With very little advance notice, on Thursday March 4, 2021, Facebook reinstated political advertising. It’s unclear to experts how long this window of availability might be open, but it’s open season for experimentation! We’ve anticipated a few questions you might be asking:

“But we’re not a political nonprofit- does this affect us?”
Facebook’s policy for ‘Social Issues, Elections or Politics’ is very broad. Much like a deep ocean trawler ensnaring all forms of oceanic life, the political ad ban caught vast numbers of nonprofit issue messaging in its net. Here are the list of social issues the policy covers:

  • civil and social rights
  • crime
  • economy
  • education
  • environmental politics
  • guns
  • health
  • immigration
  • political values and governance
  • security and foreign policy

While it is incredibly sobering that topics like “health” are restricted in this way, we can best adapt when we understand the terrain. So, if your organization works on any of the issues above, and you want to consider starting or restarting your digital advertising, now is the time.

“If we think we might want to place an ad soon, how should we be preparing?”
The first thing your organization should do is to designate one or several people who might possibly be in charge of purchasing ads in the near future. These should be people who are confident Facebook users, and who understand how their personal information and privacy is handled by Facebook separate from the organization Page and or Business Manager Account. Those people should, as soon as possible, go through the personal identity verification process. Learn more here >>> Get Authorized to Run Ads About Social Issues, Elections or Politics.

Second, in order to manage employee roles with ad buying, you’ll want to add an Ad Account and/or a Business Manager account to your Facebook Page. Then take a look this super-streamlined guide for placing (non-political) ads, just to get an overview.

Third, start thinking about what you want to say. You may be interested to know that all ads flagged as political or social issue ads are kept in a publicly-accessible library for 7 years. We encourage you to check out your issue-area allies’ and opponents’ ads anytime here.

Are Facebook ads the right tactic for our nonprofit?
LightBox has got your back! We’re here to help you think through how your larger strategy does (or doesn’t!) align with digital advertising. Your big-picture goals, audiences, messages, and engagement strategy will determine whether Facebook ads are a good use of your valuable time and money. Reach out to us anytime at info@lightboxcollaborative.com, or drop a comment on Facebook or Twitter.