The latest efforts by Facebook to screen content, mainly those posted by politicians have not gone well with some nonprofit leaders who see it as having an impact on their fundraising campaigns. While the social media giant might be justified in its actions, the criteria it uses on checking these “political statements” might be driving one of its fan base in the name of nonprofits and potential donors away. This might at the same time, give a competitive advantage to its competitors.
While there might be a valid reason for censorship, the criteria adopted here is not transparent and cannot be seen as an ultimate solution that will prevent malicious people and companies from manipulating or circumventing the anti-censorship actions in place. Despite the lack of proof that these actions will deter misuse of social media, legitimate organizations who are caught in the middle of the fight will suffer. Nonprofit leaders see this as unfair treatment by a platform that has helped them gain much support in the past.
Unlike in the past when promoting or boosting ads on Facebook was easy and friendly, rejections are now an order of the day as ads can easily be classified as political. Owing to this difficulty, nonprofits should find an alternative way or platform of reaching the donor-base. The stringent measures that have been put in place that have increased the time for verification and ad review process have disadvantaged nonprofits. For instance, time-sensitive ads are now coming in late, which in itself is costly because fundraising opportunities are lost.
Although such challenges are unbearable for nonprofits that want their message to reach the intended audience, the sheer reach that Facebook has is making it difficult to leave the platform entirely. Besides, the investment that the social media giant has laid to enable different types of industries including nonprofits to reach their intended audience cannot be matched by any other platform and therefore leaving it is not that easy. Since a replacement to Facebook is not here, for now, a good move that will be beneficial is to find additional platforms to reach the donors. Some of the platforms that can help in such times are MeWe, although it has some weaknesses, LinkedIn and Twitter, among others. While others are not as good as Facebook, LinkedIn has shown some capability to reach potential clients. Additionally, nonprofits should study how the new rules in the platform work so that they can evade the rejections.
While it may be easy for people to find your organization on Facebook, always make it a habit to direct them to your website or an SMS channel that they can subscribe. Regardless of whether Facebook will rectify this undoing or not, nonprofits must always have multiple methods of reaching their donor-bases and potential donors. This will be helpful if the terms of service of one platform change as it is often the case in a volatile tech environment.