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Marketing Your Mission: Advice for Today’s Nonprofit Marketers


By Allegra St. Paul

Marketers in the nonprofit sector wear many hats, often under strict budgetary constraints. From donor communications to fundraising and event planning, it’s crucial to maximize the reach of your organization’s limited marketing resources.

To make the most of marketing efforts, nonprofits must adopt a cost-effective, multi-channel strategy attuned to the charitable giving habits of today’s donors. Here are a few tips to consider when designing a campaign to market your mission:

Tailor a generational approach

According to its most recent report, “The Next Generation of American Giving,” which reveals multi-channel preferences and charitable habits across generations, Blackbaud, a supplier of software and services for nonprofit organizations, found that each generation values a varying mix of online and offline communications channels. This research indicates that a customized communications strategy is needed for each age segment.

nonprofit marketers

The report found older generations still respond best to direct mail and phone calls, while younger donors are primarily using online and mobile methods of giving.

Data-driven decision making
While the study noted above provides a suitable reference point, it is still recommended to monitor giving habits and routinely check in with your donors to confirm their preferences. A few ways to do so are:

  • Ask constituents their communication tendencies and record them in your donor management system – use this information to segment your audiences
  • Use web analytics
  • Track how donors originally made contact
  • Include feedback forms on your website and communications to constituents
  • Optimize your organization’s online presence
    According to the “Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report” published collaboratively by the Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud, 76 percent of nonprofit marketers reported using content marketing to boost visibility and drive action online. The content must be primarily text versus visuals, SEO-friendly and updated regularly to provide relevant content that will drive traffic to the website.

    Nonprofits should also consider the impact mobile devices have on donations. According to the “M+R 2017 Nonprofit Benchmarks Report,” nonprofit web traffic and conversion rates are on the rise, so optimizing your website for mobile and online giving is likely to drive more digital donors.

    Direct mail helps drive donations
    Direct mail provides a tangible connection between a nonprofit organization and its donors. Not only is it still a top fundraising tool, but it also drives awareness. Direct mail is most powerful when used as part of a targeted, multi-channel marketing strategy and presents a clear call to action for the recipient. Top calls to action when using direct mail include: registering for an event, advocating on behalf of the cause and making a donation.

    Allegra offers a variety of traditional and multi-channel marketing services for mission-driven, nonprofit clients to bolster communication and fundraising efforts while increasing donor retention. To learn more about how we can boost your organization’s impact, contact Allegra today.