10 Sep 2018

Marketing for a Good Cause: 4 Strategies for Non-Profits

In an over-populated digital modern world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for non-profit organisations to stand out and get noticed. Marketing teams are tasked with the ever-harder marketing challenge of running a successful and lucrative marketing campaign for an organisation that lacks the funds to pay for it. Luckily, there are some tried and tested tactics for amplifying marketing strategies for non-profits that we’ve come across.

Donor persona

While this may sound like a fancy term, it’s actually pretty simple. Know your audience. Take some time to research who your donors are or are most likely to be, get to know the persona of your donors and then use that information to formulate the best ways in which to communicate and engage your donor base. It’s a lot harder to communicate effectively if you aren’t sure who it is you’re talking to and what ways will best work to engage them in what you’re trying to say. Personalising your communications with your potential donors can go a long way in developing a good relationship with your target audience.

Infographics, videos & testimonials

These are all incredibly powerful weapons in any marketing team’s arsenal, especially for non-profits. Infographics can be useful for relaying statistics to an audience that may not be susceptible or easily able to digest large swathes of text or research findings. They’re also eye-catching and highly shareable across social media platforms. Videos are easily shared and combine audio and visual to create a powerful message to the target audience, often most effective if they manage to elicit an emotional response and hit on an audience’s moral responsibility. Testimonials stand as a good character reference to the validity and honesty of any organisation or company, allowing the audience to build a better relationship with the organisation and drive up future donations and donor loyalty.

Utilise social media

  • In the digital age we live in, this one probably seems to go without saying, however there are some social media tools that not many non-profits know about or use which could be invaluable to the success of their marketing campaign.
  • Facebook “donate now” button – Since 2015 Facebook has allowed non-profit organisations to add a “donate now” button to their page to allow users to easily locate how to donate to a worthy cause, driving up donations for those causes they select. The button was first used in April 2015 to raise funds for the Nepal Earthquake survivors, leading to $17 million being raised by Facebook users alone. Non-profit organisations can add the button to their Facebook page by editing the “call to action” button found on the home page of their non-profit Facebook page. Once you provide the link to your websites donation page, potential donors will be able to easily locate how and where to donate to the non-profit organisation as soon as they click on their Facebook page.
  • Promote your best content – yes, this one may require some money, however if budgeted correctly, it can more than pay for itself. The most important aspect of any social media post is its visibility. How is your post going to gain visibility and what can you do to increase that visibility? Your content isn’t going to magically find its way onto your target audiences news feed, sometimes it needs a little push. The best way to achieve this is through sponsored ads that are targeted at certain types of audiences. We all know that Facebook has a lot of information on its users, including purchasing behaviour and household composition. Whilst controversial to many, this information can be a useful tool in targeting your content. Costing as little as $5/£3 per day, layered audience targeting and life events targeting can aid a non-profit by building up a custom audience to target. For example, Facebook allows organisations to target an audience who make a certain salary, live in a certain zip code, have a certain job or even have a certain number of children. Once an organisation has a clear view of its donor persona, this type of sponsored advertised targeting becomes extremely powerful. Custom audience targeting also allows organisations to upload a list of their current donors or customers and exclude them from viewing the sponsored advertisement that they pay to push, avoiding wasted clicks and increasing engagement from a new audience.

Cause marketing

Cause marketing is a marketing strategy that is being increasingly used by non-profits across the globe to increase their engagement and consumer attention. Cause marketing is when a non-profit organisation partners up with a business or company to run a campaign to raise money for a particular cause. The first cause marketing campaign began in the 1980s when American Express partnered up with non-profit group, The Restoration Fund, who set out to raise money to restore the Statue of Liberty. American Express was to donate a percentage of each purchase made through its credit card to the cause, as well as a further donation for every new application received that led to a new credit card user. This resulted in over $1.7 million being donated to the Fund, with American Express card use increasing by 27%. Cause marketing is so popular as it benefits all parties involved; the non-profit receives much-needed funds, business not only see’s an increase in sales or usage but also achieves a positive reputation for having demonstrated social responsibility, while the consumer feels good for having spent their money more responsibly.

Similar success stories of the use of cause marketing can be seen littered across the past few decades, including the (Red) Campaign which raised money for the Global Fund for AIDs/HIV prevention by partnering up with Gap and Apple. With consumers increasingly deciding to take on social responsibility and put their money where their hearts are, cause marketing is a fantastic tool that any non-profit should consider utilizing in the future.

At Don’t Panic, we don’t just talk the talk – we’re busy walking the walk too. To see our work, click here, or if you’re after an attention-grabbing campaign of your own, click here.