This month in Facebook virtual challenges… October 2022

Dan Papworth-Smyth
3 min readOct 31, 2022

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

  • November challenges have seen the second highest average Group membership in 2022, with more than 3,600 members per Group (up 50% on last month) and with the same total Group members as August and September combined (however it’s half the number of Groups seen last month). That’s a 238% increase year-on-year for total Group membership for November questions.
  • 23% of the Groups I saw this month were also larger than 5,000 members which is incredible given the recent declining trend in Groups passing that milestone.
  • For the first time I’ve recorded in 2022, walking and step challenges don’t make up the largest proportion of events out there. Fitness challenges (squats, planks, press ups, push ups etc) this month have made up 47% of the Groups that I’ve seen. As part of this huge growth in indoor challenges as it gets colder and darker, there’s been a rise in crafting too (Alzheimer’s Research UK and Dementia UK both with knitting challenges, and Children’s Hospices Across Scotland with a crochet one). As mentioned last month, I’ve also seen an increase in football ones to tie in with the World Cup (The Bobby Moore Fund, Diabetes UK, Macmillan, Brain Tumour Research and Bone Cancer Research Trust), these are counted as ‘other’ in dark blue in the pie chart below.
  • One of the trickiest things about managing Groups with these challenges, is how to get cut through and actually have your posts seen by participants. Recently Meta have announced more chat functionality for Groups, including the ability to create ‘view-only chats’ — one sided conversations with members through their Messenger inbox. I think this could be massive in terms of getting those fundraiser creation prompts out there, as well as keeping everyone informed of totals and other updates. The difficulty will be if over-use becomes a frustration and leads to higher attrition, but similarly to WhatsApp or SMS engagement I personally see it adding to the overall experience and increasing conversion.
  • Following on from that, SMS and mobile messaging has always been an interesting potential supportive route to supplement participants engagement in virtual challenge on Facebook. I’ve previously written about WhatsApp, but as not everyone is on the app SMS has always been an interesting proposition given the broad reach, even with more limited rich-content. GivePanel are hosting an event on 14 November to launch their SMS functionality so it might be one to join if that’s something that interests you.
  • If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I often get served ads for test fundraising products from other charities. This month was no exception, and it was interesting to see these two challenge ideas from Macmillan appear on my feed. One to go plastic free for 30 days and one to reduce screen time, both asking for people’s feedback on these as potential fundraising challenge ideas.

That’s it for this month, as always you can go back and read through any you’ve missed or want to catch up on: September, August, July, June, May, April, March and February.



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.