Running England’s national air ambulance transfer service for children without any government funding is a costly feat – each life-saving transfer costs around £2,800, with two new helicopters planned for 2018. This year, Children’s Air Ambulance has pulled out all the stops to meet its goal of raising an extra £32m over 7 years.
The charity was one of the first in the UK to make use of Facebook Charitable Giving Tools after they were launched in the UK in September 2017.
Now free for charities, Facebook Charitable Giving tools offer them the chance to:
- Add a donate button directly on their pages, and also on any posts they create, so people can donate directly to charities without leaving the site. These donate forms hold donors’ credit card details so it’s easier and quicker to give.
- Alongside this, Facebook users can now launch their own fundraisers and are prompted to start one on their birthday for a charity of their choice.
- Charities can also add a donation button to live video events through Facebook Live.
Facebook’s scale means charities can reach as wide an audience as possible, without having to justify a hefty investment of time or money. As a result of using the tools around its campaign, Children’s Air Ambulance raised almost ten times as much in 2017 than in the same period the previous year.
Michi MacLennan, Head of Digital and Innovation at The Air Ambulance Service – the organisation which runs Children’s Air Ambulance – shares his top tips for making the most out of the platform.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Facebook’s new toolset for charities had just been launched in the UK when Children’s Air Ambulance was set to also launch its first TV advertising campain – ‘Their Life Above All’ in November, so the team had only a couple of months to prepare.
While other fundraising sites such as JustGiving famously charge a 5-6% transaction fee on donations, Facebook made the move of eliminating fees for non-profits soon after the launch of its Charitable Giving Tools, making it easy for charities to jump onboard and get stuck in.
“We wanted to make sure we didn’t use it in a way that harmed the campaign, so we did think about best use,” says MacLennan. “We wanted to make sure we were able to get people to the landing page to find out more about us, instead of just having people donate on the main video post and not explore further.”
“Something such as the main video ad and behind the scenes videos might be the first time people are aware of Children’s Air Ambulance, so instead of grabbing donations I thought it made more sense to take them to the landing page find out more about us, then take the next steps, whether to sign up for donations or other forms of getting involved. So we put the donate button on main facebook page, before starting to experiment with it on individual posts.”
To read the full Charity Digital News click here.