In the business world, non-profits face challenges that are sometimes different from their for-profit counterparts. Two of the largest issues are the lack of both time and money. Limited budgets, often coupled with busy staff and volunteers, can make getting the word out about your cause challenging to say the least! In this post, we’ll go over some tips to stretch your marketing dollars in the most time-effective way possible. Here’s how you do it:

Here’s how you do it:

Ensure that your website is current. Too many non-profit organizations neglect their website, which is a mistake. In today’s increasingly digital world, optimizing your website for the myriad of different-sized screens out there is paramount. If you’re not sure how to do this, we can help.

Survey donors. Donors are an important part of your organization, so it’s important to query them regularly. Ask them why they contribute to your organization, how they feel about your logo, what their opinion was of the last fundraising event they attended, etc. As with for-profit companies, retention is cheaper than acquisition; keeping current donors costs less than finding new ones. Getting feedback from existing donors and creating actionable plans to implement said feedback should be a priority.

Leverage the power of social media. Social media platforms are useful not only for broadcasting your organization and advertising your fundraisers, but also to connect with people interested in the larger cause that your organization represents. People on social media join together as part of a larger cause. This is evidenced by the numerous hashtags centered around events such as #BringBackOurGirls, #JeSuisCharlie, and #BlackLivesMatter, just to name a few. That being said, don’t just jump on the hashtag bandwagon without a plan. Be authentic and true to your core mission first.

Create a donation contest. As much as we would like to think that people donate simply out of pure altruism, that’s not always the case. Many times, individuals want something to show for their outlay of cash. This can be something as simple as a T-shirt or bumper sticker with your logo on it, or the opportunity to be entered in a sweepstakes for a larger prize.

Make it easy for people to get involved. It’s nice to think that we’ll travel to a third-world country to help bring clean water to those who need it, but the reality is that most of us have responsibilities prohibiting that sort of thing. However, getting volunteers to speak on behalf of your organization is a lot more practical for both you and them. The internet allows for people to express their feelings about your cause, and to get their friends and family involved. It’s your job to inspire them to do so, and it’s easier than it sounds. Present online volunteering as an opportunity for supporters to get involved in your cause and make a difference from behind their keyboards, while putting their own personal spin on it.

Tap into volunteers’ skillsets. Donations don’t always have to come in the form of time or money. Instead of asking people to spend an afternoon picking up trash along the highway, why not survey your audience and see who would be willing to create a poster for your next fundraising event? Most people want to use their talents and skills to make a difference, and this allows them to do so. These skills can also be used to raise money; i.e. hold an auction where people can donate their skillsets such as landscaping, cooking, web design, and more. This has the two-fold benefit of raising money and helping people who donate their skills to feel more connected to your organization.

Do you have a marketing idea for non-profits? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment, or get in touch with us on social media.

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via  Facebook or Twitter

About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]