As a sector that works for ‘Love over Hate’ and Equality and dignity for everyone & knows that climate change is real and advocates to protect people’s mental health… CAN WE CONTINUE to prolifically use a platform like facebook that projects all of what we stand AGAINST?
This is the question me and my team have been grappling with for the last 12+ months.
We are here for you, our charities! But we’re also here for us. Each of us at Parachute Digital believe, and are supporters of, the causes we fundraise for and the causes we work to grow. And while Facebook is undeniably the best performing channel, it’s becoming increasingly hard to look past the evil 😈 they perpetuate in the world.
We have been having background conversations with many of you – seeding 🌱 the idea of testing other lead sources and channels for digital advertising campaigns. Encouraging more budget to build brands, diversify our reach and not be trapped only in a “best ROI” cycle – but also in a holistic strategy. And that includes the thinking behind the campaigns, the intentions, the tactics and the platforms we use.
Our sector, more than ANY ELSE, needs to stand on principle.
But where does it end?
We can find evil everywhere if we look for it.
We can shift our budget to Google or Channel 9 or Twitter – and that won’t solve the problem.
What we think is important is to take a stand against Facebook’s dominance.
Beyond the moral imperative, there is a potential reputational risk to organisations, as Facebook becomes more and more toxic. Nonprofits need to diversify in preparation for the day they’re forced to boycott Facebook, which I hope you agree is not unfathomable.
Our sector, like every other, is reliant on Facebook for volume and cost effectiveness – and I’m not suggesting every charity simply turns off all their campaigns at once. While my activist heart ❤️ loves the idea of it, it’s not realistic, and it’s not going to put our charities or causes in a better position. It’s not going to hurt Facebook.
But we can give Facebook LESS of our hard won budgets! We can diversify AWAY from Facebook more than we are now!
We think we will get to a point where we are faced with the very well known fact that the end does not justify the means, and that there’s no ROI big enough to compensate being complicit by financing an organisation whose algorithm and revenue thrives with hate speech and the spread of misinformation.
So… we want to work together with you to aggressively test and trial and learn OTHER websites and digital advertising platforms and find NEW and DIFFERENT channels that can deliver the leads, donations, signatures, downloads and awareness that you need for your causes to grow and thrive.
We’ve started on this journey and have been putting our own money and time into testing and learning and we haven’t cracked it yet. Now we need your help.
- We need new channel test budgets – that have looser targets.
- We need understanding that performance – volume, costs and consistency – will vary some.
- We need your trust and collaboration to try new strategies that fill the top of the funnel and build bigger audiences and awareness rather than a laser focus on conversion metrics.
- We need your support and commitment to find OTHER, more ethical ways to meet our objectives.
If you’re with me… if you have also have a horribly nagging feeling that it’s just not right for us – as a sector that champions the people who are often the targets of hate – to use Facebook, then please, let’s make this change together.
Make an internal commitment, instruct your agencies, let’s have a round table discussion, let’s create a coalition of organisations who will lead the testing and share the learnings. We can do this – we just have to decide to and do it!
If you’re in, please reach out to me, Mamta, Tania, Dan or any of your Parachute Digital contacts (or other digital contacts) and let’s do this! 💪
As Rachel Hunter has said, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.”
This email is sent with the best of intentions, very cognoscente that it is going to make all of our lives harder and possibly less profitable, but that it’s the right thing for us to do (in my opinion).
Love🖤& peace☮️, Shanelle and the whole Parachute team who contributed to this letter.
If this article has completely shocked and blindsided you and you feel you need some evidence – here is some reading that will make your blood boil.
- Facebook disputes its own research showing harmful effects of Instagram on teens’ mental health (Guardian)
- Facebook profits off hate and that’s why it won’t change, says whistleblower Frances Haugen (Euronews)
- Facebook Hearing Strengthens Calls for Regulation in Europe (The New York Times)
- Facebook’s role in Myanmar and Ethiopia under new scrutiny (Guardian)
- Google, YouTube ban ads on climate misinformation (BBC)
- Removing Certain Ad Targeting Options and Expanding Our Ad Controls (Meta for Business)<<This is an article posted on Facebook’s website, now called Meta, about changes they are making to their targeting for advertisers. But it’s only going to affect advertisers that work on health issues, social issues, political views, sexual orientation and religion. So basically, it’s going to penalise non-profit orgs and charitable causes who don’t spend as much money as products and services.
So not only is Facebook EVIL, but they are actively making their platform harder to be successful for our industry – which will affect ROI’s. But at the end of the day, they’re cutting out much of our ability to be effective – so who is going to benefit from this? Consumerism and facebook. That’s who.
To get in touch with Parachute digital, please contact us.