Many nonprofits struggle to find enough donors willing to give and often have trouble stretching their marketing dollars. That’s because most organizations tend to focus more attention on how they will spend their limited resources rather than identifying new ways to generate new resources. We all know that marketing is essential to any nonprofit organization, but it’s not always an easy task. However, you can use these six ideas as a starting point for coming up with more strategies of your own. You might think of marketing as only things like ads and PR, but those are just subcategories of the big picture known as marketing. Marketing is a broad term used to describe the process of connecting a product or service with its target market so that the sale can be completed efficiently and profitably for everyone involved. It’s about selling something – whether that’s an idea, service, or product – in a way that creates value for all parties involved.
Advertising has been around since the dawn of media. If you’ve got a limited advertising budget, then you can turn to print, radio, or TV advertising. However, be careful not to become so focused on getting ads out there that you forget about your audience. You want to make sure that you’re not just blasting your message out to anyone and everyone. Dedicated advertising is generally focused on driving people to your website or another online campaign. While these ads can be enormously helpful for building and growing your online presence, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using that presence to drive donations.
From walkathons to galas, almost every nonprofit organization has at least one yearly fundraising event. You may be able to create even more of a buzz around your event by factoring in your marketing tactics. Merely announcing the date of your annual fundraising event isn’t likely to inspire a large number of new donors to come out of the woodwork. On the other hand, actively promoting a new event with a specific target audience in mind could lead to new donors. For example, you can promote a new gala event geared towards young professionals by creating a digital ad campaign targeting that demographic. You can also use your event to help others. If your organization is a food bank, for example, you can use your event to collect food donations. This not only helps you but also benefits the community as a whole.
Although many people are less and less likely to open their mail, direct mail campaigns are still an important potential source of donations. You can start by creating a mailing list of everyone in your organization who has given. You don’t want to stop there, though. You should also try to add people to your mailing list who you think might be interested in your cause. Even though email marketing is becoming more and more common, direct mail campaigns remain a vital source of revenue for many nonprofits.
Although email marketing and direct mail are excellent sources of revenue, they can also become incredibly repetitive. You don’t want to bore people with the same repetitive emails, after all. You can try to diversify the way you market by attempting various types of eMarketing campaigns. Email newsletters are an excellent way to keep your donors engaged while also gathering new names. You can also try hosting polls within your newsletters to determine which issues are most pressing to your donors.
Although you’ll want some people to walk through your door right away, others may be ready to donate in the near future. There are several ways to encourage these people to give now rather than later. You can offer a discount for a limited time, for example. You can also offer extra benefits, like naming rights to a new building, for donors who give a certain amount during your fundraising campaign.
While it’s important to focus on your organization, you can also try to work with other organizations on joint campaigns. You can partner with another nonprofit organization on a cause-based marketing campaign. You can choose to partner with another organization in a geographic area or with a company that services your target demographic. By teaming up with another nonprofit organization, you can help each other meet fundraising goals. You can also create more buzz around your organization and attract new donors.
Marketing is more than just placing ads, getting press coverage, or making sales pitches. It is the whole process of creating an image of a product, company, or organization. It makes people aware of a product or service and lets them know why it is better than the competition. It is an investment in the future. It is what differentiates you from your competitors. These six ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fundraising through marketing. You can also try hosting strategic corporate partnerships, offering mentoring programs, engaging in crowdfunding campaigns, and more.