3 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Facebook to Their Advantage

Jan 31, 2019

Social media marketing has been a focal point of commercial and nonprofit organizations alike for the past few years. However, the leading platforms are constantly adjusting their own strategies and news feed algorithms. With so much happening on a day-to-day basis at nonprofits, most fundraisers simply don’t have the time to read up and stay ahead of the curve.

We’re here to help. We know it can seem like nonprofit staff and leadership are doing a million things at once. That’s why we’re explaining three ways nonprofits can use Facebook to build relationships, grow their audience, and raise more money.

1. Paid Advertising

It always surprises us how many organizations neglect Facebook as an ad platform. In fundraising, as in life, you need to spend money to make money. Luckily, sponsored ads on Facebook can cost far less than a Google Ad Words campaign. With the right strategy, you can target and reach a whole new pool of potential donors.

You may notice that your posts fail to reach a significant portion of your audience. This can be true even if you have a substantial following. Facebook limits the organic reach of business pages’ posts in an effort to sell more advertisements. If you want to be successful on the platform, you will have to play the game their way.

The good news is, Facebook’s ad platform is quite effective! Nonprofits can use Facebook to build targeted campaigns and reach people with the similar interests and values. You can also target friends of the followers you already have, or build a new audience template based on several data points.

Let’s say you help run a small animal shelter. You can list larger fundraising organizations with similar goals, such as the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as audience interests. Then, set location parameters to target users in your area. This way, you can reach an entirely new audience of local animal lovers with motivations that align with your organization’s mission. Consider using the content of your advertisement to get these users to follow your page or signup for your newsletter.

2. Get in Groups

Another reason why Facebook limits the organic reach of company pages is to promote their groups feature. Facebook groups are communities based on specific interests where users can have focused conversations with one another. Facebook recently made it possible for company pages to join groups, so this is definitely somewhere to focus your attention.

Let’s use the same example of a small animal shelter from earlier. A quick search on Facebook will pull up a number of groups dedicated to animal rights. Consider joining a few of them and sharing your news, educational content, and information about your adoption program with the members. Be sure to ask them to like your page if they like what they read!

You might also consider joining groups that focus on fundraising strategy for nonprofits. Groups like Grow Your Nonprofit: Marketing and Technology, contain valuable information shared by other fundraisers and discussions about the latest fundraising trends. The members of these groups can provide unique insight and perspective if you are looking for ideas for your next big campaign. 

3. Philanthropy on Facebook

Facebook helped nonprofits raise over $125 million on the last Giving Tuesday. That’s nearly 33 percent of all money raised on Giving Tuesday 2018! We’ve stressed the importance of making it easy for donors to give in previous posts. Facebook nailed it, and the results show. Once a user sees a post with a “donate” button, it takes just a few clicks for them to contribute and share with their friends.

The social sharing aspect is particularly powerful. We know that people like to broadcast their accomplishments and show the best version of themselves online. Play on the user’s ego a bit and encourage them to share their story! Encourage them to show how they helped your organization make a difference.

Facebook has spent a lot of time and effort on their fundraising tools in the past year. Now is the time to get on board. When a user’s birthday comes around, Facebook asks them if they would like to support a charity and share it with their friends to celebrate.

The platform is doing more and more to make it easy for nonprofits to find new supporters, collect donations easily, and raise awareness for their cause. Take advantage of this platform while it is still relatively new and exciting for Facebook users.

Adapting to Change

Whether your organization has been on Facebook for some time and is struggling to adapt to the platform’s constant changes, or new to Facebook and looking to reach a whole new audience, these strategies will help your organization take full advantage of everything the platform has to offer nonprofits.

Using the tools Facebook provides can help you reach the right audience with the right message in a way that they are already comfortable being communicated with. Facebook can be a great resource for building new relationships with like-minded donors, who want to help accomplish your goals just as much as you do!

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