7 Types Of Facebook Ads Your Nonprofit Should Be Using

by Ray Delgado  |   |  Facebook & Instagram  |  2 comments

3 min to read ✭ In this blog, you will learn about 7 types of Facebook Ads that are proven to be effective for nonprofits looking to drive more donations.

Is your nonprofit running Facebook Ads yet? If you are, you might know that there are several different ad formats to choose from. Which formats are the most effective? How do you make sure you’re getting the best return on your ad spend? Let’s dive into it!


Identify Your Social Media Audiences


Why Your Nonprofit Should Be Using Facebook Ads


There might be cooler, newer social media platforms out there, but Facebook is the tried and true place to advertise to your target audiences for maximum returns. Why? Audience targeting has been perfected to an art on Facebook, allowing you to get very granular on the type of person you’d like to advertise to based on countless factors like where they live, what they do for work, how they identify, what their politics are, and how they shop.


Facebook is still tremendously popular with 2.8 billion monthly active users worldwide and you can narrow your target audience down to specific neighborhoods if you want using its sophisticated advertising platform. People spend a lot of time on Facebook scrolling past their news feed and it’s a great place to place an impactful ad that will get them to click through and support your organization. 


Most importantly, Facebook advertising makes it easy for you to spend your limited marketing dollars in the most impactful way due to the audience targeting, making sure you get the biggest return on your investment. We can help you get started as well! 

Get Help With Facebook Ads

What Types Of Facebook Ads Should Your Nonprofit Be Using


Let’s talk about the different types of ad forms and their strengths.


Video Ads


Video is still the way to go for advertising on any social media platform because it is still the strongest way to connect with your audience who expects a steady stream of videos to watch when they log into Facebook. Short videos with captions are a must as part of your marketing strategy and these videos can be a range of quality from quick soundbites from your CEO or program team to the highly polished video about your organization that plays at your gala dinner. 


Video is also the best way to bypass the recent Apple iOS14 privacy changes that allow Apple users to opt-out of website tracking, which doesn’t apply to videos. The changes have been a headache for marketers and you can read more about what they mean for your organization and how you can get around them


As we noted above, videos tend to have higher engagement among Facebook users than regular posts or links and users tend to watch a video as they’re scrolling by without even realizing they’re watching it so if you grab them with a captive message or image in the first few seconds, they’re likely to watch the whole thing and click through to the post if they’re wanting to support you. And you can retarget any viewer who has seen at least five seconds of your video, making them more likely to become more brand-aware of your organization the more you market to them down the road. 


And we probably don’t need to tell you this, but the most impactful way of building supporters is through video storytelling. If supporters can hear from a person impacted by your program, they are much more likely to support your organization because they see your work in action and know that their money is going to a good cause. Testimonials are great for pulling at the heartstrings.


ECAN Facebook Ad Video
ECAN Facebook Ad


Instant Forms


Instant Forms, formerly known as lead forms, are a gold mine for advertisers because they capture viewers who are genuinely interested in your product or company. Instant forms allow people to indicate they want to hear from your business, and they will provide contact information for how they’d like you to reach them. This helps businesses interact with people earlier in the customer journey and acquire high-intent customers sooner. 


When a user comes across your ad and clicks the CTA, Facebook will display a form that’s auto-filled with their information, which is a great way to reduce friction when signing up, since they have fewer form fields to complete. 


So how should you use an Instant form on Facebook? The most typical ways are for newsletter opt-ins, soliciting volunteers, event signups, or giveaways/raffles.


Kidsave Instant Form Facebook Ad
Kidsave Instant Form Facebook Ad


Messenger Ads


Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new ad feature that allow users who see your ads to initiate a text conversation with your business with the click of a button. A customer may have questions about your organization or product before they are ready to commit and Messenger ads allow them to directly message your team to get their questions answered and start engagement. Once you have a customer engaging with you, you have a great opportunity to convert them to a supporter so long as you handle their query quickly and with utmost care.


Kidsave Facebook messenger ad
Kidsave Facebook Messenger Ad


Click To Call


Like Messenger ads above, Facebook Click to Call ads offer your customers or supporters a direct way of contacting your organization by phone to get their questions answered. This is particularly useful for nonprofits that need to set appointments or have multiple services to offer so they can help guide a caller.


TrueCare Facebook click to call ad
TrueCare Facebook click to call ad


Carousel Ads


Carousel Ads are great for nonprofits that sell products. Think “Sears Catalog” for Facebook where you are able to display several different photos in a single post that feature different products. You can also use this feature to show photos of events, programs, whatever tells your story visually in a fun and engaging manner.


Instant Experience Ads


An Instant Experience ad on Facebook is a mini landing page that you click from the ad itself that tells you more information via text, photos and videos. They are full-screen and mobile-only so they create a very tailored experience for mobile users. 


Instant Experience ads can be for highlighting shop items, showcasing your strongest image/video creative for an emotional donation appeal, or storytelling your mission with dynamic creative to those who may not be familiar with your organization. 


Overall, Instant Experience ads are a great way to familiarize audiences with your mission and learn more about your mobile audience while also keeping users on the platform without the assistance of a landing page. Read more about them here.


Instant Experience Ad
Instant Experience Ad


Stories Ads


Stories are liked timed slideshows that are prominently placed at the top of the Facebook platform and are another good spot for placing ads because it’s usually the first stop someone makes on mobile when they log in. You can create ads similar to what you would do for a carousel ad and then repurpose the ad on your normal timeline and see what happens.


Best Practices When Choosing To Run Facebook Ads


Now that we’ve covered the different types of ads and their strengths, let’s go over best practices.


Keep Your Objective In Mind


Now remember that even though Facebook ads are relatively cheap, you still want to use your basic communications tactics where you outline your goals and objectives and target audiences for the ads. Keep in mind that some ad types are better than others for certain objectives and you can create different categories of ads that would be good for various purposes. Examples include ads that are targeted for brand awareness, lead generation, site traffic and “likes,” product sales, donations, and specific campaign support.


Use Compelling Creative That Appeals To Emotion


Put your mission, values or impact in the spotlight with your ads using high-quality imagery, videos, interviews or stories. You’re competing with a lot of other nonprofits so your story needs to appeal to someone’s emotion and desire to do good. Make sure you’ve answered the question “why support us” in every ad you create.


Use Short, Engaging Headlines


Get to the point! Your headline is your chance to grab the reader and you have some stiff competition from gossip blogs, sports stories and neighborhood gossip. An intriguing question is always good to start with or any kind of teaser that gets them to pause and check out what you have to say.


 Adapt Your Strategy In Response To iOS14


We mentioned this change above in relation to video advertising but it’s really important that your marketing person familiarize themselves with what needs to be done to adapt to the changes: 

  1. Verify Your Domain
  2. Set Up Aggregated Events in your Event Manager
  3. Implement Conversions API (CAPI)


As you can see from the various ideas we’ve mentioned, you have a lot of options for how best to start your Facebook advertising strategy! It can seem overwhelming but experimentation will help you navigate these options in the best way possible. And if you’ve come this far with your contemplation of a Facebook advertising strategy, it’s definitely worth the added investment of engaging us to provide advice or assistance with your organization’s Facebook ads strategy. Let our team of experts take your digital efforts to the next level! 


Ray Delgado


  1. terri ducay, on April 16, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    I have a small nonprofit and can barely keep up with the work. Is there a place I can look to hire a person to help with setting up my Facebook ads and managing my Facebook page? It would have to be someone who is reasonably priced.
    thank you


    1. Maria Sadusky, on August 29, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Terri, Absolutely! Please contact our specialists who work directly on Facebook Ads with many of our 500+ clients. Please fill out the let’s talk form to see how we can help! https://www.communityboost.org/lets-talk-2/


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