A very common and great question social media philanthropists are often asked is “how do we raise money using Facebook?” Short answer? “Very creatively.” But a more serious and useful answer is “through a smart Facebook ad strategy.”
If you know your donors’ email addresses, then you can send an ad directly to their Facebook News Feeds, even if those donors haven’t “liked” page. This allows for incredibly targeted messaging via the world’s most popular social network and provides an excellent opportunity for reaching current and lapsed donors. Interested in learning more? Check out the video below from John Haydon that goes into detail about how to set up Facebook ads to reach your donors or just go to his blog post by clicking here. (Then continue reading below the video for tips on what your ads should be asking of donors)
So now you know how to get your nonprofit in front of your donors through a Facebook ad. But how do you get them to click on the ad? For this, I would suggest the same rules apply to Facebook ads that apply to all content on social networks – stay appropriate for the space. In other words, produce ads that are in line with what your donors expect to see when they log in to Facebook. So what do they expect to see or what would they consider appropriate on Facebook? Are they planning on looking at pictures? Checking up on their friends or kids? “Liking” things? Probably all of the above. The key is creating an ad that fits in seamlessly with that activity. For example, your Facebook ad might:
- Alert donors to a new photo album from a big event that was recently uploaded. You control what your Facebook ad says and what it asks users to do. So after that big donor recognition event, or football game, or disaster your organization responded to, make a Facebook photo album and post it to your organization’s Facebook page. Then, link to that album via a custom Facebook ad. Next, share that ad with your donors by including their email addresses in the audience for the ad. Boom. Your awesome photo album is now shared with all your donors who have Facebook accounts connected to valid email addresses.
- Tell donors which of their Facebook friends have given an online gift to your organization. You do have a custom Facebook giving app, right? Because if you do, you could write really clever code that would send a Facebook ad to your donors that tells them which of their friends have given an online gift. The ad could go on to ask the donor if they’d like to join their friend and make a gift, as well.
- Ask them to “like” your page. “Liking” your organization’s page is a simple action, but again, it’s very appropriate for the space. People are comfortable with “liking” things on Facebook, so it’s not too much of a stretch that they would see the opportunity to like something in an ad and take that action. And it’s not a trivial action either. When a lapsed donor who throws away mail, doesn’t have a landline, or is unresponsive to any other attempt communication attempt on your part – but is active on Facebook – “likes” your page, you now have a new way of consistently stewarding them and eventually asking them for their support.
So there you have it… One of many ways in which Facebook can be leveraged to raise money for your organization.