Marketing your nonprofit: Turning a cause into a campaign

2022-03-22T14:16:33-05:00October 8, 2020|Opinion|

Most nonprofit organizations rely on the kindness of strangers and repeat donors, but those resources often are not enough.

To grow your cause, you need to reach out through content marketing and turn your nonprofit’s cause into a true campaign. Make it an organized and active effort to reach your goal through fundraising, building awareness and gathering support. To do so, you need to use all the sophisticated messaging that is at your disposal.

Identify your goal, core values and community benefits

Nonprofits sometimes assume that everyone understands their purpose, but that is not true. You need to clearly articulate your goal. Are you trying to increase employment rates in your neighborhood? Provide educational assistance for older adults? Remove food insecurity from the area? State your goal succinctly so everyone can understand it.

You can add details by explaining your core values and the community benefits. Your core values are what guide your efforts, such as a belief in justice and equality for all people or a commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. Explain the community benefits so that people know exactly how your nonprofit work will improve their lives.

Research similar projects

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. You can learn from many other nonprofit campaigns by doing a bit of research. If your mission is to provide telehealth for underserved communities, look at current efforts and evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

In particular, examine the work in your area since regional differences will affect your campaign. You have the luxury of picking and choosing powerful ideas from other nonprofits’ cause marketing initiatives.

Work with a writer

Professional writers can add punch and relevance to your nonprofit’s communications. So instead of crafting your message by yourself, team up with experienced writers who can deliver engaging marketing content with power and panache.

You retain control over the project and can add or subtract messaging as you wish. The team effort will strengthen your campaign by producing original, high-quality content that educates, informs and excites your audience.

Seek outside help

Nonprofit campaigns work best when they incorporate external support such as petition efforts and multiple funding sources. You can get signatures supporting your cause via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, platforms that can garner thousands in a day versus the dozens by old-fashioned door-to-door efforts.

You can also use crowdfunding sites and software to quickly raise a significant amount of money. While you should still approach local businesses and major charitable organizations for help, crowdfunding allows you to reach more potential donors in a short period of time.

Spread the word

Be aggressive when it comes to spreading the word. Use your website, social media ads, petitions and local media appearances. Get up early to reach commuters via the morning drive-time radio shows. Fashion Facebook ads, tweet regularly and do not forget about Instagram. Consider holding a webinar and using teleconferencing and guest blogs. Just a few hours a day spent with various communication methods and channels will expand your reach, create awareness and bring in more dollars.

Work with media professionals

You need the help of media professionals to craft eye-catching graphic designs. If your website looks amateurish, you may deter potential donors. Also, a social media manager can be a lifesaver if the internet is not your strength. Your campaign does not have to be expensive, but it needs to look polished. A little money upfront will pay big dividends in the long run.

Monitor your communications

Once you develop your marketing strategy, you can’t just let it sit. You need to continually monitor your online presence to make certain that it is accurate and authentic. Some content does not age well and needs to be updated regularly. You can hire professionals to monitor your online content and promptly make necessary changes. This process will prevent mistakes that can harm your reputation and your fundraising.

Update supporters on progress

Remember to regularly update your supporters on the campaign’s progress. Let them know the status of your petitions, fundraising and new volunteers. Your success depends on attracting and keeping donors. They will feel more invested if you treat them as a valued part of your team. Use videoconferencing and other virtual communication tools to reach members and invite their input.

Final thoughts

Marketing a nonprofit may sound businesslike and counterintuitive, but it is essential to your success. A structured content marketing campaign allows you to attract new supporters, raise much-needed funds and provide thought-leadership in your area.

Nonprofits need lead generation as much as or more than those organizations meant to make money. Use all the tools at your disposal, including the services of professionals to develop effective and impactful cause marketing content. You can do more good when you develop a sophisticated marketing campaign that delivers real results.

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