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Nonprofit Marketing: 7 Tricks of the Trade

If you are someone who wants to get the good word out to the public about your nonprofit organization, check out these nonprofit marketing strategies.

Entering the field of nonprofit marketing can be a tricky thing to do. Often, you may be working with little or no budget or staff, and even limited resources, and it can feel like there’s nowhere to turn.

But that’s where you’d be wrong. In today’s digitally-driven age, it’s simpler now than it’s ever been to find ways to create a nonprofit marketing strategy of your very own.

So, how’s it done? Read on to find 7 of the best tips.

1. Recognize Your Goals

To begin marketing your nonprofit, you must first establish your goals. Be as ambitious as you’d like to be here. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to setting goals and it’s especially important to not hold yourself back.

These goals are going to serve as the template for your marketing strategy later on down the line.

Once you’ve got your goals mapped out, then you know where you can begin. Having a starting point for your marketing venture is a great way to start moving forward.

Here’s a digital marketing checklist to help you get started.

2. Tell Your Story

If you’ve started a nonprofit, it’s likely that you have a story to go along with it. You may think that nobody is interested in it, but that’s where you’re wrong.

Whatever your story is, write it down from beginning to end. Recount as much detail as you can, and then go back and revise it.

Ideally, you can have a few different versions of your story on hand — a long version and a short version — so that you always remember it. A shorter version of your story is perfect for elevator pitches, but a longer version is great for speeches and events that you may be speaking at.

Your story is the driving force behind your nonprofit, and it’s going to be the thing that not only gets people behind your cause but also to donate to it.

3. Take Advantage of Mobile

Did you know that 50 percent of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile users? Optimizing anything you do online for mobile is going to be a great way to get things up and running for your marketing campaign.

Simple things you can take on are optimizing your website for mobile use, adopting text-to-give (TTG) campaigns, and even adding a “donate now” button to your nonprofit’s Facebook page.

TTG campaigns took off in 2010 and are a great way to streamline the donation process, but the downfall is that it can take several weeks to get these donations. Since the amount donated is added to the donor’s phone bill, your nonprofit isn’t going to see these funds until the donor pays their bill.

Also, don’t be deterred if your donation base is made up of older citizens. A large percentage of them are mobile users as well.

4. Create a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

Now that you have an idea of where you want to start, and know about the importance of considering mobile users, it’s time to create a marketing strategy. The best thing you can do here is to get out a calendar and set dates for each goal you’d like to achieve.

If you’d like to start using social media advertising but need to raise money, then set a budget and a date that you need the money by. From there, you can work to pitch your idea to donors and even other social media users! You can also utilize the power of algorithms and post things that are likely to go viral in order to gain donations.

Besides relying on the power of social media, there are other things you can do to create your marketing strategy.

Take those bigger goals and break them down into smaller chunks. Set up a project management system that makes it easy for you to see your goals.


If you’ve set up your calendar and feel like you have a solid project management system but aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for, it’s time to refine your marketing strategy.

Giving your plan space for improvement can take it further than you’d originally hoped. To gather this info, you can turn to a professional agency or ask for thoughts and reviews from your donors.

Take their answers into account and then work to streamline your ideas from there.

5. Use Email Marketing

The current global pandemic has forced the entire world to spend more time online, meaning that one of the easiest places to engage with your supporters, members, clients, and the broader community is in their email inboxes.

Email marketing doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, most people overthink their email marketing strategies. For nonprofit organizations, an email marketing strategy may be as simple as sharing current programs, updates to services, or even sending out their blog posts. 

Nonprofit organizations typically aren’t e-commerce focused, so your email can stand out from a crowd of sales messages if you are sincere in your messaging and offering assistance or programming that helps your audience.

Start with a cadence that is comfortable for your organization. Don’t commit to an email per week if you only have time once a month. Your audience will start to expect messaging at your usual frequency, so take the long view and pace yourself.

6. Book Events

Once you’ve established your story and a marketing plan, get yourself out there! There’s no shortage of events that are willing to add a nonprofit to its itinerary, and yours is the perfect addition.

In normal times, you can host or attend in-person conferences or events filled with guest speakers, musical acts, games, and more, and you can also host live streams.

When you stream on YouTube, you can add a “donate now” button to your event to make it easy for people to see. The same can be done for Twitch.

The biggest thing to remember at any event you host or attend is to tell your story, just like we talked about earlier. Be authentic in the things you share, and show a sense of empathy.

Whether your story is highly relatable or rarely seen, people appreciate authenticity and are likely to support things they feel like they can understand.

7. Apply for Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants are one of the offerings found in the Google for Nonprofits program. You’ll have to check to ensure your organization qualifies, and then submit an application, but when accepted you have access to $10,000 of in-kind Google Ads budget per month going forward.

You can use your Google Ads Grant to bid on your branded keywords for when people are searching for your organization by name. You can also select keywords that will help your audience find your programs and services, even if they don’t know you exist. And most importantly, your ads can take people right to the correct page on your website so that users don’t have to find things on their own.

There are some limitations, like only being able to bid up to $2 per click and only having ads available on the Google Search Results Page (SERP). But your ads will show up when people are actively looking for the things you offer. Plus it is free – so it is win win!

Make Marketing Your Nonprofit a Breeze

When you put these nonprofit marketing strategies into practice, you give you and your nonprofit the chance to soar to new heights. With all of the free resources available today, including this article, there’s nothing to stop you from taking your nonprofit to the next level.

You don’t have to do it alone, though. Partnering with a marketing agency can take all the guesswork out of the process. Contact us today for a free quote.


Mark Hallman

Mark Hallman

Mark works with business to engage their audiences online via targeted marketing campaigns, conversion based websites, and ongoing measurement and optimization.

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