a friendly guide to facebook advertising (tips for nonprofits)


Facebook — friend or foe?  When it comes to stretching your budget further and reaching new audiences, definitely friend. But sometimes the endless metrics and audience categories can feel like a foe. Working with 30+ nonprofits on social advertising strategy has given me insight on what works to get your ad noticed, and what isn’t worth all of the fuss. Check out some tips for Facebook Ads Manager below.

Define Your Objective

Promoting an ad just to promote it will not help grow your donor or volunteer base or increase event interest unless you have clearly identified your objective for that specific ad. Facebook has plenty of considerations to navigate when you get started, but I have found that the following are the most straightforward for nonprofit marketing.

Traffic – Driving more people to your website or messages on Facebook. This is a great option if you haven’t leaped into the world of Facebook pixel yet. It helps drive more users to your website to learn about your great cause.

Video Views – A video production can be a really big deal. You want to share your video with the world and make sure your views don’t add up to a puny 23. Utilize Facebook advertising to rack up those views and get your message out there. Important things to note: make sure your message and call to action connect with what is playing on the video and keep your video short and sweet (30 seconds or less).

If video production wasn’t a line item on the budget this year, Facebook makes it simple to create clean, professional video slideshows from your photos. Use professional photos that show your nonprofit in action!

Conversions — If you are looking to track an action from an ad, look no further than Facebook advertising. With an installed Facebook pixel, you can start tracking users who interact with your ad and see if they complete a form to take a tour, request more information, purchase a ticket, or make a donation. This information can be so valuable when thinking about how to invest in social advertising. It also can help you understand if your ad is resonating with the audience and if your landing page is doing its job by being compelling and encouraging action.

Assess Your Audience Before Diving In

Once you have identified your objective, think about your target audience. Before you dive into Ads Manager, do the work of knowing demographics, locations, and interests of those who you want to interact with your ad. Facebook has endless options for creating custom audiences, so make sure you don’t jump down a rabbit hole of browsing interest categories. Stick to your target audience!

Let Facebook Do the Work for You

Facebook is smart. Like really smart. So take some of the guessing out of your work by letting Facebook’s algorithms work for you.

Dynamic Creative – Knowing what the right message and image is for your audience is a tough call to make, especially if you are targeting a new audience. With Dynamic Creative, you can add multiple images, headlines, and messages, and Facebook will automatically generate what is working.

Placements – My general rule is to always go with Automatic Placements through Facebook advertising. This will serve your ad up to your defined audience in the best place for them from Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook feeds.

Get Started

Another great thing about Facebook advertising? You can’t break it! Don’t be afraid to get started with a small budget on Ads Manager just to feel out where you would get stuck or questions you might have.

If you do get stuck, never fear, The Cause Collaborative is here! Feel free to contact us and we can work with you step-by-step to get your social ads up, running, and working for you.