While nonprofit organizations generally put their budgets toward fundraisers and awareness campaigns, more have decided to allocate resources for general promotion and a stronger web presence. One of the biggest problems with modern philanthropy is the sheer number of causes competing for attention at any given time. While many may be noble, without proper marketing techniques, nonprofits have no way to reliably get the message out. For that matter, the practice of raising awareness can fall flat if an organization lacks the infrastructure and good messaging to direct interested individuals to donate or otherwise contribute.
It’s worth the time and the money for nonprofits to invest in marketing strategies to be heard above the noise. Even for individual philanthropists, it’s worth considering adopting some of these tactics to best champion their cause of choice.
Provide value on social media.
Creating social media platforms is only the first step for a nonprofit looking to promote. While Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other sites are great for informing followers about events and donation drives, this is only effective if there are followers willing to give back. In order to fully leverage social media, nonprofits will need to first engage with their audience. Organizations that post regularly about their initiatives or even about the causes that they work with form a better relationship with their audience by keeping them informed and providing interesting content. Contests, polls, or other incentives to engage are also possible to keep them talking and passionate about a cause.
Tell a story.
When it comes to the type of content that organizations post online, nonprofits should be discerning and aim to frame their work in an interesting way. The best way to do this is to tell a story; each organization should ask itself about what they are aiming to accomplish and what steps they need to take to get there. Use examples of projects in the past, and use faces of volunteers to make the story personal. It’s not just about the cause; it’s about who is affected by it and who has worked to make things better.
Video is also good for storytelling, as it adds more depth to what’s being told. Consider including interviews with key individuals and live footage from recent projects.
Create a strong website.
Web development has become dominated in recent years by the idea that creating a powerful experience for visitors is key in forming favorable impressions of sites. Nonprofits can work to tell their stories on their sites as well as providing a wealth of information for anyone interested in the cause. Like social media, a website will have to provide value to its visitors; keep it updated to keep an audience coming back repeatedly. One way to do that is to start a blog about current events in the field that an organization works in. Another important website tenet for nonprofits is to include a call to action; make it explicit what you want interested individuals to do if they would like to help, and include well-marked places on your website to easily facilitate this.
Pay for advertising.
This one isn’t for everyone, but paying for online advertising can get the word out about an organization. Advertising may not be for nonprofits with smaller budgets, and working with local businesses that may be willing to strike a deal to promote an organization may be necessary. Consider talking to a professional on which forms of advertising generate the most leads, and work to create an ad that is on-brand, distinctive, and again, spurs the viewer to action.