In the world of non-profit marketing, one of the biggest mistakes organizations make is simply broadcasting their cause to wide audiences and hoping for resonance with philanthropic minds. With nearly 8 billion people on the planet, that audience is too vast to effectively target. Crafting a message for 8 billion people is unrealistic; even tailoring it for 8 million is challenging.
Emulating For-Profit Businesses for Effective Non-Profit Marketing
Instead, non-profits must approach marketing like for profit businesses do – identify your audience, target it, and launch a campaign aimed directly at your target with a specific message that will resonate.
How do you do all this?
Rest assured. We’ve got 10 strategies to employ this year that will improve your marketing, increase your reach, and help you penetrate your market.
Top 10 Non-Profit Marketing Strategies for 2023
1. Identify Your Donors
In the realm of Non-Profit Marketing, the single most powerful thing you can do as an organization seeking to connect and bring in money, whether for profit or donation, is to identify who your target audience is.
First and foremost, there will always be people who just don’t care, aren’t interested, and won’t engage. And that’s okay.
However, you’re not looking for them.
Instead, you’re looking for the ones who already care, who want to hear more, and who want to give.
To achieve this, figure out who those people are.
It helps to actually and literally create a target persona, an avatar of sorts. Who is this person? Male or female, young, older, or much older, extremely wealthy, upper middle class, or just entering the middle class, and so much more.
Moreover, you can narrow your target persona down to ethnicity, the shows he or she watches, where they shop, and even which social media platform they use.
By doing so, once you identify your donor, you can begin to understand them better.
2.Understand Your Donors
Put yourself in your donor’s shoes. Who are they? What do they care about? What really matters to them. And more importantly, why?
When you can dig into the psychology of your donor in Non-Profit Marketing, you can begin to understand their pain points and target those with your messaging. Particularly because you are supporting and promoting a worthy cause, it is critical that you fully get into the mindset of your donor so that you can help them find you.
They want to give to you.
You are not creating the need. You are simply letting them know that you can meet that need with your cause.
When you understand your donor, you can anticipate the action they will take. For example, did you know that the most important action donors will take before deciding to give is to investigate the organization they potentially give to?
They want to make sure your values are aligned with theirs.
This means in Non-Profit Marketing you can figure out what their values are, and then make sure they can see with total transparency that the alignment is there.
3. Make It Personal
Everyone knows that everyone hates to get mass emails. It feels like spam even when it isn’t.
However, you can take action in your marketing campaigns to make your donors and potential donors feel seen and heard, valued, and spoken to directly.
You can do this by including their first names in your non-profit marketing emails, by including thoughtful pieces that relate directly to their experience, and by adding details to your personal messages that show them their contributions make a difference.
By showing people the impact they can have or have had, they are much more likely to respond positively.
4. Form Breakout Groups of Donors
Some Ideas for Breakout Groups:
Email your recurring donors and offer them ambassadorships – the opportunity to set up individual fundraising pages based on their own events to donate to your cause.
- Invitations to Become Recurring Donors
Target donors who repeatedly give one-time donations inviting them to become recurring donors.
- Personal Invitations
Send out a personal message to each first-time donor inviting them to your next event.
5. Tell Stories Visually
We live in a visual world, so it makes sense that you will want to connect with your donors through visual storytelling.
People feel more connected to a cause when they see what is happening with their own eyes.
You can capitalize on this reality by creating content that has a visual impact.
- Publish photos and videos of the impact of your cause.
- Post infographics with statistics related to your mission.
- Share short-form videos on your social media platforms.
- Post vlogs of testimonials from those who have benefitted, from volunteers, and from your staff.
Of course, you want to be sure your visual storytelling is of top-quality caliber, professional, and clear and direct. Utilize free tools like Pexels, Unsplash, and Canva to help you create the story you want to tell.
6. Respect Privacy
In this increasingly public world, people increasingly want to hold on to their privacy.
One of the most common results of the digital age of capturing data has been the expectation that once you agree to be on a newsletter or email list, you have given up your privacy.
That’s changing dramatically as people call for a return to secure information.
Just one example is the change Apple Mail Privacy Protection made in June of 2021, which allowed Apple users to make their email activity.
To work with these changes rather than against them, nonprofit organizations can recognize their donors’ right to privacy by allowing donors to choose how their information is shared, by honoring opt-in permissions, and by collecting phone numbers rather than email addresses so you can send texts around campaigns.
The smartest move a nonprofit can make around privacy issues is to work with donors rather than push against them.
7. Maximize Mobile Opportunities
The world is also getting dramatically younger!
Almost 30 percent of US adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use their phone exclusively for communication with no other form of digital access.
They don’t have computers or laptops or landlines.
This heavy reliance on smartphones means nonprofits need to have smart phone capable campaigns.
Every touchpoint you have with donors must be smartphone optimized, which will allow your contacts to donate in the moment, on their mobile devices, from wherever they are.
8. Tailor Your Social Media Profiles
Another aspect of these young adults and their smartphones to be aware of is how tech savvy they are when it comes to social media.
They will recognize if you have the same profile, same approach, same message, and same stories across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.
To really capture their attention, you will have to tailor your approach to each specific platform.
- On TikTok – you can use Online Catalogs to share merchandise or run promotions that will get attention with TikTok Ads Manager.
- On Twitter – you can increase engagement with Tweet Take or use the Topics Tags Bar.
- On Pinterest – you can build Idea Pins and participate in Pinterest TV.
- On Facebook – you can build your brand through Facebook for Creators.
- On LinkedIn – create a LinkedIn Cover Story video for your profile.
The bottom line is to know your platform and what tools are in place to help you grow.
9. Master Brand Identity
Branding is everything, so your primary job as a nonprofit is to master brand identity.
Think of the Red Cross, the Sierra Club, or the March of Dimes.
You want people to immediately recognize your logo, the name of your nonprofit, and be able to tell others what your organization is about.
Your brand should flow seamlessly across social media, from your website, in your newsletters and emails, in texts, and at events.
Consider signing up for a free Canva Pro account, available to all nonprofits, to get started with creating a brand that stands out.
10. Testing. Testing. 123.
Finally, test your products, your messages, your email subject lines, your colors, the shapes of your buttons, the language you use – everything.
Test everything with your donors and pay attention to their feedback.
Testing is key to fully understanding your donors and continuing to grow with them.
Be sure you only test one thing at a time, so you don’t overwhelm your donors, and then involve them in the results of the tests.
Harness Your Marketing Knowledge in 2023
Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Start by simply identifying your persona and understanding them. Then, gradually build your brand and brand identity. Finally, grow from there, one step at a time.
As you implement each of these marketing strategies, you will see noticeable engagement and growth. Additionally, you’ll be so glad you got started and took the first steps towards success.
To summarize, the Essential Guide to Non-Profit Marketing presents a roadmap for success in 2023. By identifying target audiences, understanding donors, and personalizing messaging, non-profits can build strong connections. Utilizing breakout groups, visual storytelling, and respecting privacy preferences are crucial. Optimizing mobile experiences and tailoring social media profiles cater to the digital landscape. Emphasizing brand identity and conducting thorough testing ensure continuous improvement. By implementing these strategies, non-profits can expand their reach, engage donors, and achieve their mission in the year ahead.