This month in Facebook virtual challenges… April 2022

Dan Papworth-Smyth
3 min readApr 27, 2022

Observations of what’s going on in the world of Facebook virtual challenges

Time for the third of these updates, it was great to see so many of you reading last month’s edition so thank you and I hope you found it useful. I’m writing this a bit early as I’ll be on holiday, so stats are as of 25 April 2022.

  • This month I’ve seen big growth in the number of Facebook challenges when compared to the previous month 49 vs 38, back up to almost level with March 2022 challenges (50) which is still the highest I’ve seen so far.
Bar and line chart showing Facebook virtual challenge group numbers on blue bars, and group membership as an orange line.
  • That said though, I’ve also seen a fall in the average Group size dropping to the lowest yet with an 11% decline month-on-month. Group numbers could be slightly inflated though as there’s a couple of challenges I’ve seen that are reusing previous years’ Groups, rather than starting afresh with 0 members for their 2022 iterations. It’s also worth noting that the total number of total participants has increased month-on-month, there are just more events that they’re spread across.
  • It’s a fairly similar picture to last month in terms of the split of events, with walks/step challenges still making up more than half of the events I could see. Followed by runs and jogs at 20% and fitness challenges at 18%. Of those walks, more than 60% were distance based, with 20% having a step focus, and 12% being dog walks.
  • Only four challenges this month have made it past the 5,000 Group member mark so far. Two fitness challenges (one from Cancer Research UK and the other from Shelter), one dog walk from Macmillan, and a ‘wheel’ challenge also from CR UK (last month 7 challenge Groups made it past this milestone). There’s a few more that are likely to cross that marker before the end of the month though, so we may not end up far off last month.
Three screenshots of adverts on Facebook: on the left from Maggie’s with an orange graphic talking about their 250 mile cycle challenge, but with a white banner over the top right saying ‘last week to register’. In the centre, an advert from Brain Tumour Foundation with text saying ‘Do you want to get healthier?’. And on the right, an avert from Young Lives vs Cancer talking about their 50 press-up challenge in 50 days.
  • There’s a few interesting challenges and ads that I wanted to highlight this month (l-r). Firstly I really liked the adapted version of Maggie’s ads to feature the time sensitivity of registration for the last week — it’s not something I’d seen before and could definitely add an extra push to when recruitment inevitably slows in those final days. Next was some interesting messaging from Brain Tumour Research, most messaging you see out there is challenge focused or potentially cause focused at a push, so seeing something that focusses on neither and is instead on health and fitness is an interesting angle. Lastly, Young Lives vs Cancer testing something outside of the ‘norm’ with 50 day challenges instead of a typical month. Not only are they extending the duration, it’s also cool to see them testing a push-up challenge vs a sit-up challenge simultaneously.
  • GivePanel have been surveying their customers to collate a 2021 benchmark report with one of the key highlights being that the average cost per active fundraiser page (a page with more than £0 raised) was £27 from the organisations that took part in this study. Other findings included continued low uptake on Instagram fundraising, with it making up 1.1% of total Facebook fundraising income, and that the value of birthday fundraisers dropped by 13% when compared to 2020.
  • Lastly, so far there’s already 13 challenge Groups live for June challenges including some really interesting ones from ‘Crochet Ever Day’ to ‘ 30 Days of Yoga’ and ‘Skip into June’ so lots to watch out for!

Want to read the March and February updates? As always, please share if you find these useful!



Dan Papworth-Smyth

Head of Digital Engagement at @BreastCancerNow, formerly of Breast Cancer Care and @TeenageCancer. Sometimes I take photos too. Views are my own.