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The Best Non-Profit Intel

Extend Your Nonprofit’s Reach with Paid Ads

This image shows a group of people interaction with digital ads on various devices

A broader reach for your nonprofit means better brand recognition and the potential for more donors and higher donations. How can you extend your reach in the digital sphere? By creating a digital ad spend budget to use on various types of paid advertisements.

In general, paid ads can help your nonprofit with your recognition, donations, and events. You can promote valuable content to draw in new leads and position yourself as industry experts. Here are the type of paid ads you can begin using today along with best practices.

Search Ads

Search ads are online advertisements that appear next to Google search results when people are searching for specific key terms. They’re the first results in a search and have the word “ad” written underneath them. Your ad appears when the words people are searching match the keywords you set up. Your non-profit will only pay when people click the ad or call your business – depending on the call-to-action you’ve put in place.

Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords)

The Google Ads platform allows you to set up your search ads with ease. Search ads consist of one to three short sentences that quickly highlight your nonprofit. The targeting tools let you go as local as you want or as global as you want and your ad only appears when people are searching for services similar to yours. And with a budget cap, you’ll never pay more than you planned on.

Google Ad Grants

Google offers assistance for nonprofits to create ads and reach more people through a program known as Google Ad Grant. Those who qualify for the grant receive $10,000 of in-kind advertising every month for search text ads. Eligibility standards differ from country to country.

Display Ads

Google display ads, or banner ads, are digital ads that appear on websites relevant to your nonprofit or popular sites. They are a form of pay-per-click advertising and are generally found as a banner at the top of a website. However, they come in a variety of sizes, and you can also place display ads on the side of a site.

Display ads feature a headline, graphic, and URL. Some feature audio or video elements to stand out. Display ads also feature some call-to-action that take users to a landing page specific to the ad’s offer. For example, an advertisement for donating on Giving Tuesday should bring visitors to a landing page with more information about that very cause.

Google Display Network. To place a display ad, most marketing teams use Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google, GDN reaches 92% of users on the Internet in some way. The targeting tools within GDN let you hyper-focus your ad to reach the correct audience through contextual targeting, placement targeting, interest targeting, or topic targeting.

  • Contextual targeting utilizes keywords related to your services and shows your ads on sites linked to those keywords.
  • Placement targeting lets you pick the websites you want your ads to show on outright. Interest targeting shows your ads on websites that relate to the interests your audience has.
  • Topic targeting shows your ads to sites related to topics that are similar to your website. With all these targeting abilities, you pick the criteria for your audience.

GDN also lets you choose what size ad you want, and whether or not you want it to be mobile-only. You can measure your GDN ads success by monitoring their impressions and clicks.

Social Ads

Social media ads are another cost-effective form of digital advertising that focuses on social networking platforms. Over the years, organic reach has declined across all major platforms, so paid social ads are considered a must for some brands.


Facebook advertising consists of three broad objectives (awareness, consideration, conversion) that offer very detailed targeting. The targeting of Facebook ads includes general demographics, likes, dislikes, location, and more. An awareness ad typically involves you boosting a Facebook post, so it appears higher in a person’s newsfeed while still looking native. Promoting a post that features your nonprofit’s founder discussing the impact you have on the community is a great example. Consideration ads can either be Facebook posts or the ads you see on the side on Facebook. These incorporate calls-to-action to send traffic to a website, downloads to an app, or views to a video. Conversions ads create online conversations via Facebook messenger, make sales, and drive in-person traffic to your nonprofit’s events.


Twitter’s ad work for similar objectives, including awareness and conversion. You can promote a tweet to be highlighted in a user’s feed to increase your overall brand awareness or to increase engagement such as likes and retweets. You can also promote a tweet to get people to visit your website or take similar action, like sign up for a charity auction. If you want to gain followers, you can promote your entire account. Last year, Twitter launched Twitter Promote, which automatically promotes tweets for you if you don’t have the bandwidth to set up your audience targeting and objectives. Twitter Promote requires at least a $99 budget per month. The traditional Twitter Ad campaigns let you choose your audience, location, and budget.

Instagram Ads

Instagram ads have similar objectives as Facebook’s ads. You can create ads for Instagram’s main feed or create ads featured in Instagram’s Stories. Both of these ads can help you increase your brand’s reach or ask a user to take action, like visit your nonprofit’s website. Similar to Facebook, you can create your audience based on age, gender, location, interests, other Instagram accounts they follow, and more.

No matter the size of your nonprofit, there is a method of paid digital advertising that can help you reach your goals. With the ability to create highly-targeted audiences through display, search, and social ads, having a paid-advertising strategy can produce the results you want. Consult LyntonWeb today to get your paid ad strategy underway.


This article by Jenny Traster was originally published on Business 2 Community. Read the article here.