Running a a Non-profit Organization is hard Business!
You want to deliver the most useful resources and interesting information you can. You eagerly share your programs, improve upon them regularly, and spread them at every opportunity to positively impact as many people as you can.
On top of this invigorating purpose-filled work of communicating your mission — in our case spreading cooperative culture and intentional communities around the world — you’ve also got to find a way to pay for it! You ideally want it to be mission-aligned, ethical, and to provide real value to your audience.
To Ad, or Not to Ad…
Over the past 10 years one of the ways FIC has been able to fund some of its website expenses is through a program called Google Adsense. These ads appeared in the lefthand sidebar of the site, as well as in between blog posts and at the bottom of just about every page. The ads ‘read’ the content of the page and provide advertising relevant to what it finds.
This was always our weakest mission-aligned source of income. We allowed it to pass for two reasons: 1) if the ads are providing truly related offerings to click to, it could help websites visitors find sites they need, and 2) we needed the income. It was a way to passively monetize the immense traffic on ic.org.
Over 10 years of using this program, FIC earned a total of over $45,000 from about 95,000 clicks! That annual contribution of about $4,500 straight to our non-profit’s bottom line has been a big help to us.
Adsense Bites the Dust
However, keeping Adsense also came at a cost. It ‘junked up’ the look and feel of the site some, and ran counter to our goals of moving the site towards being cleaner, crisper, and easier to find exactly what you need.
Also, Adsense ads are now more often reading your previous search history to populate the ads, which often do not relate to the content on the page. Seeing an insurance or hotel ad on ic.org just doesn’t make any sense!
And finally — we won a Grant that will allow us to send more traffic to our website, but which disallows any PPC (pay per click) advertising. All of these things combined, we’re finally in a place to make a change.
So — As of August 1st, 2018 — there are no longer any Google Adsense Ads on ic.org! 😀
Upping Our Game
I am pleased to share that over the last few years FIC has been able to reinvent some of our businesses, including better streamlining operations, increasing hours to empower talented staff to move more initiatives forward, and partnering, creating, and crowdfunding to bring out new offerings to the world.
This includes the new Communities Directory, the Wisdom of Communities Book Series, the all-color print and digital issues of Communities magazine now available by Donation, the Together Resilient book, and now the Planet Community video series – which is currently being shot in the Midwest of the US!
We are fundraising for future seasons of Planet Community there, so if you can help, please do!
Thank you to everyone out there who has helped us in these efforts. It feels so good to change and grow.
For special recognition, thanks to all of our FIC Members, Magazine Subscribers, and Donors!
To be clear, we didn’t get rid of ALL of the Ads on the website, but we did get rid of the ones that people find most annoying or unrelated to the site.
Ads we kept are only those generated by people, communities, organizations, and events involved in the Communities movement!
You are welcome to check out and post on the online Community Classifieds, where people reach each other to share openings, opportunities, resources, and happenings in intentional communities.
Online Banner Ads are also still available, running down the right hand side of the Directory results and most pages on the site. This is the best way to reach over 40,000 unique users of the website every month!
You can also of course check out and post Classifieds and Banner Ads in Communities Magazine as well. 🙂
For questions about Advertising, including help with placing ads at special rates, contact Gigi: Ads@ic.org.
That’s all for now! Thanks again Everyone!
Christopher, & FIC