Winning the Internet

Nonprofit guide to budgeting online projects

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been revealing the cost of some of the most popular advertising tools and online projects. In case you missed something, or just want to print out a cheat sheet to use when working on your 2013 budget, here’s a round-up of everything we covered.

Email acquisition with, Care2 and
As petition sites grow in popularity, many nonprofit organizations are wondering how much it costs to acquire email addresses with these tools. All three tools have free options. Organizations can also pay to acquire email addresses from and The cost for this kind of campaign generally starts somewhere around $1.75 per email address.

Facebook ads
Everyone’s seen those tiny, but powerfully targeted ads that appear on the side of your Facebook feed. The total cost of a Facebook ad campaign depends on the number of clicks the ad receives, and the cost per click. The average cost per click is $0.80 and the average click through rate is 0.038%. Most organizations can get a feel for Facebook advertising with $200 to $400.

Facebook promoted posts
When you post an update to Facebook, only a fraction of your followers usually see it. You can ensure that more eyeballs end up on your post by paying to promote the post. The cost to promote a post generally ranges from around $5 to $100 or more, depending on the number of views.

Infographics that present data in a visually compelling way are hot, hot, hot right now. The cost to produce these graphics ranges substantially. On the lowest end, infographics generally cost several hundred dollars, but can easily end up costing more like $3,000 to $8,500.

There are a ton of different things you can do with mobile technology—everything from advocacy, to fundraising, to education. The cost varies pretty dramatically, depending on what you want to do. You can get a simple mass texting program up and running for around $24+ per month. Mobile giving generally starts around $200 a month, and advocacy programs or other custom solutions generally start in the $200 to $400 a month range and go up from there.

Professional video
Most organizations want to do more with video. Much like houses, there’s a big range in the cost to professionally produce a video. The simplest videos generally start around $500 to $2,000, but more complex videos can easily cost $20,000 to $30,000 or even more.

About Melissa Foley

Melissa is the Director of Training and Mentoring for Netroots Foundation and New Media Mentors. She aims to use her MBA + nonprofit background to teach organizations to use new media tools strategically.

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