Facebook giving free ad credits to nonprofits

Facebook strikes again! The social media giant previously assisted nonprofits and charities by providing them with a Donate Now button they could use on their account pages. Clicking that button sends the person to a nonprofit's online donation form. Now, Facebook and ActionSprout, a company that helps not-for-profits reach a wider audience online, are teaming up. The two organizations announced they'll offer $2 million worth in Facebook ads to nonprofits over the holidays, according to The Nonprofit Times. 

How to apply
Any U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) may apply for the ad credits through Sunday, Nov. 15, The Nonprofit Times reported. Nonprofits may apply online at the following address: https://adcredits.actionsprout.com/r/UmQyRnC4Rw. Not-for-profits can apply for the credits in the amount of $600, $900, $1,200 or $1,500 and receive them starting next month and into January.

Reaching a wider audience
ActionSprout hopes the advertisement credits enable more nonprofits to get the word out about their important work and gain new followers and Facebook likes in the process.

According to Drew Bernard, CEO and co-founder of ActionSprout, people want to communicate with a nonprofit they are passionate about and also want their friends and followers to know that they are enthusiastic about the nonprofit's cause. Sharing, liking and posting about a not-for-profit on Facebook can accomplish both of those wants.

Connecting with followers on Facebook is also a good way to find new volunteers and donors, Bernard told The Nonprofit Times. 

Studying the findings
There won't be any rhyme or reason to picking which nonprofits receive the credits, The Nonprofit Times reported. Instead, ActionSprout will award the advertising space to a mix of not-for-profits. However, the business is particularly interested in helping out smaller organizations that have never used Facebook before to market themselves. After all of the credits are awarded, ActionSprout hopes to study the impact the free advertising had on the nonprofits and see if they gain any more followers, donors or volunteers.

Facebook currently provides a range of tools to nonprofits, showing not-for-profits how they can optimize their use of the social media platform to reach more people. 

Many nonprofits use the social networking site as a way to tell the public about their work. A 2012 study published by HubSpot found 98 percent of nonprofits use Facebook to communicate with followers.

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