This is What Nonprofits Need More Than a Facebook Donate Button

At Media Cause, we understand just how valuable Facebook is for nonprofits.

The platform allows organizations to build communities, which is not only helpful for nonprofits to interact with supporters, but also to provide a space for supporters to chat with one another. Most of these interactions happen on posts in the users’ news feeds. It’s always a pleasure to see a nonprofit’s engaging Facebook post generate a lot of likes, comments and shares.

Facebook recently added a new feature for nonprofits – the “Donate Now” button. We applaud Facebook for making an effort to make the platform more ROI-positive. A tremendous amount of effort goes into maintaining an engaged community on Facebook. The donate button seems like an attempt to turn these users into donors. While the sentiment is right, it actually does more harm than good.

Nonprofits understand fundraising. They understand their donors, their acquisitions and their retention models. The donate button’s functionality does not help nonprofits. Actually, it just gets in the way, because it forces nonprofits to shift away from implementing their own fundraising plans.

So what do nonprofits really need? They need to maintain the reach they were promised when they started building communities for their causes on Facebook. Some of our clients began using Facebook years ago and have thousands of people who like their Facebook pages. Despite having great content that is extremely engaging, their posts are barely getting 20 percent reach rates. What nonprofits really need from Facebook is a Facebook Ad Grants program. Please sign our petition now to make this a reality.

In 2005, Facebook’s current chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg was Google’s vice president of global online sales and operation, where she directed Google Ad Grants, a program that gives nonprofits $10,000 every month to advertise on Google.com. Facebook has the talent, resources and technology in place to launch a similar Facebook Ad Grants program for nonprofits. If Facebook hasn’t already determined how a nonprofit Ad Grants program could work, here are some suggestions that we feel takes into consideration the needs of nonprofits as well as experiences of users:

  • Give $10,000 per month in ad grants to nonprofits with formal accreditation, with $333 per day to encourage nonprofits to commit to sharing content everyday.
  • Offer Facebook Ad Grants to nonprofits that have at least 2,000 likes on their page i.e. nonprofits that are committed to the platform and willing to invest in growing their fanbase.
  • Stipulate that Facebook Ad Grants can only be used on Promoted Posts and targeted to a nonprofit’s current page likes. This will help ensure that ads only reach people who have already liked the nonprofit’s page.
  • Require that posts eligible for free promotion must have at least six percent engagement rate to encourage nonprofits to create good content that resonates with their fans and to prove those posts are worthy of showing to a larger group of fans.

Please sign our petition now to make this a reality.