Writing for Good: Sound Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits

Content marketing can be challenging for nonprofits, who are often trying to get results with far fewer resources than for-profit organizations. However, your marketing efforts are critical for connecting with potential donors and keeping current donors invested in your work. Fortunately, online marketing, from blogs to social media, has fewer barriers to entry than more costly radio, print, and television advertising. Plus, it often generates even better results. This all works in the favor of nonprofits who are trying to accomplish a lot with limited resources.

Having an online presence that gets your nonprofit noticed means you are available to donors and to the people who could benefit from the work that you do around the clock. It also allows you to cast a much wider net with your marketing efforts than traditional methods allow. Win with your marketing campaigns with this advice that is tailor-made for nonprofits.

Clarify Your Mission

As a nonprofit, your mission statement and vision statements guide what you do. These statements are certain to be available on your website and your printed material, but when you delve into content marketing and social media, it’s easy to get off track. Take the time to revisit and clarify why you exist, who you want to help, and what your organization wants to accomplish. This is your brand, and even though you may not be selling products like a for-profit company, your brand identity needs to be at the core of all of your marketing efforts. Revisit this brand identity often, so you can ensure every piece of content and every social media post aligns with those goals.

Know Your Donors

Just as for-profits need to know their customers, nonprofits need to know their donors. Who donates to your organization now? Which followers are likely to engage in conversations you have online? Who would likely donate to your organization if they knew more about it? These people are the ones with whom your content needs to resonate.

An easy way to do this is to create donor personas. These personas describe the identities of your typical donors, so that you can craft content that appeals to them. If you don’t already, start collecting information from people as they donate about who they are and why your cause resonates with them. If you have monthly donors, you may even reach out with them to conduct brief interviews or surveys. Solicit this information from everyone who donates to your organization, from those who make a one-off monetary donation to those who donate time as volunteers. From this information, your donor personas will emerge, which will then help you create relevant content.

Use Visual Content

Web users are increasingly drawn to visual content, so be sure to mix in images and videos with your blogs and social media posts to engage donors. Showing photos of your work in action lets donors see their contributions working in real time, while inspiring others to give. Infographics are another great way to get messaging across while taking advantage of the power of visual content. With an infographic, you can make information easy to digest and present it in a way that looks engaging. This kind of content is also highly shareable, which helps to turn your donors into evangelists for your cause online.

When you’re using visual content on social media, be sure to keep the platform in mind. Through your donor persona creation, you likely have a good idea of which platforms your donors use the most. However, you should also be mindful of the kind of content you post on each platform. Instagram is ideal for photos, for example, but not for content that requires a lot of text. Twitter and Facebook can be good places to share both visual and text driven content, as well as infographics.

Create Content That Embraces Fundraising Psychology

As all nonprofits know, having a good cause that resonates with a large number of people doesn’t immediately translate into a large number of donations. Effective fundraisers pay attention to the psychology of donating and create campaigns that attract donors according to those principles.

For example, donors are more likely to be responsive when they are presented with a story of a single person that needs help rather than a large group of people. Your content should tell the story of a person—or place or animal—that donors can connect with rather than giving a broad overview. It gives the problem you’re addressing a real face and something for people to rally behind. Similarly, people tend to give more freely when a fundraising campaign is near its goal. Thus, content that reflects how well a campaign is going will encourage more people to get involved.

Track Your Results

You can continue to refine your marketing efforts by carefully tracking your results. Which posts are being read the most? Which are being shared most often? What kinds of social media posts get the most engagements, and which content leads to a boost in donations? By carefully tracking this information, you will get a clearer picture of the kind of content your donors want and what kind of content doesn’t work. This will make all of your efforts more successful and help you make every marketing campaign a better investment than the last.

At Pennington Creative, our content marketing team has experience crafting blog posts, press releases, onsite content, infographics, and more. We can work with a wide range of industries, goals, and budgets. We will work with you to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan that caters specifically for your nonprofits goals. Whether you need consistent help with social media posts or just occasional blog updates, you can count on us. Our friendly marketing team in Tucson is ready to help your nonprofit succeed in your marketing efforts. Contact us online to learn more.

About the Author

Heather - Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting
Heather McDonald

Digital Marketing Specialist, Copywriting

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