Even though Facebook is going through a tough adolescence, it’s still the largest social media site on the planet. With 1.5 billion users and 22 billion ad clicks per year, it’s a great place to find your donors and target prospects. Whether you’re thinking of starting a Facebook fundraising campaign or you’ve already run a few, the following tips will help you maximize each campaign and help you learn more about who you’re targeting.

When Carl Bloom Associates (CBA) begins building a Facebook campaign for our station partners, we always start with the audience. “Make your audience the foundation of your Facebook campaign,” says Evan Watson, Digital Marketing Manager for CBA. “Think about who you are trying to reach,” he explains. “Some people will start with copy or images they want to use in the ads, but, much like direct mail, you always consider which segment to mail to before you write the appeal.”

Tried-and-true audiences are right in your database. Here are a few:

Facebook Custom Audience
Facebook custom audience allows you to upload your active and lapsed member files to Facebook. CBA recommends testing other lists you may have in-house, like the Prosper list from PBS.

Once you have uploaded your own files, Facebook can create lookalikes, which are prospects that mirror the members in your custom audience file. Experiment with which segments work best for you; do your active members respond better than lapsed? Are there quality prospects in your house files?

Take people in your geographic area or DMA and layer behaviors like interests in similar nonprofits or demographics like 65+ years old, female, college education and more. You can even target people based on their individual interaction with your Facebook page or target them based on whether or not they have watched a video you posted.

Watson’s top tip? “If you don’t have the Facebook pixel on your site, add it to every page now. Let it track who is visiting your site so you can retarget them on Facebook in a future campaign,” he says. If you add a pixel today, you can track people all year and turn on your Facebook retargeting ads during year-end fundraising, for example, when people are the most philanthropic.

Once you have the proper foundation for your Facebook campaign, you can turn your efforts to your ad creative. And boy does CBA have some tips and tests for you to see.

Contact Christina McPhillips at [email protected] or (914) 468-8942 to learn more about Carl Bloom Associates custom services for nonprofits.


Questions about how to build and manage powerful Facebook ad campaigns?