Marketing, Non-profit

Make a difference in your marketing so your charity can make a difference in the world

Promote your charitable organization without exhausting your budget or requiring marketing skills not in your toolkit. Follow these 6 simple yet effective strategies to ensure your social awareness campaigns, fundraising drives and other charity events are a success.

If you are a charitable or non-profit organization, we applaud you.  And we feel for you. There is no greater satisfaction than doing something for others.  But it is no easy task to raise awareness for your cause, promote your organization and run fundraising drives, all at the same time.  

Today, we’ll share 6 fundamental marketing strategies that can make a difference in helping your charitable or non-profit organization raise awareness, build your brand and promote your cause effectively and affordably like this non-profit organization, Cruise for a Cause:

I am a nonprofit always looking for resources that help me save as much money as possible to help those fighting cancer with every dollar we earn. PosterMyWall helped me cut my advertising cost by almost 70%! That means more money for the families we help! Thank You!

-Brett Parrett, President/Founder, Cruise for A Cause.

1.  Define your target audience

Knowing the audience you’re reaching out to should necessarily drive every word, picture or video you employ in promoting your cause.  If you don’t have a donor persona or profile in mind, it will be difficult to connect in a way that is emotionally meaningful to potential supporters.  It’s all about connecting to the particular audience that will be inspired and willing to act.

Identify your target audience by assessing the goals of your organization.  What is your ultimate appeal? Do you want your audience to volunteer, donate, advocate, attend an event, or all of the above?  What are the values of those that will be most likely to respond to your specific call to action? Let’s be clear.

Focusing on a target audience does not mean you don’t welcome attention from other audiences.  But by prioritizing your target audience you can create customized print and digital marketing material to ensure you reach those that will be most compelled to support your organization.

2.  Build your brand

Regardless of your audience or focus, promoting and building your brand is just as important as it is for any for-profit organization.  In the crowded philanthropy space, your charity or non-profit not only has to stand out, but be inspiring enough to be unforgettable.

If the name of your charity or cause is long, unwieldy or simply not exciting enough, employ a hashtag relevant to your cause.  This can be something you create, or something well known in your charitable space.  Sign up for free websites like Ritetag, where you can receive any number of suggestions for hashtags that are relevant, popular and memorable.

Don’t forget to pair your hashtag with equally relevant and eye-catching pictures or video.  Whether you are using social media or a printed poster, your brand will garner the most attention when it is visually captivating.

3.  Say it with images

It pays to vary the type of medium you use to promote your cause, from social media posts, blogs, email blasts, to posters and flyers.  And it pays really big when you include visual images. Social media posts are 10 times more likely to receive audience engagement when an image is included.

With time and money most likely in short supply, do-it-yourself graphic design websites provide tools and templates that can showcase your message in a visually appealing manner. Create graphics or source pictures that capture the essence of your charity or non-profit organization.  

Re-purpose promotional content to be attention-grabbing. A white paper or survey can be turned into a visually descriptive infographic that is engaging, more quickly understood and hopefully more persuasive. Fundraising drives, charity events can be easily promoted with engaging poster and free flyer templates.

Here are some popular fundraising templates:

Here’s a testimonial from FaithWalk Productions, a Gospel Theater Group, that uses image templates from PosterMyWall to make their marketing campaigns stand out:

For the past four years PosterMyWall has helped my Gospel Theater Group tremendously. We conduct fundraisers throughout the year, such as monthly craft & vendor fairs, to raise funds to support our efforts as well as to bring in donations and awareness for local non-profit organizations. PosterMyWall has given us a professional look with the production of each flyer for every single event.

With a professional background in marketing, I know that people are visual so with the awesome, quality designs offered by PosterMyWall, our marketing campaigns get knocked out of the park every time!!! We are so grateful for the tools provided here. Thank you PosterMyWall.

– Latrese B. Carter, founder, Faithwalk Productions

Whether you are raising awareness for important issues like human rights, fundraising for childhood cancer research, or soliciting volunteers for animal rescue, use images to illustrate who or what will benefit, why it is important, how your organization makes it happen, and what opportunities exist for your target audience to get involved.

Here are some popular Social Issues Templates:

4.  Establish an emotional connection – Visually tell your story

One of the greatest challenges for charities is that other than the emotional satisfaction of helping a cause, the gratification for donors isn’t tangible.  Which is why huge organizations often reward a donation with a gift emblazoned with their brand.

For most non-profits this either isn’t financially feasible, or considered a distraction from the cause.  Your promotional material must connect with potential donors on a deep, emotionally gratifying level. Nothing packs a deep, emotional wallop like video.  

The ASPCA knew this when they created their, “In the Arms of An Angel” campaign, to tell the story of shelter dogs.  We didn’t even need to hear Sarah McLachlan’s voice to have our heartstrings tugged on by the ASPCA’s powerful video images.

Video marketing capitalizes on the fact that the most successful marketing campaigns devote 20% of their content to describing the cause, and 80% to engaging the audience.  You non-profit doesn’t need to rival the size of the ASPCA to use video to emotionally connect with your audience.

Websites like PosterMyWall, offer video templates that enable you to tell your non-profit or charitable story, quickly and affordably.  From illuminating the need, to illustrating how donations are used, video will strike an engaging, emotional, and action-inspiring note with your audience.

Here are some popular video templates used by charity organizations all over the world to promote their causes and events:

5.  Build street credibility

Building credibility on the street, that is, with your target audience, is critical to building your brand. A key component to building credibility is showcasing your results and providing social proof of how others, particularly from your target audience, have donated, advocated and volunteered. What better way to do that than by recruiting active volunteers from your audience to spread the word through their personal networks.

Provide your street cred volunteers with promotional kits featuring both print and digital marketing materials. Those images and graphics you’ve designed?  Use them to produce professional, captivating flyers and posters for volunteers to distribute.

Feature storytelling video in email blasts and social media posts that your volunteers can use to connect their network with your organization.  Finally, make sure your branding hashtag appears on all your print and digital media to continue building your brand.

6.  Stay connected – Post interactive content

Promoting your cause is not a race that ends with your posters hung or you social media posts posted.  You already know it’s a marathon that requires you to keep pace with your target audience by keeping your target audience connected to you.

Get interactive. Invite your audience to share their story on your website, post an audience survey on your facebook page, or host a live Q&A on Twitter to strengthen your connection and further promote your charity or non-profit.

And let’s not forget the star of interactive media, the blog. Blogging is inherently interactive because it keeps your target audience interested, whilst keeping you aware of how your target audience is responding to your promotional messages.  Most blogging platforms, like WordPress, are easy to use, and inexpensive to run.  Especially when you’ve used do-it-yourself digital marketing tools to create graphics and video.  Make sure that all your print and digital promotional materials direct your target audience to your blog, website, and social media channels.

Wrapping it up:

Nearly every charitable or non-profit organization starts small. Nearly everyone is short on time and money. The important thing is to look for resources and tools that will help you create a great impact, regardless of your time and money constraints.

Websites like PosterMyWall enable you to quickly and easily promote your charitable or non-profit mission without exhausting your budget or requiring marketing skills not in your toolkit. Use unique design tools, print and video templates to create professional, and inspiring marketing that raise awareness for your cause and connects you with your audience. Browse our new Social Issues Category, or check out our Fundraising Templates and customize for your campaigns now.

Remember – We are always here to help you help those that need it most!