As we inch closer to the end of the year, your nonprofit organization may be doing a deep dive into the progress you’ve made this year. With fall approaching, there are still many opportunities for fundraising events, holiday donations, and seasonal campaigns. Our 4 Nonprofit Marketing Strategies for Fall Growth will improve your ability to reach your year-end goals
With so much on your plate, are you looking for a more streamlined way for your nonprofit to grow through the end of the year and beyond?
We’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled a list of 4 marketing strategies that nonprofits can focus on over these next few months:
- Use social media for storytelling.
- Run hybrid events.
- Utilize the Google Ad Grant.
- Refresh your website.
While these are simple tips, let’s get into the details of how to implement each of these the right way to see results.
1. Use social media for storytelling.
One advantage nonprofits have on social media is a continuous supply of authentic content and meaningful stories. While each platform presents unique challenges with organic reach, nonprofits have an advantage. You can have the audience engagement of a creator and the large following of a business.
As a nonprofit organization, your followers want to see your large-scale impact, small victories, and inspiring stories. You can maintain a consistent presence and keep them updated with regular posts. Social media gives your organization an excellent opportunity for storytelling to grow support for your mission.
The convenience of Instagram reels and TikTok videos allows you to create bite-sized content easily. Videos are important because the majority of social media users are continuing to engage more with video content over other forms of content.
Your audience might tune in regularly to your Instagram reels for updates on a specific life story they’ve begun following. Or they may want to follow along in your nonprofit’s journey as you overcome hardships. With an extensive library of available music, you can evoke emotion with your videos.
For example, a farm animal sanctuary gained significantly more followers after sharing its difficult time relocating all of its residents to safety ahead of wildfires. Another nonprofit went viral when they shared an on-trend funny video, “Things people have said to me about rescuing senior dogs.”
When these nonprofits shared their stories, this elicited strong emotions from their audience. This caused them to be shared over and over, contributing to their success.
Short-form video content is essential for reaching non-followers to grow your account and gain more support for your mission. For platforms that support both photo and video content, such as Instagram, the algorithm is favoring video content above all else. This makes spreading awareness for your mission through video more possible than ever.
With so much competition and shortening attention spans, it can be challenging to get important information across to your audience quickly. People tend to avoid large bodies of text and often don’t have enough time to read it all.
Consider presenting educational or statistical information in the form of infographics. You can use simple templates and design features on design tools like Canva to summarize your information and present it in a more visually appealing way.
For example, a colorful infographic showing “5 Sustainability Hacks” will likely have much more engagement than a long caption or plain bulleted list.
If you create infographics for Instagram or Facebook, you can also use them within a blog post discussing that topic. Remember that infographic images give your blog additional ways to be found under Google images for those keywords.
Don’t forget your growing Gen Z audience
Discussing social media wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Generation Z (people born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s).
As many in this generation have reached young adulthood, they bring a combination of concern for important causes and a take-action attitude. This is a highly valuable audience for your nonprofit social media presence.
Gen Z grew up in the digital era. Therefore, they may have high expectations for brevity and tech-friendly content. While this generation can be a challenging audience to capture, it’s worth the effort.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Gen Z, they aren’t afraid to stand up for the issues they care about. Many of them are highly creative and can bring a fresh take to your organization as volunteers and collaborators.
We recommend you consider asking your Gen Z employees or volunteers their opinion on marketing designs, blog posts, and campaigns. You might be surprised by the insight they bring. It is essential to have a solid grasp of who your social media audience is, and this will be increasing numbers of Gen Z moving forward. If you haven’t already, the time to get to know them is now!
Use your insights
Be sure to regularly check your insights to better understand your follower audience. This will guide the timing and content types for your status updates. Pay attention to the days/times your followers are most active, their time zone, and age demographics.
This information allows you to experiment with the best posting times to reach the highest engagement. Use music and trends that align best with the age of your existing and target audience.
Since you’ll likely have a mixture of demographics, try posting a variety of short and longer content. For example, your Gen Z and young Millennial audience might engage more with an eight-second video posted at night with trending audio. Your other audiences might engage more with a twenty to a forty-second-long video posted in the morning with classic songs.
Review your post insights to learn what resonates with your audience. Since these metrics will differ for every nonprofit, check your insights regularly to determine what is best for your organization and time zone.
2. Run hybrid events.
Offer virtual options for your in-person events. There are still many people who are reluctant to attend potentially crowded events. Some are restricting their outings due to the pandemic dragging on and the potential cold/flu season of the winter ahead.
How do you convert in-person events into hybrid events?
The key is proper organization. Have one to two dedicated team members responsible for handling the virtual aspect of your event. They’ll host a live video on social media that you promoted before the event. You can also record this to share with additional audiences afterward.
Additionally, you should provide a decent live view of the main activities. The team member(s) can stay present with your audience throughout the event. For best results, provide a live chat and answer audience questions. Preferably, your main speaker should be an approachable person who is comfortable presenting and knowledgeable about your event’s goals.
Engage your virtual audience
Ask the audience questions like, “Where are you streaming from today? How did you hear about our event? What do you guys think we should do for our next fundraiser?”
Be sure to thank them for participating in your event and engaging with you. Towards the end of the live presentation, plant a seed for the next event by announcing when/what it will be and how to attend.
Don’t forget the call-to-action
You should also include a call-to-action before ending the live video, such as “Sign up for our newsletter or blog if you want to see more of our activities and hear about future events. If you aren’t following us on “x” social media platform yet, be sure to do so. We post “x content” every week!
3. Utilize the Google Ad Grant.
Whether you currently have the Google Ad Grant or still need to apply, let’s discuss how it can be a game changer for your marketing strategy.
What is the Google Ad Grant?
Short on time? Check out this 5-minute video where our CEO, Grant Hansel, explains how the Google Ad Grant works and what it means for you!
Google Ad Grants provide eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in ad credits monthly to spend on ads. These are the ads that appear in Google searches. This program was created by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s former COO, to help nonprofits reach larger audiences and grow their impact.
Since the Google Ad Grant is designed specifically for nonprofits, all organizations that qualify are awarded the grant. If you haven’t taken this step yet, click here to learn more about qualifications.
Why is it worth the time?
With the Google Ad Grant, you can improve your marketing reach in these ways:
- Attract more website visitors
- Reach those who need you most
- Recruit volunteers
- Track campaign progress through data
- Gain new supporters of your mission
- Market multiple priorities simultaneously
You already have the grant
If you are already utilizing the Google Ad Grant and want to see more results, you can try improving your ads. To make your ads successful, run three-to five campaigns since more could prove challenging to manage.
We recommend keeping your ad groups focused. Be intentional by using closely-related keywords in your campaign for targeted phrases. Also, try experimenting with different headlines and descriptions, using as much of the character limit as possible.
Additionally, maintaining compliance and monitoring performance are important factors for seeing long-term results. For more tips, read our recommended tips for getting the most out of your Google Grant.
Get some help with your grant
Overwhelmed by all the processes? We all know that feeling. Consider professional Google Ad Grant management to maximize your success. Since specialists know the ins and outs of the Google Grant, partnering with a grant management team can take the stress away.
4. Refresh your website.
While the importance of having an up-to-date website is no secret, audiences have come to expect a lot from websites as the user experience has improved. You can be ahead of the game by tweaking a few items to increase readability and navigation.
What makes your web pages easy to read? Take a look at your font, sentence structure, white space, paragraph length, and contrast. These factors can either come together nicely for a great first impression, or they can hurt your click-through rate.
- Font. Select a font that is easy to read and modern. Unless a readable Serif font is part of your Nonprofit’s style, Sans-Serif fonts have a higher success rate for readability. Additionally, experts recommend that text-heavy pages have a font size be at least 16px. In general, anything smaller than that could compromise readability for visually impaired readers. Anything too much larger could also make reading more difficult.
- Sentence structure. While sentences may be grammatically correct, they can still be difficult to read. Try using a mixture of short and long sentences. Use transitional phrases. Choose those moments when you want to get right to the point and those moments when it’s important to be more specific.
Using a service like Grammarly can be very helpful. However, you don’t have to take every Grammarly suggestion or change your writing too much. These tools are becoming increasingly intuitive, but only you know the intention behind what you are writing. You may not need to change it!
- White space. In her book, The Non-Designer’s Design Book, Robin Williams says:
“Don’t be afraid to create your Design (or your life) with plenty of blank space- it’s rest for the eyes (and the Soul).” We couldn’t agree more!
From a web design perspective, white space is important for readability. By strategically placing extra space, you can emphasize essential points and make your site scannable for your reader.
- Paragraph length. Closely partnered with white space, it’s important to look at paragraph length too. While many of us were taught to avoid large blocks of text, the new standard for paragraph length forces us to break even some of our most traditional rules.
These are style rules taught in school, such as keeping text that covers a central subject in one paragraph. Although this makes sense for academic writing, it may be best to break up larger paragraphs to encourage readers to stick with you on the web.
- Contrast. Keep your contrast high on each web page. While some colors complement each other well, remember that text needs to be opposite the background. Pair light with dark consistently for text and background.
Here is a quick checklist for optimal website navigation:
- Social media links on the home page
- Concise menu
- Mobile friendly
- Optimized for searchability
- Minimal to no pop-ups
- Good download efficiency
- “Back-to-top” & “Main Menu” buttons
Make your social media icons very easy to find on your website’s home page. Double-check to ensure that you don’t have broken links.
We also recommend checking the “open in a different tab” option when adding your social media icons. This will open the social media platform up in a separate tab, making it easier for users to click right back over to continue viewing your website.
Get ready for Fall
We intentionally narrowed down this list of marketing strategies to only four, as these are ways that we’ve seen Nonprofits grow faster near the end of the year. Since we work with many amazing organizations, we know that time is precious when you are trying to make an impact. Think of each strategy as one way to get new visitors to learn about your organization, visit your website, and stay on your site long enough to take action.
At Nonprofit Megaphone, we understand that managing the grant to see results can be time-consuming for nonprofits. That’s why we currently manage over 48 million in ad dollars for nonprofits and have a 100% success rate in acquiring the Grant. Connect with us to learn more!