There’s no silver bullet when learning how to market for a nonprofit organization, but the good news is that marketers have never had more options at their disposal to test new concepts and spread the word. You have the means to try the craziest idea, without having to spend all of your budget.
Marketing for nonprofit organizations requires creativity with limited resources, which you can accomplish with these tips:
Prioritize Your Website
Don’t underestimate the value of your website and always prioritize it in your marketing strategy. With almost all marketing strategies deploying online, your website will be the hub and anchor for many of your initiatives, so be sure to keep it updated. Even if you aren’t driving traffic to your site through marketing campaigns, it will be the first place a potential donor or volunteer looks and you want their impression to be a good one.
Tailor Your Communication Strategy
A marketing best practice is to customize your communications as much as possible – by donor type, by audience, by gender, etc. For example, instead of sending every contact in your database the exact same email about a fundraising event, create a few different versions of that email with tailored messaging (a donor will care about different things than a volunteer, a sponsor, or a cold contact). The more you “slice and dice” your communications to be hyper-targeted, the more successful you’ll be.
Show Off Your Success
The rules on how to promote a nonprofit organization almost always involve case studies. Showing your organization reaching its goals and making positive changes in the community is one of the best ways to advertise because it’s interesting and creates an emotional connection for your audience. Documenting and marketing your results, especially the quantitative results, will help you attract donors, win grants, find sponsors, and more.
Know Your Numbers
Do you know what demographic is your biggest donor pool? What online marketing channels are most successful? The average length of time for your donor acquisition cycle? Identify big data that’s important to your fundraising goals and then inform your marketing strategies using this knowledge.
Maximize Your Relationship Capital
Who you know matters, as well as who everyone in your nonprofit knows. The shared connections, both professional and personal, of your entire organization is an extremely valuable asset. Maximizing this “relationship capital” is the most effective way to find donors, sponsors, partners, and advocates for your nonprofit. There is sophisticated relationship mapping software for nonprofits you can implement to easily uncover connections to people you didn’t even know existed.
Commit to Creating Videos
An increasing number of marketing ideas for nonprofit organizations (and really, any type of organization) are being centered on video. Creating videos to post on your website or YouTube is an incredibly powerful way to tell your story, and video is heavily favored by Google in search results. There’s affordable video creation software on the market that you can use and most marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations now have this at the top of their priorities – put it at the top of yours, too.
Above all – whatever approach, channel, or various nonprofit advertising ideas you launch – be sure that you are using consistent messaging and your mission is front and center. The most innovative marketing campaign won’t be successful unless you can connect people to your cause.