. Facebook can punish you for not using Live content.
Facebook Live Fundraising Ideas
To help get your creative juices flowing, here are a list of some nontraditional, fun and engaging fundraising ideas to jazz up audience support using Facebook Live.
Dog Petting Booth/Pet Pageant - Make your favorite pet the mascot for your fundraiser. It doesn’t have to be just limited to dogs – choose any pet to be the adorable face of your campaign. You could even live stream a pet pageant to parade your cause!
Giant Jenga Competition - Build your own blocks out of any material you want to - the sky (or the roof depending on where you stack) is the limit!
Karaoke Contest - Sing your heart out for your cause or get others to sing for it!
Virtual Battle of the Bands/Talent Show - Get a small group of friends together to showcase their talents online – Set up virtual judges and BOOM, it’s like America’s Got Talent!
Anything-a-thon Fundraiser – Dance, tennis, swim, frisbee, walk, bowl, ski. Pick what you dig doing, set a goal for it and do it till you reach it!
Art Show/Art Auction – Showcase your own artistic masterpieces! You can paint, draw or craft anything you’d like live on camera or even take audience votes on ideas on what to create.
Pick the Challenge - Charge $1 a vote to decide which form of outrageous challenge the audience will decide for you and your teammates to do (i.e. dye hair, dress as a clown, etc.) The more ridiculous and active the challenge, the better!
Frozen T-Shirt Contest - Fold a shirt as tight as possible, soak it, and then freeze it. The first one to undo it and wear it, wins!
Facebook Live Fundraising Tips
Tell Your Story. Let your passion lead the way in persuading others of its worthiness for support. If you are fundraising in honor of someone, share that. Sharing a personal story about why you’re involved and why you are fundraising is powerful helps others relate to your cause.
Be Authentic. You are the best poster and advocate for your cause. Smile, laugh, build relationships and relationships – make fundraising a fun experience every step of the way.
Suggest A Minimum. Give donation options. For example, as little as $20, can provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to someone in need.
Ask Creatively. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and to incorporate a sense of humor. Use visual tools, graphics and social media to reach beyond family and friends.
Follow-up. Engage supporters and potential supporters with updates on your progress and on how their money will make a difference. Send them visuals of you in action.
Promote Through Multiple Channels. Don’t just focus on social media. Use email, distribute flyers and spread the word to every friendly mouth or proud parent you know who can help grow support for your fundraiser. Word of mouth is a powerful tool!
Know Your Audience. Figure out who you will be speaking to and tailor your message to fit and appeal to them. The length and format of your pitch depends on the channel you chose to appeal on.
Create A Timeline. Start with your end goal and work backwards in baby steps. Build a plan.
Don’t Be Afraid of Plan B. Some of your fundraising may not work out. Don’t dim your hopes —just re-strategize and go in a new direction.
Thank, Thank, Thank! Constantly recognize partners, sponsors, donors, mentors, team members, supporters, and anyone who has helped you along the way. Nobody does it alone!
III. Facebook Donate Button
Adding a donate button to your own Facebook post is a great way to support the important work of the Red Cross!
Follow these 6 easy steps to add a donate button on your post for the Red Cross:
1. Open Facebook
Open up your Facebook account and click in the “What’s on your mind?” area of the “Create Post” section.
2. Draft Post
Write a message to your network, asking them to donate to the American Red Cross.
3. Open Options
Click the three dots in the lower menu bar to pull other options for your post.
4. Support Nonprofit
From the additional options, click the “Support Nonprofit” button.
5. Choose Nonprofit
Click in the prompted field to search for a nonprofit to support, and choose “American Red Cross”.
Confirm everything looks correct and you are posting to your friends, then click the post button at the bottom to launch your donate button.
Donate Button Tips
Be Emotional: Share a story about why the American Red Cross is important to you and ask people if they would consider donating to help communities who are experiencing tragedies.
Add Photo: Adding a photo increases the chances someone will stop to read your post and donate. Use one of our provided options or upload one that is personal to you.
Go Live: Consider posting your ask alongside a live video of yourself doing something engaging. You can respond and thank people as they donate in real-time.
Share: Share your post to your friends through Facebook Messenger or onto Facebook Groups to ask other members of your network to donate.
Thank: Make sure to thank everyone who donates to your fundraiser. It is a courteous action to show your appreciation for donating.