Stop Soldier Suicide raises $3.9M to support veterans with Facebook fundraising.
Using Facebook Groups, fundraisers, and Messenger, Stop Soldier Suicide partnered with GoodUnited to create a series of challenges across the US to raise awareness and donations —increasing fundraiser revenue by 339% year-over-year.
Stop Soldier Suicide (SSS) relies on fundraisers and donations to continue moving quickly and aggressively in the battle against military suicide. SSS already had a strong base of supporters on Facebook who regularly created birthday fundraisers on the platform to help the organization reach its fundraising goals. But with the global pandemic creating uncertainty at the start of 2020, SSS knew it would need to think creatively in order to maintain its level of Facebook-driven funding. In essence, it became apparent to the team that a new solution was needed to supplement its existing efforts.
Stop Soldier Suicide (SSS) collaborated with GoodUnited, a complete social fundraising solution, to build authentic relationships through conversations on Facebook Messenger. Using Good United’s people, processes and technology, Stop Soldier Suicide hosted a series of 100-mile “challenges” that activated and acquired new supporters during the pandemic.
In a time when people were in both physical and emotional isolation, Stop Soldier Suicide and GoodUnited decided to bring people together for a common goal—a month-long 100-mile physical challenge to raise awareness and funds for SSS within local communities.
To reach and recruit people for local challenges, Stop Soldier Suicide used lead generation ads on Facebook. The ads included an in-app lead form where SSS could seamlessly gather information about participants, including their email addresses. With the help of GoodUnited, SSS also added a referral feature allowing participants to easily recruit friends and family, too.
Stop Soldier Suicide created Facebook Groups for each of its respective challenges across the US and named them according to their specific location (e.g. Carolina 100 Challenge). There are currently 30+ challenges that have either previously occurred or are in progress. In each of the local Facebook Groups, SSS shared posts motivating participants to reach their fundraising goals.
The team learned that the more invested their organization was within the Facebook Groups in terms of community engagement, upholding community standards, providing support and making it an enjoyable experience, the better the initiative turned out.
Because the groups were created to raise awareness and resources for Stop Soldier Suicide, participants were asked to set up Supporter fundraisers on Facebook as part of the registration process.
Using a custom Messenger experience created by GoodUnited, participants could create their fundraiser, track their miles, earn rewards and receive regular updates from SSS throughout the challenges.
Exceeding its goals
Through Facebook’s social impact tools, Stop Soldier Suicide connected with more than a quarter-million donors they wouldn’t have otherwise. As a result, the organization has been able to grow aggressively, serve veterans and service members faster and ultimately save more lives during an unprecedented time.
At the end of the challenges, Stop Soldier Suicide sends group members a satisfaction survey built by GoodUnited on Messenger. Results to date have shown that more than 90% of participants indicate that they enjoyed the challenge and would join in future ones.