Facebook Ads are a fantastic way to generate donations and awareness for charities, and the causes they’re looking to address.
With a wide range of creative placements to choose from and excellent targeting options, it’s no wonder that charities are increasingly looking at Facebook Ads to help deliver return-on-investment (ROI) on fundraising and communications objectives. Take a look at Empower’s success story with vInspired as an example.
This is especially true with the likes of Donations for Charities arriving on Facebook, which makes it even easier for charities to deliver ROI through Facebook generated-funds and awareness.
One core goal that many charities see as vitally important but they haven’t cracked with Facebook ads yet is fundraising.
How do you use Facebook to generate enough awareness among the right people, and create an engaging campaign that will persuade people to donate towards your charity or cause?
Asking for straight donations on Facebook is a hard task. You have to have massive brand awareness (think Cancer Research UK levels) and strong creative in order to get donations cold.
Here are a few ideas for how your charity can look to encourage donations from Facebook.
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If your advertising objective is website clicks or website conversions, you’ll be asked to add a call-to-action to your ad when you edit the Text and Links of your Facebook ad.
If your Page’s category is set to “Non-Profit Organization”, you can add the Donate Now call-to-action button on your Facebook ads.
This feature is gradually rolling out to non-profit Pages and may not be available to you right now, but it will certainly enhance your Facebook ad campaign if you can use the Donate call to action button.
Test and Learn
When first starting out, it can be difficult to understand what will work with your Facebook ads and why. It’s best to always test your charity ad campaign with a small budget first.
Experiment with content types, messaging, targeting user journeys and anything else relevant to your campaign.
See which audiences are responding best, adjust your targeting to reach the most-engaged, and then put more funds behind the best performing ads.
Set-up Conversion Tracking
Facebook’s Pixel is a very small piece of code that sits on your website and tracks which Facebook users are visiting your website.
If that Facebook user then makes a donation to your charity, Facebook will know this and you can then start to target that person’s connections on Facebook, plus people who look similar to that person.
This is great as it means you can then start to show ads to the kinds of people on Facebook who are more likely to donate to your charity.
Facebook has made it really easy to add their conversion tracking pixel to your donation page (previously you had to have multiple pixels tracking different conversions, now there’s just one pixel for your whole website.
Once added, Facebook will can start to target your Facebook ads towards the audiences most likely to donate.
Campaign Exposure First, Then A Donation Ask
One approach to drive more donations through Facebook is to spend some ad budget on generating awareness around a campaign, then use these ads to build a Facebook Custom Audience of people who engage with your ads.
You then have a warm audience, who have already interacted with the campaign, to whom you can serve a second ad set.
When served a donation ask, this custom audience are more likely to donate, thanks to their previous exposure and response to the campaign.
You can also tailor and develop the message, based on your better-knowledge of where they are at in their user-journey with your brand, the issue and campaign – thanks to your first advert.
Empower have run a Facebook advertising campaign like this for a major international NGO that used this strategy and it has seen good results – although you do need to have enough budget to warrant spend on the exposure campaign in the first place.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Another approach is to run a Facebook campaign where you ask a question that is deliberately designed to challenge the audience in a certain way.
For example, “Do you think that we should spend more on researching how we can stop cancer?” – giving the user the option to click and find out more if they agree.
You then direct them to a landing page where it says something like “If you agree that we should spend more on researching how we can stop cancer, donate to our charity and we’ll work to make this happen for you.”
Basically, ask a question and ask Facebook users to put their money where their mouth is.
If your donation landing page is well optimised, then it can easily persuade people, who’ve clicked there from Facebook, to back-up their opinion and support your cause.
Get Email Signups Then Convert To Donors
Most charities have an established email marketing programme that helps turn email subscribers into donors.
Facebook Ads can be used to grow your charity’s email subscriber list, so you can then send emails direct to their inbox over time and with direct donation asks.
Gaining email subscribers may well be cheaper than trying to get direct donations on Facebook, plus you can send those subscribers messages that educate them more about your cause and the impact you make.
This can be a more cost effective approach then showing them Facebook Ads alone and potentially avoids wasted ad spend by showing ads to irrelevant people.
Combined with a lookalike audience (a section of your Facebook target audience who look similar to your existing audience) based on your existing email subscribers and you’re on to a winning strategy.
How Does Your Charity Drive Donations Using Facebook Ads?
These are just a few ideas for how your charity can use Facebook ads to drive donations. However, Facebook are constantly changing their platform, bringing new ad formats and targeting options for charities – and even bringing in new channels for you to advertise on, such as Instagram.
Empower are a Facebook advertising agency that specialise in generating donations for charities like yours.