Whether you’re just starting to get your non-profit organization off the ground or are seeking new sponsors and donations, marketing your non-profit online can seem like a daunting task, especially when working within a limited budget. Coming up with a cost-effective marketing plan definitely takes some careful consideration, but don’t worry! These non-profit marketing strategies will get you in front of your ideal audience and inspire donations without breaking the bank. Local Search Aspects You May Not Be Thinking About If someone in your community searches online for “non-profits near me” and your organization can’t be found in search results, you’re missing out on potential donors as well as name recognition. Check out our earlier blog on how to get started with Google My Business (GMB) for more information. While GMB is an incredibly powerful place to start, simply creating your listing isn’t the only thing you need to consider. To get your website and GMB listing to rank higher in search, you must learn how to build citations on a variety of listing directories, including industry-specific ones. Here are just a few we recommend:
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Google Post Updates Okay, now that we’ve covered some directories you need to be on, let’s talk about GMB listing management, specifically Google Posts and Google Q&A. The Google Posts section is a great way to keep your sponsors informed about upcoming events, new blog posts or other community happenings. Found in the GMB dashboard under “Posts,” consider sharing shortened versions of your social media content here. Google Q&A Management As a final point on GMB features, don’t forget to check your Google Q&A monthly. You can find this on the front end of your listing in search. Remember that anyone who finds your GMB can ask a question. For example, someone might ask how to apply for a grant through your website. If you do not answer, you are inviting others to answer, potentially incorrectly. Be sure to get ahead of this with a quick and accurate answer. A Thoughtful Approach to Review Generation When it comes to review generation for non-profit organizations, it’s important to tread lightly. Only ask for a review from someone who has direct experience working with you. It’s a good idea to collect email addresses and phone numbers from anyone who has worked with you or volunteered in the past so you can build your contact list. These people are more likely to not only leave you a review when you ask but donate down the road too. Showcase Your Value on Social Your social media followers want to know how you are providing value to the community and how their donations have impacted your cause. Keep it personal by highlighting your sponsors and share testimonials to inspire more giving. Also, plan posts for holidays like Giving Tuesday and Small Business Saturday. Click the post below to see how we celebrated Small Business Saturday: On Instagram, you can find a ton of great story features for non-profits like the donate sticker, event countdowns, hashtags and location tags. You can also use polls and quizzes to see what content or events matter to your audience. Of course, if anyone engages with your story, be sure to DM them to emphasize that you recognize and appreciate their input! Tip: If you don’t have a video camera, turn your event photos into a slideshow! Target the Ideal Non-Profit Audience Whether you’re seeking donations or promoting an event, one of the best ways to target a specific audience is through paid advertising. Keep in mind, most ad platforms allow non-profits to include a “donate” CTA. For newer non-profits or organizations that are beginning to grow their online exposure, brand expander ads are a great way to increase awareness of your organization and services online. Search ads allow you to target people who are searching for related keywords like “local volunteer opportunities” or “animal shelter near me.” In case you didn’t know, Google actually offers an ad grant to non-profit organizations for up to $10,000 in search ad budget per month. If you are interested in applying, click here. Be sure to leverage Facebook groups to target people by their interests. If you’re a pet shelter, try posting in groups for animal lovers or people who are searching for adoptable animals. No matter the type of ad you are looking to run, it is always a good idea to consult a marketing partner before throwing your money into advertising! Final Thoughts A complete marketing strategy encompasses many different online platforms, which can be daunting and make it hard for non-profits to strategize their best options. But as your digital marketing partner, we are here for you! For more strategy recommendations, fill out a form or give us a call to schedule a free marketing demo with one of our digital marketing consultants. Be sure to communicate any restrictions or guidelines with your marketing partner as well. Also, stay tuned to our blog and media resources for more information related to non-profit marketing and the benefits behind services like social media marketing, local search and paid advertising. We are always your source for the latest news and tips in the digital marketing world!
Bill Warren, Senior Digital Marketing Consultant