An Open Letter to Facebook from Whole Whale

Sup Facebook,

We get it. You’re king of the world. After paving the way for brands to interact with their customers and supporters, you want to cash in and limit brand’s organic reach, forcing them to advertise in order to reach their customers. I get it. I really do. If I were you, I’d be doing the same thing.

But what about nonprofits?

Nonprofits don’t have the luxury of paying to reach their customers. Many have built up huge fan bases on Facebook, and their pages have become active discussion boards around important social causes. I know you know what I’m talking about – you have a page that highlights great uses of Facebook by nonprofits. We have some examples too…
National Stroke Association uses Facebook to spread awareness about stroke prevention and recovery, and as a supportive community for stroke survivors and caregivers to share their experiences.
National Black Programming Consortium helps black film producers distribute their work, and Facebook allows them to reach a younger and wider audience than other media channels.
For Power Poetry, posting prompts and writing tips on Facebook is encouraging their fans to write more poems and, in turn, improving teen literacy rates among users.
All of these awesome orgs are seeing a decline in their organic post reach. Major sad face! Fewer people seeing their posts = less engagement with their content = less awesome impact. Do you really want to miss out on doing good?
Nonprofs are seeing @Facebook organic post reach below 10%! Which = less impact #FacebookAdGrant Share on X
If you let nonprofits continue with their current organic reach, that could mean thousands more people learning about the latest Stroke research, thousands more videos views from underfunded black voices, or thousands more young poets expressing themselves. With great power comes great responsibility, and as the arbiter of these voices on your platform, you should be thoughtful about which voices you are amplifying and which you are stifling.

And Might I Ad(d)…

You might have heard of a little thing called the Google Grants program. Google gives nonprofits up to $10,000/month  in free in-kind Adwords advertising (up to $40,000/month for nonprofits that need it – yep, that’s half a million dollars a year), because Google cares about using its platform to make a difference. Awesome organizations use these ads to drive more people to their websites and engage them in their cause. At Whole Whale, we’ve driven well over 3 million site visits to our nonprofit clients’ websites this way. And believe me, those nonprofits feel that impact in the form of more people engaging with their cause.
Lots of nonprofits just can’t compete in the crowded marketplaces of social media and digital advertising. AFS Intercultural Programs, which has long been the leading study abroad organization for high schoolers, is now facing greater competition with for-profit companies that run similar, but far less educational and more expensive, programs. In order to regain exposure in the crowded study abroad marketplace, AFS really needs the support of platforms that believe in a greater mission and not just a blanket one-size-fits-all pricing model for advertising. Google Grants are helping AFS reclaim their spot at the top of the study abroad totem pole, but with their young target audience, Facebook (and your affiliate network) is really where they’d like to be.
Time to step up, Facebook. Time to take a look at your platform and the huge impact you could have by being a partner to nonprofits. People like brands that give back, and it is estimated that 60% of a user’s decision about a company is based on its reputation, not its services or products. Even the CEO of Salesforce thinks philanthropy is a crucial part of running a modern company. So your nonprofit advertising program could be an effective cause marketing opportunity for you, too – win-win if you ask us.

Sincerely Yours,

The Whalers

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