There are plenty of marketing strategies that are effective and easy on the budget.

Choosing cost-effective marketing strategies for promoting your nonprofits volunteer and donor opportunities can be challenging.  There are many avenues that can be used to promote opportunities so it can be hard to identify which strategy makes the most logistical sense for your organization.

What works for one nonprofit may not work for another so you should base your decisions ultimately on what strategies are going to best reach your target prospects.  The best way to achieve the goal of understanding your prospects and how to reach them is to create volunteer and donor persona’s and analyze this data for patterns.  You will also want to decide what your goal is when advertising to your prospects.

In today’s blog post we will examine three low-cost marketing strategies that your nonprofit may want to explore further.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is the process of targeting and attracting website traffic organically in the SERPs (search engine results page).  Nonprofits can use SEO techniques to identify keywords that prospects are searching for and optimize content to rank in the search results.

SEO is a great strategy for nonprofits who are on a budget and cannot afford to invest heavily in paid advertising techniques.  Keep in mind that SEO takes a substantial time commitment, and is a process that does not end.  Once you’re nonprofit optimize a keyword for first page results you must work on maintaining your position.

Here are a few techniques to keep in mind when crafting an SEO strategy for your nonprofit:

  • Develop and post content that is meaningful to your prospects
  • Take the time to conduct keyword research and identify keywords your prospects are searching for (don’t guess)
  • Set up an internal process for reviewing keyword position changes
  • Create both internal and external links to your content
  • Ask influencers in your industry to create backlinks to your content (Sometimes you just need to ask)
  • Analyze and improve technical SEO (site speed, broken links, redirects, missing attributes)
  • Optimize site images for SEO using alt tags

If you would like to learn more about the fundamentals of SEO or marketing strategies to take your SEO to new levels check out the helpful tips available on Search Engine Land.


Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is another low-cost strategy that nonprofits can use to increase brand exposure, promote CTA’s, and build a following.  Did you know that on average nonprofits only allocate ¼ of one full-time employee to manage their social media efforts?

In order to be successful on social media, your nonprofit will have to commit and allocate time to reap success.

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when crafting a social media strategy for your nonprofit:

  • Create your strategy based on your organization’s goals (what do you want to accomplish)
  • Get internal buy-in from your organization’s executive team
  • Find a way to leverage your organizations thought leaders on your social profiles
  • Tell stories about people, not your organization on social
  • Build your social media strategy with engagement in mind
  • Make content easy to digest and share
  • Be authentic
  • Develop a process to track, monitor, and optimize your social campaigns
  • Create a process for reputation management
  • Make your brand approachable and ask your audience for their opinions and thoughts

Here are a few social media platforms that your nonprofit may want to leverage in your social media strategy (You will want to create a unique strategy and approach for engaging with audiences across platforms):

Facebook – Build an audience quickly and drive off-platform conversion.

Pinterest – Focus efforts on storytelling by using visual content to attract prospects.

Twitter – Use hashtags to target specific audience groups.

LinkedIn – Create unique content with a professional tone to attract decision makers and corporate funding.

Google Plus – Integrate your social media content with your other Google products (Gmail, Google Places).  This platform is ideal for localization.


Email Marketing

Marketing has taken a shift over the last few years.  We hear a lot about inbound marketing strategies and less about outbound.  Outbound strategies like email marketing are still some of the most effective advertising avenues in the nonprofit sector.  A recent study found that 88% of nonprofits said that their most important communication tool currently is email.

Here are a few very interesting statistics about email marketing in 2017:

  • Emails that incorporated social sharing increased CTR by 158%
  • Checking email remains the most popular activity on smartphones for users 18-44
  • 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices
  • Emails sent on Mondays have the highest open rates, on average (13.3%)
  • Emails that incorporate personalization received 26% more opens

As you can see from the data points above email marketing is far from dead in 2017.

Email like every other marketing channel is evolving.  Automation, personalization, and mobilization are three variables that you will want to incorporate into your email marketing strategy in 2017 for optimal success.

Here are a few tips for creating mobile-optimized email campaigns:

  • Use a responsive email marketing template for all campaigns
  • Limit email copy and make content easy to digest
  • Put your CTA front and center and make it obvious as to what you want recipients to do
  • Limit the number of images used in the email campaign
  • Utilize buttons for your email CTA’s
  • Make font sizes large and easy to read across devices


Check out “Email Campaign Tips to Take Your Nonprofit Marketing to New Heights



There are plenty of low-cost ways that your nonprofit can increase brand exposure, reach your target prospects, and build a community of followers.  SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing are just three of many strategies that your nonprofit may want to explore.

Regardless of what marketing strategies you’re nonprofit choose you will want to consistently measure and analyze the success of your strategies.

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