This is what nonprofits need more than a Facebook donate button

Sign the petition #FacebookAdGrantsEarlier this week, Facebook announced a new way for nonprofits to collect donations via Facebook. I shared my take here. While I love the idea of people being able to immediately donate to a nonprofit on Facebook, there is a something that nonprofits need more.

Facebook needs to launch an ad grant program similar to Google Grants.

That’s why I’m supporting this petition that calls on Facebook to launch an ad grants program.

The Google grant program has been a great success for Google — and for the nonprofits that participate in the grant program. When I was with EMQ FamiliesFirst, we used our Google grant to build brand awareness, recruit donors and also to help recruit foster parents. In fact, our foster parent ads were the most successful of all the ads we ran on Google.

As Facebook continues to tweak its Edgerank algorithm, it’s made it clear that in order to get into people’s news feeds, brands need to be willing to pay for advertising. For large brands with huge marketing budgets, that’s awesome. But, for cash-strapped nonprofits, that’s a challenge. An ad grant program would go a long way to helping nonprofits reach those that may be interested in supporting their cause.

And, there’s an easy way for Facebook to turn this into a win-win. Facebook wants people to make donations to nonprofits on Facebook because those transactions add to the collective of information that Facebook has about that person, and it also makes it easier in the future for those users to complete other transactions (like Facebook gifts). Having an ad grant program which drives more people to a nonprofit’s Facebook profile will lead to increase in donations on Facebook’s new donation platform. The nonprofit wins with increased visibility. Facebook wins with more users using its transaction system.

Please sign this petition to get Facebook to launch a grant program for nonprofits.