Marketing is one of the most challenging aspects of running a nonprofit organization.
As with traditional businesses, the success of a nonprofit marketing strategy depends on analyzing market trends and using this knowledge to create a sustainable strategy that encompasses the entire organization.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the latest industry trends and tips for nonprofit marketing that will help your organization thrive in the coming years.
Before we discuss the strategies for nonprofit marketing, let’s discuss the challenges:
The challenges faced by nonprofit organizations
Nonprofit organizations face a number of unique challenges when developing their marketing strategies.
- They must balance the need to raise more money while adhering to strict regulations when it comes to donor solicitations and advertising.
- They must often develop strategies for appealing to donors without alienating potential supporters with irrelevant messages.
- As nonprofit organizations often have smaller marketing budgets than traditional businesses, it can be difficult to remain competitive and develop an effective marketing strategy.
- The motivation to carry on when the response and support is low.
Despite these challenges, there are many ways that nonprofit organizations can thrive. The key is to incorporate the following budget-friendly marketing trends into their strategies.
Strategies for nonprofit marketing
Nonprofit marketing is similar to traditional marketing. The only difference is that the marketing budgets in nonprofits are usually much lower. Let’s discuss the strategies:
Read: Digital Nonprofit Marketing Strategy Guide
Social media marketing
Planning and building a social media marketing strategy is all the more essential for nonprofit organizations (since they have a lower budget). Here are the steps for building a social media strategy:
- Identify the target audience: Which age group is likely to donate to your organization? What are their demographics? How do they feel about your philosophy?
- Define objectives: Do you want to create awareness? Do you want to raise funds? Do you want people to act in a certain way?
- Choose the right platform: Which platform is used most by your target audience? Which social media channel gives the highest Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)?
- Create ads: What message do you want to get across through your advertisement? Is your target audience receptive to ads? What call-to-actions (CTAs) do you want those ads to have?
- Measure the ad performance: What’s the engagement rate, click-through rate, etc?
Learn more tips by Creatopy for social media marketing. It allows you to read about the types of ads for different social media platforms: For Instagram, it talks about image ads, video ads in the feed, carousel ads, stories ads, reels ads, shopping ads, collection ads and explore ads. Similarly, the guide explains the types of ads for Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat.
Tip: The platform you choose will depend on your organization’s budget and your target audience.
A compelling message that evokes emotions is bound to leave a lasting impact on the viewers. People remember heart-touching stories. Once they start feeling empathy, they’ll become loyal to your cause. This means they’ll support your cause financially or morally. The latter means they’ll spread the word to other people, who might also become supporters of your cause.
To ensure your marketing videos are impactful, you need to make your videos accessible to everyone.
For instance, videos with subtitles can cater to people with hearing impairments. Similarly, subtitles help to get your message across to people who speak different languages.
By automatically generating subtitles for videos, your message can reach the maximum audience. Before clicking on videos, some people read the text that’s written in the thumbnail. If the subtitle is catchy enough, it compels the person to open the video. So, subtitles also help in increasing the click rate on your videos.
When creating videos, remember to include human elements in them. For instance, include the work done by volunteers when your nonprofit organization conducts a community service event.
Tip: Send out a powerful message across in the first 15 seconds of the video or create a hook that compels your audience to watch the video till the very end (as this increases brand retention).
Nonprofit organizations work for a positive cause. They want to improve the lives of people. Bring change. Create impact. This is similar to the aim of public speakers. They motivate people to create an impact. So, if your organization does impactful work which is then crafted into a powerful story by public speakers, your message will spread across faster.
People will support the mission if they believe in it.
There is no better way to convince people than through impactful public speakers. Using this strategy, the support and funding for your nonprofit organization can surely increase.
Tip: People like supporting a good cause. Reach out to motivational speakers and comedians. Many of them will be happy to mention your organization in their speeches free of cost.
Nonprofit organizations survive if they receive enough donations. Setting up fundraising stalls on events at various locations also helps in marketing.
These fundraising events can be marketed on social media, email and on websites.
People attending those events can join in to have a chat and learn more about the nonprofit organization.
Mentioning the organization’s name at virtual events has the added advantage that visitors can immediately search for the nonprofit organization online and gauge their charitable efforts. Other than reaching out to a newer audience, these fundraising events serve as a reminder to existing donors to keep supporting the cause.
Emails can be effective in sending the message across as they are personal and direct. The clickthrough rate of emails sent by nonprofit organizations is high especially if:
- The person has engaged with your brand beforehand.
- The target audience is above the age of 35.
Email marketing entails sending out regular updates on the activities conducted by your organization and how those activities had a positive impact on the community.
Tip: Set up a bi-weekly newsletter that sends out content to the target audience regularly. Create content in advance and use automation to send regular content to the audience so that your organization’s name remains fresh in their minds.
A nonprofit organization needs to have an updated website. Whenever someone hears about your organization and wants to research more, the website is the first place that they’ll go to. A digital presence is essential nowadays, even if the nonprofit company is relatively small.
A website helps serve the following purposes:
- It establishes credibility
- It helps showcase what projects you’re working on
- It demonstrates the impact that people can create if they support your organization
- It can have a blog section for story-telling and how people benefit from the charity.
Having and maintaining an effective blog section on the website requires dedicated resources, so due to budget constraints maintaining it is difficult. However, creating a website has a one-time cost.
Tip: Create the website on WordPress, as it makes updating the website’s content relatively easy.
A quick summary of the strategies for nonprofit marketing
With the ever-growing communal problems in the society – from poverty to mental health awareness to physical abuse and animal rights – more charitable organizations are required to help overcome the problems. Many nonprofit organizations are working to solve the problems, but not all of them are doing it the right way.
This article discussed some tips to improve the marketing for your nonprofit organization. Here’s a summary of the current trends that will help you create a more effective marketing strategy for your nonprofit organization:
- Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the major marketing channels for nonprofit organizations – and rightfully so. If people see their investments put to the right cause, they will tell their relatives and friends about it.
- Videos that convey a story have a lasting impact on the viewers. However, don’t spend a lot on producing professionally shot videos. Instead capture the events and activities conducted by your organization.
- Sending newsletters via emails is a sure way to keep your target audience up-to-date. Even if the emails are not opened, people read the name of the sender and the subject which helps in retaining the nonprofit brand’s name.
- Nonprofit organizations must adapt their marketing strategies to not only reach new audiences but also maintain relationships with their current supporters. For this reason, a website is absolutely essential to keep consumers more informed.
Osama Zahid is a technology content strategist who is passionate about content marketing and all things SEO. He has helped various companies rank their content on the first page of search engines. In his free time, Osama loves to play football and travel.