Top 5 Tips for Mastering Nonprofit Marketing
by Nailea Ayala Sahagún, on Nov 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM
In this digital age, it's more important than ever to use all resources available to you, especially when it comes to marketing. For nonprofits, digital outreach is particularly important when seeking to raise funds, spread awareness, and attract volunteers.
That’s why we have compiled our top 5 marketing tips for nonprofit organizations right here in one easy-to-follow guide. So, if you’re looking to boost your marketing skills when it comes to your nonprofit organization, make sure to read through this blog post and then bookmark it for future reference!
1. Send out weekly and/or monthly email updates to your supporters.
These updates will help keep your subscribers in the loop on all things happening with your organization, and they may even turn subscribers into donors or volunteers! If you decide to send out a weekly newsletter, you can include information about the day-to-day activities of your organization, provide updates on any new projects, and share relevant data points. Monthly emails can have broader themes, ranging from donation and volunteer needs to event invitations.
It’s also important to email new subscribers, both to thank them for supporting your organization and to educate them on your nonprofit’s mission. The same goes for new donors and volunteers - you want to make sure to send them a thank you email to show your appreciation and to share with them the other ways in which they can assist your organization. Emails are a great way to market your organization by fostering a personal connection with your supporters.
Pro Tip: Try automating your emails, so that you can write them ahead of time and have them sent out at a specific date and time. This will save you time and energy in the long run!
2. Plan events to raise both money and awareness for your cause.
Events are a fun, effective avenue for fundraising and bonding with your community. Some different events you can host include:
- 5k Runs: Through an endurance event like a 5k run, attendees can get some physical activity in while championing your cause. This can also easily be adapted into a virtual event, in which participants run or walk on the same day as your event - wherever they are located. This actually increases the amount of people that can fundraise and garner support for your organization!
- Auctions: Through live auctions, supporters can donate items ahead of time, which are then bid on by attendees. All proceeds go to your organization. This type of event also offers a platform for public speaking, in which you can educate attendees on your nonprofit’s mission. To do this virtually, you can have attendees participate through Zoom and then mail or drop off their prizes.
- Galas: Galas tend to have a higher price point for attendees, as they are usually a formal dinner or party with live music or other entertainment that require the purchase of a ticket. There are also more informal options, such as a town barbecue or fair with activities and food. In order to host a COVID-19 safe gala, you could organize a drive-in movie, or have people visit a restaurant with outdoor seating and socially-distanced tables. You could even host a trivia night over Zoom, which would allow participants to stay at home. Whichever of these you choose, revenues can be made through ticket sales and additional donations during the event.
As mentioned above, each of these options can be adapted to virtual events to abide by COVID-19 protocols. In addition, they offer a perfect avenue for marketing your nonprofit, because they ensure that your supporters associate an enjoyable experience with your organization. This will hopefully, in turn, keep your organization on their minds and compel them to donate again or volunteer in the future.
Pro Tip: Play around with the types of events that you host to keep your supporters interested and to help you figure out which type of event will garner you the most donations and recognition!
3. Create videos to spread your organization’s message and showcase your mission in action.
Videos offer a surefire way to captivate your target audience. People are able to process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content, and are then able to remember that content for a longer time. People are also more likely to watch a video than they are to read through a lengthy mission statement. For both of these reasons, you should definitely consider adding videos to your organization’s marketing repertoire.
Try to make these videos personal and touching, as that will also make it more likely for viewers to then share that video with others. This will serve to widen your circle of influence, therefore enticing more people to join your cause through donating, volunteering, or subscribing to your email list.
Here's an example of a video we created to highlight the amazing work our client Orange County Conservation Corps is doing to help with food distribution in Anaheim:
Pro Tip: Put an informational video on the homepage of your website so that viewers can watch and learn about your mission as soon as the site opens up!
4. Make sure your social media channels are being utilized to their fullest potential.
These days, pretty much everyone is on social media. This makes it especially crucial to utilize all appropriate channels, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Through social media, you can give followers a glimpse into your nonprofit’s services through photos, videos, and text posts. This will allow you to educate them on your mission, as well as engage with them through comments and direct messaging.
Some of the key ways you can use your social media platforms are to share news about your organization, spread awareness, raise money through Facebook’s donation button, and reach potential volunteers. You can also use your social media to recognize and thank your donors, employees, and volunteers. It is always important to show your supporters you care, so that they keep coming back! Finally, it is vital that you keep these posts consistent. Consider planning content out at least a week in advance, so that you stay active on your followers’ feeds. This will keep you on their minds and act as a daily or weekly marketing boost.
Pro Tip: Create a hashtag specific to your organization, so that your followers can utilize it when sharing their own stories, images, and videos that have to do with your cause!
5. Craft a visually appealing, informative, and compelling website for your organization.
Your website should be the hub for all things to do with your organization. This means that it should have sections for any media highlights, videos, blog posts, or any other forms of content that your organization puts out or is featured in. You should also make sure to link all of your social media channels on your website, so that visitors can easily follow them.
Your website should also serve to clarify your mission, showcase volunteering opportunities, and provide an avenue for donating. Essentially, it should be a one-stop platform for your supporters to find out everything they need to know about your organization. It should also be visually appealing, so make sure that you spend some time on the design and layout. This means making sure that all colors used match your nonprofit’s logo and all fonts are similar and easy to read. In addition, double check that the content on your website is organized in a logical manner that would make sense to a first-time visitor when they’re clicking through each page. For example, make sure your mission statement is on the homepage and not lost in a random section.
By following these steps, your website will market itself and your nonprofit along with it. Keep in mind that each section of your website should serve a purpose, and really analyze that when you’re deciding what to feature.
Pro Tip: Make sure your website is not too text-heavy. Include photos on each page, so that visitors are visually stimulated, and, therefore, less likely to be bored and click away.
We hope that these tried-and-true nonprofit marketing strategies will help you spread the word about your nonprofit organization, so you can increase donations, raise awareness for your cause, and recruit passionate and dedicated volunteers. By following these steps, you will be able to take your nonprofit’s marketing to the next level!
Caroline Baetkey contributed to this post.
Nailea Ayala Sahagún
Nailea is an accomplished public relations professional with experience in education, digital marketing, and multicultural communications. Prior to joining Presidio, Nailea worked with Fortune 500 companies like The Lincoln Motor Company and McDonald’s on media relations, focusing on top–tier Hispanic media. Nailea was also involved in community outreach efforts for statewide campaigns and local measures. Additionally, Nailea holds over 7 years of experience working with school districts in Southern California. Today, Nailea leads Presidio's creative team and handles content creation, social media management, and video production for our clients.
Caroline is a senior at UCLA, where she is pursuing a B.A. in History with minors in Film, Television & Digital Media and Digital Humanities. She is experienced in a diverse array of communications, including fashion public relations, influencer outreach, and social media marketing. After she graduates in Spring 2021, Caroline plans on working in PR and Marketing.