Creative marketing and innovation is an essential component of any successful growing nonprofit organization. It helps raise awareness, build a following, and drive new donations to support your cause. With the increasing competition for donor dollars, it’s critical to find innovative marketing tactics that can help set your organization apart. In this article, we’ll explore some unique marketing initiatives nonprofits can use to drastically increase organizational awareness, followers, and donations.
Leverage Social Media Video and Stories to Amplify Your Mission And Reach New Audiences
Nonprofits can leverage videos and video production to create compelling stories that can be shared across various social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. By creating short, attention-grabbing videos that showcase your mission, impact, and success stories, you can connect with your audience on an emotional level and encourage them to support your cause. To create effective videos, it’s important to focus on storytelling, using visuals and sound to convey your message and evoke a response. You can also use video production tools and platforms like Animoto (https://animoto.com/ ) or Canva (https://www.canva.com/create/video/ ) to create engaging videos that stand out on social media. By consistently sharing high-quality videos across social media platforms, nonprofits can build a following, increase awareness, and drive donations to support their cause.
Post regularly, engage with your followers, and use social media to showcase your mission, events, and impact. Consider running a social media campaign that encourages users to share their stories and experiences related to your cause. You can also partner with influencers or other nonprofits in your field to amplify your message and reach new audiences.
Leverage Google Grants for Free Search Advertising For Your Programs and To Gain Donations
Google AdWords is a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website, but it can be costly. However, nonprofits can apply for Google Grants, which provides up to $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising. To be eligible, your organization must have 501(c)(3) status and meet other criteria outlined by Google.
Two organizations that have successfully leveraged Google Grants to grow their following are Charity: Water and the American Red Cross. Charity: Water used Google AdWords to raise awareness and drive donations to their clean water projects in developing countries. By targeting specific keywords related to their cause, they were able to reach a wider audience and increase their website traffic by 40%. Additionally, they saw a 300% increase in donations within the first year of using Google Grants. The American Red Cross also used Google Grants to increase awareness and drive donations during natural disasters and emergencies. They were able to reach millions of people with their targeted ads, which helped them to raise more than $4 million in donations during Hurricane Harvey. Through the use of Google Grants, both organizations were able to amplify their message and increase their impact. To learn more about Charity: Water’s success with Google Grants, visit their website (https://www.charitywater.org/google-ad-grants-case-study). To learn more about the American Red Cross’s use of Google Grants, visit their website (https://www.redcross.org/donations/ways-to-donate/google-ad-grants.html).
To apply for Google Grants, you’ll need to sign up for a Google Ad Grants account and submit an application. Once approved, you’ll be able to use AdWords to promote your organization’s website, drive traffic, and raise awareness.
Reach New Audiences with Strategic Marketing
TikTok and Instagram are two popular social media platforms with distinct audiences. TikTok’s user base skews younger, with the majority of its users aged between 16 and 24 years old. Meanwhile, Instagram’s user base is slightly older, with the majority of its users aged between 25 and 34 years old. On the other hand, Meta (formerly Facebook) has the largest user base with more than 2.9 billion monthly active users across different age groups, but the majority of its users are over 25 years old. Twitter has a smaller user base, with the majority of its users aged between 25 and 34 years old, and LinkedIn has a primarily adult user base, with the majority of its users aged between 30 and 49 years old. According to Pew Research Center, the average age of LinkedIn users is 44, while Twitter’s average user age is 40, and Meta’s average user age is 38. For more insights on social media demographics, check out this study (https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/) that provides a breakdown of the number of users across different age groups.
There have been many successful fundraising campaigns on TikTok, but two stand out as particularly noteworthy. The first is the “New Teacher Fund” campaign, which was started by user @MrsDowlingMaths. The campaign aimed to raise money to buy school supplies for new teachers, who often have to spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to furnish their classrooms. The campaign raised over $100,000 and helped dozens of new teachers. Another successful TikTok fundraising campaign was the “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” event, which was co-produced by Seaview Productions and TikTok. The virtual musical was created entirely on TikTok and featured contributions from thousands of users. The event raised over $2 million for The Actors Fund, which supports artists and performers in times of need.
Here are the links to the campaigns:
- New Teacher Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/new-teacher-fund
- Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical: https://actorsfund.org/Ratatouille-TikTok-Musical
Co-Host An Event with Another Entity
Co-hosting a nonprofit event with another organization can be a powerful way to increase your donor base and community awareness. By partnering with another nonprofit, you can leverage each other’s networks, resources, and expertise to create an event that appeals to a wider audience. To find a suitable partner, start by identifying organizations that share a similar mission or values. You can also reach out to local businesses, community groups, and government agencies to explore potential partnerships. Once you have identified a partner, work together to plan the event, set goals and objectives, and promote the event through your respective networks and social media channels. By co-hosting an event, you can not only increase your organization’s visibility and reach, but also build lasting relationships with other organizations and potential donors. You can also use event marketing to drive social media engagement and encourage attendees to share their experience with their networks.
There have been many successful co-hosted events in the United States that have raised significant funds for nonprofit organizations. One example is the “Stand Up to Cancer” event, which was co-hosted by the Entertainment Industry Foundation and many celebrities. The event raised over $123 million for cancer research. Another example is the “Night of Too Many Stars” event, co-hosted by Comedy Central and Jon Stewart. The event raised over $21 million for autism programs. Leveraging corporate partners with socially conscious missions who want to give back and also fulfill expand awareness can be strong potential partners to explore.
To find organizations to co-host events with, nonprofits can start by researching organizations in their community that share their mission and values. Look for organizations with a large following or a strong presence on social media. Attend networking events and reach out to potential partners to discuss the possibility of co-hosting an event. When co-hosting an event, be sure to define each organization’s roles and responsibilities and communicate regularly to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Consider how you can leverage each other’s strengths to create a successful event that raises funds and awareness for your cause.
Create Branded Merchandise That Sells Like A Product Line
Branded merchandise can be a fun and creative way to raise awareness and support for your organization. But you can do so much more than simply create custom t-shirts, pens, or mugs that features your logo. Try marketing a product that promotes your mission or other branding elements. By making your merchandise a true product for the public you can empower incredible results.
Two great examples of nonprofits that have successfully used branded merchandise to raise funds are the American Cancer Society (ACS) and charity: water. ACS created a branded line of clothing and accessories, including t-shirts, hats, and jewelry, to raise funds for cancer research and patient support. Through this initiative, ACS was able to raise over $2.5 million in revenue. Similarly, charity: water created a branded line of water bottles, t-shirts, and other merchandise to support their mission of providing clean water to communities in need. In their first year, charity: water was able to raise over $300,000 through their merchandise sales. By creating high-quality, branded merchandise that aligns with their mission and values, both ACS and charity: water were able to engage their supporters and raise significant funds for their cause. Check out their websites to learn more about their merchandise and how you can support their mission.
Once you have your product sell them on google!
To get your product listed on Google and drive sales, you’ll need to take a few steps:
- Create a Google Merchant Center account: This is the first step in getting your products listed on Google. You can sign up for a free account on the Google Merchant Center website.
- Upload your product feed: Your product feed is a spreadsheet or XML file that contains information about your products, such as their name, description, price, and image. You can upload this feed to your Google Merchant Center account.
- Optimize your product listings: Make sure your product listings are optimized for search by including relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions. This will help your products appear in relevant search results on Google.
- Set up Google Ads: You can use Google Ads to advertise your products on Google Shopping and other Google properties. You can target specific keywords and audiences to drive traffic and sales to your product listings.
- Monitor and optimize your campaigns: Once your products are listed on Google and you’ve started advertising with Google Ads, it’s important to monitor your campaigns and make adjustments as needed. This may include adjusting your bids, targeting, and ad copy to improve your results.
By following these steps, you can get your products listed on Google and drive sales through Google Shopping and other Google properties.
American Cancer Society Shop: https://shop.cancer.org/
charity: water Shop: https://store.charitywater.org/
Gamifying donations can be a great way to get people excited about supporting your nonprofit. By incorporating fun game-like elements into your campaigns, you can engage supporters, create healthy competition, and raise more funds.
One nonprofit that’s done this well is Extra Life. They raise funds for children’s hospitals through gaming marathons, where participants create their own fundraising pages and ask for donations from friends and family. They also play games for a set period of time. Extra Life’s strong social media presence and community engagement have helped make their campaigns successful.
Another example is Movember, which raises funds for men’s health by challenging participants to grow mustaches during the month of November. Participants create fundraising pages and ask for donations from friends and family, all while spreading awareness about men’s health issues. Movember’s campaigns have been successful thanks to their creative social media content and partnerships with influencers.
If you’re interested in gamifying your nonprofit’s fundraising campaigns, consider how you can use social media and partnerships with influencers to amplify your message and reach new audiences. Also, think about how you can make your campaign fun and engaging for participants. By doing so, you can increase awareness and fundraising for your cause.
Refresh Your Brand and Empower Success
Rebranding can have a powerful impact on nonprofit organizations by increasing their visibility, attracting new supporters, and boosting donations. Two recent examples of successful rebranding efforts are the American Cancer Society and Planned Parenthood. In 2018, the American Cancer Society rebranded with a new logo and messaging that focused on their mission to save lives and celebrate life. This rebranding led to a 4.4% increase in donations and a 10% increase in website traffic. Similarly, in 2019, Planned Parenthood underwent a rebranding effort that involved updating their visual identity, messaging, and website. The new brand focused on their commitment to providing essential health care services and promoting sexual and reproductive health. This rebranding led to a 10% increase in online donations and a 40% increase in the number of monthly visitors to their website. These examples illustrate how strategic rebranding can have a positive impact on nonprofits by increasing engagement, donations, and awareness.
Here are the links to the organizations:
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/
Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Add A New Service Line or Fee For Service
Nonprofits can add new sources of income by introducing fee-for-service models or creating new service lines. This diversification of revenue can increase financial stability and further the nonprofit’s mission. Two examples of successful implementation of entrepreneurial aspects are Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill Industries. Habitat for Humanity offers affordable homes for sale, generating $326 million in revenue, which is then used to fund their mission. Goodwill Industries provides employment services and job training, while also operating retail stores, earning $6 billion in revenue, which supports their mission. Visit Habitat for Humanity’s website (https://www.habitat.org/) and Goodwill Industries’ website (https://www.goodwill.org/) for more information on their work.
Smaller nonprofits have also had success adding new service lines or fee-for-service models to increase their budget and impact:
The Bike Farm: The Bike Farm is a nonprofit community bike shop in Austin, Texas, that provides tools, parts, and knowledge to help people repair their bikes. In addition to offering bike repairs and maintenance services, they also rent out bikes and lead bike repair workshops. The rental program and workshops have become a significant source of revenue for the organization. The Bike Farm has been able to expand its services and reach more people in the community through the additional income generated by these programs. For more information on The Bike Farm, visit their website (https://thebikefarm.org/).
The Wildflower Center: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas, that aims to conserve native plants and their landscapes. In addition to its conservation efforts, the Wildflower Center also offers a variety of educational programs, including workshops, classes, and camps. These programs are fee-based and generate income for the organization. The Wildflower Center has been able to expand its offerings and engage more people in its mission through the additional revenue generated by its educational programs. For more information on The Wildflower Center, visit their website (https://www.wildflower.org/).
There are many innovative marketing tactics and initiatives that nonprofits can use to increase awareness, followers, and donations. From leveraging social media and video marketing to applying for Google Grants and hosting events, there are many ways to amplify your message and connect with your audience. By exploring these tactics and finding the ones that work best for your organization, you can build a strong following and make a meaningful impact on your cause.
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