For many non-profit organisations, marketing is often a department of one, with the responsibilities falling onto the plates of busy donor relations and administrative professionals. Though non-profits are often short on resources, there are several effective strategies you can employ to maximise your non-profit’s marketing efforts.
Though many companies and large for-profit brands lack a community of brand evangelists, the opposite is often true of non-profit organisations. Whether you’re a charity, an arts organisation, or a caused-based non-profit, your donors and volunteers are your greatest assets and are often personally vested in the success of your organisation. Providing these evangelists with the tools and information necessary, you can empower them to become representatives of your brand in their everyday lives. Whether it’s through conversations they have with their friends or brief mentions to people in passing, by empowering your donors, you can extend the reach of your brand by leveraging the genuine passion and voice of your evangelists.
Websites are a great way to provide information about your organisation. But for non-profits that may not have a lot of brand awareness or name recognition, getting prospective donors to your website can be the biggest challenge. Instead of relying on users coming to you, go to where they are. Focus your efforts on developing a social media presence through channels like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Through your social channels, you can connect with your current members and extend the reach of your brand’s voice. Social media is all about leveraging relationships, so by connecting with your members and donors, you’ll be given access into their existing interpersonal networks. Since people often have similar likes and interests as their friends, getting access to your donors’ friends gets you access to a network of highly qualified leads.
When you think about your donors and prospects as friends, the relationship becomes more personal. Whether you’re crafting a thank you letter to an existing donor, or making first contact with a prospective lead, always start with a personal story about your organisation. Talk about the things that you’ve accomplished and the ways in which your organisation and donor are alike. For new donor outreach, don’t lead with a request for a donation. Instead, talk about the things you’ve accomplished in the past and what you plan to achieve in the future to establish a connection with the audience. If you’re thanking an existing member for a donation, let them know how their specific donation was used and how it has helped your organisation and the people you serve.
Photos often tell the best stories. Using pictures and photography is a great way to connect with your audience and humanise your organisation. Rather than using stock images or professional photography, use candid photos to tell the real story. It’s often said that the best camera is the one that you have on you, so use your phone or any camera that may be handy to take photos at your fundraisers, charity events, and whenever else the opportunity may arise.
Whether you’re crafting a letter, designing a website, or setting up an online donation system, keep things simple and easy. Don’t make people search, scroll, or look around to find what they need. Instead, use clear and concise calls to action to convert prospects into donors.