Nonprofit marketing or cause-related marketing is nothing new. Nonprofits rely on days like Giving Tuesday to boost donations and awareness. Like everything else, to succeed in this competitive space, you need a solid nonprofit marketing strategy.
We realize we cannot write an article and give you the strategy needed for #GivingTuesday success, but we can help you think about your digital marketing and web development differently. Steve Jobs, Gandhi and other have always talked about the value when you think different — now, here is your opportunity.
Nonprofit Marketing Tips
• Start Early: Planning your #GivingTuesday (or any other benchmark days) early gives you an advantage of getting all moving parts lined up. Mailing lists, digital assets, content strategy, web development and team (paid and volunteer) staff buy-in.
• Recognize Segments: There will be varying degrees of engagement throughout your organization’s audience. It is important to recognize who these individuals are and speak to them based on behavior and level of engagement. (More on marketing personas and behavior from our Know Your Audience and Grow talk at WordCamp Riverside.)
• Set Realistic Goals & Expectations: Being a professional I am sure you have goals in mind for each campaign. This is the portion of the article where I say, make sure efforts and execution are in line with expectations. If you start too late in a giving season or other it is important to still do something in order to learn from next time.
There are three Four phases of nonprofit marketing strategy. These phases differ from campaign to campaign and initiative to intiative, but they are the four pillar of a successful campaign.
• Educate: Just because someone follow you on social media or signed up for a mailing list it does not mean they are engaged. Start a series of emails or blog post educating your (segmented) audience about the basics: Who you are, what you do and why it is important. This is also an opportunity to let your audience know what you have been doing.
Just like any other presentation you learned in school apply the basics of presentation: tell them, tell what you told them, and then tell them again.
• Engage: Get your audience excited about what your nonprofit does and how they can participate to further the cause. This phase fits in perfectly with storytelling. Tell your audience your story and get them involved either with action or pass along the message.
If you tell your story better than other organizations you will grow your sphere of influence and donor base. (Tips on marketing with storytelling.)
• Ask: Once the above two steps are complete it is time to get down to business with the ask. All nonprofit marketing should lead the horse to many buckets of water. Tactfully ask for their Help, Support, Donations, Giving of Time (volunteering) or the like. The Ask is a two part thing: Ask for their help and make them feel good about helping you.
FACT: Let’s assume this to be true – your audience know you are a nonprofit and that nonprofits rely on donor/volunteer generosity. By this time if they are still opening your emails and engaging with you, they know who you are, what you do and why it is crucial. If these are true, they will know what you need or at least that an Ask is coming. The number one mistake we see is organizations set things up perfectly and do not execute The Ask phase.
• Give Thanks: Once your campaign is over or periodically thank your base audience. Thank everyone involved through social media posts, emails, recognition if warranted or other appropriate ways. Your donors and your audience love thanks and recognition showing them that you know they helped.
If you properly thank your donor base and audience you can easily repeat this strategic cycle once again. As always Trinity Web Media believes in Review, Refine, Repeat. Learn from practicing this marketing strategy once. make adjustments and get at it again.
Trinity Web Media believes in these seven marketing principles. Always put yourself in your donor’s shoes and think about nurturing them along your continuum vs. going in for an immediate ask. Slow playing this digital marketing strategy with patience and execution is the key to success.