Whether you’re seeking sponsorship, volunteer support, or joint marketing opportunities, establishing partnerships with businesses in your community is a powerful way to enhance your nonprofit’s impact. However, developing these partnerships can be challenging, time-consuming, and confusing without a strategic plan in place.
In this guide, we’ll explore four tips for connecting your nonprofit with local businesses. From identifying potential partners to creating win-win collaborations, these insights will help you build strong cross-sector relationships that support your mission and drive positive change.
1. Research and Identify Potential Partners
To identify potential partners in the community, a nonprofit can follow these steps:
Define your objectives. Nonprofits often seek partnerships when organizing a large-scale fundraising event, launching a community initiative, or implementing a specific program that requires additional financial resources and support.
Research local businesses. Conduct thorough research to identify businesses in the community. Utilize online directories, local business associations, chamber of commerce listings, and social media platforms to identify potential partners.
Ensure your values align. Evaluate the values, missions, and corporate social responsibility initiatives of the identified businesses. Look for businesses that have a natural connection or alignment with your cause or mission. For example, a dog daycare business would be an obvious match for an animal shelter since they have similar clients and services.
Reach out to the identified businesses to introduce your nonprofit and express interest in exploring a partnership. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings.
2. Establish Clear Benefits
As you connect with local businesses, introduce your mission and communicate the benefits of a partnership. These may include:
Community development: Partnering with a nonprofit allows businesses to contribute to community development and address social issues which can have a direct impact on their growth.
Elevated brand reputation. Collaborating with a nonprofit allows businesses to align themselves with a mission or social good cause, which can enhance their brand reputation and perception among customers, employees, and influencers in the community.
Increased brand awareness. Add the business’s contact information and logo to marketing materials like fundraising flyers, event invitations, and partnership-related emails to increase their brand visibility. Or, create a personalized video about your sponsor and post it to your social media pages.
Employee morale and engagement. Most employees value working for a socially responsible company. Creating matching gift programs, introducing volunteer opportunities, and sponsoring local nonprofits can improve their satisfaction.
Tax benefits. Businesses may be eligible for tax benefits or incentives when they donate or support nonprofit organizations. These financial incentives can provide a tangible benefit to the business, helping to offset costs or improve their bottom line.
Customize these benefits to suit the specific goals, needs, and sectors of the businesses you’re approaching. For example, a pet rescue organization might ask a dog trainer to financially support their upcoming adoption event. In return, the pet rescue will use Gingr’s pet business software to promote the dog trainer’s services, potentially leading to an influx of new customers.
3. Create Tailored Partnership Opportunities
Develop opportunities that cater to different types and sizes of businesses. Offer a range of options, such as:
Sponsorship opportunities: Sponsorships come in the form of financial or in-kind contributions. To incentivize larger gifts, Double the Donation’s guide to corporate sponsorships recommends creating tiered benefit packages that correlate to the level of support given. For instance, when you receive a donation of $10,000 or more, you might mention the business in a speech and display its logo on partnership-related materials. Businesses that give less than this might receive a social media shoutout instead.
Joint initiatives: A joint initiative is a collaboration between a nonprofit and a partner organization, in which both work to create a mutually beneficial event, program, or campaign. It involves pooling resources and networks to achieve a greater impact than either organization could achieve alone.
Employee engagement programs: Employee engagement programs focus on involving employees of a business or organization in volunteer activities, fundraising efforts, or other activities that support your nonprofit’s mission.
Research collaborations: Nonprofits and businesses might partner together to research studies or projects related to their missions. For example, an animal welfare organization might partner with a dog boarding business to research the safest, most effective accommodations.
After presenting a business with a partnership opportunity, gauge their interest and thank them for their consideration, regardless of their decision. That way, they will be left with a positive impression of your organization.
4. Demonstrate Impact
If a business agrees to be your partner, take notes throughout the partnership, making note of successes and areas of improvement.
Then, in your outreach, explain the impact that the partnership has made on your nonprofit and the community as a whole. Share success stories, testimonials, or data that highlight the tangible outcomes of your programs or initiatives. This builds credibility and instills confidence in other potential business partners, showing them how their involvement will make a difference.
Remember, connecting with local businesses requires building meaningful relationships based on shared values and mutual benefits. By taking a strategic and personalized approach, your nonprofit can form valuable partnerships that amplify your impact and strengthen the communities you serve.
https://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Gingr_NXUnite_Connecting-your-nonprofit-with-local-businesses_Feature.jpg375800wpenginehttps://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/NXUnite-by-nexus-marketing-White-3.svgwpengine2023-07-26 15:51:502023-07-26 16:05:284 Tips for Connecting Your Nonprofit With Local Businesses
Did you know that nonprofits raise $78 on average for every 1,000 fundraising messages sent out? That means that every marketing message counts, so your strategy needs to be digitally savvy to be effective. Additionally, you’ll need to use sustainable marketing tools to keep your efforts going. But, how does your nonprofit find the right digital marketing tools on a budget?
By using nonprofit-specialized marketing tools for free or at a discounted rate! This means you can promote your cause without overextending your resources. Compare it to shopping for discounts at your favorite store—a treasure hunt for the best finds at lowered prices. The key is knowing where to look.
In this guide, we’ve made your search easier by providing our top eighteen free or discounted nonprofit marketing tools in addition to some marketing budget guidelines. Here’s where we’re headed:
At NXUnite, we specialize in connecting nonprofits with resources to strengthen all of their operations. Marketing is a vital part of your nonprofit’s success because it’s how people find you, connect with you, and contribute to your organization’s impact. We understand that marketing can be difficult to manage on a small budget, that’s why we’re dedicated to providing you with useful resources like this guide to give your nonprofit an extra marketing edge.
Nonprofit Marketing Budget Considerations
Before we jump into our top marketing tools, let’s discuss some marketing budget considerations. After all, you need to know how much ad spending you should aim for to understand why discounted or free tools are worth researching.
Within the for-profit sector, it’s standard to determine your marketing budget by allocating 10-20% of projected gross revenues to marketing. As a nonprofit, you should plan to allocate 5-15% of your budget to marketing. The marketing channels you choose to invest in should be determined by your team to ensure they align with your organization’s goals and target audience.
Types of Nonprofit Marketing Tools
What are your options for nonprofit marketing tools? There’s a wide variety of platforms you can use. To simplify your search, we’ve narrowed them down to the following categories:
Search: Search tools aid in the promotion of your organization’s website through paid advertising or SEO optimization. They increase your online visibility and drive more traffic to your site.
Content: Content tools help you devise a strategic approach to creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience. There are several different forms of content marketing tools that can help you refine and schedule videos, photos, designs, articles, website pages, and blogs.
Social media: Social media tools leverage platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram to engage with your target audience and spread your organization’s mission.
Email: Email marketing tools help your organization establish a regular email cadence with supporters. Many platforms include mailing list targeting and customizable templates to find and target the right email addresses.
Analytics: Analytics tools measure your nonprofit campaign success and help you interpret supporter data. These platforms are essential for adapting your marketing strategy to supporter behaviors.
Each of these types of tools can produce impressive marketing results. To find one that’s right for you, take a look at the following free or discounted providers listed by category:
The Google Ad Grant program is a digital marketing tool that allows you to bid on keywords that strategically target your ideal audience. If nonprofits win, Google will place ads on Google’s search results pages (SERPs).
It allows nonprofits to leverage the Google Ads program for free by giving eligible organizations $10,000 in free advertising credits every month. As long as your organization meets Google’s eligibility standards and complies with its rules, the grant will renew each month.
You can use the Google Ad Grant to promote:
These pages should match the search intent of each of your terms. For example, when you search “wildlife conservation” on Google, you’ll see ads at the top and bottom of the page for related nonprofit content. For example, this could include a donation page from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Google enforces detailed requirements to apply for and maintain eligibility so nonprofits make the most of the program, which means the Google Ad Grants application and management is a full-time job. That’s why so many nonprofits turn to expert agencies for professional assistance. Check out our favorite Google Ad Grants agency: Getting Attention
Grammarly is an online writing assistance tool that can help your nonprofit create compelling, error-free copy. It helps improve your writing by making grammar, punctuation, and spelling suggestions. Grammarly’s advanced features include pro options that can make clarity suggestions to ensure your nonprofit’s mission comes across loud and clear.
Our favorite feature: Grammarly can be easily integrated into technology your nonprofit already uses like its website builder, Microsoft Office, and Google Docs.
Pricing:Grammarly for Nonprofits offers free access to all Premium-level writing suggestions, administrative dashboards, and website integrations.
Kwala is a graphic design agency built for mission-driven organizations. That means they know how to make your nonprofit vision come to life. These professionals are dedicated to providing stunning graphics that showcase nonprofit work. They have experience perfecting nonprofit logos, year-end appeals, website graphics, brochures, and more.
Our favorite feature: To make sure every design is just right, the Kwala graphic designers offer unlimited revisions and redesigns to capture your unique nonprofit flair.
Pricing: Kwala understands that hiring a full-time graphic designer may not be feasible on a nonprofit budget. That’s why they offer unlimited graphic design services for a fixed $439 price each month. Or, you can pay for an annual subscription of $3999 with the first two months free.
Canva is a graphic design tool that enables users to create eye-catching designs on their own. Specifically, your organization can use it to make visually appealing graphics, presentations, social media posts, and other design assets. Canva’s user-friendly interface provides a wide range of templates, icons, fonts, and stock photos. With simple drag-and-drop functionality, your team can create beautiful designs in no time.
Our favorite feature: Canva is built for teamwork, so anyone can contribute to your design before it’s finalized.
Pricing: Canva is free for nonprofits if they follow a few outlined steps: fill out the application form and wait to receive an email confirmation.
Pikto chart is an infographic and visual content creation tool that provides customizable infographics, charts, presentations, posters, and reports. With fifteen different visual tools and a library of top-notch templates to edit and make your own, Pikto Chart offers the right tools to create content that converts leads.
Our favorite feature: Pikto Chart has video editing tools like a social media video editor and a cropping tool that lets you make shareable content in a flash.
With Pexels, your organization can receive access to royalty-free stock photos to enhance your organization’s online visuals. These stock photos work as a great replacement when your organization does not have the perfect photos lined up. They work great for quick social media posts or website additions without any copyright restrictions.
Our favorite feature: You can search photos by color, background, or most popular collections to find the perfect image.
Pricing: All Pexel photos and videos are free for commercial use.
Hubspot’s all-in-one content creation tools can help your nonprofit manage several areas of content marketing and sales. Specifically, its campaign assistant, brand kit creator, and persona generator can be leveraged to refine your digital marketing strategy. Using these tools and more, you can brainstorm campaigns that perfectly suit your brand and resonate with your target audience.
Our favorite feature: Hubspot’s blog ideas generator can rescue you from writer’s block with AI-assisted blog titles for a week’s worth of content.
Pricing: Hubspot offers a 40% nonprofit discount that includes premium-level, nonprofit-friendly onboarding, and over 1,000 integrations.
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that makes it easy for nonprofits to create and manage their websites and blogs. It offers a range of customizable themes and plugins to customize your site and scale it over time. Its known for its user-friendly interface that lets your team make new web pages, post new blogs, and edit content hassle-free.
Our favorite feature: WordPress’ Start-to-Finish Nonprofit Guide can take your team through the basics and get your website up and running quickly. And, if you run into any issues, they have a large online support community you can rely on.
Pricing: WordPress is free to download and customize.
HootSuite is a social media management platform that lets you save time with prescheduled posts using a centralized dashboard. Your nonprofit can engage with its followers using Hootsuite’s unified message box that never lets you miss a notification from any of your social media accounts. Additionally, Hootsuite’s analytics capture and report your key metrics so you can skip the guesswork and track your performance.
Our favorite feature: When prompted, Hootsuite’s OwlyWriter AI generates memorable captions and post ideas.
Buffer is an intuitive social media scheduling tool that can help your organization plan, schedule, and publish content across ten different platforms. With scheduled publishing, you can maintain cross-channel branding consistency and build your audience base. Buffer also provides post-customization and team collaboration tools so your team can get each post right every time.
Our favorite feature: Buffer’s video content creation tools are perfect for Shorts, Reels, and TikTok.
Later provides social media management tools that can sharpen your strategy. You can create, edit, and schedule posts across every profile. Later’s on-the-go mobile app lets you save your drafts or post when inspiration strikes. Additionally, Later’s Caption writer uses AI captions that do all the heavy lifting.
Our favorite feature: Later’s Linkin.bio tool creates fully customizable link web pages, so you can drive traffic from your Instagram and TikTok to your blog, YouTube, or online merchandise store.
Mailchimp is a marketing, automation, and email platform that helps you manage and talk to your supporters. Their approach focuses on maintaining healthy contact management practices with well-designed campaigns and detailed data analysis tools that engage your entire mailing list.
Our favorite feature: Mailchimp provides detailed recipient list management capabilities to tailor your messaging to predefined audiences.
Pricing: Mailchimp offers a 15% discount to verified nonprofits and charities.
Active Campaign is an email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM (customer relationship management) platform that can help your organization deliver personalized communications to your audience at the right time. You can track your email engagement with tags, custom fields, analytics, and performance reporting. With Active Campaign, your team doesn’t waste any time resending delayed emails.
Our favorite feature: Active Campaign includes pre-built templates and layouts for common email campaigns so you can customize your email the way you want.
Brevo specializes in building relationships across email, SMS, and chat messaging. Their marketing, sales, conversions, and transactional email platforms offer helpful tools to expand your reach. Specifically, Brevo’s transactional email platform guarantees a 99% delivery rate and is quick to set up with developer guides, code recipes, and more.
Our favorite feature: Brevo’s campaign management tools let you trigger transactional emails, send marketing campaigns and track interactions.
MailerLite provides digital marketing tools to grow your audience with email marketing, automation, newsletters, and transactional email features. They offer three separate editors—drag and drop, rich-text, custom HTML–to create your customized email campaign. Additionally, their automation features allow you to set triggers to automatically deliver emails or update custom fields.
Our favorite feature: MailerLite provides landing pages and pop-ups to help you build your subscriber list as your organization grows.
Pricing: MailerLite offers a 30% discount on paid plans which can be stacked atop the discount automatically applied to annually billed subscriptions.
Google Analytics gives you free tools to analyze your organization’s key data points. Using Google Analytics, you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, check the relevancy of your landing pages, and find out where your top users are coming from. You can connect your Google Analytics account with your Google Ad Account to get these in-depth insights and more.
Our favorite feature: Google Analytics will show the success of each of your key landing pages including your volunteer and donate pages to get a detailed view of your web traffic.
Hotjar is an analytics tool that offers valuable insights about your website. Using Hotjar, you can visualize conversion flows with a full-funnel overview to see where users drop off and make adjustments to your website strategy. Their real-time feedback gives so users the chance to express frustration or delight about individual parts of your site, so you can keep them engaged.
Our favorite feature: Hotjar’s heatmap feature offers graphical representations of data that detect website page user activity for you to understand your site at a glance.
Pricing: Eligible nonprofits receive access to 50% off on higher data plans or a free Business account.
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that contains over 30 different features and is designed to provide all the great parts of a WordPress.com site to use on a WordPress.org site. Including features like brute force attack protection that automatically block unwanted login attempts and keep your organization safe without having to worry about invaders.
Our favorite feature: Jetpack provides powerful stats to keep track of real-time data on visitors and analyze ongoing trends.
Finding the right marketing tool on a budget can be difficult. Fortunately, you’re now equipped with the top free and discounted platforms to engage with your existing audiences and reach new ones.
Keep in mind marketing tools are designed to make your life easier. So, look for the ones with user-friendly features and reliable support. Consider choosing platforms that have experience working with nonprofits and consult their websites for further information, especially if you’re new to the nonprofit marketing scene.
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