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7 Proven Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits

No matter what size your nonprofit is, you want to make the most of your resources. The more people you can reach and engage for the lowest amount of money, the bigger the impact you can make. That’s why it pays to stay abreast of what marketing strategies are successful for other organizations and see if they’ll work for your nonprofits. 

If you’re looking to enhance your organization’s marketing plan this year, these tried-and-tested marketing tactics for nonprofits are a good place to start. 

1. Optimize for mobile 

These days, supporters engage with nonprofits using a wide variety of devices. If they’re opening an email appeal on their phone or trying to navigate your donation page on their tablet, you want to make sure they have the same experience that they would if they were using a computer. If pictures are cut off or the navigation is clunky and unintuitive, they may become frustrated and give up before making their gift. Try visiting pages on your own devices to see how they look 

2. Leverage video content 

They say an image is worth a thousand words—but a video may be worth even more. Video content is dynamic and eye-catching, standing out on people’s social media feeds and helping you bring your nonprofit’s story to life. And you don’t need a whole production crew to make something meaningful: most modern phones can capture high-quality video. You may even be able to trim the footage directly on your phone, eliminating the need for expensive editing software. 

3. Encourage sharing

One of the best ways to get the word out to as many people as possible is to encourage others to pitch in. By making content that people want to share with their friends and networks, like an uplifting video, you can dramatically increase your organic reach. But don’t be afraid to directly ask followers to help share important content when you post it—after all, they support your nonprofit and want to help. Tagging staff and volunteers in photos they’re featured in or simply to say thank you for everything they do also increases the likelihood that they’ll share. 

4. Make your content go further

There are lots of different channels through which your nonprofit can reach people, from email to social media to direct mail. You don’t want to overwhelm your team by tackling too much at once, so consider leveraging the same messaging across multiple channels. For example, if you create a video for your social media profiles, you could also include this in your next newsletter. Or, if you’re sending an email to supporters to promote an upcoming event, consider editing and expanding on this slightly to turn it into a blog post. The chances that people will see the same content in multiple places are slim—and even if they do, they’ll recognize that your organization has limited resources and just wants to spread the word. 

5. A/B test your email campaigns 

A/B testing is a strategy that allows you to compare different versions of an email to see which one generates the best results for your organization. The key is to only test one element at a time, like the subject line, call-to-action, or header image—otherwise, you won’t be able to say with any degree of certainty what change made the difference. Create comparable sample groups, with one group receiving version A and the other version B, then measure your results from each group. If one version does significantly better, you can use that knowledge to make your campaigns even stronger. 

6. Tie it back to current events

Whenever possible, look for ways to meaningfully connect the dots between the critical work your organization is doing and things happening in the world. This makes your work feel more urgent, helping people grasp the importance of your mission and spurring them to take action. Highlight the top-of-mind issue in your email subject lines to make the message instantly stand out in supporters’ inboxes, and use relevant hashtags to enable people looking for information about the event to discover your nonprofit and learn how they can help.

7. Keep it personal

Calling someone by their name is a great way to grab their attention. If you’re emailing a previous donor, you already have their details and can address them in a warm and familiar manner, but what about if you’re trying to attract new supporters? On LinkedIn, you can create dynamic ads that are automatically tailored to each member who sees them, based on their profile data. Their ad may be personalized with their name, job title, and even their profile picture—encouraging them to stop scrolling and see what you’re trying to tell them. 

To learn more about marketing your nonprofit on LinkedIn, contact our Nonprofit Marketing Solutions team. 

Get the word out about your mission with LinkedIn for Nonprofits