Use Facebook Ads For Your Nonprofit

Facebook Ads can help you reach new people on Facebook who may be interested in your organization. If you have some budget to work with, ads can be a highly effective way to scale your organization and drive tangible results.

What are Ads?

Facebook Ads are paid placements of content on Facebook. Ads can appear directly in News Feed or in the right hand column. When creating an ad, you choose the objective you wish to achieve and the audience you want seeing it.

Success Stories

Save the Children

Testing ad objectives to support charitable donations through Facebook

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charity: water

Filling “The Spring” by targeting Facebook Lookalike Audiences

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La Jolla Playhouse

Tracking ticket sales and return on ad spend with the Facebook pixel

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How can I use Ads for my nonprofit?

  • Find new supporters by reaching outside your existing community
  • Reach out to people who are similar to your existing supporters
  • Make sure more of your audience sees an important post
  • Send calls to action to people with particular demographics, interests or behaviors
  • Drive specific behaviors, like visiting your website or signing up for your email list

How it works

Ads on Facebook are organized in a simple, three-level structure, so you can manage them more easily and see if they’re helping you reach your organization’s goals.

    When you create an ad, the first thing you’ll do is choose an objective. An objective is what you want to accomplish, like getting more people to your Page or raising attendance at an event. When you choose an objective, this creates a campaign which is the first level of the ad structure.

    As you create an ad, you’ll define your audience, select where your ads will appear and choose your budget and schedule. These are ad sets and are the second level of the ad structure. An ad set should represent a specific audience you want to reach with your campaign.

    This is the content people will see. Multiple ads can be within one ad set. An ad can be photos, copy, links, video and more. Ads are the third level of the ad structure.

    Why is it set up this way?

    This structure allows you to track the performance of your ads at multiple levels so that you can optimize your ad campaign based on what’s working. For example, you can look at the ad set level to see which audience is responding best and shift more of your budget to that audience. Or you can look at the ad level and see which ad is most engaging to an audience set, and put more of your budget behind that ad. By adjusting the variables of campaigns, ad sets and ads, you can test a wide variety of combinations to learn what works the best for achieving your organization’s goals.

    Visit Ads Manager to get started creating an ad. Ads Manager will take you through a series of steps to build out all the components of your ad.

    How to Create an Ad

      The first thing you’ll be asked to do is to choose an objective for your ad. If you’ve developed a campaign strategy, you’ll have one or more objectives that you could pick to support with an ad. Upon choosing an objective for your ad, Facebook will ask you for information, such as your Page, post, event or website URL. You’ll then be asked to name your campaign. Choose a campaign name that’s related to the objective of the campaign (ex: “Fundraiser Event RSVPs” or “Purify H2O – Page Likes”).

      If you haven’t created an ad account, you’ll be asked for a few basic pieces of information: account country, currency and time zone. You can name the account in Advanced Setting.

      TIP: This step will set up an ad account associated with your personal profile. If your organization plans to run many ads in the future, you may consider setting up an ad account through Business Manager that will be associated with your organization and allow access to multiple teammates.

      This is where you’ll able to choose who’ll see your ad. Create a target audience based on who you think will respond best to your message and objective.

      • Location. Reach people in specific cities, countries and communities.
      • Demographics. Reach people by age, gender, education and more.
      • Interests. Reach people based on their interests, hobbies and Pages they like on Facebook.
      • Behaviors. Find people based on their purchase behaviors, device usage and other activities.
      • Connections. Reach people or their friends based on Pages they like.

      With new campaigns you’ll likely want to set a test budget that you want to spend to learn which of your ads work (and don’t work) with this target audience. Once you’ve seen how your ads are performing, you can adjust the budget by increasing how much spend on high-performing ads and decreasing the amount spent on lower-performing ads. You can choose a daily budget, to limit your spend per day, or a lifetime budget, which limits your spend for the duration of the ad. When first getting started in ads, we recommend you use the lifetime budget option to set the maximum you’ll spend for the entire campaign.

      You’ll be prompted to add creative assets, such as images or video, based on the objective of the ad. If you’re boosting a post, select the existing post from your Page. If you’re promoting a video, upload the video file. Ads Manager will automatically preview what the ad will look like on available placements and devices. To review image and copy specifications for ad creative, visit the Facebook Ads Guide.

      How do I manage my Ads?

      You can go to Ads Manager at any time to see how your ads are performing, make changes, modify target audiences, update your payment info, control your settings and more. If you need to give permissions to lots of people, you can also use Business Manager. Business Manager is a more secure tool for managing access to Pages and ad accounts on Facebook.

      Best Practices

      Ads are particularly useful if you want to reach new people on Facebook or show your message to specific audiences. You can run ads on almost any budget.

      Ads Manager and Business Manager give you access to:

      • Your account overview. Displays the ads you’re running, so you can check the performance of individual ads or ad sets to see larger trends.
      • Account Settings. You can manage your account info, access to your account and reports, notifications and more.
      • Tools. A quick way to get to important campaign tools, like Custom Audiences, Audience Insights, Pages and media you’ve added to your campaigns.

      For more details on how to make and manage ads on Facebook, visit our resource site for advertisers.