Facebook is just one example of a social community that has rapidly changed as a result of numerous factors.
The social media space is obviously dominated by Facebook. Regardless of whether or not you partake in social media, you cannot deny the power and influence that exerts itself throughout the content that is served up across millions of newsfeeds everyday.
What you might not know, however, is that what is shown to you in your daily newsfeed is derived by something called an algorithm. Simply put, it's an equation that ranks and rates content according to a set of rules (created by the folks at Facebook) that determines what content is served in your own unique Facebook experience. This post explains more about how Facebook manages this process, and it's pretty easy to comprehend for those of us that aren't completely nerdy.
I am a Facebook user. I was not an early-adopter (October of 2008), but I've seen the platform transform and recreate itself many times. My wife and I both have each other noted as high-priority contacts where we should always see each others' posts first in our feed. Somehow we both still manage to miss about half of the things we post, and the only way we can be 100% certain that the other one sees something is to use Messenger through Facebook, or tag one another in the post.
I've got right about 500 FB friends, but when I post something I typically see a handful of likes and comments. When our FansRaise Facebook page posts something to our ~800 followers, only a couple dozen people "see it" (note - brands do have visability into how many people see or engage with content posted on our page).
It is widely known that posts that receive high numbers of likes and shares will get a boost, but as I scroll through my own News Feed I am subjected to more and more sponsored posts, which are brands or pages I like (or that Facebook THINKS I like) that have paid money to be there as an advertiser.
Reaching potential donors via paid Facebook advertising is an option, but probably not a good idea. It can get very expensive, and while you can narrow down the geographic location and demographics, it becomes next to impossible to get a positive Return on Investment (ROI) on paid Facebook for your Org's crowdfunding campaign. I would not recommend it unless you have a page that has a large following (into the thousands).
Why Email Is a Better Option
Email allows us to measure the effectiveness of a message. The FansRaise model asks/requires/requests the participants in a campaign to contribute (20) contacts to the campaign in the form of First/Last Name and Email Addresses. By amassing a large list of potential donors, and by messaging these contacts with a timely, contextualized, and focused email (including the name of the contact, the name of the Organization AND the student/participant), we find that more people instantly engage with the campaign and become donor supporters.
"WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS IMPROVED..."
At FansRaise, we can draw a direct line between campaigns that stress the importance of student engagement and quality email contacts, and success. Campaigns that view "the 20 contact thing" as less important leave the campaign's success up to the folks in Menlo Park, California (at Facebook's Newsfeed Team). To that point - check out REASON #3 in this post...
Facebook is no longer the best way to promote your campaign. Can it help? Sure, but it should be an additional layer, and NOT the backbone of your campaign promotion strategy.