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Facebook Ads For Nonprofits: A Simple Guide For Savvy NGOs

Everybody knows it.

Running a non-profit is daunting. 

Keeping your mission going with a small budget isn’t for the faint-hearted. It takes grit, tact, and superhuman stewardship to keep things afloat. You have to stretch every dollar to stay true to your mission and continue to make a difference.

Thankfully, social media can change all that.

Facebook, in particular, is a godsend for struggling non-profit-making organizations. Adverts on Facebook are cheap and effective so you can use them to spread the word about your cause and raise much-needed funds for your altruistic work.

This guide will show you how to advertise your non-profit organization on Facebook.

Why Facebook Ads To Promote Your NGO?

Facebook Ads are generally the same regardless of the industry. 

There are many reasons nonprofit organizations should embrace Facebook ads as part of their digital marketing strategy. 

The major highlight of Facebook as an online advertising tool is its targeting prowess. Using the platform's laser-precise targeting features, you can hone in on your target audience demographics and easily reach people who care enough about your cause to give to it.

Here’s the thing. 

Most organizations are targeting the same audience and bombarding them with pleas for help. The result? The dreaded donor fatigue. With the Facebook targeting feature, you can target people by demographics, interests, industry, and more to discover new people eager to contribute to your mission.

Not only that. With over 3 billion Facebook users globally, the channel has a wide reach to ensure you won’t be short of donors or volunteers anytime soon.

Other Benefits Of FB Ads

  • Very cost-effective: with a Cost Per Donate under $1, Facebook adverts are an economical way of raising for nonprofits that know how to use them.
  • An engaged audience: audience engagement is crucial to getting higher conversions and Facebook has an absorbed audience that spends almost 1 hour per day on the platform.
  • Increases traffic and donations: because Facebook has billions of users, if you get the promotional message right, you will significantly increase traffic and donations.

The Initial Steps Of Starting A Marketing Campaign

In this section, we will cover everything you need have to do to start a marketing campaign.

Haven’t set up a Facebook Business account yet? No worries. I’ve got you covered, you can learn how to do it in this article.

Install The Facebook Pixel

As a modern NGO, I’m sure you already have a dedicated website for your organization. To successfully run Facebook ads for nonprofits, you must first install a Facebook Pixel on your site. 

The Facebook platform has a pixel that connects your website and their channel. Its purpose is to share data about users between the two. This data includes:

  • Ad impressions.
  • Form clicks.
  • Browsing behavior.
  • Types of devices users use.
  • IP address.

How To Set Create A Facebook Pixel

  • Visit Events Manager.
  • Click Connect Data Sources and choose Web.
  • Pick Meta Pixel and click Connect.
  • Add your Pixel Name.
  • Insert your website URL to see setup options.
  • Click Continue

You are done on the Facebook side. It’s time to head over to your website to complete the installation.

How To Install The Meta Pixel On Your Website

  • 1. Go to Events Manager.
  • 2. Click the Data Sources icon on the left.
  • 3. Choose the Pixel you want to install.
  • 4. Hit Continue Pixel Setup.
  • 5. Choose Meta Pixel and click Connect.
  • 6. Select Install code manually.
  • 7. Copy the Pixel base code.
  • 8. Go to your website header template.
  • 9. Paste the base code at the bottom of the header section, just above the head tag.
How To Install The Meta Pixel On Your Website
  • 10. Hit Continue.
  • 11. Add the events you want to track using the Events Set Up tool
  • 12. Click Done.

Congrats. You are now ready to run your first Facebook ad campaign.

Learn How The Ad Manager Works

FB Ad Manager has three tabs that form the base of your ad campaign. Here’s how the objectives section looks on the Facebook Donation Ads dashboard.

Learn How The Ad Manager Works

Let’s highlight the crucial aspects of the three Facebook ad campaign objectives:

  • Ad impressions.
  • Form clicks.
  • Browsing behavior.
  • Types of devices users use.
  • IP address.

Campaigns

Consider campaigns as the bedrock of your Facebook ad. Every ad set and ad you make springs from there. It’s here that you pick the strategic objective of your campaign. For instance, your objective could be to find new supporters, raise funds for a specific cause, lead generation, or drive traffic to your websites. Campaigns answer the question: what do you want to achieve with this advertising campaign?

Ad Sets

Then comes ad sets. An ad set deals with how you run your advertising campaign. Facebook offers superb targeting options for creating the right audience for your Facebook ads. You define your target audiences using factors like gender, location, and age. You’ll also choose where your ad will appear (ad placements), create a budget, and set a schedule for your Facebook ad. Remember, you can create many ad sets targeting many target audiences with varying budget options.

Ads

At the ad level, you create an ad that suits the objective you picked at the campaigns level and addresses the audience you defined at the ad set level. A Facebook ad has many elements, including headers, images, text, videos, and a call to action button to get people to act on the advertising message. You can create many ads in one ad set.

Choose Your Marketing Objective

Facebook ad campaigns start with the following objectives:

Awareness

For people to support your organization, they must know you exist. That’s what awareness objectives focus on—generating interest in your organization and its mission. To increase awareness, use Facebook ads to answer these four key questions your target audience has about your NGO:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • Who do you do it for?
  • How can we help you?

Potential volunteers and donors want answers to all these questions and more. Awareness is spreading the word about your organization to as many people as possible.

Consideration

While awareness objectives make people aware you exist, consideration objectives make them brood over your organization. For them to do that and consider sending donations or attending your next fundraising event, they need more info about your nonprofit. What makes your NGO and what it does special? Facebook marketing tools at this stage help you create a campaign that encourages people to visit your website to learn more about you.

Consideration

Conversion

Conversion is getting Facebook users to act and do exactly what you want them to do to drive your mission forward. Whether it’s sending donations, volunteering, attending your events, or signing up for your email marketing newsletters, Facebook tools and ads in this category help you clinch the deal.

Speaking of conversions, maybe you are wondering which Facebook ad types produce the best results.

Facebook Ad Campaigns For NGOs: Which Types Of Ads Work Best?

There are many types of Facebook ads, but two are proven winners for NGOs:

  • Page Post Engagement ads.
  • Call to Action ads.

Promoting a NGO is all about getting people to act and get involved in your mission. This is why Facebook page post engagement ads are potent tools. It’s because they show how relevant your ads are to your target audiences. 

Page post engagement ads increase:

  • Post Shares.
  • Post Comments.
  • Post Reactions.
  • Page Likes.
  • Post Interactions.
  • Photo Views.
  • Link Clicks.

You can use page post engagement ads to boost a particular post and generate excitement about your fundraising campaigns. Boosted posts get more volunteers and potential donors interested in your activities and visit your website.

Call to action ads drive action and get people to:

  • Send money to your organization.
  • Visit your website.
  • Watch your videos.
  • Sign up for an event.
  • Connect with your Facebook page.
  • Subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Request for more information.

To drive all these actions, simply add a relevant call to action button to your ad.

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When running Facebook ads for nonprofits, pay special attention to these two types.

5 Special Ad Categories For NGOs

5 Special Ad Categories For NGOs

A word of warning: Facebook needs to sort out certain ads from the rest. If your ad falls under these four Special Ad Categories:

  • Credit opportunities.
  • Employment opportunities.
  • Housing opportunities.
  • Social issues and politics.

I’ll explain briefly what they usually cover:

Credit Opportunities

Adverts that promote credit cards, offer personal or business loan services, auto loans, mortgage loans, and long-term financing. Brand ads for credit cards, irrespective of specific offers, also fall into the same hat as long as the ads promote or directly link to a credit opportunity.

Employment Opportunities

Facebook ads connected to an employment opportunity, it’s restricted. This includes anything tied to professional certification programs, internships, and part-time or full-time jobs. Job board promotion services, aggregation services, and company job perks ads, regardless of specific job offers also fall under this category.

Housing Opportunities

Ads that promote housing-related opportunities like appraisal services, home equity, housing repairs, mortgage loans, homeowners’ insurance, mortgage insurance, and home or apartment rental. This restriction excludes Facebook ads that educate people or housing providers about their rights and responsibilities under fair housing loans.

Social And Political Issues

Any ads made regarding or on behalf of political figures, public office candidates, political parties, or is related to election to public offices. Also, ads that include voting participation encouragements, referendums, or election campaigns will be deemed political advertising. For transparency and accountability, marketers who want to run campaigns related to politics and social issues must get permission from the countries where they want to run the ads. 

If you create ads in the above categories, Facebook may disallow the ads in question or demand you insert a “Paid for by” disclaimer and agree to have the ads displayed in the Ad Library for seven years.

Facebook put these limitations on NGOs so that they don’t:

  • Get manipulated by political leaders, or repressive regimes keen to get an endorsement through charities.
  • Mar their moral integrity and appear greedy for money or politically biased.

Most nonprofits do their best to toe the line so Facebook doesn’t disapprove of their ads.

Pick Your Demographic

Facebook allows advertisers to market based less on keywords but more on interests. This is more powerful as people with an interest in a topic are more likely to engage with your ads, which drives more conversions. 

To set up your target demographic for your Facebook marketing campaign:

Go to the audiences tab where you will see three options:

  • Custom audience is for people who have already shown an interest in your nonprofit. Create it based on your donor mailing list, past volunteers, and event attendees.
  • Lookalike audience is for new people who are similar to the audience that matters to you. Create it based on people who are in your custom audience.
  • Saved audience is for people you target repeatedly based on selected demographics.
Pick Your Demographic

Consider picking your audience based on adjacent interests. You can browse these interests or make suggestions in the search bar.

Split Test Your Creatives

Split Test Your Creatives

No matter how good you think your Facebook ads are, they need to go through split tests, also known as A/B tests. A split test is a comparison between two elements of an ad to discover which one performs better than the other. 

You can use split tests to:

  • Improve ad creatives.
  • Settle on a specific demographic.
  • Discover which call to action converts better.
  • Weigh marketing budget tactics: Cost Per Result basis vs Cost per Conversion Lift basis.
  • Figure out which creative works for which demographic, etc.

To perform a split test, go to the Ads Manager Toolbar. It has all current ad campaigns or ad sets you can base your tests on.

Here’s how you go about it:

  • Head over to the Ads Manager Main Table. Here you will find a list of all your ads, ad sets, and campaigns available in your account.
  • Check the box on the left of the ad set(s) or campaign you want to use for your A/B split test.
  • From the toolbar on top, click A/B Test.
  • Pick an available variable and follow the on-screen instructions to complete setting up your test.

Bear in mind that you can duplicate tests by selecting Custom. This allows you to duplicate an existing campaign or ad set and edit its variables in the new test Facebook ad campaign.  

Split tests help advertisers measure the effectiveness of their tactics and keep improving their ads to get more engagement and donations.

Prepare Your Adverts For The Public

After deciding on your Ad Set and naming your campaign, it’s time to work on preparing your ads for public display. 

To do this, go to Conversion Event Location and select Facebook Donation.

At this point, can select your ad placements, delivery, audience, budget/schedule, bid strategy, and optimization.

Prepare Your Adverts For The Public

For ad placement, these are all the available options:

Prepare Your Adverts For The Public

Source: Causevox

  • Facebook News Feeds (Desktop)
  • Facebook News Feeds (Mobile)
  • Facebook In-stream Video (Desktop)
  • Facebook In-stream Video (Mobile)
  • Facebook Right Column
  • Facebook Instant Articles
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network (3rd party websites contracted by Facebook)

No idea about the best place for your ad? No problem. Facebook can do ad placement automatically using its proven and highly effective machine learning algorithm.

placement

Then there’s the budget and schedule section.

photo

For budget, you have two options: daily budget and lifetime budget. 

With a daily budget, you choose how much you want to spend per on your campaigns for 7 days. This keeps a tight leash on your scanty advertising financial resources. As for a lifetime budget, you tell Facebook about how much you want to spend for the entire campaign and they take advantage of bidding opportunities without daily restrictions. 

Have little experience running Facebook ads? Then we recommend you opt for a lifetime budget, so Facebook takes care of everything for you.

5 Tips For Maintaining A Great NGO Ad Campaign

In this section, we will cover the best strategies for advertising a NGO and what it does. Use the following tips to reach and engage users so they donate money towards your mission and partner with you in your activities.

Keep A Healthy Post Schedule

For your organization to be visible, get your message across to your audience, and court potential supporters, you must post regularly. 

Post up to 2-3 times per week.

Keep a buffer of posts using Facebook's Ad Scheduling feature.

Not only should you post consistently, but also vary the ad formats.

Keep A Healthy Post Schedule

Alternate between carousel, single image, single video, and slideshow ads so you appeal to everyone in your target audience.

Boost Your Posts On Facebook

A boosted post is a post that’s already in your Facebook timeline that you want to boost through paid ads to increase its impact on your audience

Boosting a post:

  • Increases Reach: you reach new lookalike audiences with your nonprofit’s message.
  • Ease Of Use: because you are optimizing existing posts, it’s easier than creating an advert from scratch.
  • Better Targeting: you can tweak certain parameters to reach a particular audience. 
  • Hikes Conversions: because you use posts that are already getting engagements, you get more clicks, more donations, more money, and more supporters for your good cause. 

You can boost a Facebook post for only $1 per day. 

To find out the posts that you can boost, check your Meta Business Suite to identify high-performing posts since Facebook Analytics is no longer available.

Stay Engaged With Your Audience

To boost conversions, stay engaged with your audience.

You can respond to the comments under a post as soon as it's boosted or promoted on the Facebook Newsfeed. This makes the audience warm up to you and be more likely to click on your Facebook ads. 

Stay alert and grab every opportunity to interact with your audience. 

Be nice. Be warm. Be interesting.

And, whatever you do, don’t be rude, otherwise, you will offend people.

Be Timely With Your Facebook Ads

A Facebook ad that’s released at the perfect moment gets maximum engagement and hikes conversion rates, which ensures you get the best value from your small budget. 

To be timely, start creating Facebook ads during holiday seasons that your audience cares about, e.g. Women's Day, Christmas, and Human Rights Day. Your ads will get more attention and clicks.

Also, when there is a significant incident around your topic, get your sponsored posts out there for more exposure.

Use The Call To Action Button Whenever You Can

A call-to-action ad focuses on one goal—urge people to take a specific pre-defined action that’s important to your business. 

For example, you may want people to donate money, sign up for your email marketing newsletter or register for an event.

A short, memorable and punchy bit of text should precede the CTA button that gives extra appeal to the whole ad. Most of all, the button text itself must be clear and direct so users know exactly what you want them to do. 

Here’s an effective CTA button from Cats Protection.

photo

The call to action is exceptional because it’s:

  • Big: while the advert has two CTAs, they made sure their primary CTA is enormous so users see it right away.
  • Bold: it pops out of the page because it uses bright yellow, a bold color.
  • Short: it uses only two words ‘donate now’ to get the message across quickly.

Another example of an effective CTA is from Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Richmond.

 effective CTA

Two things stand out.

There is minimal text on the advert. All the attention goes to the images showing the families that need help. This touches the users to take action.

Also, the text around the CTA urges action ‘secure everyone now’. This supports the ‘donate now’ button. More users will click it.

Facebook Ads For Nonprofits: A Vital Part Of Nonprofits Digital Marketing Strategy

Advertising your nonprofit on Facebook can pay dividends.

To sum up, to stand a chance of getting a huge payoff from your advertising efforts, have a simple goal for every campaign you run. Align the goal with the needs of a clearly defined audience with specific demographics. Finally, get creative with the advert itself.

Leverage Facebook advertising today to get the money (and volunteers) you need to continue making a lasting impact in people’s lives.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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