The news exploded across the charity world. Facebook would be awarding 2,000 different nonprofits with up to $1,500 each in ad credits over the coming months. According to the reports $2 million in credits will be distributed by ActionSprout, a Washington State based company that specializes in assisting charities in the better use of Facebook.
The offer comes at the perfect time for many nonprofits. The holiday season is an opportunity to get a message out when people are already conditioned to give. That’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is that everyone else is doing exactly the same thing. To stand out it’s important to be different enough to grab attention and hold that focus while delivering an effective message.
In addition to grants of between $600 and $1,500, each charity will also be given an ActionSprout account.
Media reports announcing the opportunity said the initiative came out of a joint interest of Facebook and ActionSprout to help nonprofits properly leverage social media.
The benefit for ActionSprout is obvious. The more nonprofits that know about the company, the bigger their potential customer base will be. If they can come out and make a huge splash in the industry, their brand will become a household name where it matters most.
For Facebook, though, the benefit is in the interaction. Cause-based content on Facebook tends to generate a lot of shares, likes and comments. Every single one of these interactions increases Facebook’s value and power. When more nonprofits generate better content that creates more engagement, both those organizations and Facebook win.
One dynamic that could prove to be the make or break for this campaign is how the charities will be chosen. Allegations of bias or favoritism could turn what should be a solid PR win into an ongoing negative scenario. But, properly handled, this should be a great holiday gift for all involved.