January 22, 2020
Boston Globe Offers Free Ad Space to Mass. Nonprofits

February 14, 2014 — Massachusetts nonprofits have until March 1 to rally supporters to their cause in a new promotional effort spearheaded by The Boston Globe that will provide qualifying organizations with up to 10 pages of free advertising space in the publication.

The Boston Globe Readers And Nonprofit Together program—or GRANT—is intended to showcase nonprofits in the community and provide advertising space to organizations that might not otherwise be able to afford it, according to Natalie Bean, circulation manager at the Globe.

Earlier this month, the Globe mailed coupons value at $100 to seven-day-a-week subscribers and coupons valued at $50 to digital and Sunday only subscribers. Recipients can then assign their coupon to a specific nonprofit.

Nonprofits will qualify for display advertising space based on the total of value of coupons directed to them, with a minimum one-eighth page ad being awarded to nonprofits who accumulate at least $1,000 in coupon value. A one-time, one-eighth page ad running in all editions of the Globe normally costs about $8,500.

A nonprofit can earn a maximum of 10 full-page ads, to be used over a year, according to Bean. In addition, the paper will dedicate an advertorial section to the nonprofit receiving the highest total in coupon value.

Any nonprofit that receives at least seven coupons will be listed in a directory that the paper will print and distribute.

“We want to highlight the good work that the many nonprofits are doing in our subscriber area," said Bean.

The paper is posting a Non-Profit Leaderboard that tracks the total value of coupons given to nonprofits daily, and as of today listed 1,151 organizations.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, which currently leads the list, would use the donated ad space to promote Girl Scout membership to families with girls in grades K-12, said Jan Goldstein, the organization’s chief marketing officer.

Goldstein said that, historically, “We have relied mostly on PR and social media. When we have advertised, we have benefited from the generosity of media companies that donate space - billboards, bus tails, and some print. A print campaign in the Boston Globe would be a powerful tool in expanding our reach and raising awareness."

Many nonprofits, like the Gloucester Stage Company in Gloucester, are encouraging their networks to support them, but, as Managing Director Costin Manu reflected, “We have reached out to patrons through email, but we don’t want to overdo it."

Rob Halpin, public relations director for MSPCA–Angell in Boston, said his organization is using Facebook, Twitter, and internal communications to ask fans for their support.

Others, like North Bennett Street School, in Boston’s North End, are taking a passive approach. Said its president, Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, “I don't know what its impact will be on us, but I look forward to finding out.”

Asked whether the program favors larger nonprofits that can ask correspondingly larger networks of donors, friends, and others to support them, Bean said, “I’m not sure 'favor' is the right word. It’s an opportunity for the smaller guys to get ad space they couldn’t afford."

The Globe reported that, as of last November, its average weekday circulation was 253,371, Sunday circulation was 384,930, and digital subscribers totaled 86,566.

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