5 Steps to Building a Nonprofit Campaign

Nonprofit campaigns require a great deal of planning and care. Take these 5 steps into consideration to help ensure all that work pays off. Social media will undoubtedly play a key role in your campaign. For inspiration on how to engage your audience, read our ebook on creating great content for your social channels.

Launching a successful nonprofit marketing campaign is no easy task. Marketing teams within nonprofit organizations are often challenged to raise awareness, donor interest, and funds with limited time and resources.

Sound familiar?

Fortunately, there are a plethora of marketing tactics at your disposal to help your organization achieve your goals and then some. Today we’re covering the 5 steps to building a nonprofit campaign all while raising awareness and inspiring action.

1. Develop a Compelling Call to Action (CTA)

Nonprofit organizations are on a mission to change the world one initiative at a time. In order to do so, nonprofits need a clear message and compelling call to action that attracts donors, supporters, influencers, and volunteers alike.

Stop the Money Pipeline is a great example of a nonprofit that has created a compelling CTA that their target audience can’t ignore:

The CTA is:

  • Descriptive
  • Informative
  • Urgent
  • Creative

Think of your call to action as a way to grab people’s attention in less than 2 seconds. In other words, if you had to dwindle your entire organization’s mission down into just a few words, what would it be?

2. Get to Know Your Audience

Nonprofits, similar to colleges and universities, have a variety of audiences that they might be targeting at any given time.

This makes it critical to tailor your marketing strategy to each of these audiences individually because each key group will react differently to various messages.

For example, GlobalGiving has created an “Explore Projects” section where visitors can discover causes and funds that they most care about. This allows GlobalGiving to build awareness around specific initiatives while continuing to grow their overall organization.

One easy way to easily organize your different audiences is by using audience insight reports. You can do a deep-dive into the audiences that are driving the biggest results for your organization and double down on those efforts.

3. Experiment with Visual Storytelling

Nonprofit marketing campaigns without compelling visuals is a combination waiting to fail. Successful campaigns include both engaging editorial copy and eye-catching visual content. One of the best ways to create something that people will remember is through visual storytelling.

Visual storytelling involves communicating a ton of information – branding, messaging, call to action, and more – within one simple photo or video for audiences to easily digest. Take The Movember Foundation, for example. They create a 1 minute 18 second video to describe to viewers what their organization is all about:

What is Movember?

Their website is chalked with beautiful imagery that only helps to strengthen their brand message.

Visuals are intrinsically linked with deep human emotions. And visual storytelling is a powerful tool in generating the right emotions in your audience that will motivate them to act immediately.

4. Harness the Power of Social Media

When you mix the power of social media with the world-changing missions of nonprofits, you get a combination with unlimited potential impact. Not only does social media marketing have the potential to reach millions of people, but it provides nonprofit organizations with the ability to showcase their brand personalities and engage with followers and supporters.

The World Wildlife Fund is connecting with their followers across social media by sharing ideas of how to celebrate Earth Hour 2020 from the comfort of their own homes. A perfect example of a brand that understands that unique times call for creative campaigns:

The list of ways to use social media for your nonprofit is endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Share news about your organization and cause
  • Promote a fundraising campaign
  • Recruit volunteers and employees
  • Share stories about successful donors and constituents

5. Perfect Your Email Drip Campaign

Email is one of the few marketing channels that your organization actually owns, which makes it an important tactic to connect with current supporters and activate new ones. Furthermore, email marketing can help you:

  • Develop a loyal donor base
  • Expand your reach to new supporters
  • Drive more donations to your organization

Most importantly, email is one of the best tools to effectively retain donors by staying top of mind. Automate follow up emails to let your donors know how their gift has made an impact. You can take this a step further by segmenting this list based on when they gave, how they gave, and how much. This will increase the emotional tie to your organization and make your donor feel like they truly made a difference.