Facebook, fundraising

This Is What Nonprofits Need More Than A Facebook Donate Button

6 Comments 18 December 2013

FB petition

Have you noticed that your organization’s Facebook page reach is down lately? Very much so? That’s because Facebook has recently made changes to the way page content appears in newsfeeds. In an internal document leaked to Ad Age, Facebook reveals the future demise of organic post reach and importance of paid post reach. To quote Ad Age’s quote of the leaked document, “marketers are told they should consider paid distribution ‘to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.'”

Your organic post reach is going down, and there’s only one way now to quickly stop the hemorrhaging. Again quoting Ad Age, directly quoting a Facebook spokesperson: “The best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.”

Facebook is becoming a pay-to-play space, and there is not much anyone can do about it.

Yesterday, Facebook rolled out a new Donate feature to 18 selected nonprofit organizations. According to Facebook, “The Donate feature will appear beside Posts in News Feed shared by participating nonprofits and at the top of their Facebook Pages.” On the surface, this seems like a boon to nonprofits: 100% of all donations go directly to the nonprofit, easily donate through Facebook, Donate feature appears alongside relevant posts, it is easily sharable within Facebook. Unfortunately, it has some serious disadvantages, too, which are worth reading about here and here.

Nonprofit organizations need Facebook Ad Grants.

Click to sign petition

Google offers approved nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 a month in free Google advertising through its Google Ad Grants program. If Facebook is moving towards a “pay-to-play”model for its newsfeed, then I cannot urge Facebook strongly enough to offer an equivalent ad grant program for qualified nonprofit organizations. There is an active petition at http://www.change.org/facebookadgrants asking Facebook to do just this, and I urge you and all of your supporters to sign and share this petition.

Three reasons why #FacebookAdGrants is important now:

1. The increasing competition for views in the newsfeed will continue drive prices of promoted posts higher.

Newsfeed adjustments will make it nearly impossible for nonprofit organizational updates to be seen without any type of promotion, one that will become increasingly expensive year over year. The day of the $10 promoted post has already passed, and now it is the day of the $30 promoted post. How quickly will it become the $50 per-post moment in time?

2. Nonprofit organizations work hard to get their fans to engage with their posts, but that’s not enough now, and it’s hurting causes.

As the petition states, “Most nonprofits simply can’t afford to pay more money to ensure that their posts are seen by the volunteers, supporters, and donors that have already liked the organization on Facebook.”

3. It’s time for Facebook to give back.

Until the Donate feature, Facebook has given almost nothing back to the nonprofit community. Approximately 90% of US nonprofits have a Facebook page. These organizations are building Facebook through the page data, news, and fan information Facebook mines. It’s time for Facebook to give something back if it wants to operate a platform that welcomes and embraces the nonprofit sector world-wide.

Today is the day to ask Facebook to give. It’s the giving season, after all.

Tweet today using the hashtag #FacebookAdGrants to @facebook. Sign the petition and share it with your fans, followers, and friends.

This is what nonprofits need more than a Facebook button!

Additional information about Facebook paid reach and the Donate feature:





Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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