Display and Native Ads: How These Can Benefit Nonprofits to Promote Their Causes and Programs

Digital media provides multiple channels for nonprofit organizations to reach their audiences. Digital ads—both display and native—are popular online media buys because they reach donors, supporters, and beneficiaries where they spend much of their time.

In this article, we explain what native and display ads are, where they appear, and why we often include them as part of our nonprofit clients’ marketing plans.

What are native ads?

Chances are, you’ve seen native ads countless times on social media or publishers’ websites. The term “native” indicates that, rather than using a traditional ad format, they look native to or blend in with the platform on which they appear. Like all ads, they are paid promotions of a nonprofit’s services, donor campaign, or special program.

Native ads take several forms. Some look like social media posts (with the difference that they are “sponsored’ and have call-to-action buttons). Others look like the other content on a publisher’s site—similar to an advertorial you see in the newspaper.

Why native ads are so popular for nonprofit digital marketing campaigns

According to marketsplash.com, native advertising is projected to become a $400 billion industry by 2025. Here are some reasons why:

  1. In terms of capturing consumers’ attention, native ads are 53% more effective than display ads and easier to understand (62% less challenging).
  2. Native ads achieve an 18% higher level of purchase intent from users. Imagine how that will affect your donor campaigns!
  3. Native ads don’t disrupt users’ online experience, they don’t get blocked by ad blockers, and they are less likely to be skipped over or scrolled past because they appear more as editorial content.
  4. Native ads enable you to target specific donor or client demographics.
  5. They perform better in terms of click-through rates than display ads—with the potential to bring more people to your program pages or donation page.

For all these reasons, native ads are a strong way to create a positive image for your nonprofit organization, educate the public about the need you fill in society, and attract supporters.

What are display ads?

Display ads are obvious advertisements. They combine short text, a compelling image, and a call to action that links to a landing page or website about the programs or initiatives being advertised. This makes them an excellent tactic for building awareness about your mission or a specific offering, or to promote a new or expanded service.

Display ads:

  • may be a static image, animated (which allows for multiple images or changing text), or video.
  • are often banner ads on websites— the rectangular ads along the top, side, or bottom of a website.
  • show up as people browse websites, use apps, scroll through social media platforms, or use connected TV devices.

The benefits of display ads for nonprofit digital marketing campaigns

  1. Display ads can be highly targeted and offer diverse formats and flexibility in terms of the creative and call to action.
  2. As the advertiser, your team controls the ad budget, the audience that sees the ads, and ad placement on the page based on your goals.
  3. Display ads are also a cost-effective tactic to reach your target audience. They typically have lower cost-per-click rates than native ads (although the flip side is that the click-through rates are lower in general).
  4. In addition to building awareness of your cause through impressions, they are ideal for retargeting (AKA remarketing) campaigns based on your potential donors’ browsing behavior.
  5. Display ads can be personalized for segmented audiences, enabling nonprofits to reach potential donors who align with your mission, clients who need your programs, and volunteers or partners who want to support your organization.



Combine display and native ads in your marketing plan

Using both types of digital ads gives you more ways to get your message across to more people by harnessing the strengths of each format. This approach also gives you more versatility in terms of messaging. Plus, you’ll have the analytics tools available with each format to gauge your ad campaign’s effectiveness and make decisions based on the reports.

Google ad grants

Through the Google Ad Grants program, Google offers up to $10,000 a month to eligible nonprofits for display ads that are placed in the Google search results for your selected keywords.

NY/NJ digital marketing agency for nonprofits

If your organization wants to build awareness, raise funds, or tap a new donor or client base via native or display ads, contact Rapunzel Creative. We have years of experience helping nonprofit organizations develop successful ad campaigns as part of their digital marketing plan, from concept to implementation. Our award-winning NY/NJ digital marketing agency has been recognized multiple times for our branding and digital marketing work for nonprofit organizations. Let’s talk about adding yours to our roster of impactful campaigns!

About Rapunzel Creative

Rapunzel Creative is an award-winning branding, digital marketing, and advertising agency located in Bergen County, New Jersey, within the New York metro market. Services include business branding, website design, digital marketing (such as social media, SEO, and email marketing) and advertising campaigns. The agency also specializes in nonprofit marketing and branding. Rapunzel Creative is certified by the State of New Jersey as a (WBE) Women Business Enterprise, is a WBENC certified organization, and is a certified SBA and WOSB and approved contractor with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Published On: November 28th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Nonprofit|

About the Author: Lynn Gregorski

Lynn Gregorski is the founder and president of Rapunzel Creative Marketing. She has decades of experience in branding, marketing and promoting corporations, TV networks, and nonprofits. Her body of work includes national promotions, digital campaigns and Emmy-award-winning video production, as well as marketing communications across all media for nonprofits.

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