Don't Wait for Facebook Ad Grants. There's Something Even Better.

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As we discussed in an earlier post, schools and other nonprofits can add themselves to a wait list to use the Facebook Donate button, but they don’t know if they’ll ever get it. So what’s a fundraiser to do?

Some fundraising experts have called for Facebook Ad Grants, a demand that existed years before the recent Donate button controversy. Beth Kanter, a fundraising thought leader, has attended several Facebook-hosted talks in the past few years that aimed to teach nonprofits how to best utilize the network.

“During the Q/A after the presentation,” Kanter blogged, “one of the most frequent questions asked has been, ‘Will Facebook be making grants to nonprofits?’ The answer is always something along the lines of ‘We are giving the platform to nonprofits to use for free.'”

Kanter—and others in the pro-Ad Grant camp—argue that’s not enough. “While adding the donation button…for nonprofits makes Facebook appear to be giving back,” Kanter wrote, “what nonprofits really need is a Facebook Ad Grant program similar to what Google offers.”

Nonprofit fundraising expert Allyson Kapin led the recent charge for Ad Grants on her blog:

There is a lot of design and user experience strategy that goes into raising money online. That’s why nonprofits spend a lot of time and resources on designing donation pages that focus on conversion rates. While it’s nice to see Facebook being charitable, having a little Donate button mixed in with all of their other features vying for users’ attention will negatively impact conversion rates.

This influx of information on Facebook that is vying for users’ attention has led the social network to make some changes. Rather than clutter a member’s News Feed with every post from every organization that member is following, Facebook is limiting this organic reach. To make sure all of your followers see what you’re posting, you’ll need to invest in paid reach through Facebook ads.

“We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it,” Facebook said.

Citing limited marketing and communications budgets, many nonprofits believe that Facebook Ad Grants would be their only hope of paying for Facebook reach. A petition, now with over 3,100 virtual signatures, has circulated the nonprofit space outlining detailed suggestions for Facebook to implement in its Ad Grant program.

So far, there’s been no answer from the social media giant. So we’ve created one. Our mobile-first app GivingTree shows your school which donors have not only the capacity but the willingness to give based on their Facebook and other social media activity. Click here to let us show you how.

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