How To Create An Awesome Marketing Campaign For Your Non-Profit

‘Marketing’ and ‘nonprofit’ don’t comfortably sit in the same sentence. The art of selling can feel a bit alien from the more altruistic aspects of running a charitable organization. It can be hard for nonprofits to get past the ‘mental block’ of having to be overly promotional. However, the pros of crafting a killer marketing campaign for your nonprofit speak for themselves. You get more donations, more media attention and hopefully a rewarding learning experience through the planning and implementation of your projects.

Here are some tips on creating an awesome marketing campaign for your nonprofit.

Assess Your Marketing Needs

Firstly, your organization should go on a fact-finding mission to determine which groups you want to target. Are you specifically looking for donors or people who can volunteer their time? What demographics and age groups will you be targeting?

During this phase, you should also split these findings into different segments. What do certain groups need to see from you, in order for them to progress to the next stage of your sales funnel?

For the people that have never heard of you, you will need to come up with an original ‘hook’ to get their attention. With people who may have already donated in the past, things like your email newsletter will need to be continuing your story on, giving people the latest news as well as echoing the original ‘hook’ that got their participation in the first place.

Choose Your Channels

There are wide range of marketing and advertising channels to choose from, but you need to be streamlined.

Based on your audience demographics, you will need to choose the most appropriate social media networks for paid advertising and marketing campaigns. Also, consider paid search campaigns as well as native and video advertising — these can be great ways to capture a large audience at once.

Within your marketing budget, you may also need to consider printed brochures, an email newsletter, outreach campaigns, a central fundraising website, and perhaps even an event and tie-in publicity within the local and national press.

Make a list of all relevant channels and focus budgets and content efforts around the ones that are going to capture the biggest audience and bring the most ROI. You can’t afford to waste precious budget on outlandish campaigns that aren’t going to work, so adopt strategies that allow for steady growth and budgetary increase.

Tell A Compelling Story

The art of storytelling is crucial to a successful marketing campaign. It is quite a skill to learn, but if you can ‘crack it’ you will find that people will become emotionally invested in your marketing and cause.

Look at some great campaigns as examples (like Stories for Impact). This campaign provided a platform and resources enabling people to share their stories to affect positive change in the world.

This type of campaign works because it targets a ‘need’ — the feeling of doing something positive in the world through a fulfilling, personal investment.

In crafting your own campaign, think like a journalist and consider the five W’s:

  • Who are you as an organization?
  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • When do you need the audience to spring into action?
  • Where are the funds raised being spent?
  • Why are funds needed in these areas?

Spend a good amount of time coming up with your organization’s ‘elevator pitch’ i.e your 30-second description of who you are and why people should care about you. Next, craft your taglines, mission statements, your list of core values and what makes you different from your competition.

Encourage Wider Participation

In this Ways to Amaze campaign people were asked to share a story of kindness and in return a donation will be made in their name.

By introducing an element of interactivity in your campaigns, you can attract engagement organically. Make elements of your marketing a conversation and ask your audience questions. On sites like Facebook, publically posted comments spread far, fast, attracting thousands of views per day. By encouraging participation, you can turn your audience members into advocates and activists, rather than merely passive donators to your cause.

In growing your campaign’s influence, also explore your crowdfunding options. This may be a method for boosting your donations and capturing worldwide attention to your cause. However, you will need to ensure that your focus is applied in the right ways. Here are some useful tips on how to be great at crowdfunding.

Plan Your Website

Just like in ecommerce marketing, your organization’s website should be central to your marketing efforts. A well-designed homepage and subsequent landing pages reduce the ‘calls to action’ to one single task. In the case of the WWF, their homepage focuses on a hero image and then a simple prompt; donate a sum of money through the labeled cash increment buttons. With a subscription-based ecommerce host, you can learn step-by-step how to create your own online store and tailor your calls to action to work in the same, focussed way.

Test And Make Improvements

If you have properly taken into account your messages, marketing channels and audiences your marketing materials may deliver good results from the outset. However, you will also need to test your campaign’s effectiveness to ensure that you are maximizing your marketing investments. Try alternative headlines, images, videos and storytelling platforms, and use Google Analytics and tools like Facebook Insights to help you analyze the results.

To craft an authentic and effective marketing campaign for your nonprofit, you will have to pitch values. A well-planned and implemented campaign will be transparent and deliver in a way that encourages genuine participation, as well as interest in wider societal issues.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketer & Writer.

I love helping brands and nonprofits grow through the power of great content and great stories. Been running my own e-commerce side hustle for a year now and sharing my journey with the world.