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  • Stand Out From the Crowd: Proven Ways to Market Your Mission

Your nonprofit works hard to bring your mission to life, from leading community programs to running fundraising campaigns year-round. However, your ability to effectively serve the community rests on one important component: the steady flow of donations.

With so many incoming communications crowding your supporters’ inboxes and feeds, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and prove why your organization is worthy of donors’s support. This is where a concrete marketing plan comes in.

With a strong marketing plan to broadcast your mission, projects, and progress, you can bring awareness to your cause and maximize earnings. In this guide, we’ll cover three marketing channels you can use to put your organization on the map.

1. Direct Mail

Direct mail gives your supporters a tangible message from your nonprofit. As a result, this approach can feel more personal and genuine, allowing you to build on your donor cultivation and stewardship efforts.

Allegiance Group’s guide to direct mail fundraising recommends using these strategies to upgrade your communications:

  • Leverage storytelling: Share a story that will resonate with audiences and revolve around a central protagonist, such as a direct beneficiary of your services. For example, an animal welfare nonprofit might share the story of an injured dog they rescued and rehomed, all thanks to donors’ contributions. This shows the connection between donors’ gifts and the difference it sparks in your community, increasing the likelihood that supporters will act on your donation requests.
  • Add visuals to your mailers: Make your story even more emotionally evocative by attaching a photo of the beneficiary or your nonprofit’s volunteers in action. Visuals also help break up the text and catch your supporters’ eyes. You should also consider including color and icons to increase the visual appeal of your direct mail.
  • Connect your direct mail and online campaigns: Add QR codes that link to your campaign landing pages or donation page so supporters can conveniently and quickly navigate to your site and take action. This small touch can make a huge difference in whether supporters choose to act on your donation request.

Ensure your direct mail campaigns are personalized to each recipient by using their name and referencing personal details, such as their engagement history and interests. This way, donors feel like valued members of your community rather than just a source of revenue.

The best direct mail strategies are paired with digital marketing efforts to increase touchpoints and maximize conversions. Let’s take a look at a few online strategies to leverage.

2. Google Ads

Google gives eligible nonprofits $10,000 in free advertising credits each month. These credits can be used to bid on relevant keywords so your ads appear at the very top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP).

Google Ads are a proven way to stand out from the crowd and increase your organization’s visibility.

For example, let’s say your organization has had a high volunteer turnover rate in recent months and wants to grow its volunteer base. Target keywords that prospective supporters are likely to search, such as “environmental conservation volunteering in Boston” or “animal shelter volunteering near me.”

Then, create an ad that links to a relevant resource on your website. In this case, linking to your volunteer application page or landing page would be most appropriate and facilitate smooth conversions.

With Google Ads, you need to target keywords that have a high enough search traffic but aren’t overly competitive. 360MatchPro’s guide to measuring Google Ad Grants success recommends tracking these metrics to assess and hone your performance:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ads are displayed by Google.
  • Click-through rate: The percentage of users who click on your ads and navigate to your website.
  • Cost-per-click: The average cost for each click on your Google ads.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who follow through on the intended action, such as donating or signing up to volunteer.
  • Cost-per-conversion: The cost your nonprofit incurs for every conversion.
  • Quality score: A measurement created by Google that examines how effective your ads are, taking into account user experience, keyword relevance, and expected click-through rate.

To track these metrics, link Google Analytics to your Google Ads account. This way, you can stay in the know on how your Google Ads are performing and change up your keyword strategies as needed. The best nonprofit marketing strategies are open to iteration, so be flexible and ready to adapt.

3. Social Media

Social media is an invaluable marketing and revenue-generation tool for nonprofits. This is especially true if you’re trying to establish strong connections and inspire generosity among younger generations, like Millennials and Generation Z.

Use these best practices to boost your social media marketing strategy and turn followers into loyal donors:

  • Create social media challenges that ask supporters to create awareness-building content for your cause. For example, you might challenge donors to share a 1-minute video of why they support your organization or film themselves performing an act of kindness, such as complimenting a stranger. Pair your challenges with a unique hashtag to build name recognition and make it simple for your team to find and repost any content where this challenge is used.
  • Ask supporters to peer-to-peer fundraise on their social media accounts. Peer-to-peer fundraising allows your loyal supporters to fundraise on your behalf by tapping their social networks to donate. You might ask supporters to peer-to-peer fundraise year-round or attach your peer-to-peer campaigns with a specific fundraising event such as a gala or fun run to increase donations.
  • Regularly post engaging content that shows your organization’s commitment to its cause and illuminates your fundraising needs. For example, you might show your volunteers working hard at your latest community program, or share a video testimonial that features beneficiaries describing the impact your organization has had on their lives. Add a clear call to action in the caption that explains how supporters can take the next step to support your mission. For example, you might say “Visit the donation link in our bio to give $25 today to end child hunger.” 
  • Livestream in-person events on your social media accounts to spark engagement among remote supporters. This way, you can make everyone feel included in your fundraising and solicit their support, even if they are thousands of miles away.

Keep in mind that you should focus on platforms where you’re most likely to reach your target audience. This way, you’ll be able to increase touchpoints with people who are willing and interested in offering their support and therefore can make the most of your social media marketing efforts.

Wrapping Up

Taking an omnichannel marketing approach can expand your reach and boost visibility among your target audience, keeping your nonprofit top of mind. Make sure to track relevant metrics for each platform so you can make adjustments as needed and optimize your approach. With the right tactics, you’ll be able to steward strong relationships and take your nonprofit to new heights.

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