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Using The Donate Button On Facebook

Using the Donate Button on Facebook

The concept of ‘Pay-Per-View’ has been in the digital space for the last couple of decades.  With the roll out of the ‘Donate’ button on Facebook, a number of charities are looking at how this type of PPV could help their funding model.

Could this and other social media developments, enable charities and their partners to utilise digital content creation in a truly innovative way?  We discuss the Donate Button on Facebook. 


The Donate Button on Facebook

Facebook’s roll out of donate buttons on live posts in the UK and Europe in Sept 2017 made national newspaper headlines.

The donate button allows Facebook users to donate directly to charities on Facebook (no need for a third party such as ‘Just Giving’) without Facebook taking a cut.  Alongside a charity’s own page, Facebook have enabled verified accounts to live-stream and integrate the donate button for a chosen charity.

Shortening the user journey for a charity campaign increases the likelihood of donations being made. Using video to get across a charity’s message has been the single most effective marketing tool for many years.  There are countless examples of high profile TV events using video and broadcast with incredible effect such as Comic Relief, Save the Children and of course Live Aid.UK

UK Fundraising advises charities to be clever about where and how often they use the donate tool – ‘it’s important that charities use the button within relevant content’.  No-where can this be more pertinent than to use the donate tool on a live stream for a music focused charity.


War Child and O2 Facebook Live-stream

Silver Bullet are one of Facebook’s select production partners with access to Facebook API donate tools.

Earlier this year at Silver Bullet, we delivered a series of Facebook live music streams with the charity donate button in situ, for War Child #BritsWeek together with O2.

This was the first time that a UK charity had run a Facebook livestream with the donate tool. War Child partnered with Silver Bullet to produce the shows and develop the Charity donate tool to be integrated within the scheduled posts and livestreams.

Previous US based charities to have put in place the tool for a Facebook livestream, include:

  • Stand Up to Cancer
  • Hand in Hand: A benefit for Hurricane Relief
  • Unicef: Andy Murray’s 2017 match against Roger Federer.
  • Entertainment Industry Foundation: One Love Concert Manchester

Facebook live streams can be enabled from seven days ahead of the live broadcast as scheduled posts, adding the donate tool at that moment and allowing donations to come in to the charity from then.

For War Child #BritsWeek together with O2, we set these scheduled posts up on the charity’s page and most importantly on the artists own pages – where the audiences were largest and would be most engaged.  We filmed and released promotional videos to start the donations rolling in immediately.

On the nights themselves, it was important that we editorialised the livestreams as much as we could to help aid donations.  We did this in a number of ways, including:

  • Pre-recorded VTs with artists and presenters prompting donations
  • Pre-recorded VTs from the charity explaining what they do and how your money helps
  • Calls to Action from on-stage during live performance from artist and presenters
  • On-screen graphics prompting donations at scheduled points
  • Post-performance artist calls to actions and graphics


Should Charities Use the Donate Tool?

As with traditional TV charity broadcasts, an editorialised production can pull on the heart strings and prompt donations at specific moments.  Charities should take this editorialised approach to live stream productions – it’s in no way enough to just cover an event with cameras.  The Facebook livestream needs to also be a part of the whole donations mix – living alongside ticket, merchandise and other sales.

So, what are the downsides?  Functionally, the audience can donate in incremental amounts, such as £10, £20, £50 or other.  At the moment there is not the ability to change the available increments.  Additionally, on a phone or tablet, the audience currently have to come away from the livestream to make the donation on a phone or tablet.  These functional issues will be addressed by Facebook no doubt.

Already Facebook live-streams have made millions of dollars through the live donate button.


Where next for Facebook Donate Tool

The Donate tool is still in its’ infancy.  Charities that are early adopters will benefit most in the future.  At Silver Bullet, as one of Facebook’s production partners we hope to help raise many more £1000s for charities worldwide.

If you’re interested in using the Donate tool for a Facebook live-stream, find out more about how Silver Bullet can help you here.

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