NSPCC’s 5 top performing Facebook ads for fundraising


Facebook advertising is an unrivalled channel for the NSPCC – we use it across pretty much all campaigns.

We run over 30 Facebook ad campaigns in a year, covering  a wide range of audiences and objectives – from driving awareness of our Pantasaurus song, to our brand campaign to tell everyone about Alfie, the little boy that could dream again after the suffering domestic abuse, or even driving people to sign up to an event like the Gherkin Challenge.

Here are the adverts which drove the best fundraising performance and taught us something about the channel.

1. Videos driving donations

For our Little Stars Christmas campaign we sponsored the Oxford Street lights and asked the public to donate and name a light for a loved one. Facebook was a key route to ask people to get involved. We used Facebook ads and Facebook Live to reach the London audience and deliver on both awareness and conversion objectives.

We tested lots of different content in the campaign. The content that drove the most Star sales was a video of vox pops with people on Oxford Street, telling us who they would name their light for.  We believe that this is because it brought the campaign proposition to life and helped people understand how to get involved.

NSPCC Christmas Lights Facebook ad

2. Targeting creative to specific audiences

‘Letter from Santa’ is our Christmas product which allows adults to create a personalised letter from Santa to be sent to their child. It has been around for many years, and we use Facebook to drive people to the website. 

We have found that personalising our message by developing different ads to target parents with different aged children works really well. This year we saw a big increase in performance of the Facebook ads, and Facebook was our best performing channel.

Letter From Santa NSPCC Facebook ad

3. ‘Product-first’ creative imagery  

Big Board Game Day is one of our top mass participation events. We drive people to sign up to receive a fundraising pack to learn how to raise money for the NSPCC by hosting a board game party.

For this campaign we tested lots of different types of imagery and found that a photograph of the pack, showing what supporters will receive in the post, was our most successful ad.

4. Contacting corporate partners

In our bid for Lidl’s charity of the year, we needed Lidl staff to vote for us. We used Facebook to target Lidl customers and fans to help us to reach people that work at Lidl.

As the Lidl staff are based in hundreds of stores across the UK, we identified that Facebook advertising would be an effective way to find people that worked at Lidl, at scale and with minimal production cost. 

We won the partnership, and this was directly attributable to our digital comms. Our new partnership will deliver £3 million over 3 years, demonstrating a strong ROI for our activities on Facebook.

NSPCC Lidl Charity of the Year Facebook ad

5. Targeting professionals on Facebook

We recently ran a campaign called ‘Number day’ which is aimed at engaging schools to run fundraising events in their classrooms. Historically, NSPCC has used offline media to target school teachers. This was not cost effective, and sign ups were not attributable to these channels.

We used Facebook to target teachers, and increased income from the event by 25%, driving £1,000’s more for the NSPCC.


Facebook ads can be a powerful tool for fundraising, and have helped us achieve amazing results at NSPCC. My key takeaways are:

  • Use video to engage audiences and tell a story
  • Personalise the experience by showing different content to different target groups
  • For product-focused campaigns, lead with product images
  • Reach niche audiences online with Facebook’s powerful targeting

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James is a senior digital manager in the 32-strong digital team at the NSPCC. He leads all the digital marketing activity for the NSPCC across all campaigns. He has worked in the charity digital field for 6 years, previously working at the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Shelter and Concern Worldwide.