January is the time to build on the momentum from year-end donations and lay a strong marketing foundation to guide your nonprofit in 2014. It’s time to thank year-end donors, unveil new initiatives and identify opportunities for constituents to support your cause without lending financial support.
A new year offers new opportunities for constituents to engage with your cause, be it serving as a volunteer, becoming a brand ambassador or organizing a day of corporate volunteerism. While each makes a meaningful impact on the organization, none require financial support. It’s about engaging folks before they hit the bottom of the “sales funnel.”
As your nonprofit launches its 2014 marketing initiatives, consider these four key opportunities to increase engagement and impact:
In their own words…
How would a volunteer describe their experience interacting with your organization’s clients? What motivates donors to respond to your annual appeal? Why do community leaders proudly voice support for your cause? Motivators are far from universal, and hearing directly from clients, donors, volunteers and other constituents is a powerful way for target audiences to develop a deeper understanding of and strong connection to the cause. Whether delivered through video, radio PSA, newsletter article, Facebook anecdote and so on, each of these stories can strengthen and enhance your nonprofit marketing campaign in 2014.
Familiar with the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Leverage this truism with compelling photography and videography that demonstrates organizational impact and heightens constituents’ connections to the cause. Be it a taped interview with a longtime supporter or photos from an annual gala, community fundraiser or everyday program, these visual marketing materials can enhance everything from an e-newsletter to a Facebook post or annual appeal campaign. Identify opportunities that lend added value through visual marketing, and repurpose visual content without diluting the impact.
At times, it can be difficult for nonprofits to identify the “need to know” and the “nice to know” for each and every target audience. Enter online surveys, phone interviews and other tools for collecting target audience feedback.
Something as simple as deploying a short, five-question electronic survey can collect valuable supporter feedback while clearly demonstrating the value a nonprofit places on its audiences’ input. Use this feedback to guide everything from e-newsletter content to annual appeal hooks during the year ahead.
It’s not just about what your nonprofit accomplished during 2013 or your ambitious vision for the year ahead – it’s about the role that each and every donor, be they corporate or individual, has played and will play in helping your organization to achieve its strategic goals. Position your organization’s communications – be they e-blasts, appeal letters or the like – in terms of the role recipients (and target audiences) played in helping you to get where you are and achieve what you achieved.
The key to increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit marketing is to consistently demonstrate a strong understanding of target audiences’ “buyer” personas along with an appreciation of the time, money and resources that constituents lend to your cause throughout the year. By acknowledging these key players contributions and answering “what’s in it for me,” nonprofits can develop and implement strategic marketing communications campaigns that garner donations, secure community/corporate partners, quantify need and demonstrate impact.
An updated nonprofit marketing plan is key to success. Our free whitepaper can help you get started with building a nonprofit communications plan.