Marketing for a nonprofit is basically the same as marketing for any other organization. It’s about telling a compelling story, and engaging people. Here are five things to keep in mind as you market for your nonprofit:
Respect your subject matter
If you’re saving dying children in Africa, a fun music video with a soundtrack by Toto may not be appropriate. Instead, focus on conveying your message in an appropriately serious way with an urgent sense of need. This approach can engage donors just as well as (or better than!) a funny video.
Having your supporters share and retweet your content is a good place to start. But you should also identify supporters with a large social media following and ask them to share a natural-sounding post that fits into their normal content. They will be sharing your message to an audience you might otherwise not reach, with the weight of a personal recommendation.
Use more video
Whether on Facebook, Instagram, your website or even Snapchat, video gets people’s attention more than any other medium. People respond to video, especially shorter videos of 30-90 seconds. To get started, consider producing a simple slideshow with captions, and set it to music. (Just not Toto.) These do not need to be expensive, high-production value initiatives – you can produce decent video content with your smartphone and simple computer software.
Interact with your audience on Twitter
When someone tweets at you, respond. It only takes a second, and it’s a great way to build rapport with your supporters. It turns the engagement into a two-way conversation. You can also retweet relevant tweets from your followers or other organizations in your sector of the nonprofit world and gain a wider audience.
Don’t take your donors, supporters and advocates for granted. They have many choices and your organization is only one of them. Instead, take good care of them by nurturing the relationship. Demonstrate that your organization is one that they can trust, and they will continue to support you.