Keys To Maximizing Limited Marketing Budgets For Exposure

Volunteers at a nonprofit event help with the tasks associated with the work and daily functions of the event.
Maximizing ROI on your marketing campaigns is essential for nonprofit growth.

Nonprofit organizations work to improve the common good of society through charitable, educational, or religious means. Currently, there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. alone. Still, nonprofits struggle to meet their goals of reaching all who they can reach.

Despite nonprofit organizations serving millions of people worldwide, nonprofits almost universally suffer from one major hurdle: insufficient funds. Nonprofit organizations typically rely on donations from generous supporters of their mission, and doing so puts feelings of strain on the giver. See, nonprofit organizations and the workers within are the unnoticed heroes of society, but without marketing, they are invisible.

The solution is to maximize the efficiency of the marketing budget to increase exposure and drive results. If nonprofit organizations rely on donations for expansion and marketing results, then the money raised must respect the donor’s generosity and loyalty to the organization. With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. alone, the choice of donation must be honored with continued support and value from the organization. There must be an advancement or progression within the organization to prove the donations are valuable.

Nonprofits are in the business of giving and helping to society, but they must continue to answer the WIFM (What’s in it for me) for the loyal patrons that donate. It’s important to take a step back and remember that although nonprofits operate different than typical for-profits and businesses, they fundamentally rely on the same principles of customer psychology.

Nonprofits Need Quality Copywriting For Exposure

Nonprofits Have Limited Budgets To Get The Job Done.

In-person budget meeting in the marketing department of a nonprofit organization.
Outsourcing your company’s copywriting lets you focus on other aspects of the business.

Quality copywriting, even in for-profit organizations, startups, and small businesses, can be difficult to secure with a reasonable budget. Business owners and heads of marketing departments may attempt to get the job accomplished within the organization, but this is often a mistake. See, copywriting is a special skill that is different from standard writing. Typical writing seeks to inform, explain, and entertain, while copywriting is designed to get the reader to take a specific action. This must be done with finesse, and cannot appear to be salesy.

The key to getting great copy for your nonprofit is to outsource the task.

Just as vocational professionals know you need the right tool for the right job, professional marketers and copywriters know when to bring in a specialist for very specific tasks with a desired outcome. Hiring a freelance copywriter is essential for expanding your nonprofit because of their ability to turn words into cash by driving sign-ups, increasing brand awareness, and maintaining customer retention through the use of targeted marketing campaigns. Professional copywriters help nonprofits with more than just their website copy; digital marketing elements from traditional businesses are used and expanded on as well:

  • Email Marketing- Your email list is your money, and the fortune is in the follow-up. Email marketing also has the best ROI for your business. The average email marketing ROI is $44 for every $1 spent. This is because email marketing is personal and customizable, and action oriented. Plus, everyone has a smartphone nowadays.
  • Landing Page Design– Your landing page is what your client sees when they have clicked off a page to see your brand. When someone clicks on a landing page, they have been interrupted from what they were doing because your page grabbed their attention. Now you have a one-on one conversation to sell them on an offer. Your landing page must be optimized for maximum conversion rate.
  • Google Ads– Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is an online advertising platform where users “bid” on keywords to display brief textual and video ads placed in front of users. For a display ad, advertisers have 30 characters for headlines and 90 for descriptions.
  • Blog Posts– Posting regularly about your nonprofit and its impactful activities keeps your readers in the loop and informed on how their donations are helping their supported organizations and using resources for the greater good.
  • Press releases– Great accomplishments deserve recognition and awards in the form of patronage. Speaking events, volunteer days, and fundraising goals can be discussed. This can also be added to social media sites for increased exposure.
  • Social Media Content- Everyone is on social media and having a presence helps you connect and interact with your ideal clients. 57% of users who watch nonprofit videos online decide to make a donation and many more continue to pledge allegiance to their cause.

As you can see, quality copywriting is essential to increasing brand exposure and keeping patrons included in all steps of the marketing process. Just as you cannot immediately ask for a sale in traditional marketing, you cannot just ask for donations to a specific cause. The client must be informed, emotionally moved, and kept updated for the patron to continue to not only believe in, but support your cause. Again, there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. alone and you have to stand out to prove your organization is worth giving to, particularly during challenging times.

Nonprofits Get More Recruitment With Quality Copywriting

Nonprofits Mainly Rely On Volunteers To Accomplish Goals.

3 volunteers sitting beside each other at a nonprofit event to spread positivity and awareness.
Nonprofits frequently recruit volunteers to support activities in the organization.

Nonprofits are on a mission to change the world, and the more followers and supporters of positive organizations, the better. Nonprofits maximizing their reach by working together cohesively. This guarantees a positive change in the world. Therefore, strategic marketing with an innovative approach to target followers is a must. Copywriting is the silent catalyst in this mission, because the words are what make up the page. Just as an artist’s blank canvas is the next masterpiece, marketing content has the ability to become what the author desires. A well-planned message is what makes the difference between having a small following of infrequent donors to having a massive, involved, highly supportive audience that (digitally) stalks the nonprofit and wants to know what will happen next.

Here Are The Keys To Making This Happen.

Tell a Story About Your Nonprofit

Nonprofits are on a mission to change the world, and the audience should feel that sense of urgency when they see the organization. Without an intriguing backstory, your potential follower may support another organization that feels closer to home. Lets look at Boston Children’s Hospital. As opposed to saying “Donate to Boston Children’s today,” why not spice up the message with a case study detailing young James’s journey with Leukemia at 3 years old and how Boston Children’s was the most supportive, collaborative, and caring center that saved young James not only from cancer, but the worry during the steps as well. The latter paints a meaningful portrait in your mind that makes you want to be a part of Boston Children’s mission to save children from cancer.

Stay Involved In The Client Cycle

Email is the lifeblood of marketing, and should be incorporated in the client involvement process from start to finish. Email is where you have a chance to get personal with your client. Start with a lead magnet to get your client to subscribe to your list. You have to give value to get value. Now, you can continue to follow-up with your client with newsletters, articles, press releases, and eventually, opportunities to donate to the organization at chosen intervals. Email personalization let’s you use the reader’s first name in the email, which makes the email feel like a conversation between the nonprofit and the reader. Also, don’t forget to test your emails with AB testing to see which headlines work best. Digital marketing is based on data, so test, test, test, and test your copy to get the most ROI for the nonprofit.

Don’t Be Salesy Or Needy

People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to- they want to feel like they’re being given value in exchange for purchases or other target actions. This is why your copy must be personal and talk to the reader without demanding anything. Copywriting is sales in print, but is a more innovative approach that makes the sales process feel invisible. This incorporates the form of inbound marketing, which meets the customer where they’re at and keeps them coming back by providing value that will improve the life of the reader. Traditional marketing is outdated and uses pushy techniques that demand sales every step of the way to a point where it’s avoided. Inbound marketing makes the customer feel valued and appreciated by talking with them, as opposed to at them. This is key to gaining customer approval and making them involved in the process.

Don’t Address Everyone

“If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”

Is an old-but-gold saying that applies to all things marketing and should be employed in your marketing techniques. This is because we live in the age of distraction- social media ads, YouTube videos, homework, your side business… all that stuff has the ability to be super distracting. So you need to target, call out, and talk to that specific person in order for your marketing efforts to have successful meaning in the prospect’s life. Let’s not act like a billboard and scream out to everyone when they’re speeding by, but rather calmly converse with the client in a relateable manner so they can feel like they’ve made a friend. This way the prospect feels human and empowered and not just another object of sales that’s thrown away when used up. Use the word “you” in your copy, write headlines that will grab the reader’s attention, and provide content that will matter in the life of the consumer.

Be Transparent In Your Goals

This goes with establishing trust, but is especially important in the digital marketing efforts of a successful nonprofit. Repeatedly asking for donations, especially when a solid rapport hasn’t yet been developed, can appear sneaky and may turn the potential prospect away from your nonprofit entirely. When asking for donations, don’t simply ask for a dollar amount and leave it at that- be specific and purposeful by telling why you need a specific amount of money. People know nonprofits are not particularly lucrative businesses, so explain why you need a specific dollar amount with solid evidence and data to back up your claims. Doing so will allow you to humbly ask for a donation that may, for example, be used to buy new technology or purchase building renovations for the local center that you attend every Monday, which will then boost morale and make people feel good about where the money is going. People want to feel safe and secure with their money.

Talk How You Talk In Real Life

Two work professionals having a discussion while working at a nonprofit organization.
Imagine talking to your friend when you’re writing marketing materials.

Nonprofit copywriting doesn’t have to be rocket science: as a matter of fact, simplicity and the art of subtlety is what will make your copywriting speak directly to the client. This has been the recurring theme of this article, in that appearing salesy, pushy, and demanding is what will chase away donations and the buyers no matter how important the message of the organization is. Digital marketing and copywriting techniques have the power to make or break your client’s trust in your organization and how you’ll be seen in the future. Copy that is too academic, too complicated, or too exhausting to read will not make the reader think your smarter or more credible than other organizations; it will make the reader wonder what you could be trying to hide in the sea of digital marketing. Are you using the money for something else? Why does a great organization have to try so weirdly hard to get me to sign up? or why do I feel like this is another sales pitch when i’m scrolling through my phone? These are what the reader will think when they view your content. Good copywriting talks to the reader like a good friend- it relaxes the reader and puts them at ease and continues to provide value to the reader without being like other ads and marketing messages. Friend and ads are not synonymous and don’t feel the same. That’s the importance of conversational copywriting that talks the way normal people talk in everyday life.

Final Thoughts

I hope these tips help you when thinking about your digital marketing strategy for your nonprofit organization. Nonprofits can reach more people not by changing themselves, but rather adjusting their marketing strategies to use copywriting that is more appealing to the reader and makes them feel involved in the process from start to finish, and not just called upon when a donation is needed. This is what will make your organization stand out in a sea of other nonprofits who are all competing for your attention and donations. Think about the last place you donated to- what compelled you to do so? And how are you going to use this to adjust your copywriting strategies for your nonprofit?

I’m always here to help 🙂