Why Meta Ads are so powerful for fundraising

Meta (Facebook. WhatsApp, Instagram) mobile apps on screen smart

What exactly are Meta Ads?

Meta ads are digital adverts presented to users of Facebook and Instagram, over a variety of different formats and locations within the Meta social media platform. 

These ads can be targeted specifically to user interests, demographics and spending behaviours. 

Facebook ads have been through a lot of changes recently, with many of the interests and behavioural targeting being removed due to privacy restrictions, but they remain one of the most effective advertising platforms available today.

Why are Meta Ads so powerful for fundraising?

Even with the impact of the iOS14 update and the platform changes, there is still a lot to get excited about. 

Just look at the daily users – Facebook has 1.6 billion, and Instagram has over 500 million, which is a staggering number of people. This has grown consistently year after year, with more people using Facebook than ever before with around 66% of the total UK population now having a Facebook account.

Facebook is so powerful because it has the ability to get your message to the right people at scale. You can target the right demographic, with the right interests, and the right behaviours, with a message that will resonate with them. 

Even with the latest restrictions, the Meta Ads algorithm can be exceptionally good at finding the right audiences for your cause.

How to get started with Meta Ads

Meta Ads are quick to get up and running. However, there are many challenges to getting them right. 

You not only have to create eye-catching and thought-provoking content ads – but you also have to target the right audience with the right objective and get the technical aspects set up behind the scenes. 

Before you get to the exciting part of creating ads and copywriting, you need to have all the technical elements working correctly. Then you can be sure you’re spending your money well. 

Setting up the ad platform correctly and installing a tracking pixel allows Facebook to know when a lead from one of your campaigns has converted into a donor. That gives the algorithm more data to help find more of the same people, giving you more results as time goes on.

We have created a handy walk-through on getting started with Meta Ads to help you get set up correctly.

Why choosing the right objective is key

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The key to working with Meta ads is knowing when to use each type of campaign objective.

Campaign objectives allow the Facebook algorithm to find people who have a history of taking the action you want them to take for your campaign. So making sure you set the right objective is critical to success. 

The type of objective you choose will depend on your campaign goals. 

Do you want more people to be aware of your cause? 

Do you want people to help by donating or taking part in challenges or events? 

The action you want the viewer to take will influence which campaign objective you choose. 

Awareness objectives

If you want more people to know about your charity then you should focus on an awareness objective

Maybe you have a service like a charity helpline phone number that you want more people to be aware of.

You might have a service that they won’t use right away, so a conversion wouldn’t be helpful, but an awareness campaign would be perfect.

The cost per view is a lot lower for these types of campaigns so they’re a great option for raising the collective consciousness. 

Consideration objectives

If you want people to consider working with your charity but not go as far as to donate right away then a consideration objective is what you need. 

These are ideal if you want to gather some leads and follow up with a call, or create a list of potential challenge participants. 

You might have a video you really want people to see or want people to visit your website. All of these objectives would be best served with a consideration objective.

Conversion objectives

If you are looking for bottom-of-the-funnel activity, where you want people to sign up for something or make a donation right away, then you should optimise the campaign for a conversion objective

Facebook will track this through its pixel on your website. That will trigger a notification to Facebook when someone makes a donation. 

The more of these triggers you get, the more information the algorithm will receive. 

It will then use this information to determine the characteristics of the people who take that action and target people who have the same characteristics. 

So optimising for the right goal is critical for your campaign’s success. 

Read our blogs on when to optimise for awareness, consideration or conversions to know more about these options, and to check out examples of each.

How Meta changed their targeting options

In early 2022, Meta moved to restrict the audience targeting options available to users. 

As part of the changes, they limited how organisations (including charities) reach people based on their engagement in “sensitive” areas including race or ethnicity, religious views, political beliefs, sexual orientation and health.

This means that organisations need to be inventive in how to reach the right people, looking instead towards interests which may indicate their preferences.

Those who have been running campaigns for a while are able to make use of lookalike campaigns to reach similar audiences, but not everyone will have this luxury. 

Check out our blog on how to work with the Meta targeting changes and what you can do.

Examples of great charity Facebook ads

When it comes to running ads, copywriting or pretty much any content, there is one ethos that works every time – be inspired by others learn.

So if you’re not sure exactly what a great campaign should look like, we pulled together a list of 5 of the best charity Facebook ads we have seen. 

The best charity Facebook ads that stand out in a saturated market are targeted, evoke an emotional response, and are creative in how they ask for money. They’re a thing of beauty when done right. 

For example, we particularly loved the fantastic campaign run by the WWF, they partnered with children’s book author Judith Kerr, to create their Tiger Activity Pack based on her popular and well-loved children’s book The Tiger Came to Tea.

WWF Meta ad example

In exchange for a small donation, supporters were able to download the activity pack for preschoolers, which contained the book, stickers, and fun family activities.

It’s a brilliant example of an engaging, entry-level fundraising activity for all the family. 

It makes conservation part of the conversation through play and opens up the dialogue to allow for future communication around taking donations further like adopting a tiger.

Why hire a Meta ads Agency?

Much like Google, Meta’s algorithm is always changing, looking to better serve its audience. 

While Meta constantly evolves to give users a better experience, that often means advertisers have to jump through more hoops to reach the right audience for their campaigns. 

We work across loads of different campaigns for charities. That’s given us insight and  opportunities to implement lots of different techniques across different campaigns for charities of all kinds.

This level of sector knowledge has helped us achieve great results for charities like Dementia UK, who we helped recruit 268 virtual challenge event participants using Meta. 

Contact us if you’d like to see if we can help your charity too.

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