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10 Key Strategies to Boost Non-Profit Marketing

10 Key Strategies to Boost Non-Profit Marketing

September 9, 2021 | By Amber Aldrich

Year-end is a crucial time for nonprofit fundraising, with charitable giving peaking in December. To help non-profits make the most of the moment – and reach new funders throughout the year – marketing experts at Seattle Times Media Solutions recently compiled 10 Key Strategies to boost non-profit marketing.  

The tips were recently reviewed in a live webinar, featuring NPO marketing best practices and case studies. For a full recording, click here 

Here are the 10 Key Strategies to boost non-profit marketing:  

  1. Understand your Marketing Funnel – Think through the steps a potential funder takes from awareness to consideration, to purchase and advocacy. In mapping out the customer journey, consider marketing tactics to reach audiences at each step. Traditional media and branded content are effective for awareness. Targeted display and search ads can reach funders considering your organization or cause. Social can be effective across the funnel, and in advocacy. 
  2. Know your Funder and Donor Personas – There are many ways to understand your ideal audience. Start with profiles of your existing doners. ST Media Solutions offers PRIZM segmentation and website audience analysis to understand who gives today and how you can reach look-alike or emerging new audiences. Use personas to develop targeting and creative message strategies.  
  3. Develop your Stories – Non-profits have compelling stories of impact that emotionally connect with potential doners. Create content that profiles the people affected by doner giving, to tell the human story and authentic impact behind your non-profit’s work.
  4. Incorporate Video – Video incorporates sight, sound and emotion, conveying a rich message in a short period of time. Invest in creating quality video that can be used on your website, in email, on social media and more. Consider a video that can be cut down into different formats for different uses throughout the year, for the most impact for your budget.
  5. Create Content Partnerships – From media companies to business partnerships, NPOs can leverage partners and advocates for additional reach. The Seattle Times offers Branded Content, including its year-end Giving Guide featuring non-profit stories. Branded Content leverages the reach and credibility of the Seattle Times brand to reach new audiences for its non-profit partners and is just one example of a content partnership.
  6. Develop a strong social strategy – While organic social posting is important, those posts reach only 5.2% of Facebook users. Consider adding paid social campaigns for additional reach. Facebook and Instagram are effective at reaching new potential funders but also consider advertising on LinkedIn, Twitter, and the fastest growing social platform, TikTok.
  7. Have a foundational marketing plan – Paid Search, Social and Programmatic Advertising create a foundation for marketing discovery 365 days a year. These platforms are targeted and ensure your business is discoverable throughout the year. Layer on additional marketing for added awareness for events and during peak donation times.
  8. Maximize Peak Donation Times – Boost results during major donation times including GiveBig, Giving Tuesday, year-end giving, and your own special events throughout the year. High-funnel tactics including newspaper, high-impact digital campaigns, and radio work well for broad awareness over a shorter period of time.
  9. Take an omnichannel approach – Most NPOs have a list of past funders they market to via Direct Mail and Email. Boost those efforts by retargeting those same lists with paid social and/or display or programmatic advertising. This creates the frequency needed to remind funders to give.
  10. Understand your conversion points – NPOs don’t have the luxury of spending budget without measurable results. A reputable agency can help measure calls, donations, contacts, email subscribers, reach and more. These performance metrics help explain the Return On Investment to key stakeholders on your board and within your organization.  

Seattle Times Media Solutions partners with several Seattle area non-profits on these key strategies and more. For case studies, or other information, reach us at info@stms.seattletimes.com.

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