5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Facebook Ads

Ryan Jones • Dec 27, 2020
Facebook Fundraising for Nonprofits

Ads are not just for for-profit organizations. A nonprofit can use paid ads wisely to gain traction in its own networks on social media. The post 5 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Facebook Ads appeared first on Keela.

According to Nonprofits on Facebook, there are five different ways that nonprofit organizations can effectively use Facebook ads. We’re going to look at each use and discuss examples of how you can make the most of your ad!

What are Facebook Ads for Nonprofits?

Organizations can use Facebook to “sponsor their posts”. This basically means that you can craft an ad, with a specific message and call-to-action — and get that message in front of the right people. Of course, this takes a bit of a marketing budget to achieve. But nonprofits have been using Facebook to get in front of the right people to support their cause. At the end of the day, the metric of cost per dollar raised spent on Facebook ads for nonprofits becomes super important!

But if you’re able to create nonprofit ads just right, you might be able to see some great results. And we have some tips to help you get there.

How should I use Facebook Ads for my organization?

There are tons of options for Facebook Ads. Start by setting a goal or objective for your campaign. In other words, answer this question: What are we trying to accomplish by getting this message in front of people? Are you trying to raise awareness? Are you trying to get people to consider supporting your organization? Are you trying to convert visitors into supporters?

facebook marketing objectives

You can get pretty granular about what you want to achieve with the Facebook Ad. Once you have this goal in mind, you can start creating your catered messaging.

The power of Facebook Ads is the ability to get in front of a bigger audience, with a very specific message. This enables your organization to grow and gain traction without having to leave your office. But the question remains — how do I actually start creating my first campaign to get the best results?

1. Find new supporters by reaching outside your existing community

Maybe you’ve had the same donors for a long time and you’re ready to spread your message further and bring in some new supporters that are excited about your cause! Using demographic and interest filters through Facebook ad targeting can help you get your message to the right people.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Start by testing out two different designs – even just putting $20 on each ad. See which one gets more engagement (clicks) and if either leads to new donations. Facebook ads specifically for targeting donors may not always be successful, but if you send out timely and engaging calls to action you may just get some positive feedback. Being timely and showing impact can help you get your sponsored posts noticed.

Examples of timely Facebook ads for donations that may get more clicks:

  • Calls for donations post-disaster
  • Calls for holiday-themed donations (e.g. catalogs) during the holidays
  • Calls for donations that support different International Days, like International Girl’s Day.

2. Reach out to people who are similar to your existing supporters

If you’ve done your homework, you’ve probably compiled data on the key characteristics of your top supporters. Where they come from, what kind of jobs they do, average age, gender, and even their typical job titles. This information can all be translated into Facebook Ads to target exactly who you want.

If you are running a project for veterans and you know the typical demographic of people that have supported those projects in the past you can easily target that group. Who you may target as donors for a veterans project may be very different than the demographics of those you may reach out to support an animal shelter, for example. Know your audience and find similar people to continue the spirit of giving.

To better understand who you are communicating to, think about your audiences — especially in the terms that Facebook uses: Target audiences and Lookalike audiences.

Target Audience

Target audiences, also known as custom audiences, are customized segments of Facebook users that you are hoping to reach with your message. You can build these audiences by using demographic filters that layer atop one another.

It is important to create messaging that is catered to these individuals. Delivering a message that does not resonate with these individuals would be a bit of a waste!

Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audiences can be a powerful tool for your nonprofit. But it takes some work to set up. First, you have to segment your audience into meaningful lists. These lists should have some common characteristics that will help you identify what audience it is.

Some of the criteria that people use in these segments would be location, age, gender, or even job title. You can create a segment of donors based on whatever is important to your organization. But the important part is that you start with that segment — and that you get the emails of those individuals.

Once you have this, you can upload this list to Facebook, and they will effectively build an audience that has similar characteristics and demographics to the list you just uploaded. Essentially, the resulting list will look like the original list you uploaded.

This enables you to reach even more people that may respond positively to your message.

3. Boost your post on Facebook to make sure more of your audience sees an important post

If you are running a new campaign that you want all your supporters, volunteers, board members – and everyone in between – to see, a Facebook ad showcasing the campaign could be a good option for you. A great image, a catchy subject line, and a good call to action can get more of your audience engaged with a post they may have dismissed in an email.

What is a boosted post?

Boosted posts are basically regular posts that you’ve made with your Facebook account, so you can add a budget and specific audience. This will help you increase the reach of a particular post.

Just keep in mind that you must have a business page in order to boost a post. Most nonprofits will already have this set up — but if you don’t, be sure to set up a business page for your nonprofit first!

What are the benefits of boosting your nonprofit ads?

There are tons of reasons why you would boost a post.

One of the most common scenarios is when you see one of your posts performing fairly well. This would indicate that the content of the post really resonates with your audience. If you choose to put some budget behind this post, then you will be able to get this great content in front of even more people.

Boosting posts will help you achieve your goals, and reach even more people. Just be strategic about what posts you choose to boost.

4. Send calls to action to people with particular demographics, interests, or behaviors

Maybe now you are looking for people to volunteer for your annual charity ball, or donate items to a silent auction. These calls to action can be specified and targeted to the right people. When creating your Facebook ad you will see options to hone in on specific demographics, interests, and another targeting to really get your message to the right people:

5. Drive specific behaviors, like visiting your website or signing up for your email list

In different seasons you have different needs. If you’ve revamped your website with a great new campaign or with meaningful updates on the impact of your work, you may want to bring more people over to your website to take a look at what you’re doing. If you’ve started a new blog, newsletter, or advocacy campaign, you may want to get people to sign up for updates. Facebook ads let you customize what behavior you are seeking from your audience.

Clarifying your market objective and putting the right call-to-action buttons on your ad can help boost engagement.

And there you have it, 5 ways a nonprofit can start using Facebook ads. Putting ads on social media may not be at the top of your marketing list or a priority for your budget, but some organizations have seen great success. Sometimes it’s worth a try just to test it out, gauge your response and make an educated decision from there.

Drew Bernard, CEO of ActionSprout suggests testing your ad content organically on your organization’s Facebook page first before paying a dime. By honing in on the content that got the results they wanted they were able to run successful ad campaigns for just $2/day.

If you are ready to give it a shot, check out these Facebook Marketing Tips for Nonprofits by Adpresso.

Has your nonprofit run Facebook ads before? What call to action has been most successful in the past?

See How Nonprofits Use Keela to Raise 4x More!

Get a glimpse of how Keela’s donor management system can help you develop better relationships, retain donors and raise more for your cause.