Digital Advertising for non-profits and charities

05 November 2019

Digital marketing for charities and non profits.png

There are almost 200,000 registered charities in the UK. With so many competing charities trying to reach people to encourage them to donate to their cause, it can be difficult to stand out online.

It is so important that charities invest in digital marketing to increase awareness of their cause online, and to reach a large and relevant audience who might consider donating or volunteering.

It is essential to keep up with changing customer behaviours with the increasing trend in users going online to donate rather than physically contributing. In this blog, we will suggest some digital marketing strategies that non-profits can implement in order to increase support and donations for their cause, based on our experience in the non-profit sector.

Google Ads Grants and Paid Search

94% of adult internet users in the UK use search engines to look for information online. For example, some of these search terms may include queries on how users can help specific causes such as, ‘How to help the homeless?’. Implementing Paid Search campaigns will help your charity’s visibility on the search engine results pages (SERP) to reach high intent users actively searching for ways they can make a difference. Being visible on the top of SERPs is crucial as 75% of people do not go past the first page in Google Search results!

Did you know that charities can receive a Google Ads Grant of up to $10,000 per month to spend on Google Search Ads? The Google Ad Grants programme gives charities free access to Google business tools and $10,000 per month to spend on Paid Search ads, it is designed to help organisations extend their public service messages to a global audience in an effort to make a greater impact on the world.

As the Google Ads grant can only be used for Search advertising, we advise charities not to solely depend on implementing Search campaigns and strategically target relevant users via Display advertising to build awareness at an earlier stage so they can then pick up the demand on Search. 

We recommend implementing a separate account set up, supporting display campaigns and not solely relying on search. Loud Mouth Media have various charity Display-only accounts running alongside the Google Ad Grants programme. The “Display Network Only” campaign type displays ads across Google’s Display Network, which consists of over a million sites where ads can be placed such as YouTube, Blogs, Gmail and news sites. This campaign type uses contextual targeting to match your ads to content on sites which are related to your keywords.

To find out more about Google Ad Grants for charities and if you qualify click here! If you work for a charity and would like support with using Google Ads or don’t have the time or resources to build an effective campaign, get in touch with us to find out how we can help you get the most out of your grant!

Social Media for charities

Social media is one of the most popular and cost-effective communications channels for charities as it allows them to build supporters and interact with them by sharing their success stories and ongoing work. Many charities rely solely on Facebook’s organic reach due to budget constraints. However, charities should consider Social advertising as a worthwhile investment in order to reach a larger audience, especially considering only 8% of a non-profits followers on Facebook will be reached with a post that isn’t promoted.

Facebook and Instagram advertising can help drive traffic to charity websites and encourage users to take an action such as donating or signing up to volunteer. These ads are beneficial for charities as, unlike traditional advertising, they are fully measurable for strict charity budgets. 

Facebook and Instagram advertising can be utilised for charities as follows:

Facebook advertising targeting for charitiesCore Audiences

Facebook and Instagram’s granular targeting abilities means that charities can target users most interested in their cause. For example, if you want to attract new volunteers, you can target users who have expressed an interest in or liked pages related to ‘Volunteering’ with an ad driving traffic to a volunteering sign up page on your website.

Facebook also allows charities to add a call-to-action button ‘donate now’ which can help your charity encourage immediate donations. Additionally, Facebook gives people the opportunity to create Birthday Fundraisers, displaying a message on users newsfeed two weeks before their birthday. This gives them the option to create a fundraiser which will allow them to choose a charity to fundraise for and set a goal to encourage their friends to donate to their cause.

Facebook fundraisers have become a valuable new source of revenue for charities and non-profits, with some organisations witnessing their donations skyrocket by thousands a month since they were introduced. To allow people to fundraise for your non-profit on Facebook you must sign up to accept donations and check the box to allow people to create fundraisers, to find out more on how to do this click here.

Custom and Lookalike Audiences

As a charity you may have a huge email database generated from those who have supported your cause in the past or those who have signed up to your newsletter. Facebook’s Custom Audience feature allows you make the most of this data – allowing you to reconnect with these users. You can also create Lookalike audiences based on these lists in order to get in front of new users Facebook deem similar to these previously engaged audiences.  

Video advertising

If you are fortunate enough to have the budget to invest in video, video is a powerful medium to promote your charity’s message. With 57% of consumers stating that videos give them more confidence to purchase online, charities should invest in video advertising in order to build trust of potential donors. Charities rely on donations from the public therefore building trust is essential in order to survive and build up donations.

Videos are also great for appealing to people’s emotions as they offer a face-to-face appeal along with conveying messages in a clear manner. If you want to raise awareness about your charity’s cause, reach new supporters and increase donations video advertising is a great way to achieve these specific goals. For example, introductory videos are an effective way to tell people what your charity stands for, case study videos allow your audience to see the impact of their donations, volunteer story videos show people what you are doing and may encourage people to sign up to volunteer and fundraising videos to promote specific campaigns.


It is recommended that charities should invest in digital marketing including Paid Search, Display and Social advertising in order to raise awareness of their cause, drive traffic to their website and to engage with relevant supporters online.

With 68% of charities rating their board’s digital skills as low  and 52% without a digital strategy there has never been a better time to stand out online and invest in digital marketing in order to grow.

Are you a charity who would like to invest in digital marketing? Get in touch to find out how we can help!

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