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Marketing Your Nonprofit for Maximum ROI

Nonprofit organizations are crucial for the overall betterment of our society. It’s these institutions that aid people in the community and provide relief they can't find anywhere else. 

The problem is that nonprofit organizations are also costly to start and run. A nonprofit organization can expect to spend a minimum of $2,000-$5,000 in startup costs and $1,200-$3,500 in monthly operating costs. That’s without staff and doesn't even include marketing costs, either. Those are high costs for institutions essential for getting the word out to the people who need you the most! 

An effective marketing strategy with high ROI makes a big difference, helping you make the most of your budget to lend the most help to your cause. 

Decide Who To Target With Your Marketing 

You need to determine who your target audience is and decide what action you want them to take for your messaging to reach them effectively. You’ll need to do your research, grow your consumer data, and learn as much as you can about their interests, behaviors, and other demographic factors like their age and income levels. You'll also want to learn what their preferred and most trusted communication channels are so you can optimize your ads to the platforms they’ll see. 

Designing your messaging to the most receptive people yields the highest ROI because it reaches those likely to engage with your charitable efforts. Specifically tailoring your messaging increases the likelihood the right people will respond to your marketing so you’ll get high returns for the cost of distributing ads. You can do this by developing a database of your audience and segmenting them based on their take on your cause, then alter your messaging to resonate with them in the process. 

Make Sure Your Goals Are Actionable 

You need to set goals that are achievable and actionable to grow effectively. Tracking your goals will allow you to measure how well you're performing, giving you opportunities to adjust strategies to get the best performance and ROI. You will also need to decide your metrics to design your goals based on how you will measure them. 

Some factors you need to track can include: 

  • How many impressions your ads achieved. 
  • Amount of donations received. 
  • Number of email list sign-ups. 
  • Amount of donors. 
  • How much you were able to help your cause. 

Utilizing SMART goals by ensuring your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely is hugely beneficial at this stage. You’ll have an easier time keeping track of and visualizing your achievements. 

Develop Your Digital Strategy 

Online marketing is incredibly cost-effective, helping to grow your business with high ROI because it reaches your audience on platforms they use regularly. Email marketing and social media are successful because of the high volume of people using them, meaning there’s a lower barrier to communication. There are 3.9 billion email users active daily (expected to reach 4.3 billion by 2023) and more than 3.5 billion social media users spending on average 3 hours per day on social networks. 

Both digital strategies can help you in different ways. A good social media plan allows you to interact with your audience and provide information broadly to many people while developing an email subscriber list. Providing valuable information helps you nurture leads and keep your audience consistently engaged. 

To get you started, consider these social media strategies: 

  • Choose your platforms based on how likely and how much your audience uses them. 
  • Don't copy and paste posts from platform to platform since each platform has its purpose, language, and best practices. 
  • Regularly improve your posts and engagement based on helpful analytics and evaluations relevant to your audience. 

For email marketing, consider sending welcome emails, informational updates, personalized announcements to increase user engagement. Personalized emails and messages helps donors feel validated because in making the effort, you show you’re doing more than just trying to get their money. The extra effort goes a long way in making people feel appreciated. 

Create An Amazing Website 

Having a professional website legitimizes your organization to those just discovering it. It entices people and communicates your history and cause, helping them trust you more. A great website can indicate you're a professional and legitimate organization, while a poorly designed website harms your cause by making potential donors skeptical.  

Your site needs to look professional and be easy to navigate. There should be no difficulty accessing donation pages, learning what your cause is, how you started, and there should be regular news updates relevant to your cause.  

When done correctly, organizations can benefit from an average of $1.13 per website visitor, with custom-branded donation pages nested inside a nonprofit's website raising 6X more money than one without. 

Engage In Strategic Partnerships 

A great way to set yourself apart is by working with partnerships to help more people see your name and leverage some of their marketing efforts to get better ROI. Many businesses and local institutions have interests in supporting causes, whether it’s something the owner is invested in or to increase their community connection. You have multiple options to form strategic partnerships.  

You can work with: 

  • Other nonprofits helping sister causes 
  • Volunteer groups 
  • Local businesses 
  • Government agencies 

The key is to keep the partnership relevant to your cause and make sure it is beneficial to all parties involved. You will also want to capitalize on public relations by sharing news with reporters to show off your cause's achievements. Local newspapers will occasionally cover local events, especially if they have community-connected fundraising. You can use that as an opportunity to spread your messaging with little additional cost to you. Make sure you have your descriptive information ready to provide easily quotable materials for anyone covering the event. 

It can be a real challenge to maximizing ROI while staying on budget. The most successful nonprofit organizations invest a significant amount of time and effort into their marketing. Keeping up with digital strategies, partnerships, goals, and your specific target audience is without a doubt challenging to undertake — but it doesn't have to be. Working with a media partner with expertise in maximizing your ROI with marketing can take on the task, so you don't have to. 

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Written by Federated Media