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UNICEF raised more than $1 million on Facebook to help children in Yemen.

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The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF’s mission is to raise money, influence decision-makers and inform and educate about children’s rights.

Success Story

In December 2018, as Yemen was facing a major humanitarian crisis with 8 out of 10 children in the country requiring emergency aid, UNICEF used Facebook’s Charitable Giving tools and powerful targeting to drive over $1,165,000 in donations in just 9 days for its “Black Friday” campaign.

“In a competitive charity market and with numerous retailers advertising their Black Friday offers, Facebook’s powerful targeting combined with their Charitable Giving tools was the perfect way for us to reach our target audience with a compelling message. Not only did we exceed our targets, but we gained valuable insights along the way that we can use for future Facebook campaigns.”

–Hubert Chaminade, Digital Marketing Manager, UNICEF France

Solution Statement

UNICEF used Facebook’s Page Fundraiser to create a dedicated Fundraising Page for each participating country, with integrated tools that allowed them to tap into their existing Facebook community. The Page Fundraisers used a simple but impactful creative that positioned the fundraiser as an antidote to Black Friday.

To reach a large part of its target audience, the organisation used Facebook Ads and its targeting tools to show the campaign to its Facebook page fans and broader audiences interested in similar causes. This ensured that the fundraiser ads were shown to people who were most likely to view them on Facebook, across multiple devices and audience groups.

This efficiently targeted approach not only helped UNICEF reach a large audience of the general public with its emotional creative, but also reach the key influencers who would help to spread the campaign’s message – resulting in high numbers of shares of the fundraiser.


“Set a lower fundraising goal to ensure you can reach your target, raise the target when you’re close and challenge your fans to reach the next goal. Post encouraging comments into the fundraiser and encourage people to share the fundraiser with their family and friends.”

–Gabriel Gunnarsson, Digital Marketing Manager, UNICEF Sweden

Campaign Goal

Drive donations through Facebook’s Charitable Giving Tools & Ads
The goal of the campaign was to help drive enough donations through Facebook’s Charitable Giving tools to allow UNICEF to provide the equivalent of tens of thousands of emergency packages (over 10X the original target amount) for the children in Yemen.

Campaign Approach

  • Post frequency – Posting often in the fundraiser with positive comments and encouraging people to share the fundraiser with their family and friends worked well.
  • Start small then raise – Start with a low goal that you can reach fast and then raise with new achievable goals – and encourage people to help reach these new goals.
  • Pace the fundraiser – Incrementally increasing the fundraising goal to always keep the collected amount close to completed – while seldom letting collected amount pass the fundraiser goal.
  • Follow in real-time – People being able to follow the fundraiser in real-time was a benefit.

Campaign Lessons

  • Lead time – Plan more build up time in order to be able to engage potential companies and influencers in good time ahead of the launch of the fundraiser.
  • Make it tangible – Set a lower than expected goal at first, but quickly increase this as donations start to meet and exceed that lower amount. Make it tangible and achievable and gather momentum at the beginning of the fundraiser.
  • Engage with supporters – Build in resource to engage with donors – encourage them to share the fundraiser with their friends and family, thanks them for their donations, get their opinion on what the next goal should be.
  • Timing – Don’t use the fundraising tools on a consistent basis – it is better to save fundraising posts for specific periods of time around key events in your market, so you don’t risk diluting your audience or overwhelming them with constant donation asks.
  • Facebook Ads Manager – Use Facebook Ads Manager rather than simply boosting page posts, as you get more control over targeting and it’s a more cost effective use of advertising spend.

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