If you run a nonprofit organization, you probably have two primary tasks that influence every decision you make. The first is sticking to a budget that is, at the best of times, pretty tight. The second is building exposure to gain donations and volunteers. So how can you increase visibility while staying on a limited budget? The answer lies in a complete online marketing campaign. When pulled off properly, this kind of operation can keep your bottom line in the green and build a strong following through email promotions, social media and a wide variety of other tools.
Appeal to the Masses
There’s one truth you can’t turn away from in the modern world: we love social media. It seems like everyone has a Twitter or Facebook account, so your nonprofit organization definitely should as well. However, simply having an account that shares information from your email marketing campaign isn’t enough. To avoid losing followers due to inactivity or driving subscribers away with spam, you’ll need to toe the fine line between frequent and non-existent updates. As a rule, one or two posts per day will keep your message on the screen and in the minds of your viewers.
Our second rule for social media is to stay relevant. Earn the respect and attention of your viewers by making posts they can relate to. People who like or follow your page are already interested in the cause you support, so play off of that and relate the goals of your nonprofit to their everyday lives. Share updates about upcoming or recent events and talk about how your viewers can get involved. Organic conversations with your followers can go a long way toward establishing your nonprofit as a credible and reputable source for discussion on the hot topics surrounding your field.
If you plan to use Twitter or Facebook, knowing how to properly use hashtags can make a huge difference in who your message reaches. Hashtags are there to get the attention of people who may not have even realized your nonprofit exists. Unique hashtags that are relevant to your cause, such as #nonproft, #feedthehungry or #protectwildlife, can draw in viewers who resonate with your message and are the most likely to become supporters after they get to know you through your posts.
Get in the Game
Try reaching out to other nonprofits. These organizations can help build your following and open up the option to share resources, like cross-platform blogging opportunities. While sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for reaching out to individuals, sites with a more professional atmosphere, like LinkedIn and NetSquared, can help you build the contacts you need to expand your email and online marketing operations.
Unlike other industries where similar organizations might pose a threat to your bottom line, nonprofits can and should rely upon one another to help advance a common goal or mission. Sharing resources to reach new audiences should be a top priority when interacting with other organizations.
This is where email marketing fits into the bigger picture of enhancing online visibility for nonprofit organizations. As part of an email plan, newsletters and promotional material that go out on a regular basis are a great way to keep in touch with your supporters and remind them why they support your cause in the first place. Of course, typing out emails one by one is a great way to waste your day, so don’t shy away from professional help. Using a company like ours, you can easily manage your contacts and email lists, create personalized mass messages, send newsletters and make sure your emails arrive in the targeted inboxes.
All of this relies on building a strong email database. Make sure you have a newsletter sign-up sheet readily available in your physical locations as well as an email subscription option on your website so that you can hit the ground running and expand your reach.
Remember, you need a reason to bring your readers back to your website in order to secure support and donations. Having great content in the form of blogging can add even more value to your email, social media and other online marketing techniques. You can use a blog to share stories of how your organization has helped the community in the past or how you intend to do so in the future. Additionally, hitting on all the relevant issues related to your nonprofit can help turn your website into an authority on the subject, leading to better rankings on Google and other search engines.
A regularly updated blog you can promote in your email campaigns and social media shows your followers that your organization is active and trying to make a difference. When it comes to raising funds and taking in donations, having this on your side can serve as the centerpiece for a very powerful campaign.
Online marketing, in the form of social networking, email promotions, blogging and all the other little pieces that make up the big picture, requires a lot of effort from your organization. However, if you truly want to spread the word about the cause and stay on budget, give the complete online marketing campaign approach a try and see just how well it works for your nonprofit moving forward.