Hey nonprofit!

You want to run Facebooks ads for nonprofits, but you have no idea how to jump in. You have tried boosting posts and maybe played around a bit in the ads manager and nothing happened, well at least nothing you want to talk about. (Got it.)

Good news: The strategy and tactics for Facebook ads for nonprofits are not any different than those used by for profits. The difference is in how nonprofits think about content, online marketing and well…Facebook advertising.

Approach Facebook advertising the same way you approach other mediums. Adjust any overinflated expectations. Though you may be enchanted with Facebook ads, understand the true magic of Facebook advertising is in trial and error.  

Nonprofits are big on raising [awareness] — a difficult metric to measure in the real world. Awareness campaigns are built into Facebook. Facebook has a collection of ad objectives that when done right can produce positive smile-inducing results.

 Nonprofits are notorious for the gimme gimme gimme’s. Sign up, volunteer, come to this, donate now, etc. One quick piece of advice: Stop making the ask right up front. You haven’t built enough goodwill or given people a reason to care.

One thing online marketers have mastered is the art of giving before asking because people truly want to know how you are relevant to their lives, yes, even if you champion a noble cause.

Great news: My process for Facebook ads creates the warm and fuzzies before we ask for anything in return. I’ll show you how to use Facebook ads to not only get your message out there, but also get people engaged with your content so they are more likely to give when you ask.

I call it a humanity campaign. You are in the business of humanity. Here’s how to create that human connection first using Facebook ads before asking for donations

To Start:  

Ultimately, you want to turn cold audiences (people who have never heard of you) into warm audiences (people who know you exist) into hot audiences (people who love or strongly like you) and convert them into raving fans, volunteers and donors.

There are four warm audiences you want to build: people who have engaged with your content, people who have watched a video, people who have been to your website and people on your email list. <<—Nonprofits list build really well.

Before we get started in Facebook ads manager, let’s get things rolling on your website and nonprofit business page.

Install Facebook pixel. The pixel is a line of code that tracks visitors to your site by their Facebook ID. It allows you to build custom audiences of people who have visited your site. This pixel is easy to install on your website. No coding needed.

Go LIVE on Facebook (or create video assets). If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand views. When you go live on your Facebook page, it increases engagement and the Facebook algorithm really loves video. Create live videos on your Facebook page as much as possible. Daily video is best. Weekly will do. Some examples on how to use Facebook live include live Q&A, behind the scenes of an event or the mission, tutorials, meet the staff, animals in action and announcements or big reveals.

Write a blog post, but not just any post. Create a blog post as the information destination for your organization. This blog posts must be about the people you want to reach and not about the organization. Blog post should be about 1,000 words with relevant takeaways a reader can use. Examples of a great blog include a comprehensive list of community resources, relevant story connected to a national headline or detailed success story with action steps.

Create a shareable resource: Nonprofits are a hub of valuable information. This at the heart of what you do. Package those resources into an attractive pdf. You can use this resource within your blog post (also known as a content upgrade).


How to tell if you are in an abusive relationship and what to do (domestic violence)
How to make food last on a budget (hunger/food insecurity)
Things you should know before adopting (animal rescue)
Tips for caring for an aging family member with resources (aging/seniors)
How to spot drug abuse or how to secure drugs in your home (teen drug abuse

Humanity Campaign: Create a three-part Facebook ads campaign

Month one:

Here is where we start creating awareness about your organization.

What: Run a Facebook ad campaign to cold traffic offering a FREE piece of information. No strings attached. No email request. No sign up for anything. Simply FREE. This could be either a blog post or a video.

How: Post blog on your website. Post blog on your nonprofit Facebook page. Run traffic to blog content. Set ad objective to engagement. At the ad level, use existing post that contains the blog. Or set up ad using Facebook live video. Set ad objective to video views. At ad set level, use existing post with video. 

Month two:

What: Review data. Run a Facebook ad campaign to warm traffic using a custom audiences of people who have interacted with content in month one. Give away a shareable resource (could include a video) and ask for an email address to view the content. 

How: Retarget people who viewed a 75% percent of your video, people who engaged with your page content and people who visited your website. Set ad objective to engagement or video views (depending on content).

Month three:

What: Review data. Run a Facebook ad campaign to warm traffic building on the same audiences. Now we are ready to make the ask, either donation, volunteer request, etc.

How: Retarget those same audiences. Set ad objective to conversions.

That’s it. Always analyze. Swap creative to avoid ad fatigue. Adjust campaigns as needed.

But wait. You have more questions.

Still not sure about Facebook ads for nonprofits? Want to learn more?

Book a two-hour business intensive.

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