This month in Facebook virtual challenges… July 2022

Dan Papworth-Smyth
4 min readJul 28, 2022

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

  • This month I’ve seen a continued decline in the proportion of events made up by walks and step challenges, now making up the lowest proportion I’ve seen them at with only 36% of challenges. On the flip side, swims saw continued growth increasing from 5% of June challenges, to 12% of July challenges, and now 15% of August challenges. It’s an unsurprising trend as the weather gets hotter and people head on summer holidays.
Percentage split of August 2022 challenges by event type
  • Overall I’ve seen fewer challenges (33), which is unsurprising as August was also quieter last year too. That said, August 2022 still has three times as many challenges going compared to August 2021, and double the number of Group members across the events.
  • One of the biggest surveys of fundraising events in the sector, the Massive Top 25 index charts the growth of the largest products in the events space. Their 2020 report featured two Facebook challenges, but in the recently released 2021 list that has doubled. The highest ranked of these, Maggie’s ‘Run 50 Miles’ raising an incredible £6.9m across its regionally split channel model. For a charity whose income in the previous year was just under £22m that is an unbelievable achievement so huge congrats to their team.
Maggie’s Run 50 Miles challenge at number 6 having raised £6.9m in 2021
Dementia UK’s March Dog Walking Challenge at number 17 with a total income of £2.1m
  • At Breast Cancer Now, we were very proud to have our Run 100k 2021 event make it into the list too with an income of £1.8m. It will be very interesting to see how many of this style of event make it into the 2022 version of the report.
Teenage Cancer Trust’s 2800 Squats in February challenge which raised £1.85m at joint number 18, and Breast Cancer Now’s Run 100K March challenge which raised £1.8m at number 20 in the list
The Facebook fundraiser page creation process for Combat Stress’ virtual challenge ‘Ride to Victory’
  • I was served an advert from Combat Stress, advertising their latest challenge ‘Ride to Victory’ and was super impressed by the ease of journey from clicking on the ad to having a bespoke Facebook fundraiser page created. I actually ended up setting one up by accident it went through so quickly. What impressed me more was how this then was pulled through to a leaderboard on their website, with your Facebook fundraising total adding to a totaliser and showing the top fundraisers. The set up is all through funraisin, and means that people without Facebook (one of the most common questions I’m sure we all get asked in Groups) can donate on the website and their donation looks like it still contributes to the same total.
Facebook donations side by side with donations through the Ride to Victory website
  • GivePanel founder Nick Burne shared this interesting new feature discovery for Facebook fundraisers on LinkedIn this month. It looks like Meta are testing the ability to add a reminder option to pages, whether that’s for people to remind themselves to donate after pay day if they can’t donate now, or for those who want a reminder when the challenge kicks off or ends? Either way, it sounds like an interesting addition so watch this space to see if it gets rolled out more widely.
  • Speaking of GivePanel, it was great to be part of their Academy sessions for a conversation on the impact of the rising cost of living on Facebook challenge and birthday performance this year. It’s sounding like many organisations are in the same boat, but contrastingly it was particularly great hearing the successes that Dogstar Foundation are seeing at the moment with their fundraisers. GivePanel have published a blog about this session on their website.
The GivePanel Panel Panelists
  • Lastly, I spotted this great example of a non-sporty Facebook challenge activity from Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. With already close to 1,000 members in their Group I’m keen to see how it goes.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity with a 30 Day Vegan Challenge

That’s it for this month! As always please share this if you find it interesting and helpful, and feel free to go back and read my previous entries for June, May, April, March and February in case you missed them.

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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.