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A new era in social fundraising?

A new era in social fundraising?


Anyone who has been involved in a social-media-based fundraising effort knows that getting attention and shares is easy, but conversion’s another story.

A few years ago, we helped the University of Ottawa Heart Institute brand, produce and spread an online campaign for Mother’s Day, featuring Olympic medallist Joannie Rochette. The campaign was popular among figure skating fans and women’s health advocates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on related blogs worldwide, but fell short of its ambitious fundraising goals. (It ended up with a second life, however, as Joannie Rochette took “ownership” of the brand for her ongoing fundraising efforts for UOHI.)

A great cause, a charismatic spokesperson and a memorable brand. So what happened?

The problem was the limitation of Facebook, our primary medium. We set up a fundraising page at, which at that time had pretty good connectivity with Facebook. But while people happily joined, they were wary of giving their financial information once they left the “safety” of their social platform for a third party.

Currently, the standard practice is still to “link out” to a secure e-commerce application run by the registered charity or not-for-profit on its site. But again, there is the barrier of extra clicks, leaving your comfort zone, and spending time filling out more forms. But that all may change very soon.

Toronto’s Artez Interactive — a company that specializes in multi-platform online fundraising — has just launched the Friendship Powered Fundraising (FPF) app for Facebook.

Billing itself as ” the only event fundraising app that runs entirely within Facebook,” the mobile-friendly Friendship Powered Fundraising promises to remove the barriers I was just talking about, which would presumably increase conversion.

Here’s their pitch:

Unlike all other products that simply link to or from Facebook, our app provides a remarkably different user experience. Running inside means never leaving the familiarity and comfort of Facebook.

The Artez FPF app leverages the unique power of friends to help fundraise within Facebook for charity ride, walk or cycle campaigns; share information about fundraising targets; track progress and post updates and pictures about the events – all with just a few clicks – and without ever leaving Facebook.

Your fundraisers can:

• See who is else fundraising and which of their friends have donated to mutual friends.
• Publish their actions to their Facebook timelines.
• Like, Comment and Share to help raise cause awareness like never before.
• Donate securely right inside Facebook.

The security issue is obviously top-of-mind. Artez explains, “PCI Level 1 Servers ensure that all their transactions are handled securely.” (I have no idea what that means, but they also add, “VISA has accredited Artez with the highest level of security possible.”)

This is pretty interesting news for those of us in the fundraising aspect of Social Issues Marketing, and I’m keen to find another heartfelt fundraising opportunity for a client that could take advantage of this advance.

(Disclosure: My friend and Osocio colleague Claire Kerr is a member of the Artez team. But I wouldn’t write about it if I wasn’t impressed.)

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more