Charity Digital – Themes – A Quick Guide to Online Advertising for Charities


While many focus on resisting the storm, others are exploring ways to stay at the forefront of the digital world we all spend much more time in, or take the time to research new strategies and opportunities. after the end of it.

Charities that support the most vulnerable face unprecedented challenges and, as a result, just over one in five (22%) say they will give more money to charity, around a third of them giving priority to local charities.

Allocating a budget for digital advertising can be an understandably daunting prospect. But putting more effort into online advertising can have many benefits for charities and can prove to be an investment that pays off over time if done right.

There are also free tools and grants available for charities to boost their online advertising efforts, as we will explain below.

Here are some types of online advertising that charities should be aware of.

Search Engine Advertising / PPC

Google search ads can help fill in the gaps in organic search and reach interested online people who you potentially miss, ensuring that your site is found, as recently explained by charities like Terrence Higgins Trust and Samaritans.

PPC advertising allows you to show your result at the top of Google search results when users search for a specific keyword, and is executed through a paid click-through model (PPC), in which advertisers pay for each ad click. Organizations pay every time someone clicks the ad to a landing page on their website, hence the term “Pay-Per-Click”.

There is some learning required, just like in organic SEO it’s a bit of an art, but essentially you ‘bid’ for specific keywords against other advertisers which determines how much you pay for your ad. per click and how high the page your ad appears.

Fortunately, this can be very profitable for charities, as Google offers the option to advertise completely for free through its Google Ad Grants program. Qualifying charities can get $ 10,000 (approx. £ 7,500) each month to spend on Google PPC advertising.

Check out our quick guide to getting started here.

Social media advertising

A fifth or more of the world’s population has Facebook subscriptions, and research suggests Facebook use has increased by more than 50% in countries hardest hit by the coronavirus over the past month.

Advertising on Facebook can help charities drive traffic to their website or gain the attention of potential new supporters. The main benefit is that organizations can create very specific audiences and target age groups, demographics and more based on Facebook user data, so that you can only reach people most likely to get involved in your cause.

As with PPC advertising, you only pay when someone clicks on your site or profile. However, there is no minimum budget to start experimenting, which allows charities to test their campaigns before spending more money on them. Organizations that advertise on Facebook can play around with different ad formats such as videos, web ads, images, or carousels that relay a range of images.

The Platypus Digital charity showcases some great examples of charity Facebook ad campaigns that have stood out.


Also called “remarketing,” this type of advertising works by keeping your brand in front of people who have visited your site but have not yet donated or taken any action. Alternatively, they can target people already in your contact list.

These people are a great opportunity to reach out because they have already expressed a vested interest in your organization. Instead of being on one platform, the ads follow them while surfing the web or social media. It might seem a bit invasive, but in reality, the more personal and relevant you can make your marketing the more successful it will be – as we explained in our webinar earlier this year, explaining why the personalization trend. dominates the internet in 2020.

These ads are timely in that they can be retargeted pretty much as soon as someone leaves your site and can direct someone to a specific page, such as your donation page.

The downside is that you have to start with a fairly large audience and these types of ads cannot be paid for with Google Ad Grants. This can be an effective strategy if you already have a large number of people visiting your site that you want to encourage to your donation page and want to get the most out of that audience.

There are plenty of options for platforms that will help you plan and deliver your retargeting campaigns, like ReTargeter, AdRoll, and Perfect Audience.