Facebook Donor Retargeting Updates for Nonprofits

Digital AdvertisingDigital Fundraising

It’s not often that social media giants like Facebook launch updates that directly benefit nonprofits. And while we’ve loved to see nonprofits raise money on the platform by taking advantage of the Facebook donate button and encouraging their social followers to set up Facebook birthday fundraisers, there hasn’t yet been much else you could do with that information. Until now!  

What’s the update? 

In October 2021, Facebook announced that nonprofits will now be able to create custom audiences of users who have either donated to the organization’s Facebook Page directly or have created a Facebook Fundraiser in support of that nonprofit. Nonprofits can then retarget these users with donation asks in future advertising campaigns. This is a big deal since previously, there was no way, besides 1:1 direct outreach, to directly speak to on-Facebook supporters of your organization. 

How to set up new Facebook Nonprofit Donor Audiences 

Note: To complete the steps below, you must already be eligible to collect donations on Facebook. Here is a step-by-step guide to start collecting donations on Facebook

First, within Facebook Business Manager, navigate to Audience Manager

Then, click Create Audience → Custom Audience. Your Custom Audience Source will be your Facebook Page. 

From there, follow the prompts. Make sure you’re on the right Page, and then choose to either create the audience based on People who donated to your Page, or People who created Fundraisers for your Page. We suggest creating an audience for each of these and using the maximum lookback window of 365 days to capture as many previous donors and supporters as possible, as well as ensure these audiences are large enough to target on the platform. 

Note while you’ll have to create these audiences separately, you can combine them into one audience when you’re building your campaign in Ads Manager later if you want to target both donors and fundraisers. 

New Facebook Nonprofit Donor Audience Limitations

While we’re excited about these updates, there’s a few important limitations to keep in mind regarding how you can and can not utilize these new audiences, especially in your upcoming Giving Tuesday or End of Year Campaigns. 

  1. You can only utilize these new audiences when you run a campaign with the Conversions objective and where the Conversion Event Location is a Facebook Donation.  

This means that, unfortunately, you can not target your existing Facebook donors and Facebook Fundraiser creators with just any type of campaign, or encourage them to take any other action besides donating to your organization again on Facebook. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a strategy there or room to get creative, just keep in mind that the main CTA to these existing supporters will be to donate again. 

  1. You can, however, create lookalike audiences and use those audiences for other advertising campaigns. 

You can ask Facebook to find people who look like your existing on-Facebook donors or fundraisers and test that as a prospecting audience in other advertising campaigns with other objectives and ad formats (traffic, lead generation, etc.). This can be an effective way to begin to grow your supporter and donor base by finding users who exhibit similar behaviors as those who are already supporting you. 

  1. Facebook still does not provide any unique donor data on these audiences. 

Due to recent privacy updates, there have been a lot of major changes to how Facebook collects data on its users and how advertisers are able to use that data for ad targeting. Our marketing podcast covers this update in-depth

However, that doesn’t mean these users aren’t still valuable to your organization. And, just like with any donor, it’s important that they feel valued and appreciated. Read more about donor nurture and fundraising on Facebook (and other platforms) in our nonprofit guide to digital fundraising

Bonus! Keep track of your Facebook Fundraiser data and report to key stakeholders using our Google Data Studio Dashboard template