Running a nonprofit, you often live by the mantra “do more with less.” And that saying definitely holds true when it comes to your marketing. Nonprofits are always looking for ways to get the word out, while working with a minimal marketing budget.
So how can nonprofits “do more with less” when it comes to marketing? Let’s look at a few promotional strategies your organization can use to get more from the tools you have in your office and the connections you’ve already made.
7 Tips for Improving Your Nonprofit Marketing
While it would be great to hire consultants to revamp your marketing strategy, let’s look at some low-cost ways your organization can use its in-house resources to get more from its marketing:
- Email campaigns. While you’ve been doing email campaigns for years, now is a good time to re-examine your strategy. VerticalResponse offers a list of nine email marketing tips for NPOs, ranging from ways to revamp your newsletter to strategies for choosing the content to connect with your mailing list.
- Website redesign. If you’re still using the same webpage you had five years ago, you’re probably missing out. With the bevy of free web templates out there, it’s become easier for cash-strapped NPOs to have a sleek web presence. If you don’t accept online donations, you could be missing out on a potential donor source. (To learn more about the benefits and risks of online donations, see “Take Online Donations? Make Sure Your Cyber Liabilities Are Covered.”)
- Mobile-friendly site. CNN reports that more than half of all web activity is done on mobile devices. If you’re not optimized for Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms where consumers can connect with you via an app on their mobile phone or tablet, donors and volunteers may not be able to connect with you.
- Social media. Social media has been a “buzzword” for so long there’s practically no buzz left. But your organization needs to stay on top of its social media. Simply by “tagging” volunteers in Facebook posts or retweeting your donors, you’ll get your name out there, connect with new people, and ensure you don’t lose your current supporters. Check out VerticalResponse’s 5 Social Media Pitfalls Non-Profits Should Avoid.
- Connect with youth organizations. Talk with local colleges, churches, and youth groups to see if you can get young volunteers for your events. When you have younger volunteers, their parents won’t be far behind. This can have a multiplying effect because you’ll connect with multiple generations of volunteers and givers as well as the organizations they’re affiliated with.
- Connect with local businesses. Many companies would gladly partner with your organization, share their resources, or send you volunteers from their workforce. Many businesses like the good press that comes with volunteering at a local NPO. Their social media posts and marketing campaigns will drive more traffic to your site and connect new potential givers to your organization.
- Matching campaigns. The matching campaign is a great marketing tool. Givers feel they’re making even more of a difference. But these campaigns offer an additional bonus: the organization that you pair with will also promote the campaign. Their marketing will boost your own.
A successful marketing campaign is often about creating an “echo” effect, where multiple people – donors, sponsors, and NPOs – are all spreading information about the campaign. One voice becomes many, and you’re able to spread the word about new fundraising campaigns, outreach efforts, and your mission.
The good news for nonprofits is that there are ways to create this echo effect without spending truckloads of money on marketing. By making better use of your online presence and working with organizations and volunteers who will multiply your voice, your organization can have a successful, savvy marketing campaign.