New Facebook Ad Program Doesn’t Serve Nonprofits

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Advertising can be an important part of a nonprofit’s mission. Getting the word out there and attracting new donors or volunteers is essential to keeping a nonprofit healthy and stable. And, with the ever increasing presence of social media, advertising on sites like Facebook is becoming more and more important.

Recently, Facebook launched a new program called Canvas, which allows advertisers to provide a new system for delivering ads that promises greater audience engagement and returns. It makes the process of creating ads easy, and doesn’t cost anything; it’s rolled into the existing advertising structure.

The problem is that the existing advertising structure doesn’t benefit nonprofits. It has become increasingly difficult to advertise on Facebook, in any form, without paying for it. As the company continues to find ways to monetize the site, groups that can’t afford to pay for such advertising continue to lose presence on that service. While a number of companies can build marketing budgets that allow them to use Facebook, that’s a privilege many nonprofits don’t have, because that’s money they aren’t using toward their mission. Though there are certainly a number of large nonprofits which can make use of Facebook in this way, there are far more small organizations that’s can’t afford it.

Facebook has unveiled a number of new tools lately that, hypothetically, could be useful to nonprofits, but they have so far been underwhelming. Canvas is simply the newest tool which, if it weren’t for increased barriers that nonprofits face in accessing those tools, could prove useful. If Facebook really wants to promote nonprofits or make things easier on them, then they need to look into finding ways to keep their monetization schemes from preventing nonprofits from actively using their tools. Facebook is going to have to think long and hard about the kind of relationship they want with nonprofit organizations.