Digital Ads for Fundraising: Basics and Beyond

Digital Ads for Fundraising: Basics and Beyond


Grow your membership program with this training designed to improve your digital advertising skills and practices.

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Most stations engage in some level of digital marketing to support their membership programs. Digital fundraising can feel high-stakes because of the up-front investment required to generate revenue. You need to set informed goals, evaluate performance for improvement, and track the ever-changing digital landscape in order to make the most of digital fundraising efforts.

But you don’t have to do it alone!

We’re excited to open our 2024 cohort designed to accelerate digital fundraising for membership. Whether you’re just starting to make the case for ads investment or are running a multi-platform program, this program will elevate your digital fundraising program to the next level.

Program Description

Digital Ads for Fundraising: Basics and Beyond is a 5-week, virtual cohort-based training program that pairs virtual classroom sessions with project-based learning.

You’ll learn to:

  • Set realistic goals for digital fundraising ad performance
  • Create and/or direct content to be in line with industry best practices
  • Identify areas where you can optimize and improve digital performance
  • Confidently navigate important stakeholder relationships (leadership, agency partners, etc.)
  • Make an internal business case for additional resources (staff, technology, etc) to support investment in these areas, as needed.
  • Get the latest information and advice about the ever-changing policies and updates that impact how nonprofits use the major social and search platforms.

Is This Right for Me?

This cohort is for fundraising professionals who simply manage ads on social media, or who work with an agency or internal partner on digital revenue growth.

Consider signing up if any of these apply to you:

  • I’m concerned about using my ad dollars effectively to meet my organization’s digital revenue goals.
  • I have access to some budget for digital experimentation and I want to use it wisely.
  • I have to manage digital advertising with an agency or internal partner and I need strategies to improve goal-setting and communication.
  • I don’t have enough time to keep up with changing digital advertising landscapes, rules, formats, etc.

If you’ve mastered the skills offered in this course, Greater Public also offers a next level of cohort training: Advanced Digital Ads for Fundraising, which we anticipate offering later this summer. Watch your email for registration announcements this Spring!

About the Instructors

We are M+R: We are communicators, marketers, fundraisers, and campaigners who unleash the power of people to do good.

We have served nonprofits and foundations exclusively for nearly 30 years. More than half of us are dedicated solely to raising money, engaging activists, and creating change for organizations that face a constant struggle to find new supporters and engender loyalty within an increasingly crowded multimedia world. As a digital native agency, paid media, email, web and mobile marketing are what we do day-in, day-out.

M+R has more than 40 experts on staff who specialize entirely on running digital ads for nonprofits. We’ve built multi-million-dollar advertising programs from the ground up, and have taken existing programs and broken new records. Our tightly managed, integrated approach finds donors that organizations have never reached before, and reactivates lapsed supporters that were written off. We regularly pilot new tools, features, vendors, and audiences, so that our advertising programs are continually evolving.


This program meets twice weekly via Google Meet:

Course Days: All sessions 2pm-3pm ET / 11am-Noon PT

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 9, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Discussion and group exercises – All sessions 2pm-3pm ET / 11am-Noon PT

  • Thursday, March 28, 2024
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • Thursday, April 25, 2024

Program Outline

Session 1: Fundamentals

Key points:

  • Overall intro to paid media
  • Paid media terms and platforms
  • Benchmarks stats
  • Creative best practices and sample cadence for creative refreshes

Exercise: Effective creative

Key points:

  • Search ads overview
  • Keywords
  • Paid vs. grant and how they fit together
  • Creative best practices
  • Monitoring performance

Exercise: Optimizing search ads

Session 3: Paid Social and Video

Key points:

  • Pros and cons of social, primarily Facebook,
  • Instagram and video advertising
  • CTAs/goals such as cultivation, lead generation, or direct fundraising
  • Audience targeting options
  • Benchmarks stats
  • Creative best practices and sample cadence

Exercise: Audience strategy

Session 4: Display Strategy

Key points:

  • Pros and cons of display
  • Audience targeting options
  • Benchmarks stats
  • Creative best practices and sample cadence

Exercise: Draft/review display concept

Session 5: Implementation and Scale

Key points:

  • Reporting and optimizations
  • Budgeting
  • Working with agency partners

Exercise: Review sample reports and suggest questions/optimizations

Cost and Registration

Greater Public Members




Registration is now closed for Digital Ads for Fundraising: Basics and Beyond.