Facebook Advertising for Nonprofits: Is it Worth It?
Facebook has pretty much permeated our lives, as evidenced by the billions of users who visit the leading social media platform each month. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Facebook is now widely considered one of the top advertising channels for businesses, small and large. In fact, according to Facebook, the number of businesses using Facebook ads currently exceeds 6 million, a 50% increase from just three years ago.
While this is all well and good for a for-profit business that has ample marketing dollars to advertise, what about the nonprofit sector? Can nonprofits run ads on Facebook? Does Facebook advertising for nonprofits even make sense? Is this where they should be directing their marketing dollars?
The short answer is yes—and here’s why.
Facebook Ads for Nonprofits: Why should I do it?
If you’re a nonprofit organization, you might not have much of an advertising budget to work with. I’ve seen nonprofit budgets range anywhere from 5 – 15% of the total budget (sometimes less). But the fact is, marketing is critical to your ability to raise awareness, fundraise, recruit volunteers and more. Facebook advertising is an ideal way for a nonprofit to achieve those goals without chunking out a huge investment.
With Facebook ads, you can exponentially expand your reach and target new audiences. For a nominal budget, you can create customized campaigns based on goals, audiences and budget. Compare this to traditional advertising where you’re spending significantly more for an ad that may not even be reaching the right people. Facebook advertising for nonprofits is effective, affordable and easy to execute.
With Facebook advertising for nonprofits, you can:
- Attract new supporters by targeting those who fit a similar profile to your existing supporters
- Get your message out to audiences outside your existing community
- Tailor specific calls-to-action to specific audience segments
- Drive real-time engagement with your brand, thereby expanding your reach even more
Keep in mind, it is critically important to have a strategic marketing plan for each individual campaign that aligns to your overall marketing and business goals.
Digital Marketing for Nonprofits vs. For-profits
When it comes to digital marketing, nonprofits may have a better chance of getting through to their target audiences than their for-profit counterparts. Most people don’t enjoy being sold to. What do for-profits do in their ads? Sell their solutions or services.
Nonprofits, on the other hand, are promoting a cause; they’re advocating for the greater good, not trying to drive sales. People love a cause and respond at an emotional level to those things that speak to their personal values and belief systems. This is particularly true on Facebook.
You may be wondering, is there a Facebook ad grants program like Google Grants? Unfortunately, no. But that’s okay; while you do need to fork over some marketing dollars to advertise on the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook advertising offers a high return on your ad spending (ROAS)—so you will likely end up in the black on your Facebook advertising campaigns.
How Do I Promote My Nonprofit on Facebook with Ads?
Logistically speaking, setting up a Facebook ad for your nonprofit is easy. Set the objective for your campaign (e.g. get more likes, drive attendance to an event, get donations, etc.), set your budget and identify your audience(s). Facebook lets you target your ads based on demographics, interests and behaviors. You can even upload your own custom contact list.
But logistics is only one piece of the puzzle; you need to make sure your Facebook ads are compelling. To do this, here are some best practices:
- Include an eye-popping visual. If possible, use custom photos rather than the run-of-the-mill, generic photos that currently flood the social media airways. Also keep in mind, photos that show people tend to perform best. Above all else, be sure the photo aligns with both your overall objective and your brand image.
- Craft clear, compelling messaging. Your image will hook your audience, but without persuasive and engaging messaging, you won’t compel users to take action. Just be sure you limit your Facebook ad title to four words, with descriptions that are only slightly longer.
- Compel users to engage with a clear call to action. Keep it short, simple and direct—“Donate Today” or “Sign This Petition,” for example—with a link to the landing page.
Other Nonprofit Advertising Ideas
Digital marketing for nonprofits is not limited to Facebook alone. You might consider advertising on Instagram or YouTube or launching a podcast. For a more creative, less traditional fundraising tactic, consider a text-to-give campaign. The user-friendly text-giving platform makes it fast and easy for donors to give to their favorite nonprofit organization, without expending much time or effort.
There’s always the more traditional (albeit more expensive) advertising channels, such as radio or print. Ultimately your advertising strategy will be largely dictated by your target audience(s)—whether constituents, prospective corporate donors, potential board members, volunteers, individual donors or others.
Digital marketing for nonprofits, more specifically Facebook advertising for nonprofits, is a great way to establish your voice, share your mission, drive engagement and support your brand. By helping you get your message out to more people, Facebook ads are a cost-effective way to support your organization’s business objectives. But, the success of your nonprofit Facebook advertising ultimately comes down to your ability to communicate clearly, establish an emotional connection and inspire your audience to take action. If you’re interested in learning more about how your nonprofit can utilize Facebook for advertising to raise funds, feel free to contact Paradigm Marketing and Design’s experts today.