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Powerful Nonprofit Advertising Examples To Inspire Your Ads

Have you ever encountered an advertisement so compelling that it convinced you to purchase something right then and there? Nonprofits can harness this same persuasive force. Instead of driving sales, nonprofit ads inspire us to support causes that make the world a better place.

To inspire your ads, this post will explore a variety of innovative nonprofit advertising examples:

When it comes to nonprofit marketing, the challenge isn’t just to capture attention but to ignite passion and inspire action. Let’s take a look at ads that do just that, so your nonprofit marketing team can imagine its own.

Get a free consultation, so you can start using the best nonprofit advertising resource: Google Ad Grants.

Environmental and Animal Protection Nonprofit Advertising Examples

Glacier National Park Conservancy

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

An example of a nonprofit ad from Glacier National Park Conservancy to drive purchases from its online store

The Glacier National Park Conservancy (GNPC) supports the Glacier National Park by fundraising for preservation, education, and research initiatives that protect the park’s natural and cultural resources. To drive purchases through its online store, GNPC partnered with Getting Attention.

We created Google Ads that target GNPC’s mission-centric keywords like “Glacier National Park Campgrounds” and “Glacier National Park Backpacking.” That way, anyone searching for things to do at Glacier National Park would come across the organization’s offerings like campground reservations and tours. The ads drove 2,570 clicks and 8 purchases in just one month, and they even appear above the National Park Service’s website.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: The Google Ad Grant program has limitations regarding commercial activity. While you must limit commercial activity on your site, you can still offer products and services that have fees. You just have to say how those funds will benefit your mission. If you run an online store that directly funds your work, you can promote it with Google Ads!

International Bird Rescue + “Migration” Team-Up

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Cause Marketing

The International Bird Rescue (IBR) partnered with Illumination to advertise its mission in connection with The “Migration” movie. The animated children’s movie follows a family of ducks as they convince their overprotective father to leave their safe pond and embark on an adventurous trip to Jamaica. IBR wanted to communicate that their nonprofit helps care for birds who are sick, injured, and oiled.

Today Show host Al Roker served as the face of the campaign and made a televised PSA to highlight the organization’s commitment to “helping our winged friends preserve their way of life.” He then directed people to visit birdrescue.org/migration to learn more.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Nonprofits can benefit from partnerships with celebrities and companies that resonate with their cause. For instance, having a well-known media personality as the face of your campaign can add credibility and draw attention to the cause. Search for opportunities where corporate sponsors can integrate their products or services into your nonprofit’s mission.

World Wildlife Fund’s Google Ad Campaign

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

A Google Ad example from the World Wildlife Fund that promotes its Adopt A Penguin kit

As part of its efforts to create a safer world for wildlife, the World Wildlife Fund sells symbolic adoption kits, which feature merchandise of the animal the kit’s proceeds help protect. In the WWF’s Google ad above, you can see their Adopt A Penguin kit, which includes a plushie, gift bag, adoption certificate, and photo of a penguin.

Below the WWF’s ad, you’ll notice The Penguin Foundation taking a similar approach by advertising its Adopt A Penguin offering.

Even if your nonprofit can’t purchase nonprofit ads, you might be eligible for the Google Ad Grant, which provides up to $10,000 in monthly ad credits to nonprofits! This means your nonprofit, regardless of size, can compete with giants in the space like the WWF.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Products that relate to your mission bolster brand awareness and give supporters a tangible reminder of your cause. Try advertising fun products like WWF did!

Community Development Nonprofit Advertising Examples

Literacy Empowerment Foundation

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

An example of a nonprofit advertisement that promotes Read Across America Day

The Literacy Empowerment Foundation promotes literacy by providing books and educational resources to children, parents, and teachers. Read Across America Day is an important holiday for nonprofits in the childhood literacy space, so our team of Google Ad Grant experts designed Google Ads that target key terms like “free books for Read Across America” and “free books for kids.”

These ads boast impressive engagement metrics, such as:

  • 1,320 clicks during March, which is when Read Across America Day occurs
  • 45 conversions during that month, including 16 visits to the foundation’s online books and 26 requests for donation options

What Nonprofits Can Learn: If there’s an awareness day associated with your cause, create search ads that target those terms. People who want to learn more about those awareness days will Google related terms and find your organization.

Lean In’s #38PercentCounts Campaign

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Advocacy and Corporate Partnership

A picture from an Instagram post about Lean In's #38PercentCounts campaign, a great nonprofit advertising example

Lean In focuses on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workplace. The nonprofit launched its #38PercentCounts campaign to highlight that black women are paid an average of 38% less than their white male counterparts. At that time, the disparity meant that black women effectively earned 62 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

The campaign was timed to coincide with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which was August 7. This day marks the extra time black women must work into the new year to make what white men earned in the previous year. Lean In partnered with various businesses to raise awareness.

This nonprofit advertising example created a visceral reaction to pay gap injustices and encouraged serious discussions. Today, the pay gap sits at 36%, and Lean In aims to continue drawing attention to this slowly closing gap until it’s gone.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Anchoring an advocacy campaign around a significant, easily understood statistic has incredible power to highlight a pressing issue.

Best Nonprofit Advertising Campaigns From Health Organizations

Erika’s Lighthouse Foundation

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

An example of a nonprofit Google Ad from Erika's Lighthouse to promote education around adolescent mental health

Erika’s Lighthouse Foundation promotes awareness about adolescent depression and mental health to break down the stigma around mental illness. To promote its mission, the foundation teamed up with Google Ad Grant experts.

Our team created Google Ads that promote awareness of Erika’s Lighthouse Foundation’s mission by targeting keywords like “mental health nonprofit.” That way, anyone searching for services can find them. In just one month, our ads drove 300 clicks. The campaigns had an incredible 15.8% CTR, which is higher than the average search ad CTR of 3.17%.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Drive interest by choosing specific keywords for your Google Ads. Conduct thorough research to determine what keywords will connect you with your beneficiaries or supporters.

Download our free website optimization guide to convert the users who visit your site after reading your nonprofit advertisements.

Doctors Without Borders’ Giving Tuesday Campaign

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Facebook Ad

An example of a Facebook Ad campaign that Doctors Without Borders launched for GivingTuesday

Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is an international humanitarian medical organization that provides emergency aid in areas affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or a lack of health care.

The nonprofit created a Facebook Fundraiser and designed Facebook Ads to amplify its Giving Tuesday efforts. It also leveraged matching gifts to drive even greater engagement. For context, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement and has generated more than $13 billion for nonprofits. Considering that companies donate $2.86 billion via matching gift programs each year, combining the two opportunities was a smart move that paid off for Doctors Without Borders!

Within the two weeks the nonprofit ran its ads, the campaign generated these metrics:

  • Ad spend: $26,000
  • Donation value from ads: $72,000
  • 2.8x return on ad spend
  • 60% new donors and 40% recurring donors
  • 2x the revenue as its previous year’s Giving Tuesday campaign

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Use your ads to promote attention-grabbing fundraising opportunities. By combining the power of digital ads with corporate giving opportunities during key philanthropic events, you can create powerful ads that drive donations!

The National Kidney Foundation: Are You The 33%?

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Influencer Ad

Nonprofit ads created by the National Kidney Foundation led to this kidney health quiz.

The National Kidney Foundation launched an influencer ad campaign to bring awareness to the fact that 33% of U.S. adults are at risk for kidney disease. The nonprofit partnered with Social Native creators to spread awareness and invite users to take a quick “kidney quiz” to assess their risk level.

This campaign was supported by a partnership between the National Kidney Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Society of Nephrology. Together, these organizations raised awareness and mobilized people affected by kidney disease.

With the help of 45 influencers, the campaign reached 1 million+ Instagram users and produced over 675 comments, 20,000 in-feed engagements, and 15,000 likes!

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Influencer marketing can help you tap into new audiences. Plus, it tends to be a cost-effective form of nonprofit advertising. Influencers spend time cultivating a loyal following, so partner with those ones who have communities that are likely to be passionate about your cause.

The Truth Initiative’s Ads Throughout The Years

Type of Nonprofit Ad: TV and Video Ads

The Truth Initiative’s mission is to encourage young people to reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine. This nonprofit is renowned for its effective public education ad campaigns that spread awareness and prevent tobacco use among young adults.

The Truth Initiative has launched several impactful TV ads, such as:

  • Finish It” Campaign: This campaign launched at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards and encouraged U.S. youth to be the generation that ends smoking. The campaign featured ads like “Finishers,” which was shot in the style of a video manifesto, promoting youth empowerment and social change​.
  • “Unpaid Tobacco Spokesperson”: This series of ads highlighted how celebrity smokers inadvertently act as free marketing for tobacco companies. The campaign encouraged young people to think before posting smoking selfies​​.
  • “CATmageddon”: This ad tied smoking to the well-being of pets, warning that smoking is bad for animals and could lead to a world without cats and consequently, no cat videos. It was designed to resonate with teens’ passions for internet memes and animal welfare.

Recently, the nonprofit launched a new short-form ad series in which it shows the connection between nicotine dependence and “toxic therapy.” The Toxic Therapist character encourages teens to believe their friends are excluding them and also shows that vaping nicotine is associated with sleep problems.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Consider how your team can tap into current trends and use shock factor to create clever nonprofit ads.

Claire’s Place Foundation

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

A Google Ad from Claire's Place Foundation that promotes different involvement opportunities

Claire’s Place Foundation organizes assistance for individuals and families affected by Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. The foundation partnered with our Google Ad Grant experts to connect with supporters and promote involvement opportunities, like starting fundraisers. Their ad campaign targets broad, high-volume terms like “charity events” and “fundraising for nonprofits.”

Their ads use ad assets like sitelinks (the links at the bottom of the ad as pictured above) to direct users to specific pages on their website beyond the main landing page, such as the donation page and an informational page about Cystic Fibrosis. The ads successfully sparked interest and have a CTR of 10.3%.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Google Ads can be great for inspiring involvement opportunities like donations! If you’re eligible for the Google Ad Grant, try using them to encourage supporters to launch fundraisers, volunteer, or take other actions to support your cause. Don’t forget to build out your ads to take up more real estate with sitelinks.

Fundraising Advertising Examples For Humanitarian Efforts

charity: Water’s UnTasty Dishes

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Cause Marketing

This nonprofit advertising example reimagined BuzzFeed’s viral Tasty Dishes videos. The original series provided quick, easy recipes and generated millions of views. Then, charity: Water’s version, called UnTasty Dishes, added a substituted ingredient: dirty water.

This campaign helped charity: Water tap into BuzzFeed’s, at the time, 63 million followers. The video featured above generated 893K views, not to mention the others in the series, like a typhoid bacteria-infested smoothie jar and an algae cornbread. In its first two weeks, this nonprofit ad campaign generated 5 million views across Facebook and Snapchat.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: This nonprofit advertising example demonstrates the power of tapping into viral trends to reach large audiences quickly.

Champions Against Bullying’s NiceBot

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Social Marketing Ad

The NiceBot is a great nonprofit advertising example for organizations that want to leverage innovative technology.

Champions Against Bullying is an international nonprofit that helps families and schools address bullying. With reports showing that something mean was posted on X (formerly Twitter) every 60 seconds at the time of this campaign, Champions Against Bullying programed the NiceBot, a Twitter bot, to send kind messages to random users every 30 seconds.

The NiceBot won a Shorty Award, making it the “first-ever use of spam for good.” The campaign reached over 7.5 million people in 76 countries. It had over 436,000 engagements and over 250,000 mentions and was featured in major advertising publications as well as TechCrunch, Upworthy, the Huffington Post, and the Today Show. Champions for Bulling extended its campaign’s impact by 3D-printing physical NiceBots and sending them to supportive influencers and celebrities.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: Leveraging technology creatively can transform how nonprofits address social issues. Plus, connecting with social media influencers can elevate your reach substantially.

ACT International

Type of Nonprofit Ad: Google Ad

A Google Ad from ACT International that promotes the organization's programs

ACT International is a nonprofit organization that equips artistic missionaries and ministers with essential support, helping churches utilize the arts for spiritual transformation and redemption worldwide. To increase interest in ACT International’s programs, our Google Ad Grant agency launched an ad campaign. By targeting specific keywords such as “how to start a church ministry,” ACT International reaches its ideal audience, those interested in starting church ministries.

The ads summarize the organization’s mission, highlight its coaching courses, and use sitelinks to promote other important website pages, such as its Prayer Guide. In one month, these ads drove 942 clicks and 12 inquiries.

What Nonprofits Can Learn: In your nonprofit’s ads, communicate key information in a way that’s easy for potential supporters or clients to understand. This clarity will help attract users directly interested in your services..

Many of these fundraising advertising examples show how powerful the Google Ad Grant is. Learn more with this guide.

Common Questions About Nonprofit Advertising

How do nonprofit organizations advertise?

Nonprofits can use a wide variety of advertising methods to raise awareness, engage with beneficiaries, and solicit donations. Double the Donation’s nonprofit advertising guide shares statistics regarding how nonprofits distribute their advertising budgets:

  • 22% on display ads
  • 35% on search ads
  • 36% on social media
  • 8% on video ads and other forms of advertising

Among those, Google Ads are highly effective because they allow for precise targeting based on keywords, demographics, location, and user behavior, ensuring that advertisements are shown to qualified leads. Additionally, the platform’s pay-per-click model enables organizations to maximize their budget, paying only when users actually engage with their ads.

How do you advertise a nonprofit event?

You can create social media ads, collaborate with community influencers, engage local media for coverage, and distribute flyers and posters in community spaces.

But when it comes to online advertising, Google Ads is one of the best platforms for marketing your events. Create an event page that explains what your event is, what funds collected during it will support, and how supporters can participate. Then, create Google Ads that target relevant keywords potential attendees are likely to use when searching for events like yours.

Additionally, use targeted ad settings to set the geographical location and demographic characteristics of your ideal audience, enhancing the likelihood that ads reach people who are interested and able to attend the event.

Is nonprofit advertising worth the cost?

Yes, nonprofit advertising generates incredible results for nonprofits that create effective ads. Our nonprofit advertising guide shares these insightful statistics:

A series of statistics regarding nonprofit advertising, specifically for search ads and social media ads

  • Search ads have an incredible ROI of $4.78 for every dollar spent by nonprofits.
  • 53% of nonprofits pay for social media ads, indicating these platforms’ importance in nonprofit outreach.
  • Nonprofits can receive up to $120,000 each year with Google Ad Grants for free.
  • 56% of donors say Facebook is the social media channel that influences them most to donate, making it a smart place to advertise.

To see positive results, we recommend working with a nonprofit marketing professional like those here at Getting Attention! Our Google Ad Grant experts create winning ads that target the right keywords and make the most of your advertising dollars.

Do nonprofits get free advertising?

It depends on the platform! If they are approved for the Google Ad Grant program, nonprofits can receive up to $10,000 in Google Ad credits each month. The Federal Communications Commission also has a rule that allows nonprofits to leverage free radio ads formatted as public service announcements.

Final Thoughts on These Nonprofit Advertising Examples

These nonprofit advertising examples demonstrate the power of strategic communication in advancing social causes. From leveraging pop culture to harnessing the influence of Google Ads, these examples provide valuable lessons in how nonprofits can creatively reach their audiences.

Whether through emotionally driven campaigns or the smart use of technology, the strategies we’ve covered offer actionable insights for nonprofits looking to amplify their voices and accelerate their missions in the digital age.

Now that you have examples to model your ads after, refine your campaigns! If you need more guidance, check out these free resources:

Get a free consultation to learn how our Google Ad Grants experts can help you leverage the most powerful nonprofit advertising tool.