Did you know that it takes just 50 milliseconds for online users to form an opinion about your website, which ultimately determines whether or not they like it and if they’ll stick around? In half the time it takes most websites to even load, your online visitors have already made snap judgments about the value of your website and – by extension – your association or member organization.
Every one of those curious scrollers who winces and clicks away is a potential new member, you’ve just lost to something as easily-solvable as simple web design changes.
So, how do you start tackling poor association website design and determining which design elements will turn casual visitors into happy new members? If you’re at a loss for where to start, never fear—we’ve prepared these tried-and-true association website best practices to boost your online member acquisition:
With digital engagement on the rise, it’s more important than ever to use your website as an attractive, interactive hub to enhance the member experience and entice visitors to hit the registration button.
Optimize accessibility for any user, on any device.
First things first: your top priority is making sure that your website actually works when users click through it.
This sounds easy enough—if every site visitor were a digital native with a fiber optic internet connection and a desktop computer. Unfortunately, the reality is a lot messier, and many potential and current members aren’t going to fit that mold.
To ensure that every site visitor has the same smooth, seamless online experience no matter when, where, or how in the world they’re navigating your site, take a look at these UX best practices:
Optimize your website for all devices, especially for mobile users.
Cut down on load speeds by compressing images, minimizing redirects, and removing unused code.
Use high-contrast colors for text and graphics, allowing visually-impaired site visitors to see your content.
Include alt-text with all images, which describes visual content for users who might have a poor internet connection or use screen readers.
There are many small but important steps you can take to open up your website to a vast new audience of online users. However, there’s a limit to how much you’ll be able to tweak your website without some serious technical experience.
For best results, consider investing in a dedicated association website builder. A user-friendly CMS allows even the most technically-challenged association professionals to make effective changes to your website. Use drag-and-drop features, customizable templates, and member-specific design toolkits to make an association website that will blow users away—and encourage them to head straight to your membership registration page.
Use visual storytelling to capture the member experience.
Once users have successfully loaded your site, you’ll want to make the most of that precious half of a second where they’ll be judging whether to explore further or run away screaming.
This is where visual storytelling becomes your best friend. To immediately capture visitors’ attention and draw them into the narrative of your association, incorporate vibrant, professional images across your major web pages.
From Pulitzer-worthy candids of your event guest speakers in action to Instagramable snapshots of members, these snackable images instantly convey what your association stands for (and what you can offer users if they join).
When you bring all of these pleasing elements together, you’ll have created an irresistible feast for the eyes that not only wows new site users but also engages current members.
Tease users with sample content, previews, and perks.
Now that you’ve survived that roller coaster of the first minute visitors spend on your website, you have to continue feeding their interest to successfully attract new members.
Remember that actions speak louder than words. So, rather than writing some long-winded appeal for users to give your association a chance, give them a taste of what they’re missing out on!
Take a page from the MemberClicks guide to building a membership website and strategically organize your association website for the public (including prospective members) so that they can access and sample enticing content. In particular, you’ll want to allow anyone to view your:
Event calendars and promotional materials
Key webpages, such as landing, about, and event pages
You could even offer tastes of event content, downloadable resources, educational materials and other small samples of everything your association has to offer. If users want more, all they need to do is sign up.
Leverage the promotional power of your member directory.
At first glance, your directory may just seem like a glorified list. But in reality, it can be a critical tool for member networking, digital engagement and (you guessed it!) public promotion.
Think of it as an online pamphlet that prospective members can flip through to see just how many passionate members have taken the dive to join your association. And for a small price, they, too, can access the full high-powered network of fellow professionals.
Be sure to invest in an association management system that can integrate seamlessly with your website. This will allow you to upload your directory directly into your CMS and automatically update member information as new members join and existing members tweak their profiles.
There’s no such thing as a perfect association website, and there will always be room for you to improve, adjust, and revamp elements of your site to maximize engagement and push individuals toward your registration page.
Use regular A/B testing to see how different versions and elements of your website perform and what steps you can take to constantly improve the online user experience.
This is especially important as web technologies continue to evolve and user expectations get higher and higher for what they want to see from your association web platform.
There are many moving parts to consider to build out a truly awe-inspiring, member-acquiring association website. To guarantee that you end up with a beautiful, functional web platform rather than Frankenstein’s monster, use these key tips and tools to guide you through the creative and technical process.
From investing in the right website builder and AMS solution to mindfully organizing your site’s visual elements, these insights should give you the confidence and power to create a membership website for the ages.
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If you’ve been in the fundraising world for a while, you might be familiar with the Google Ad Grant program. Google provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in ad spending to help boost their organizations’ reach online.
However, you may not know much about Microsoft’s new program, Ads for Social Impact, which functions similarly to the Google Ad Grant program. As of June 2022, Microsoft offers nonprofits $3,000 per month in ad spending for platforms such as Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.
Although the grant amounts differ between the two programs, both can help you spread awareness of your organization’s mission and raise money for your cause.
Our mission at NXUnite is to provide nonprofits with tools and resources that will set them up for success. We believe that the Microsoft Ad Grant is one such tool that will help organizations spread their missions and reach their fundraising goals. We’re happy to offer this guide so nonprofits can learn more about the program and how to enroll. Here are the topics we’ll cover:
Microsoft’s Ads for Social Impact program serves to help eligible nonprofits drive traffic to their websites and reach their fundraising and marketing goals at no cost to these organizations. The Microsoft Ad Grant covers $3,000 per month in ad spending for ads on multiple Microsoft-owned websites.
Since Microsoft Ad Grants cover so many different platforms, it can be difficult to picture what an ad created by a participating organization would look like. We’ll walk you through an example on Yahoo so you can visualize how a Microsoft Ad for your particular organization might look.
Let’s say that someone in your community is passionate about protecting wildlife. While checking their Yahoo email, this person might do a quick search for “save the turtles.” Yahoo will return a results page with the phrase “Ads related to: save the turtles” at the top. Underneath, there will be links to websites dedicated to protecting wildlife. These organizations are using Microsoft Ads to boost their reach and spread their mission online.
Nonprofits enrolled in the Microsoft Ad Grant program receive unique benefits that distinguish Microsoft’s program from Google’s. Your organization might already leverage paid search opportunities with Google or Microsoft. For nonprofits that use Google Ads, they must create a separate account for the Google Ad Grant program. In contrast, organizations that already use Microsoft Ads can apply their Microsoft Ad Grant directly to their existing account, allowing them to keep all of their campaigns in the same place.
Another difference between the two programs is the required account restrictions. Since Google Ad Grant accounts are separate from typical Google Ad accounts, there are more restrictions put on Google Ad Grant accounts, including minimum click-through rates, minimum quality scores, and maximum cost-per-click. In Microsoft’s program, all of your Microsoft Ads are under one account with none of these restrictions. That way, you can use the grant just as you would use funds for a regular paid search campaign.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to move on to the benefits of enrolling in Microsoft’s Ads for Social Impact program.
Benefits of Microsoft Ad Grants
Besides expanding visibility for your website, there are many benefits of leveraging Microsoft Ad Grants. Take a look at some of the main advantages of participating in the program:
More site engagement.
While creating engaging content is a great way to improve your organization’s website, your content won’t fulfill its purpose if people can’t find your website in the first place.
By producing Microsoft Ads that highlight different pages on your site, you’ll encourage people to check out the resources they’re interested in. Someone looking to volunteer for a nonprofit will search differently than someone looking to donate, and by using your Microsoft Ad Grant appropriately, you can make sure both individuals find the information they need on your website.
Once you get more people to engage with your site, you’re likely to see more conversions. Just as businesses and other for-profit organizations track conversions to sales, nonprofits can track different types of conversions to measure the impact of their campaigns. Some online conversions your organization might track include:
Email list signups
By using the Microsoft Ad Grant to show prospective supporters the pages they’re interested in, you can increase the likelihood that people will perform the intended actions associated with those pages rather than aimlessly skimming your website.
Additional communication with your supporters.
As a nonprofit, you likely already use a mix of communication tools such as email, direct mail, phone calls, text messages, and social media. Microsoft Ad Grants provide an additional opportunity to reach out to your supporters in a more understated way.
While it’s important to engage with your supporters in a variety of different ways, it’s also important not to overwhelm them with too much information and too frequent communication. With Microsoft Ad Grants, you allow current and prospective supporters to learn about your organization on their own time and at their own discretion.
Better understanding of your supporters.
When a supporter interacts with your website, their actions provide several types of data for your organization. By keeping track of this data, you can figure out how to improve your campaigns and get the most out of your Microsoft Ad Grant.
To help you analyze your website activity, Microsoft provides tools such as event tracking, campaign analytics, and traffic insights. That way, you can leverage this information and use it to your organization’s advantage to make sure your website and content are serving your supporters as they should.
Set amount of funds each month.
Once you’re enrolled in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, you can be sure that you’ll receive $3,000 in your Microsoft Ad account each month. While this may seem like a given, many traditional grant programs allocate limited grant funds to qualifying organizations based on their needs.
Knowing exactly how much money in ad spending you’ll receive from Microsoft each month, you can better plan how your organization will use the grant without wasting time wondering how much money you’ll be allotted.
Ways to Use Microsoft Ad Grants
Just as it’s important to outline your goals for a fundraiser or social media campaign, it’s good practice to determine what you want to achieve by using your Microsoft Ad Grant. Setting goals for your campaigns will ensure that you’re using your grant money efficiently.
If you’re not sure what goals you’d like to accomplish during your time in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, take a look at some of our suggestions:
Expanding your donor or subscriber base
Advocating about issues important to your organization
With your goals in mind, you’ll create campaigns with better focus and get the most out of your Microsoft Ad Grant.
If you’re interested in applying for the Ads for Social Impact program, you’ll need to make sure you’re eligible for the program. Microsoft has three main eligibility requirements. The first is status as a legally recognized nonprofit or non-governmental organization in your country. For United States-based organizations, that includes registering with the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
The next requirement is operating on a not-for-profit basis and serving a specific mission. Microsoft gives mission examples such as helping the poor, preserving the environment, and protecting human rights.
Microsoft’s final requirement is that all participating organizations are inclusive of others. They prohibit any organizations with discriminatory policies or missions from joining the program.
In addition the Microsoft’s three eligibility requirements, they also list ineligible organization types, such as:
Professional and semi-professional sports organizations
Political, labor, and fraternal organizations
For a full list of eligibility requirements, check out Microsoft’s program eligibility page here.
Microsoft Ad Grant Application
After determining your organization is eligible for the program, the next step is to fill out an application. There are two main parts of the application.
First, you’ll apply to Microsoft for Nonprofits, Microsoft’s overarching program dedicated to nonprofit tools and resources. This part of the application has four steps.
Welcome & Policies. When you begin the application, you’ll be asked to fill out information for your organization’s point of contact. You’ll also confirm that you understand the Microsoft for Nonprofits program policies.
Organization Info. In this section, you’ll fill out information about your nonprofit including your organization’s name, address, website, phone number, size, budget, mission statement, and IRS EIN.
Verify Phone. Next, you’ll verify your organization’s phone number so Microsoft can communicate with you.
Create Account. Finally, you’ll be able to set up your login for your Microsoft for Nonprofits account. You should hear back about the status of your application within 24 hours.
The second part of the application process is applying for the Microsoft Ad Grant itself. You’ll provide additional information about your nonprofit and point of contact, and Microsoft will get back to you within 10 business days.
Microsoft Ad Grant Best Practices
Once Microsoft accepts your Microsoft Ad Grant application, you’ll likely want to jump right in and start setting up campaigns. To enure your campaigns are effective, we recommend following a few best practices that other nonprofits have found helpful in the past. Here are some guidelines for running your Microsoft Ad Grant account effectively:
Structure your account appropriately.
Organization is key when it comes to Microsoft Ad Grant campaigns because it allows you to ensure that each campaign has its own specific purpose. The goal of each campaign should be the conversion you’re looking to boost.
For example, let’s say your overall goals for your participation in the program are expanding your email subscriber base, recruiting more volunteers, and informing your supporters about matching gifts. Establish your campaigns’ priorities right away by setting up three separate campaigns, one for each goal. That way, you can track the metrics for each goal separately. Additionally, you can create straightforward campaigns that each focus on one aspect of your mission, making it clear to supporters what you’re asking them to do.
Write clear ad copy.
When it comes to Microsoft Ad copy, the simpler, the better. People will only spend a few seconds looking at your ad, so you want to make sure your message is very clear. Short sentences are usually best. It’s also good practice to avoid uncommon acronyms or abbreviations that may confuse people.
Choose keywords carefully.
To make sure you’re choosing effective keywords, you’ll want to think backward. What are your supporters likely searching for? Those are the words and phrases you’ll want to choose as your keywords.
It’s best to choose specific keywords. People searching for “animals” aren’t necessarily looking for an animal shelter, but those searching for “volunteering with animals” or “adopting a pet” might be.
Keep track of your campaign metrics.
Luckily, Microsoft has built-in analytics options that allow you to easily track the success of your campaigns. Analyzing this data and implementing the insights you glean from it will allow you to shape your campaigns and content to your supporters’ needs.
For example, if you see that people are going straight from your volunteer registration page to your contact information page, it might be useful to add a section with contact information on the volunteer registration page itself for easy access.
Use automatic bidding.
In order to show up in searches for certain keywords, you’ll bid for them along with other organizations. You can submit bids manually, but Microsoft has automatic bidding options that will save your team time and energy.
These bidding strategies include ones for enhancing your cost-per-click, maximizing your clicks, maximizing your conversions, and achieving your target cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.
Following these best practices will ensure that you’re managing your campaigns efficiently and effectively.
Using Microsoft Ad Grants with Other Fundraising Tools
At NXUnite, we’re passionate about connecting nonprofits with the tools and resources that will launch them toward success. While Microsoft Ad Grants are one such tool, leveraging a variety of tools and strategies will help your organization spread awareness and raise money for its cause. Take a look at how your organization can use Microsoft Ad Grants in conjunction with other valuable fundraising tools:
Google Ad Grants. While we’ve compared the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact program and the Google Ad Grant program, your organization can take advantage of both for maximum impact. You can create similar campaigns on both platforms so that people can find your organization on both Microsoft and Google search engines.
Venmo. Many people use personal Venmo accounts, but you can also set up an account for your organization. That way, people can easily donate to your nonprofit. To promote your organization’s Venmo account, create a Microsoft Ad Grant campaign linking to your donation page. Then, include Venmo as a donation option on the page.
Panels. Attending panels is a great way to learn more about nonprofit resources from experts and professionals. This wisdom you acquire from these discussions may spark inspiration for a new campaign or approach to your Microsoft Ad Grant account.
Email templates. No matter your campaign goals, you’re likely encouraging your supporters to take some sort of action on your website. To show your appreciation, it’s always a good idea to send a thank-you letter. Using a specific nonprofit email template can ensure that you thank your supporters appropriately.
Matching gifts. If you’re really looking to maximize your fundraising, you can use your Microsoft Ad Grant campaign to inform your supporters about matching gifts. Matching gifts are corporate philanthropy initiatives where employers double or even triple donations made by their employees. All your supporters have to do is notify their employers of their donation. There are plenty of tools that make that process extremely simple.
Knowing which nonprofit tools are available for you to use is important, but knowing how to use them in conjunction with each other is even more powerful.
Working with a Microsoft Ad Grant Agency
While we hope this guide will help you manage your Microsoft Ad Grant effectively, we also understand that many nonprofits have constrained time and energy to devote to new projects. That’s where digital marketing agencies come in.
There are organizations out there that are specifically dedicated to helping nonprofits manage ad grants. They know the ins and outs of different ad grant programs and how to optimize your account. These types of agencies can help with any stage of the grant management process, such as:
Determining your Microsoft Ad Grants eligibility
Applying for the program
Managing your campaigns
Optimizing your content
Reaching out to a digital marketing agency can take the burden of managing your ad grant off your team. You can feel at ease knowing that experts are taking care of your account.
More Fundraising Tools
By now, you should understand what the Microsoft Ad Grant is and how powerful of a fundraising tool it truly is. By enrolling in the Microsoft Ad Grant program, you’ll be able to work toward your organization’s fundraising goals and raise awareness for your cause.
As we mentioned, there are many other great fundraising tools out there. These articles will allow you to learn more about some of the ones we recommend:
How Google Ad Grants Can Help Your Fundraising. In this article, you’ll learn more about the Google Ad Grant program, allowing you to compare it to Microsoft’s program. Better yet, you can take advantage of both programs and the benefits they have to offer.
Donor Thank-You Letters. Most likely, one of your campaign goals is to increase donations. Thank your donors for contributing to your organization using one of these templates.
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If you work in the fundraising space, you know how fast-paced, challenging, and exciting it can be. On any given day, your to-do list might include reaching out to donors, planning engaging events, and promoting your organization online. Whether you work for a nonprofit, university, or other organization, you’ve likely experienced a few fundraising successes and failures and learned important lessons along the way.
Now, you might be looking for some structured resources and tips to help you approach fundraising professional development strategically. That’s probably what brought you here today!
In this guide, we’ll cover a few frequently asked questions about fundraising professional development and provide you with effective formal and informal resources you can use to grow as a fundraiser. We’ll answer the following questions:
Taking the time to improve your fundraising skills and grow your fundraising network can help you plan better fundraising campaigns and events for your organization, ultimately helping you raise more. It’s a win-win for you and the cause you’re working for!
Why is nonprofit fundraising professional development important?
Professional development has benefits both for you as a fundraiser and for your organization as a whole. Here are some specific benefits of fundraising professional development:
Avoid burnout or stagnation. Being proactive and thinking of ways to grow within your role can help reignite your passion for your position and avoid the negative impacts of burnout.
Advance in your career path. Building your professional fundraising skills may help you receive a promotion and grow as a leader within your organization. This is especially true if you take the time to earn fundraising certificates or other continuing education credits.
Learn about the latest fundraising technologies and innovations. As you expand your fundraising skill set and general knowledge, you’ll come across information about the latest fundraising software, strategies, and innovations. You can implement these insights into your organization’s strategies to take advantage of new opportunities and fundraising best practices.
Improve your leadership and mentorship skills. Making the effort to grow as a fundraising professional can also help you grow as a leader and mentor within your organization. You can provide guidance and career advice for other fundraising professionals at your organization, making your team more effective.
To approach fundraising professional development productively, set personal goals. For example, you might identify a certification you’d like to pursue or plan to set aside a specific amount of time each week to pursue professional development. Having a specific goal in mind will help you measure your progress and make tangible strides toward becoming a better fundraiser.
Where can you find fundraising professional development resources?
It can be challenging to parse through the hundreds of websites and resources online that offer fundraising development support. To help narrow down your search, here are a few common sources of fundraising professional development resources and courses:
Aggregators like NXUnite. NXUnite helps connect fundraising professionals with resources and educational opportunities such as panels and webinars.
Recommendations from your fellow nonprofit professionals. Long-time fundraising professionals at your organization or similar organizations will likely be able to point you toward resources that they’ve found to be the most helpful. Request a quick meeting with a mentor or other leader at your organization to get more information about their professional development path.
Nonprofit associations. Nonprofit associations and organizations provide fundraising courses, blog posts from industry experts, conference reminders, and more. You can even join your local chapter of a larger organization to network with other fundraising professionals in your area. We’ll discuss nonprofit associations in more detail later.
Course catalogs from universities. Higher education institutions will often offer professional development courses and seminars that anyone can attend. For example, the University of Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education offers a nonprofit fundraising essentials course. Indiana University offers fundraising courses through The Fund Raising School with topics such as developing major gifts and managing capital campaigns.
Read on for a more in-depth look at our top options for fundraising professional development resources!
What are the best fundraising resources for professional development?
You have a range of options to consider for different ways you can build your fundraising skills. These options include everything from taking an online course to attending conferences.
Specifically, here’s a closer look at some of our favorite professional development resources for fundraisers:
A webinar is an online discussion or seminar where industry experts share their insights and opinions about specific topics. Nonprofit webinars bring together fundraising experts with individuals looking to expand their fundraising efforts or skill set to provide more value to their organizations.
Webinars are helpful if you don’t have a lot of free time on your hands to devote to fundraising professional development. Most are an hour or less, so you may even be able to join on your lunch break.
Take a look at our top two sources for nonprofit webinars:
NXUnite delivers a wide range of nonprofit webinars and panels with well-known nonprofit experts and influencers. Topics go beyond the fundraising basics to get to the heart of the challenges and opportunities that fundraisers currently face. Plus, these webinars offer insights for the entire mission-driven sector as a whole. That means there’s something for everyone, from nonprofit professionals to professionals working with associations, faith organizations, schools, and more.
Double the Donation is the leading industry expert on matching gift fundraising. Their webinars can help you understand how to maximize your fundraising revenue from this important but often overlooked source. But their webinars cover more than matching gifts—topics also include volunteer grants, workplace giving, integration deep dives, and general fundraising best practices. Visit the Double the Donation website for more information on live and on-demand webinars.
Online learning has exploded in popularity in recent years, giving fundraisers a way to continue their education while working full-time jobs. If you’re looking for more in-depth fundraising training, taking an online course can be an effective way to develop your skills while working at your own pace. Plus, many online fundraising courses are completely free.
Let’s review some of our favorite online fundraising courses:
Nonprofit.Courses offers thousands of online courses for nonprofit staff and board members and volunteers. Course topics include grantwriting, fundraising, start-up for small nonprofits, and more. They also offer courses to help earn a variety of certificates like a nonprofit management certification. You can also check out the free content offered by Nonprofit.Courses, which includes podcasts, videos, and documents.
NonprofitReady provides free online training courses for fundraising professionals. These courses cover common fundraising tasks and challenges, including accounting and finance, marketing and communications, and much more. They also empower fundraisers to earn free certificates in areas such as fundraising essentials and financial management essentials.
Udemy offers a broad range of courses, not only for nonprofit professionals but also for business professionals. Their nonprofit courses run the gamut from graphic design for nonprofits to how to start a nonprofit with limited resources. Udemy also offers a nonprofit plan for 501(c)(3) organizations, granting them special pricing and access to thousands of on-demand courses.
Associations and accrediting organizations
As mentioned, associations can be a great resource for getting connected to fundraising professional development opportunities. Associations bring nonprofit professionals together to learn, make connections, and grow in their profession. Joining an association can help you find free resources and new opportunities that you might otherwise not have access to.
In addition, there are multiple accrediting organizations that set fundraising standards and offer certifications for nonprofit professionals to earn that prove their fundraising capabilities. Earning these certifications shows current and potential employers that you’ve committed to the highest standards of professionalism in the fundraising space.
Here’s a closer look at a few fundraising associations and accrediting organizations you may be interested in joining:
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) brings together individual fundraisers and nonprofit organizations to promote ethical fundraising and train professionals on fundraising best practices. AFP facilitates both in-person professional development and online learning. Check out the event calendar to learn more about and sign up for in-person engagement opportunities.
CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) International is an independent nonprofit with a mission to set standards for the philanthropic space and facilitate accreditations for fundraising professionals. To become a CFRE, nonprofit professionals must first earn continuing education points in a variety of topic areas. After reaching the point requirement, professionals can fill out an application and complete a written examination.
Receiving the CFRE certification shows employers that you have a broad knowledge base of fundraising and nonprofit management topics, that you’re invested in growing and developing as a fundraiser, and that you adhere to the highest standards of ethical fundraising. Learn more about the certification and requirements on the CFRE website.
Public speaking and presentation training
Fundraising professionals are often surprised when they realize how much of the success of their role depends on their public speaking skills. As a fundraiser, you probably engage with a variety of internal and external audiences on a regular basis, from your fellow staff members to volunteers, donors, corporate partners, and more. Communicating effectively with these different groups is critical to garnering support for your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts.
Let’s take a look at our favorite public speaking resource:
Be Brilliant Presentation Group
Be Brilliant Presentation Group is a public speaking organization that helps working professionals grow in their presentation skills and become more impactful, inspiring speakers. Individuals looking for tailored public speaking coaching can gain access to a tried-and-true presentation framework, one-on-one coaching, and interactive workshops.
Taking your unique presentation style into account, your speaking coach will work with you to help you develop your skills and create an approach that works best for you. Your coach can also help you specifically with preparations for a conference speech or presentation and even provide day-of assistance. Speak with a coach today to find out more.
Nothing brings nonprofit professionals together quite like a conference. A conference allows fundraising professionals to discuss trends, challenges, and opportunities within the fundraising space. These experiences are invaluable for the connections that they foster and strategic partnerships they can help forge between organizations and individuals.
If you’re interested in attending a conference to brush up on the latest fundraising trends and best practices, here are a few to consider adding to your calendar:
Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Summit
Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Summit offers a chance for nonprofit professionals to come together to join in roundtable discussions and hear presentations about matching gifts. This conference will provide you with a more developed strategy for raising more funding for your organization through matching gifts.
You’ll also hear insight about how to use Double the Donation’s tools to their full potential to streamline the matching gift process as much as possible. The easier you can make the matching gift process for donors, the more funding you can earn from this source.
Considered the world’s largest fundraising conference, AFP’s International Conference (also known as AFP Icon) is a multi-day conference that brings together nonprofit professionals from a wide array of backgrounds and organizations. The 2022 conference schedule included sessions on leveraging digital ads for fundraising success, inclusion and equity issues in fundraising, and how to advance in your fundraising career.
AFP ICON 2023 is scheduled for April 16-18 in New Orleans. Keep an eye on the website for updates.
Labeled a “must-attend” nonprofit conference by Forbes, Cause Camp brings together leaders, influencers, and other movers and shakers in the fundraising world. Along with presentations and panels, Cause Camp offers breakout sessions that are geared toward facilitating training, not just discussions. Plus, attendees can earn up to five CFRE credits for attending.
Cause Camp 2023 will be held in Greater Sandusky, Ohio on September 14 and 15.
Nonprofit Technology Conference
The Nonprofit Technology Conference (otherwise known as the NTC) is an annual gathering focused on how technology works within the nonprofit sector. The conference is hosted by NTEN, an organization dedicated to bringing together nonprofit professionals to use technology for good. The NTC offers breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and other educational experiences to advance the field of nonprofit technology and use.
The next NTC will be held April 12-14, 2023, in Denver, Colorado.
What are some informal ways to pursue fundraising professional development?
Attending a conference or earning a certificate aren’t the only ways to grow as a fundraiser. You can pursue fundraising professional development in more casual settings as well. For instance, you can:
Listen to podcasts. Podcasts can be a great way to listen to diverse perspectives and learn from anywhere, whether you’re out on a run, at the grocery store, or driving to work. Seek out nonprofit-specific podcasts—there’s no shortage of them!
Find a mentor. Connect with a leader at your organization, a long-time staff member, or a fundraising professional at another organization to ask if they’d be willing to be a professional mentor. Set up a coffee shop meeting or casual lunch to meet with your mentor and ask for career advice.
Attend local networking events. Get involved in networking events hosted by local associations, nonprofits, and even business organizations. Speaking with professionals outside of the nonprofit sector can help you think of creative or outside-the-box strategies to tackle challenges or grow as a working professional.
Reach out to individuals in similar roles at other organizations. Connect with your counterparts at other organizations to ask if you can get their perspective on how they’re tackling common fundraising challenges. Also, ask them whether they’ve pursued any professional development activities and what they found to be the most helpful.
Any opportunities you have to surround yourself with fundraising knowledge and insight is another step toward developing as a fundraising professional.
Fundraising professional development should be an ongoing goal. The fundraising landscape is constantly changing, with new technologies, strategies, and best practices being introduced. Keeping up with this shifting world will allow you to advance in your career and bring more value to your organization.
For more information on fundraising professional development, check out these additional resources:
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As a nonprofit professional, you know that staying within your organization’s budget often requires a little creativity. Especially when it comes to nonprofit marketing, your team might have lavish ideas and big plans without the resources to pursue them.
However, nonprofit marketing is vital to the continued success of your organization. It’s how you spread the word about your nonprofit’s upcoming events and opportunities and get people excited about contributing to your cause. Without a strong nonprofit marketing plan, it’ll be difficult to move forward and pursue your mission effectively.
Additionally, there are a lot of considerations that go into successful nonprofit marketing. That’s why we’ve created this nonprofit marketing guide. We’ll teach you the basics as well as strategies you can use to promote your organization, even on a budget.
Here at NXUnite, we connect organizations with various resources to help them in all areas of nonprofit operations. Marketing is crucial for nonprofits because it’s how people find your organization, learn about your cause, and contribute to your organization. We understand how tricky it can be to come up with a marketing strategy on a small budget, so we’re happy to provide this ultimate nonprofit marketing guide to help you out.
With that, let’s introduce what nonprofit marketing is and what it can do for your organization!
What is Nonprofit Marketing?
Nonprofit marketing is when mission-based organizations use promotional strategies to educate others about their cause and garner support. It’s an essential part of introducing your organization to people who may want to become involved, including prospective donors, volunteers, and board members.
For your current supporters, nonprofit marketing allows you to inform them about upcoming events and opportunities. You’ll want to grab your supporters’ attention and get them excited about what you have in store.
While implementing effective nonprofit marketing takes work, it can offer your organization a variety of benefits. If you stay organized and follow a detailed plan, nonprofit marketing can help you:
Spread awareness. At the core of your nonprofit is your mission. Investing time in a marketing plan will not only help to promote your organization, but also educate people about your nonprofit’s cause.
Raise more. The more people know about your organization, the more fundraising potential your organization has.
Encourage recurring support. Of course, your nonprofit should appreciate each and every donation it receives. However, recurring donations provide a steady, consistent funding source. They also present the opportunity to build strong relationships with your long-term donors. Effective marketing can encourage donors to continue their support for your organization.
Recruit other stakeholders. While crucial to your organization’s success, donations are not the only form of support people can lend to your nonprofit. Effective marketing will allow you to recruit other supporters for your organization, such as volunteers, members, event attendees, and board members.
Promote your services. Potential supporters want to know exactly what steps your organization does to advance your mission. That way, they can decide if they’re interested in joining in. Using a well-developed marketing plan will ensure that your organization’s services are clear to interested parties.
To complete all of the objectives above, it’s not enough to just start posting on social media or adding articles to your website’s blog. You’ll first need to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan that outlines your marketing strategy across multiple channels.
Developing a Nonprofit Marketing Plan
To effectively promote your organization, you must set clear intentions for your marketing efforts. That’s why you need a nonprofit marketing plan.
If you’ve never come up with a marketing plan before, it can be intimidating. To help you out, we’ve provided you with the major steps you’ll need to follow to create your own:
Step 1) Review your current marketing efforts.
It’s always good to take inventory of your current nonprofit marketing efforts. That way, you can figure out what successful elements you should continue implementing and what changes you’ll need to make. For a formal marketing audit, you can perform a SWOT analysis. Here’s what it entails:
Strengths. Start off strong by describing what your organization does well.
Weaknesses. Recognize any areas your nonprofit can improve upon.
Opportunities. Identify potential external factors that could help your marketing efforts succeed.
Threats. Pinpoint any factors that could potentially harm your marketing efforts.
This in-depth analysis will propel your new marketing efforts forward.
Step 2) Determine your marketing goals.
Just as your mission guides your overall operations, your marketing goals should inform your marketing efforts. Of course, you should keep your mission in mind and make sure your marketing goals serve that mission. It’s best to form SMART goals to make sure your goals are clear and meaningful. SMART stands for:
Specific. Create goals with a certain initiative or event in mind.
Measurable. Make sure you can track your goals with relevant performance metrics.
Attainable. Keep your nonprofit’s resources and capabilities in mind.
Relevant. Develop goals that will further your mission.
Time-based. Hold your organization accountable by assigning a time frame to your goals.
In addition to following the SMART acronym, you’ll also want to list your goals by priority so you know which ones to divert the most resources to.
Step 3) Understand your audience.
Your audience is likely comprised of different groups such as donors, volunteers, and board members. Make sure you define each audience and their needs. To segment your audience even further, think about the different subcategories of your supporters.
Step 4) Establish your message.
To hone your nonprofit marketing efforts, you’ll want to boil your goals down to a few key messages you’d like to share. These messages should be unique to your organization and able to grab your supporters’ attention. To go along with your message, the language, calls-to-action, and visuals you’ll use should all be outlined as well.
Step 5) Determine your budget.
It’s tricky as a nonprofit to accomplish your marketing goals with few resources. To make use of what you have, you’ll want to determine a budget for your promotional efforts. If you don’t think you’ll have enough to make your goals a reality, try applying for a nonprofit marketing grant. Grantmaking organizations offer free funding for the purpose of promoting your organization and its services, making it a great way to power your marketing efforts.
Step 6) Choose appropriate marketing strategies.
The different marketing strategies or channels you choose to spread your mission should align with your goals and audience. From direct mail to social media, there’s a lot you can do to promote your cause.
In the next section, we’ll go over nonprofit marketing strategies you can use to promote your organization.
Step 7) Analyze your performance.
It’s important to keep track of your progress and performance using data. That way, you’ll know what worked and what needs to be changed for future campaigns. Choose metrics to track that will represent your definition of success. For example, if you’re implementing a social media campaign, you might want to track the number of shares, likes, and comments on your relevant posts.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when developing your nonprofit marketing plan. It can take time to complete a well-rounded plan, but it will be worth it to have your marketing goals, logistics, and strategy all in one place.
Nonprofit Marketing Strategies
There are plenty of ways to promote your organization. However, you should be careful to choose your nonprofit marketing strategies so that they align with your goals and audience. For example, if you’re targeting an older audience, it might not be the best idea to use social media as your main form of outreach.
The great thing about nonprofit marketing channels is that you can use them in tandem with each other. You will naturally want to promote your events via email and share your blog posts on social media. This way, you’re creating as many touchpoints as possible so your supporters can contribute to your cause in the way that works best for them.
To help you determine which nonprofit marketing strategies are best for your organization’s current needs, we’ve listed some of our favorites below:
Click on the ones you’re interested in to learn more or scroll through to check them all out!
Email Marketing for Nonprofits
So many nonprofit marketers rely on email marketing. It allows you to reach supporters of all ages and types, including donors, volunteers, event attendees, and board members. Since a large variety of people use email regularly, email marketing has a high ROI and is an easy way to stay connected with your supporters.
Additionally, it’s extremely easy to personalize emails using segmentation tools and email marketing software. That way, you can make your supporters feel special and send them information specific to their involvement with your organization.
Here are some ideas for using email marketing effectively:
Send monthly emails with donation requests and upcoming opportunities.
Thank new subscribers for joining your email list with an automatic reply.
Thank donors for contributing to your cause with an automated email.
Segment your supporters into different groups for more personalized email campaigns.
Append email addresses to make sure you have accurate contact information and can reach as many of your supporters as possible.
Considering how easy it is to draft and automate emails, email marketing is a great choice for promoting your organization and sharing news with your supporters.
Direct Mail Marketing for Nonprofits
Although many nonprofit marketers think direct mail is dead, it actually has a higher response rate than emails. Perhaps this is because direct mail is even more personal than emails, and people acknowledge the extra time that went into the campaign, especially if you’re using segmentation.
Additionally, the letters you send your supporters serve as physical reminders of your organization and their involvement. Having something tangible that’s associated with your nonprofit may encourage supporters to donate or attend one of your events.
You can create direct mail campaigns for donation requests, event invitations, thank you letters, and more. While you can use direct mail to simply inform people about your organization, it’s best to include a call-to-action to ensure the time and funds you put into your campaign pay off.
To help you create direct mail campaigns that drive your supporters to take action, we’ve compiled some tips:
Incorporate storytelling. Make your direct mail outreach even more personal with strong storytelling. While facts and statistics are helpful for understanding what your organization does, people want to feel a connection with your nonprofit. For example, if your organization is an animal shelter, tell your supporters about a dog you’ve rescued and given a better life. Seeing the impact your organization has had will inspire people to become a part of it.
Include powerful visuals. People are drawn to images/ Plus, visually-engaging images help to break up text, make content easier to read, and can help communicate your message. Your supporters will get more out of your letter if you include meaningful visuals that connect to the copy you’ve written. Consider using pictures of real people your organization has helped or informative graphics that illustrate different points you’ve made.
Combine your campaign with digital marketing. While direct mail is an effective outreach method, you can make it more engaging by connecting it to your online marketing efforts. Including a QR code that connects to an event registration page or listing your social media handles will allow your supporters to navigate smoothly across different digital marketing channels.
Direct mail is a great way to show your supporters you care about them. However, it’s important to regularly check your supporters’ communication preferences to make sure they’re okay with receiving letters from you.
While the digital landscape helps break down geographical barriers, print marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your local audience members. Some nonprofits view it as “old-fashioned” or “outdated,” but print marketing is still a major force in the world of advertising.
Think about the last time you saw a poster for an upcoming event or received a flyer in the mail. When you consider how frequently you personally come across printed marketing materials, you’ll notice that it’s still prominent in people’s everyday lives even with the rise of digital marketing.
In a world driven by quick communication, people rarely see printed communication that they care about. Among stacks of junk mail and bills, a well-designed fundraising flyer is much more likely to catch their eye and mean something to them.
When dabbling in print marketing, there are plenty of options your nonprofit can use, including:
Flyers and posters
Brochures and pamphlets
Newspaper and magazine ads
Particularly for nonprofits, this type of marketing can help you connect with older supporters who aren’t as active online. Plus, many people interpret it as being more personal since it takes a bit more effort than sending mass emails or publishing a social media post.
No matter what type of print materials you create, you’ll want to make sure they’re designed to catch people’s eyes. Your graphics, fonts, and colors can mean the difference between someone stopping to read your ad and going on about their day without a second thought.
If graphic design isn’t your marketing team’s forte, consider hiring a third-party designer. We recommend Kwala! They work exclusively with nonprofits to produce professional marketing materials for both print and digital outreach.
They design everything from letterheads to capital campaign brochures, like the example above! Reach out to their team to start creating powerful designs for your nonprofit marketing materials.
Event Marketing for Nonprofits
Hosting an event provides a chance for people to get to know your organization in person. You can form a connection with potential supporters and tell them directly about the impact they could make on your organization.
There’s a wide range of events your nonprofit can host. If you have the budget for a more lavish event, try hosting a gala. To get your supporters up and active, organize a marathon. The possibilities are endless!
No matter which type of event you’re hosting, there are some general ways to make sure your event is successful at accomplishing your goals. For the ultimate nonprofit event, make sure to:
While they do take a lot of time and resources to plan, events are powerful nonprofit marketing tools. People will remember their experience at your event and retain that association between their enjoyment and your nonprofit.
Video Marketing for Nonprofits
Video marketing has become very popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Videos are even more engaging than static images and can allow you to share an abundance of information in a short amount of time.
While YouTube was one of the first modern video-sharing platforms, others such as TikTok and Instagram have caught onto the short video craze. Nonprofits can take advantage of these platforms to promote their events and missions.
There are several reasons why video marketing is so impactful, including:
Easy to process. Did you know that people process visual content 60,000 times faster than written content? This makes it easier to inform your audience about your mission or upcoming opportunities.
Elicits emotion. Reading a paragraph or looking at an image could make you feel something, but it’s much more likely for a video to move you. This emotion can inspire action and a deeper connection to your cause.
Shareable. Social media platforms make it easy to send videos to your friends over text or through the apps themselves. This way, your supporters can help amplify your cause for you.
Entertaining. Most people would simply prefer to watch a video to learn about a topic as opposed to reading about it. Videos make topics come to life and will do a better job of capturing your audience’s attention.
While we’ve mostly discussed video marketing in the context of social media, that’s not the only place you can share videos your organization has created. Consider creating an informational video to live on your website’s homepage or a thank you video to send to donors after they’ve contributed.
Videos are extremely valuable marketing tools, but note that they can also slow down the load time of your website. Remember to turn off auto-play to help your website load as quickly as possible.
Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits
Since social media is free, it’s a great marketing choice for nonprofits. It also encourages interaction with your organization and its content. People can comment, like, and repost your content, maximizing its impact.
Social media also gives your organization the opportunity to leverage current trends and build a brand personality. Recently, small brands have blown up on TikTok for their funny and relatable content, and there’s no reason why nonprofits can’t do the same.
Although there’s a variety of social media platforms that all feature different types of content, follow these suggestions to improve your organization’s online presence:
Share important news about your organization and cause.
Create a brand identity to boost awareness and recognition.
Ensure your content includes calls-to-action such as event registrations, donation requests, and volunteer signups.
Describe real people’s experiences with your organization to recruit new volunteers and employees.
Thank donors, employees, and volunteers for their contributions.
Considering the number of different social media platforms out there, you’ll want to think hard about which ones fit best with your audience, content, and mission.
Your nonprofit’s website is likely the first place people go to learn more about your organization, so it’s important to do it right. Your website should not only host valuable information about your organization, but it should also inform supporters about upcoming events and opportunities.
Review the WCAG and ADA guidelines to make sure your website is compliant.
Include well-placed call-to-action buttons and links to direct traffic to different pages on your site.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate and use.
Regularly check all tools and content management systems to make sure they’re working as they should.
Maintain a cohesive brand identity throughout your site.
Think about your website as the hub of supporter activity. It’s where you collect donations, share updates, describe events, and educate people about your cause. Since your website has several functions and purposes, it’s important to make sure it’s working properly and is designed effectively to provide a positive user experience.
Between following the above tips and ensuring your graphic design strategy inspires users to explore your site, your site will be well-equipped to be your ultimate marketing asset.
Content Marketing for Nonprofits
Content marketing allows you to create valuable nonprofit content that can bring traffic to your website and build your reputation in the field. You can create standard blog posts as well as downloadable resources.
To help you get started with content marketing, here are some different types of content you may leverage:
Informative content about your mission or news in your field
Typical blog content that’s SEO optimized to help with your page’s search engine rankings
Shareable content that can help spread your mission further
Ready-to-use templates and downloadable resources for others to use
Writing content takes a lot of time and effort, so you may want to consider creating a copywriting team for your organization. That way, you can have a group dedicated to filling your blog and adding value to your website.
Text Message Marketing for Nonprofits
Since people are always on their phones, text message marketing has a high open rate and the potential to reach your audience quickly.
One way to use text message marketing effectively is by leveraging a text-giving tool. That way, you can create effective text-to-give campaigns that provide an easy donation option.
You can also use phone appends to make sure you reach all of your supporters. Phone appends fill in the missing phone numbers in your supporter database and update outdated ones. Having this data helps to ensure that you’re reaching out to the right people with the right contact information.
Besides initiating a text-to-give campaign, there are other opportunities for text message marketing. You can use this outreach method to:
Send urgent appeals
Remind volunteers about upcoming shifts or training
Promote donations throughout your campaign or event
Send donation receipts
While similar to email marketing, text message marketing is better for shorter messages and encouraging your supporters to take action. With a higher open rate, text message marketing allows you to reach your supporters in a way that’s convenient for them.
Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits
Google Ads provide a way for nonprofits to promote their services and mission in Google search results. If someone searches for a term related to your organization, they can find your organization’s website as an ad at the top of the search results and navigate to one of your pages.
However, it can get expensive to run Google Ads. That’s exactly why Google offers an option for nonprofits called Google Ad Grants. The Google Ad Grants program provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in ad credits. That way, your organization can expand its reach in a way that aligns with its budget.
As long as your organization is eligible and follows all program guidelines, it’s easy to get started with Google Ad Grants. You can even work with a dedicated Google Grants agency for help with the application process or account maintenance.
Beyond the few we discussed, there are so many more nonprofit marketing strategies your organization can leverage. Remember, don’t overwhelm your marketing team. Think about the purpose of your campaign and the characteristics of your audience, and choose the right platforms for your nonprofit. Thatway, you can reach out to supporters through different channels without wasting time and resources on unviable options.
To help you out, we’ve narrowed down some of the most essential nonprofit marketing ideas to make your campaigns stand out, including:
Develop design, personality, and attitude guidelines.
If you want people to recognize your organization’s branding, then you have to make sure it’s cohesive. Work with your nonprofit marketing team to carefully develop your nonprofit’s persona and graphic design preferences.
Commit to improving your content’s SEO.
It’s important to know how to optimize your content for search engines and which factors contribute to your content’s rankings. Research SEO best practices and determine the top keywords you want your content to rank for.
Establish a connected online presence.
We’ve discussed different digital marketing strategies. Whichever ones you choose to implement, it’s best to create paths that connect each platform to each other. For example, include the link to your website in the bio of your social media accounts. That way, people can go straight from one touchpoint to another seamlessly.
Create a nonprofit marketing budget.
One of the most important parts of your marketing plan is your budget. You’ll want to make sure you can gather all the resources you need to promote your organization effectively while still staying within your organization’s means.
Analyze your data.
If your organization isn’t constantly reviewing the data it has and making decisions based on that data, then you’re missing out on crucial opportunities to grow your nonprofit. Data provides concrete evidence for what your marketing team is doing well and what they could work on. Some metrics you could track include:
Clickthrough rate (CTR)
Email open rate
Social media impressions and reach
Keeping track of the data associated with your campaigns allows you to improve your future marketing endeavors.
Emulate larger organizations.
The great part about starting a nonprofit is that there are thousands of model organizations to base your strategies on. Find an organization similar to yours and see how they’ve reached success to help inform your own nonprofit marketing efforts.
Dividing your supporters into groups based on shared factors allows you to customize their experiences. That way, you can demonstrate that you understand your supporters’ needs and are willing to meet them where they are.
Personalize your supporters’ experiences.
Segmentation isn’t the only way to give people a personalized experience. Consider sending handwritten thank you cards to your donors or featuring a volunteer of the month on your social media pages. Showing your supporters that you care will only deepen their connection to your organization.
Above all else, it’s important to continuously review your marketing efforts. That way, you can adapt to any new trends or identify any areas that need some work. Just because your organization was up to date five years ago doesn’t mean you can’t change your branding or segmentation to be more current to the present day.
Remember, your number one consideration should be your supporters. All of your promotional efforts are directed at gaining and retaining supporters, so it’s necessary to think about their needs and keep them in mind throughout the whole nonprofit marketing process.
Conclusion and Additional Resources
Now that you know all about nonprofit marketing, it’ll be easier to dive right into the process. Equipped with a marketing plan, strategies, and ideas, you’ll be all set to start reaching out to potential supporters and growing your nonprofit.
While we went over the basics of nonprofit marketing in this guide, there are still so many areas that you can dive into. Especially if you’re a newer nonprofit marketing professional, you’ll likely want some additional resources to look over.
Here are some articles that can teach you a little more about nonprofit marketing:
Fundraising comprises a large portion of your nonprofit’s funding. Collecting donations empowers your organization to expand its reach and accomplish its mission.
However, it can be intimidating to start a fundraiser from scratch, especially for newer organizations and less experienced fundraising coordinators. Fundraisers require a certain level of organization, a clear strategy, and a lot of hard work to be successful. From creating your initial goals to developing your marketing materials, there are so many considerations that go into starting a fundraiser.
To help you stay on track, we’ll teach you how to start a fundraiser by walking you through the fundraising process step by step. Along the way, we’ll offer advice on how to pull off the fundraiser of your dreams.
Take a look at the steps we’ll discuss to make sure your fundraising plan is complete:
It’s our goal at NXUnite to equip nonprofits with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful. Fundraising is such a huge element of nonprofit operations, so it’s important to know how to start a fundraiser properly. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to help your nonprofit reach its fundraising goals.
With that, let’s jump right into it and learn how to start a fundraiser!
1. Determine Your Goals For Your Nonprofit Fundraiser
To start a fundraiser off on the right foot, it’s important to set a focus for your campaign by creating clear goals. That way, you’ll build a strong foundation for the rest of the planning process.
The SMART Goal Method
Instead of creating generic objectives, there are some guidelines your organization should follow to make sure your goals are meaningful. The SMART goal model ensures that your goals are action-oriented and targeted to exactly what you want to achieve. Check out the elements of SMART goals:
Specific. Make sure your goals have a clear purpose. It’s not enough to say you want to raise money for your cause. Indicate exactly what the money will go towards.
Measurable. In this case, measurable typically refers to a clear monetary value you’d like to achieve. For example, your goal could be to raise $10,000 during the fundraiser. However, it could also be a certain amount of new donors you want to recruit or the number of returning donors you’d like to see.
Achievable. While it’s good to be optimistic, you’ll also want to be realistic about what your organization can achieve. Don’t set your fundraising amount too high or give your nonprofit too short of a time to reach its goals.
Relevant. Keep your organization’s current overall goals in mind when determining your fundraising goals. That way, your goals will align and make sense for your nonprofit.
Time-bound. Set a deadline for your goals to motivate your organization to achieve them. Otherwise, you might put them off or not achieve them as quickly as you could.
To sum up SMART goals, we’ll give you an example to refer to. If you coordinate school fundraisers, your goal might be to raise $100,000 over the course of the school year to help build a new playground. This goal is specific because it indicates exactly what the money will go towards. It’s measurable because you’ve assigned a monetary value to your goal.
Your team must determine whether your goals are achievable by evaluating your resources, but we know this one is relevant because it will add value to the school. Lastly, this goal is time-bound because it must be accomplished by the end of the school year.
Other Considerations For Your Fundraiser’s Goals
Now that you know how to create SMART goals, there are two other considerations you’ll want to keep in mind:
Your definition of success. This consideration ties into the achievable aspect of SMART goals. Do you want to raise a certain amount of money? Maybe you want to secure new donors or retain a certain amount of donors from your last fundraiser. Whatever the metrics you’re using to determine your fundraiser’s success, they will help you determine how much you need to raise and how much you could raise realistically based on your organization’s size and scope.
The intended impact of your goals. You might know what the money you raise will physically go towards, but why is that project or initiative important? Returning to our school example, maybe your school wants to build a new playground because it will teach kids the importance of being active. Illustrating this intended impact of the playground when you’re marketing your fundraiser will create a more compelling call to action for potential donors.
Putting thought behind your goals will set your campaign up for success before it even starts by giving participants something to work toward. Once your fundraising goals are solidified, it’s time to choose what your campaign will look like.
2. Select a Fundraising Campaign Type
There are tons of fundraiser options out there. Depending on your goals, budget, and resources, you can select a campaign type that best suits your organization’s audience and needs. Of course, your nonprofit can also combine several different fundraiser types for even greater reach.
Check out some of the most common fundraising campaign types below:
Online Fundraising Campaigns
The options are endless when it comes to online fundraising. It breaks down geographical barriers and makes it easier to connect with more supporters. Here are a few online fundraising campaign types to get you started:
Online donation page. If you don’t have one already, set up a donation page on your website. Then, you can promote it using emails and social media posts. You’ll be able to drive traffic here across any type of campaign, making it easy to start a fundraiser at any point.
Text-to-give. Donating is made simple through text-to-give. You just have to provide your supporters with a code word and number to text it to. They’ll then be prompted with a donation link. To use this option to its fullest potential, take advantage of phone appends. Phone appends add missing phone numbers to your supporter database so you can reach as many supporters as possible.
Crowdfunding. Leverage the power of the share button and gain support from a wide range of people using a crowdfunding campaign. Using social media, you can request small donations that add up to your goal and ask that followers share your campaign page with their friends and family to level up your campaign further.
For the best results, you’ll likely want to combine your online fundraising methods with offline ones. This will increase the visibility of your campaigns and allow you to maximize your pool of prospects.
Offline Fundraising Campaigns
While they may take a little more effort than online fundraising options, offline ones can be just as effective. Many people prefer the personal touch of in-person interactions and traditional fundraising methods. Take a look at some of our ideas before you start a fundraiser:
Direct mail. Requesting donations through mail can be a more personal outreach method. Segment your donors based on how frequently they donate and how much they have donated in the past.
Fundraising event. There are so many different ways to gather your community in support of your cause. Examples include walk-a-thons, auctions, and restaurant fundraisers.
Peer-to-peer fundraising. While peer-to-peer fundraising typically has an online component, the general idea is that your supporters raise money for your cause through their own family and friends. They could set up a social media fundraiser, organize their own fundraising event, or go door-to-door to rally support for your nonprofit.
No matter which combination of fundraising campaigns you use, remember to make it fun to get your supporters excited about their involvement.
3. Develop a Fundraising Plan
An effective fundraising plan will keep you organized and on track. It will serve as your roadmap and ensure you have everything you need to make your campaign successful.
To make sure your fundraising plan is comprehensive, here are the elements yours should include:
Goals. Start off your fundraising plan by adding the SMART goals you developed earlier. These goals will guide the rest of your fundraising plan.
Case for support. You’ll want to craft a compelling reason for why donors should support your cause. It’s best to make this specific to the initiative or project you’re raising money for.
Campaign type. Once you figure out which fundraising campaign you’re moving forward with, indicate that in your fundraising plan. Again, you can use any combination of the ones we’ve listed previously or others you come up with.
Marketing channels. Choose which marketing channels are best for your campaign. Examples of marketing channels include social media, email, and your organization’s website.
Timeline. Before starting a fundraiser, set a definitive timeline for your campaign. It might help to develop a campaign calendar to plan out the work that must get done each week.
Budget. Figure out how much you need to spend to make your fundraiser a reality. Think about the costs of fundraising events and initiatives ahead of time so you only spend what you need to.
Team members. Determine which members of your team will be part of this fundraising project and how much external support you’ll need from volunteers. You’ll want to delegate responsibilities to them so everyone knows what to do.
Incorporating all of these items into your fundraising plan will set clear intentions for your fundraiser, making it easier to move along with the planning process.
4. Choose the Appropriate Software Before Starting a Fundraiser
Fundraising software is necessary for your fundraiser to run smoothly. From accepting online donations and processing payments to managing donors and volunteers, there are so many aspects of your fundraiser that require software.
Events are one area where software can come in handy. You’ll likely want to take advantage of fundraising software to register and check in event attendees. If your event is virtual, you can provide a link or QR code to participants to make the process easier.
There are also specific platforms for certain types of fundraisers. For example, if you’re hosting a peer-to-peer fundraiser, you’ll want to look into peer-to-peer software, which enables your supporters to securely create individual fundraising pages to share with their networks.
If your organization already uses donor management software, find fundraising software that integrates well with the platform you use. That way, you can automatically import information about your new donors, saving your team time and energy. Later on, you can use that data to reach out to donors and shape future fundraising campaigns.
With fundraising software secured, you’re ready to move on to the next step in how to start a fundraiser.
5. Create Marketing Materials To Promote Your Fundraiser
Nonprofits need to come up with cohesive marketing strategies in order to promote their fundraisers effectively. Think about your campaign as a single story you want to tell. Every promotional material should work together in pursuit of your goals.
It can be difficult to create effective marketing materials, so here are some tips that will help you elevate yours:
Focus your marketing on the impact your fundraiser will have. Of course, you’ll want to tell potential donors exactly what their money will go towards, but you’ll also want to highlight the underlying benefits of the project you’re funding. Make it clear why this project or initiative is important and what will happen if you don’t achieve your fundraising goals.
Using multiple different marketing channels will allow you to reach a broader audience. While you’ll want to tell the same cohesive story to all of your supporters, remember to adapt your message and content to each channel. For example, your social media campaign might feature short videos explaining the fundraiser while your website might contain an entire page dedicated to the fundraiser.
No matter which marketing channels you leverage, having well-designed images can help your marketing materials stand out. People are more drawn to images than words, and eye-catching designs can convey more information than you might think. Plus, images can break up large chunks of text to make it easier to read.
If your team has trouble creating its marketing materials, consider outsourcing the design work to a third-party graphic designer. We highly recommend Kwala, a nonprofit-focused graphic design company. By exclusively working with nonprofits throughout the years, they’ve become well-versed in what it takes to design materials that inspire support.
From social media graphics to fundraising flyers, Kwala can help bring your visions to life and spread awareness for your fundraisers in no time. Take this event invitation they created for the Wildlife Rescue Group for example:
Whether you want artistic drawings or more realistic designs with stock photos, they’ll work with you to create the perfect promotional materials for your next fundraiser.
Once your marketing materials are ready to go, it’s time to share them with your supporters!
6. Promote Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser
Your fundraiser could be for an outstanding cause with an organized fundraising plan behind it, but if no one knows about it, you won’t reach your fundraising goals. Promoting your fundraiser will attract new and previous donors to contribute to your cause.
As we alluded to before, your organization can use many different marketing channels to spread the word about your fundraiser. Use any combination of the ones we’ve listed below:
You can’t go wrong with email marketing. It allows you to reach new and previous supporters and send a variety of different communications related to your fundraiser. Whether you’re informing subscribers about your fundraiser in your newsletter, inviting supporters to a fundraising event, or thanking donors for their contributions, email is an effective way to communicate about your fundraising efforts.
Your organization’s website is the home base for anything and everything about your nonprofit, so it’s a great place to include details about your fundraiser. Potential supporters will get the opportunity to look through other pages on your site to learn more about your organization before they lend their support.
If your nonprofit has a blog on its website, consider posting an article about the fundraiser. You could introduce or recap a fundraising event or provide an update about how much money you’ve raised so far.
Social media is a great place to promote your fundraiser because your supporters can repost your content and share it with their own networks. You can also use social media as a chance to have some fun with your fundraiser’s promotion by playing into current trends and making short videos about the fundraiser with your team.
See if any local media outlets will share a press release about your fundraising events. That way, you can reach members of your community who may know nothing about your organization.
Ask your corporate partners, local businesses, or other related nonprofit organizations to help you spread the word about your fundraiser.
Google Ad Grants
The Google Ad Grants program provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month in Google Ad spending. As long as your organization is eligible, you can apply to the program and start leveraging Google Ads for free to promote your fundraisers and cause. For help with applying for the program and managing your account, reach out to a Google Grant agency so you can focus on building out your campaign instead of writing ad copy.
Again, the best marketing campaigns use multiple marketing methods. As long as you make the effort to interconnect each channel and communicate a cohesive message, leveraging multiple marketing channels will help you reach a larger audience.
7. Thank Donors For Contributing To Your Fundraiser
It’s always important to thank your donors, especially directly after they’ve made a donation. New donors can become life-long members of your community if you put in the effort to form relationships with them. Additionally, you can keep previous donors coming back by showing them you appreciate them.
The way you create a positive experience for donors is through effective donor stewardship. There are several ways to practice proper donor stewardship, such as:
Thanking donors by emailing them or calling them directly after they donate
Maintaining frequent communication with donors across marketing channels
Inviting donors to stewardship events
Sending donors reports that illustrate the impact they’ve made on your organization
Donor stewardship ensures that your organization creates and maintains strong relationships with your supporters. That way, your nonprofit can expand its network and build a community of supporters to work with and rely on when you start future fundraisers, projects, and initiatives.
8. Assess the Results of Your Nonprofit’s Fundraiser
After your fundraiser, it’s essential to go back and look over your goals to see if you’ve accomplished them. This final step is important because it allows you to take the lessons you’ve learned from this campaign and apply them to your next fundraiser.
A great way to assess the results of your fundraiser is to ask your donors or event attendees for their feedback by sending them a survey. That way, you can get another perspective on what worked and what didn’t from fundraiser participants rather than leadership.
Additionally, there are some questions you’ll want to review with your fundraising team to evaluate your success. These questions may include:
Did you meet your initial goals?
Which marketing methods were most successful in achieving your goals?
Which marketing methods were unsuccessful?
Did you set an appropriate budget?
What were some successes that you should replicate when starting your next fundraiser?
What were some failures or shortcomings that you should avoid for your next fundraiser?
Are there any ways you could have used your resources more efficiently?
Taking the time to reflect upon your fundraiser will make your next one even more successful. Even though your team is likely busy with other projects, putting in a little time now means you’ll save time later in the planning process for future fundraisers.
Conclusion & Additional Resources
Now that you know the steps for how to start a fundraiser, it will be easier to stay organized and get the job done. Each time you host a fundraiser, you’ll get more familiar with the planning process, leading to more successful fundraisers.
In this guide to how to start a fundraiser, we touched upon many different considerations that go into fundraiser planning. We know you might have some further questions about how to host an effective fundraiser, especially if you’re a first-timer.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of resources that go beyond the basics of starting a fundraiser. These articles tackle more specific fundraiser tips and tricks that will help you along your fundraising journey. Check them out below:
15 Best Fundraiser Websites: The Complete List. If you’re looking to create a website for your fundraiser or create a fundraiser page on your own website, take a look at this article. It will walk you through several fundraiser website options.
https://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/How-to-Start-a-Fundraiser_Feature-1.jpg370700developerhttps://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/logo-nxunite.svgdeveloper2022-08-05 10:45:002022-10-10 18:09:06How to Start a Fundraiser: The Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide
Fundraising is the foundation of your nonprofit’s success. If your nonprofit is a car, fundraising is the fuel allowing you to drive your mission forward (was that one too many car puns?) Effective fundraising allows you to continue funding your projects and programs to ultimately help more people and achieve your goals.
As a nonprofit professional (or an aspiring one), you may be looking to improve your fundraising skills for greater fundraising success in the future. In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about fundraising training, including:
Fundraising is a skill that you can practice and ultimately get better at over time. These tips and resources will help guide you in the right direction to achieve greater fundraising success.
Fundraising Training FAQs
Before we dive into a few fundraising training course options and resources, let’s explore some commonly asked questions about fundraising training and how to develop fundraising skills.
What level of education is needed for fundraising?
There are no sector-wide degree requirements for nonprofit fundraising professionals. However, certain degrees lend themselves more naturally to eventual fundraising success.
If you’re looking to go into fundraising after completing your college career, the following bachelor’s degrees lend themselves naturally to fundraising:
These degrees tend to focus on developing communication skills, conducting creative problem solving, increasing efficiency within organizations, and building other skills that can eventually help you become a better fundraiser.
Some universities even offer fundraising-related master’s degrees in the following fields:
An advanced degree in either of these fields can train you specifically for managing the ins and outs of on-the-ground nonprofit work.
Some degrees may also align with specific nonprofit missions. Having a degree in your nonprofit’s field of research or work can give you an immense amount of credibility when it comes to discussing your organization’s mission and the important role fundraising plays in reaching your goals. The following degrees may be applicable to nonprofit work:
Keep in mind that becoming an effective fundraiser isn’t about having a certain degree. In fact, many organizations don’t have a degree requirement to be able to apply for their fundraising positions. What’s more important than having a specific degree is that you have a variety of soft skills that fit well within the fundraising space and that you are a fast learner who can pick up new skills on the fly.
What are the most important fundraising skills?
Fundraising requires nonprofit professionals to leverage a variety of skills to spread mission awareness, connect with potential supporters, and ultimately convert these prospects into donors. It’s a fast-paced, engaging field that requires a combination of hard and soft skills such as:
Written communication. Sending internal and external emails, drafting reports, publishing social media campaigns, and designing marketing materials are all written communications tasks that might pop up on a fundraiser’s daily task list.
Oral communication. Fundraisers must also be able to deliver their nonprofit’s case for support verbally in front of a variety of audiences. Fundraisers need to be just as engaging when conducting one-on-one donor meetings with major donors as they are when giving presentations at conferences or other large events.
Analytical skills. Effective fundraising also requires analytical skills to track progress, identify areas of strength and weakness, and create new strategies. Fundraising professionals may need to review fundraising metrics and compile the results into written or oral reports.
Technical skills.The future of fundraising lies in innovative technology tools and strategies. Fundraisers need to know how to use a variety of tech tools effectively, including a nonprofit CRM, an online donation platform, and digital marketing platforms.
Depending on the size of the nonprofit, the fundraising team might be made up of several individuals who specialize in one of these skills. However, for many nonprofits, the fundraising team is made of just one or two individuals who must manage each of these activities effectively.
What are the main categories of fundraising?
When it comes to fundraising training, you won’t just be learning how to conduct one type of fundraising. Fundraising involves connecting with multiple individuals and groups — individual donors, corporate sponsors, grant funders, volunteers, and community members — to build relationships.
With that in mind, your fundraising training process should incorporate the following types of fundraising:
Each of these activities requires a different approach and skill set. For instance, earning corporate sponsorships requires meeting with business owners and making your case for support using meetings and written communications. Event planning may require recruiting and managing volunteers, handling logistics, and creating marketing materials.
Depending on the size of your organization and the fundraising team, you might be engaged in all or just a handful of these activities daily.
How can I improve my fundraising skills?
If you’re looking to get better at fundraising and increase your positive response rate, there are a few steps you can take right away to get started:
Set personal goals. Set specific goals for yourself that you can work toward throughout the training process. For example, perhaps you want to improve your public speaking skills, connect better with potential donors during one-on-one meetings, or learn how to use fundraising software more efficiently. Having a clear goal in mind can help guide you as you decide what types of fundraising training to pursue.
Take fundraising training courses or classes. There are a variety of fundraising webinars and courses available online that you can follow at your own pace. Some resources require a fee, but there are also several free options available. We’ll explore a few quality online training courses in the next section.
Work with a fundraising consultant. If you’re looking to improve your nonprofit’s overall fundraising approach and train your full team on best practices, it’s helpful to work with a fundraising consultant. These experts have the experience and know-how needed to boost your fundraising strategy by filling gaps in your planning process, connecting with your unique supporter base, and training your team on how to build donor relationships.
Learn how to pivot the conversation. As a fundraiser, you’ll hear plenty of “no’s” over time. Whether a prospect isn’t in the right place to give or doesn’t feel strongly connected to your mission yet, there are plenty of reasons why potential donors will turn you down. However, it’s your job to make sure you don’t burn any bridges or close any doors unintentionally. As you have conversations with potential donors, start to find ways that you can turn more “no’s” into “maybes” and even “yeses.” For example, figure out how you can engage donors in opportunities that aren’t all about fundraising, or get to know them better to send them fundraising requests that better align with their giving capacity.
Keep an eye on fundraising trends and tech developments. New technologies, from matching gift software to AI for nonprofits, have vastly altered the way fundraising professionals operate. These innovations will continue to have a major impact on the nonprofit sector. Bookmark relevant nonprofit blogs such as Double the Donation, Getting Attention, and of course, NXUnite. These resources will help you stay in the know about the latest nonprofit software and fundraising strategy developments.
Now that you have a roadmap for improving your fundraising skills, let’s take a look at a few of the best fundraising training programs, resources, and workshops available.
8 Fundraising Training Courses & Resources
Best Fundraising Webinars and Panels
Nonprofit webinars and panels help novice fundraisers learn how to improve their skills from the top fundraising professionals in the sector. Attendees can hear from the first-hand experience of other fundraisers to incorporate best practices into their nonprofit’s strategies. Check out the following sources for engaging, informative webinars and panel discussions.
NXUnite has a full calendar of free webinars and panels geared toward nonprofit professionals and others in the social-good space. Topics range from nonprofit IT best practices to how to connect with donors from different generations. The panelists and presenters are long-time industry experts that offer a wide range of insights and personal experiences.
Double the Donation
If you’re looking specifically for information about improving your approach to corporate giving, including acquiring more matching gifts and volunteer grant funds, look no further than Double the Donation’s webinars. Double the Donation is the industry-leading provider of matching gift software for nonprofits, universities, and other fundraising organizations. Their webinars cover matching gift best practices and industry insights, integration updates, and general fundraising advice.
Best Fundraising Workshops
Sometimes, what your organization needs is an intensive deep dive that allows you to set up more efficient and effective fundraising processes. You can find what you’re looking for in the form of a fundraising workshop, such as the programs offered by Aly Sterling Philanthropy.
Aly Sterling Philanthropy
Aly Sterling Philanthropy is a nonprofit consulting firm that offers fundraising services ranging from strategic planning to board preparation and corporate philanthropy management. ASP offers three practical workshops focusing on board efficiency and engagement, board governance, and fundraising preparedness.
Fundraising professionals can also purchase a variety of primers and toolkits from ASP’s Nonprofit Store. The store includes guides for stewarding donors, creating a strong case for support for a capital campaign, and evaluating your board’s and executive director’s effectiveness.
Best Online Fundraising Courses
Fundraising courses allow fundraisers-in-training to work through relevant educational materials on their own time and at their convenience. With online fundraising courses, you can engage in training from anywhere and take things at your own pace. If you’re interested in taking a fundraising course, consider the following options.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) empowers fundraising professionals by offering professional development, networking, and research opportunities. The organization’s e-courses cover fundraising fundamentals, CRM management, and more. They also offer resources for Spanish-speaking fundraising professionals.
Also, AFP has teamed up with MindEdge to offer over 100 courses on everything from nonprofit leadership to finance and HR. These courses can apply to a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification. This certification designates an individual as an ethical fundraising professional who follows industry best practices and is committed to observing the highest fundraising standards.
Nonprofit.Courses offers thousands of online course options, and the vast majority (over 90%!) of them are free. Popular topics include grant-writing, accounting and finance, and starting up a new nonprofit. Nonprofit professionals can use these courses to earn continuing education certifications, such as certificates in web design, sustainable management, and more.
NonprofitReady offers free fundraising courses, allowing trainees to earn certificates and further their fundraising knowledge. Topics include online fundraising, email marketing, fundraising events, and more. Courses are designed by learning design professionals and nonprofit professional development experts.
Best Fundraising Professional Training Programs
Coaches aren’t just for sports teams—there are also plenty of coaches available to help you advance in your fundraising skills. Some nonprofit professionals dedicate their time to providing tailored training programs to meet new fundraisers where they are and build up their skills. Let’s take a look at a couple of top fundraising training programs and coaches!
The Fundraising Academy offers CFRE-accredited programs that integrate business best practices with donor relationship-building strategies. Their Cause Selling Education program allows you to learn amongst peers in a cohort environment. The program is targeted at helping you advance in all fundraising categories: major gift cultivation, planned giving, digital fundraising, and more.
The Fundraising Coach
Marc Pittman is a leadership coach, fundraising trainer, and founder of The Fundraising Coach, a training and coaching program aimed at helping nonprofit professionals build a variety of skills. These include time management, leadership, marketing, and fundraising. Marc hosts personalized training sessions with nonprofit leadership groups to help build confidence and competency. Plus, Marc also offers executive coaching designed to help nonprofit leaders reach their full potential.
Getting Started with Fundraising Training
Your fundraising training should be an ongoing process— even if you’re an experienced nonprofit professional with multiple years in the sector under your belt. No matter how experienced you think you are, there’s always more to learn!
If you’re looking to get connected and learn from other nonprofit professionals who have been in your shoes, explore the NXUnite community. We offer a variety of resources for nonprofit professionals, including webinars and resource lists of top industry solutions. Also, check out our list of upcoming nonprofit conferences to add a few more learning and networking opportunities to your calendar.
If you’re ready to jump right into fundraising training, get started by exploring these additional resources:
25 Nonprofit Podcasts You Should Listen To In 2022. Podcasts can be a great way to learn from anywhere— while driving your car, walking around your neighborhood, or folding your laundry! Here are 25 podcasts that will further your fundraising training.
3 Steps to Get Started With Fundraising Data Analytics. For many new fundraisers, reviewing analytics can be one of the most intimidating aspects of fundraising. This guide breaks the process down into simple steps and explains how to get started with tracking analytics.
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Whether they consciously think about it or not, nonprofits collect data every day. From accepting donations to receiving new email newsletter sign-ups, every time a nonprofit interacts with its supporters, it’s absorbing different data points.
These days, all types of organizations understand that data should guide decision-making because it acts as clear evidence for trends and occurrences within your industry or operations. Nonprofits should be no different. Using data effectively can help your organization optimize its content and spread its mission even further.
The only problem with this data-driven approach is that if your organization has incorrect or incomplete data, then it can be difficult to comfortably rely on that data. That’s where data appends come in.
Data appends fill in the gaps in your data so that you can make well-informed decisions and communicate with a larger breadth of your supporters. If your organization isn’t familiar with data appends, then we’re here to help you learn the basics and how you can get started with the data append process.
Take a look at the questions we’ll answer in this guide:
Here at NXUnite, we connect nonprofits with the tools they need to be successful. We believe that data appends are an essential part of good data hygiene, which all nonprofits should practice in order to improve relationships with supporters and grow their organizations. Learning about what data appends are and how they work is the first step in improving your organization’s data hygiene, so you’ve come to the right place!
Equipped with data appends, your organization will not only improve its data hygiene but will also gain better insights into who your supporters are and how you can best reach out to them. But first, let’s learn what data appends are and how a data append service can help you with the process.
What Is a Data Append?
A data append is a piece of new information added to your nonprofit’s database. During the data appending process, data append services pull data from external sources to correct incorrect data or supplement incomplete data. They use any supporter information that you supply them with, such as contact information, to correctly identify the right individuals across different sources.
Data appends are important because they ensure your database is more complete with the information you need. For example, you could be missing an email address for an important donor. Without their email address, you won’t be able to thank that donor for their contributions or update them about your organization, potentially jeopardizing your relationship with them.
3 Different Approaches to Data Appending
While all data appends refer to adding new information to a database, there are different ways to go about the process and obtain the data you need. These are the three different approaches to data appending:
Forward: Forward appending is what most people think of when discussing data appends. It occurs when an append adds to basic information your organization already has. For example, you may have a donor’s name and mailing address, but a data append could add their phone number as well.
Reverse: As the name implies, reverse appending is the opposite of forward appending. With this approach, your organization uses a singular piece of data to fill in the related basic information. You might have email addresses from your newsletter subscribers, but you could use reverse appending to fill in their names.
Fractional: For a combination of the previous two approaches, use fractional data appending. In this case, you could use a supporter’s name and email address to find their mailing address. Fractional appending puts the best of both approaches together to find the information you need.
To determine which data append approach to take, think about which type of data you’re looking for. As we mentioned, forward appending is most typical and the most beneficial for nonprofits, so it’s never a bad idea to start there.
Data Append Timing
In addition to the different approaches to data appending, there are also two different categories of data appends based on the timing of when you’ll receive them:
Batch: Just as it sounds, batch appending is when organizations send a batch of information to be appended. This approach is best for nonprofits with large databases that have a clear need for organization. For example, you might be missing some of your volunteers’ phone numbers and mailing addresses. To fix this, you can send a file with the data you have to a data append service, and they will add the missing information all at once.
Real-time: For automatic updates to individual records, use real-time appending. Once you send in your information, a server will update it in real-time when needed. An example of a situation where you could use real-time appending is if you want to analyze your newsletter sign-ups and fill in contact information that subscribers left out.
Again, the choice between batch and real-time appending should depend on your organization’s needs. For most types of data appends, batch appending is more beneficial because it allows you to get all the information you need at once. However, real-time appending can be useful for ongoing data append-based solutions.
What Types of Data Appends Are There?
There’s a wide variety of data types you can append to your nonprofit’s database. Depending on your marketing goals and the information you have missing, you can choose the data appends that best fit your organization’s needs.
If you’re not sure which types of data would benefit your nonprofit, we’ll walk through the four different categories to give you a better idea of what your organization might need.
1. Contact Information
A lot of the data we’ve talked about so far falls under the umbrella of contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses. Believe it or not, social media profiles are also a type of data append in this category.
Communication with your supporters is essential to keeping your nonprofit running smoothly. Make sure your contact information is complete, up to date, and accurate with contact information appends. It’s important to review and update this type of data regularly since supporters’ contact information can change frequently for a variety of reasons.
2. Demographic Information
Demographic information allows you to learn a little more about who your supporters are. Types of demographic information you might collect include:
Although the benefits of having supporters’ demographic may not be as clear as those for contact information, knowing more about your supporters can help you reach them more effectively.
For example, date of birth appends allow you to know each supporter’s age so that you can segment them based on how old they are. Younger donors may respond better to text message outreach and social media campaigns while older donors may prefer direct mail. Additionally, knowing your supporters’ dates of birth presents the opportunity to offer birthday gifts or perks.
3. Geographic Data
Using geographic data appends can assist you in creating location-based campaigns. Segmentation based on location can be useful if your organization only operates in a certain area, if there are different localized branches of your nonprofit, or if you’re hosting in-person opportunities in certain areas.
The main geographic data append type is mailing address appends. Having the addresses of your supporters can allow you to send them direct mail and notify them of local opportunities.
4. Donor Wealth Screening
Donors are the primary source of your fundraising, so it can be helpful to know a little more about their assets. That way, you can predict how much and how likely they are to donate. It’s important to focus your marketing efforts on donors who seem to be open to upping or continuing their support at the moment. Doing so can help you prevent wasting time and energy on donors who may not currently be interested in lending their support.
Here are examples of donor wealth data you could append to your donor database.
Likeliness to give
Prior donations to other nonprofits
Business and foundation affiliations
Data append services use donation and wealth databases to find this information based on the donor data you supply them with. Once you receive your donor wealth appends, you can customize your outreach to each donor based on their ability and propensity to give.
What Is a Data Append Service?
Since data appending can be rather difficult and time-consuming when done by someone who’s inexperienced, it’s best to turn to the experts. A data append service can help you obtain all different types of data appends. They work to fill in the gaps in your database to help you understand and reach your target audience better.
Data append services are reputable sources for help with your data hygiene. They can append any type of data you need. Additionally, efficient data append service providers will talk to your organization about your current data needs and concerns in order to help you figure out your next steps along your data journey.
You may still not be convinced that partnering with a data append service could be helpful for your organization. If that’s the case, we’ll explain the exact value data append services bring to the table for nonprofits in the next section.
What Value Do Data Append Services Add?
As a nonprofit professional, you must be incredibly careful to budget your funds and resources effectively. Data hygiene is important because it can save your organization time and money by making sure you’re reaching out to the right people.
Basic Benefits of Data Appends
Leveraging data append services is a smart investment for nonprofits because they can help you reach your target audience more efficiently. You’ll be able to make more data-driven decisions and have the right contact information for your supporters.
Now that you know the basic premise of what data append services do, let’s explore the benefits they can provide to your organization:
New information. Data append services provide you with information you didn’t previously have access to. Whether that’s phone numbers, dates of birth, or mailing addresses, the right data append services can find the information you need.
Accurate information. You may be missing information in your database, but you may also have incorrect or outdated information that needs to be updated. Data append services check the data you already have and replace outdated data with the most current information.
Better segmentation. The more you know about your supporters, the better you can group them based on qualities relevant to your campaigns. Segmentation is a great way to customize each supporter’s experience and help them build a deeper connection to your organization.
Time conserved. With access to the right resources, your nonprofit probably could find append data on its own. However, that would be very time-consuming for your team. Leave it to the experts who offer professional data append services, know what they’re doing, and can help save time that you can reallocate to other projects.
Money saved. The investment of working with a data append service is nothing compared to the money you’ll lose on behalf of bad data. Data append services can help correct errors in your database to lower your marketing costs.
Beyond rounding out your supporter database, data appends add value to your organization in several different ways.
Nonprofit-Specific Benefits of Data Appends
While the above benefits apply to any organization, there are specific benefits for nonprofits that data append services provide, such as:
Increased mission awareness. At the heart of your organization is its mission. Once you have the data you need to communicate with your supporters effectively, more people will become aware of your nonprofit’s cause.
More donations. Now that you’re reaching out to the right audience, you’re bound to see more funds flood in for your cause. Especially if you’re able to leverage donor wealth appends, you’ll be able to improve your fundraising efforts tremendously.
Industry-relevantdata. Of course, all organizations could benefit from knowing their supporters’ names and email addresses, but there are certain data points that are especially useful for nonprofits. For example, if you know a donor’s employer, you can discover whether that employer participates in matching gifts and use that knowledge as an incentive for donors to contribute. Data append services geared toward nonprofits like NPOInfo are helpful resources for identifying opportunities to use data more effectively for your nonprofit.
If you’re looking to understand your supporters better, hiring a data append service provider is the right choice. While your organization won’t have to do much besides supplying them with the data you already have, it’s helpful to know how the data append process works so you can ask them any questions you may have.
What Is the Data Append Process?
We’ve talked a lot about the fact that data append services take the information you already have about your supporters and use it to find the data you’re looking for. How exactly does that process work though?
There are several steps that data append services follow in order to deliver data appends to their clients. Here are those steps:
Format the data. Before sending over your supporter data, make sure it’s all in the same format. Data append services typically prefer a comma-separated value (CSV) format for the data.
Upload the data. Next, compile all of the data into one file and send it to your data append service of choice.
Match the data. Once they receive your supporter data, the data append service will compare it to the databases they have in order to identify which information is missing or inaccurate.
Complete the appends. In this step, data append services enhance the data you’ve provided by adding the information they’ve found.
Check the data for accuracy. Before sending the appended information back to you, most data append services will check to make sure the data they’ve found is accurate. They may have manual or automated methods of verifying the data.
Send the data to the client. Lastly, the data append service will send the client the data file for them to download. While data append services like to work with CSV values, they can convert the file into virtually any format that the client prefers before sending it back to them.
The process is easy to follow, and once your organization formats and uploads the data, it’s all up to your data append service to put in the work. Since they’re experts in this area, they typically complete the process fairly quickly, allowing you to leverage your new data right away.
Now that you understand the data append process and how helpful a data append service can be, it’s time to find the data append service you’d like to work with.
How Do I Select a Data Append Service to Work With?
There are so many data append services out there that are ready to help your organization with its data needs. However, it’s important to do thorough research when finding a data append service provider to ensure that they have the qualities you’re looking for.
If you don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a list of characteristics that we believe all data append services working with nonprofits should have, including:
Employs accuracy checking. It would be a waste of your time and funds to go through the data append process and receive incorrect or outdated data. Look for a data append service that has accuracy checks or scans in place.
Provides multiple kinds of appends. Chances are, you need multiple types of data, or you might in the future. Stick with the same data append service for all your data append needs by finding one that can provide all the information you’re looking for.
Uses reputable information sources. You might not necessarily know where your data append service is getting their information from, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have a process of verifying the databases they’re using.
Does a thorough job. Find a data append service that goes above and beyond to satisfy your data needs. In addition to data appends, you might look for a service that can talk you through your current data hygiene or opportunities for using your new data once you’ve received it.
Has a quick turnaround. The faster you receive your data appends, the faster you can start using them to improve your marketing efforts and supporter communications. Ask your data append service how long they typically take to go through the process.
Provides quotes. With a tight budget, your nonprofit will likely want to know how much data append services cost before committing. A reliable provider will give you that information ahead of time based on the information you need.
Specializes in nonprofit data appends. For the best experience, partner with a data append service that regularly works with nonprofits. Of course, you can use a generic data append service, but for nonprofits, it’s best to work with one that is nonprofit-specific. They will understand your needs best and have the expertise you need to propel your organization forward on its data hygiene journey.
Works with a variety of nonprofit organizations. Even if you’re working with a nonprofit-specific service, there’s no guarantee that they’ve worked with your organization type before. Look for a data append service that has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations such as schools, healthcare organizations, and associations.
With these qualities in mind, NPOInfo is our recommended nonprofit data append service provider. They possess all the qualities we’ve listed above and have extensive experience providing data for nonprofits.
Good data hygiene ensures that your nonprofit can gain important insights into who your supporters are. An essential component of data hygiene is data appends, which add missing information to your database toexpand your supporter profiles. With data appends, you can personalize and even segment your supporter communications to connect with supporters on an individual level.
If you’re ready to move forward with the data append process, the next step is finding a data append service to work with. You can request a quote from NPOInfo, our recommended nonprofit data append service, to learn more.
If you need more information before diving into the data append process, that’s okay. Here are some additional resources about data append types that will help you better determine your organization’s data append needs:
https://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Data-Append_Feature.png370700developerhttps://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/logo-nxunite.svgdeveloper2022-08-02 13:50:002022-11-30 18:30:23The Data Append Guide for Nonprofits Working on Data Hygiene
As a nonprofit, fundraising is essential to your success as an organization. It’s not only how you power your programs but also how you can spread the word about your organization and mission to your community.
To optimize the funds they raise, nonprofits are always looking to make their operations more efficient. New technology and apps make this easy so that nonprofits can collect donations without having to put much thought into it. One such tool is Venmo.
Using Venmo for nonprofits allows organizations to leverage a platform many people already useevery day. You might already be familiar with Venmo from your own personal use, but we’ll go more in-depth about what it is and how you can best use it for your nonprofit.
Take a look at the questions we’ll be answering about Venmo fundraising:
At NXUnite, we’re committed to helping nonprofits find the tools they need to maximize their fundraising efforts. Venmo is an app you may already be familiar with, but it has huge fundraising potential for your organization. We’re here to help you learn more about how your nonprofit can use Venmo to boost donations.
Are you ready to learn about how Venmo could be the next best fundraising tool for your nonprofit? Let’s get right into it!
What Is Venmo?
Venmo is a peer-to-peer mobile payment service. That means people can transfer money from their bank accounts to each other directly within the app. The app makes it easy for people to pay each other back without worrying about cash.
Although there are several similar apps out there, Venmo is one of the most popular. According to Venmo, the app currently has over 83 million users, the biggest group of which is 25-34 years old. In 2021 alone, the Paypal-owned platform processed about $230 million in payments.
It’s clear to see why people have turned to Venmo as their preferred way to send and receive money. All you have to do is link your bank account, debit card, or credit card to your account, and you’re good to go. With the click of a button, you can send and request payments from people.
Additionally, you can choose whether to transfer your funds to your bank account immediately or keep them in your account for future transactions. If you want to leverage both options, you can even select how much you would like to transfer out, leaving you with some money still left in the app.
What Are the Benefits of Using Venmo for Nonprofits?
Venmo solves a typical problem: how to pay people back efficiently. The easy-to-use app simplifies the process of splitting a check, paying your portion of your rent, and so much more.
Now that you a little more about how Venmo works, why is it a good platform for nonprofits? Just like they do for other individuals, people can send money to nonprofits, creating another fundraising source. Beyond creating an additional revenue source, some of the benefits Venmo fundraising can provide for your nonprofit are that it’s:
Easy to use. As we’ve mentioned before, people enjoy using Venmo because of how easy it is. If someone already has a Venmo account, it simplifies the process of them donating to your cause. Instead of going through your donation page or form, donors can head to the already-installed Venmo app and transfer money to your organization from their account within seconds.
Affordable. Venmo is a great choice for nonprofits because it’s free to sign up. Additionally, there are no monthly fees and no fees when sending money with a linked bank account or debit card. The only donation-specific fee is 1.9% + $0.10 for receiving funds. There is also a 3% fee when sending money with a linked credit card and a 1% fee for instant transfers to your bank account, but neither of those options is necessary.
Secure. When using a mobile payment service, it’s important that your information is protected. Venmo uses encryption to help protect your account and financial information. Not to mention, the app’s security makes it a secure form of giving for donors.
Encourages donations of any size. Some people may want to contribute to your cause, but they might be intimidated by the donation amounts you suggest on your website. Since people typically use Venmo for smaller payments, they may be more willing to donate to your organization through the platform with the extra funds kept in their accounts.
Includes social proof. Different than other donation methods, Venmo functions like a social media platform in that users can see their friends’ and family members’ payments. Not only can people feel good knowing that their donation is public, but they can also inspire others to donate to your cause.
Facilitates relationships. Donors can send messages with their Venmo donations, allowing them to personalize their support. You can also like and comment on donations, allowing you to thank donors and start a conversation with them.
Taking advantage of Venmo fundraising can not only raise money for your organization but also help you build relationships with your supporters. They will appreciate the ability to use a platform they’re likely already familiar with to contribute to your cause and amplify your organization to family and friends.
How Do I Set Up a Venmo Account for My Nonprofit?
If you think Venmo would be an asset to your fundraising efforts, it’s time to set up your account. At this time, Venmo does not have an option specifically for nonprofits, but they do allow nonprofits to create regular accounts and use them to collect donations.
Setting up your organization’s Venmo account is simple. Just follow these five steps:
Download the Venmo app or visit the Venmo website.
Choose your sign-up method and create your password.
Verify your phone number and email address.
Add and verify your bank account.
Change your username and add a profile picture to reflect your organization.
It’s that easy! If you have a personal Venmo account, you’ve already been through the same process. For more information about creating your account, you can refer to Venmo’s website.
How Can My Nonprofit Guide Donors to Our Venmo Account?
Of course, any organization can say they’ve created a Venmo account and leave it at that. However, you’ll need to go a bit further if you want your supporters to be able to find your account and engage with it. Here are some suggestions for how to promote your Venmo for nonprofits account:
Give a tutorial on how donors can use Venmo to contribute.
Start by teaching donors how Venmo for nonprofits works. You can create a step-by-step video that shows donors how they can give donations to your organization on Venmo.
Let donors know how easy the process is and why it’s a great platform for nonprofits.
Add your Venmo account to your donation page.
You’ll want donors to know that contributing through Venmo is a new donation option, so it’s important that your donation page reflects that.
Include your Venmo username on emails and social media.
Make it easy for donors to find your Venmo account. You probably already promote your social media accounts in your emails, so just add Venmo to the list.
On your nonprofit’s social media pages, link your Venmo account in your bio for easy access.
Share your Venmo QR code with your supporters.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to find Venmo accounts if you don’t know the exact usernames you’re looking for. Eliminate that obstacle by promoting your nonprofit’s Venmo QR code. That way, you’ll know donors are contributing to the right account.
Make sure to share your Venmo QR code with your supporters through various methods such as email newsletters,social media,your website,and at events.
Once donors know how to donate to your organization through Venmo, it’s important to make sure they’re having a good experience using the app.
How Can Venmo for Nonprofits Foster Connections with Donors?
If you use Venmo fundraising correctly, you can make it a fun, interactive, and rewarding donation experience. By prioritizing the giving experience, you’ll ultimately foster better connections with your donors. Let’s walk through a few steps you can take to give your donors a great user experience on Venmo:
Cater to your audience.
Remember that most Venmo users are on the younger side. When commenting on their donations, don’t be afraid to use emojis and have fun with your interactions.
You can also take advantage of the social proof we mentioned before. Younger donors love to be recognized for their efforts, so consider shouting out a Venmo donor of the week on your social media.
Encourage donations of any size.
Again, most people use Venmo for small payments. Lean into that by asking donors for small donations. It will all add up and ultimately acquire new donors who could have been intimidated by the prospect of donating before.
Host a fundraising competition.
Split your supporters up into teams and have them compete for who can raise the most money or make the most donations. The teams can be based on age, location, or another factor of your choosing.
Provide an incentive to the winning team such as social media shoutouts, gift cards, or matched donations. Knowing they could earn a prize, people might be more willing to participate.
Interact with as many donors as possible.
Since Venmo functions like a social media platform, use it like one. Comment on as many donations as you can. You can send an emoji, sticker, or GIF to make it fun. Most importantly, remember to thank donors for their contributions.
Using Venmo for nonprofits opens up new opportunities for building donor relationships like never before.
Conclusion & Additional Resources
With so many new payment apps out there, it’s difficult to decide which is best for your organization. For nonprofits, Venmo is the ultimate choice. With low fees, security features, and opportunities to interact with your donors, Venmo provides an easy and reliable way to raise money and build relationships with your supporters.
Now that you know how beneficial Venmo fundraising can be, you might be wondering what other fundraising tools and nonprofit resources are out there. Check out these articles to help out your nonprofit:
https://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Venmo-for-Nonprofits_Feature.png370700developerhttps://nxunite.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/logo-nxunite.svgdeveloper2022-08-02 10:00:002022-11-30 18:29:35Venmo for Nonprofits: A Useful Tool to Boost Donations
If you’ve been in the nonprofit fundraising world a while, you’ve probably heard of Google Ad Grants. For those who are unfamiliar, Google Ad Grants is a program created to help out nonprofits with their marketing and fundraising efforts by increasing their visibility online.
Participating organizations receive $10,000 per month to spend on Google Ads. These funds allow nonprofits of all sizes to grow their online presence and get more conversions.
It’s shocking how many nonprofits don’t already leverage the program. As long as your organization meets Google’s eligibility requirements and follows all rules of the program, you should have no problem getting into the program and staying enrolled.
Whether you’re looking to increase site traffic or connect with new prospects, leveraging Google Ad Grants is an effective way to reach your organization’s goals.
Whether your organization already leverages Google Ad Grants or has never heard of the program, we’re sure you have some questions. To clear up any confusion about the Google Ad Grants program, we’ve grouped the questions you likely have into these categories:
Here at NXUnite, we’re always looking for new fundraising ideas that we can share with nonprofits, and Google Ad Grants is one of the most successful ones we’ve found. We’ve got a lot of questions to cover, so let’s dive right in!
What Are Google Ad Grants?
For those of you who are new to the program, we’ll start with the basics. The Google Ad Grants program gives eligible nonprofits $10,000 per month to spend on Google Ads. These ads typically appear at the top of relevant Google searches, allowing your organization to grab potential donors, subscribers, and volunteers’ attention.
To help you visualize Google Ads in action, we’ll give you an example. Say you’re a huge animal lover looking to make a difference. You might search “animal shelter” or “animal shelter near me.” From there, you’d likely see a Google Ad for a local animal shelter you can volunteer with or donate to in addition to other related resources.
While for-profit organizations can run Google Ads as well, Google Ads for nonprofits are a little different. To participate in the Google Ad Grants program, organizations must meet the eligibility requirements. Additionally, those who do not qualify for the program have to use traditional Google Ads and pay per click for their ads to run.
With the money granted by Google, nonprofits can bid on specific keywords and promote certain pages of their websites. Organizations choose which pages to promote based on their current goals. For example, if your organization has an upcoming event, you may want to highlight your event registration page.
Now that you have the gist of the program, it’s time to learn about its benefits in greater detail.
What Are the Benefits of Google Ad Grants?
If you’re going to spend time researching and applying for this program, you’ll want to know how it can benefit your organization. Take a look at the benefits Google Ad Grants could have for your nonprofit:
More engagement on your site.
To attract people to your organization, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper content on your website. However, your content could be great, but if potential supporters can’t find it, then it’s not serving its purpose.
The Google Ad Grants program helps to get the right web pages in front of the right people. For example, someone searching “donate to climate change donations” is likely looking for a place to contribute monetarily. As a result, you can use funds from your Google Ad Grant to promote your site’s donation page to this audience.
While you might associate conversions with sales and other related for-profit activities, nonprofits can also track conversions to measure outcomes and reach. Increasing conversions means that more people will be interacting with your site in the way that best suits them. Here are some examples of online conversions your nonprofit might track:
Email list registrations
To increase site engagement and boost conversions, having the right content is key. If you don’t have the proper pages for meeting your conversion goals, then it will be difficult to increase conversions. However, once you create that content, Google Ad Grants can help you promote it accordingly and get it in front of the right audience.
Improving communication with your supporters.
Even with endless communication tools including email, calls, and social media, it can be difficult to interact with your supporters and share new information with them. Some people might feel overwhelmed with all the communication they receive from an organization. Others might be too busy to give your communication any attention.
Although Google Ad Grants don’t replace traditional communication strategies, they can enhance them. They provide a way for supporters to stay up to date on your content in a way that fits their own schedule and needs.
More information about your supporters’ goals.
Increasing communication effectively means understanding what information supporters need from your site. Using Google Analytics, you can see which pages users visit and what actions users take to learn more about which aspects of your organization are important to your supporters.
Since Google Analytics provides you with useful data about your campaign performance and website interactions, you can use that information to optimize your content and consequently increase engagement.
No competition for funding.
Google Ad Grants are not like traditional grants. While other grant programs have a limited amount of money that they distribute based on organizations’ needs, the Google Ad Grants program gives the same amount to all eligible organizations.
As long as your organization meets the program’s requirements, you will receive $10,000 worth of ad credits per month. This allows your organization to put more energy into using the grant effectively as opposed to stressing about how much funding you will receive.
What Can You Use Google Ad Grants to Accomplish?
Going into the Google Ad Grants program, it’s important to think about your goals as a participating organization. What pages do you want to promote? What conversions would you like users to make? These are some questions you may want to answer before applying.
To get you thinking, here are some reasons nonprofits use Google Ad Grants:
The possibilities are endless with what you can use Google Ad Grants to accomplish as long as you define your goals ahead of time.
Is It Free to Participate in the Google Ad Grants Program?
As long as your organization is eligible for the program, it is free to participate! You must also follow the application process and stay compliant with all requirements once you accepted into the program.
Although the program is free for eligible organizations, determining your eligibility, applying, and preparing your account can be very time-consuming. If you want to participate in the program but don’t have time to figure out the process yourself, consider hiring a Google Grants agency. They will do all the hard work for you so you can focus on your goals as a participating organization.
How Large Does Your Organization Have to Be to Participate?
There’s no organization size minimum or maximum for participating in the Google Ad Grants program. Any nonprofit can benefit from the program and its opportunities to grow its online reach. Even small nonprofits will be able to access the program’s benefits, including increased engagement, more conversions, and greater knowledge about their supporters.
Google Ad Grants are great for smaller nonprofits because they allow opportunities for those organizations to grow as they expand their audience. However, if your organization is brand new, you might have to wait a few months to be eligible for the program. In the meantime, it will be helpful to learn more about the program and prepare your goals for participating in order to make the process run more smoothly once you’re eligible.
Which Types of Organizations Are Eligible for Google Ad Grants?
Since it’s free to participate in the program for any size organization, Google specifies several requirements that nonprofits must meet to be eligible for the program. The guidelines vary slightly based on your country, so be sure to check the unique requirements for your organization’s location.
The eligibility requirements are as follows in the United States:
Register with the IRS as a charitable organization. In order to be a valid charitable organization, you’ll need to have 501(c)(3) status, exempting you from taxes. For verification of your organization, Google also requires you to register your organization with TechSoup.
Accept the terms and conditions of the program. There are general Google for Nonprofits terms you’ll have to agree to as well as Google Ad Grant-specific certifications.
Own your own domain and feature relevant content. Since you will be using Google Ad Grants to promote pages on your website, Google has some website requirements. These include owning your domain, featuring unique content, and including accurate information about your nonprofit’s purpose.
Obtain an SSL certificate. Google wants to make sure your website is secure before they promote it, so they require Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certification. If you have installed it correctly, there should be a lock icon in the navigation bar in Google Chrome, and your URL will include https:// instead of http://.
If your organization follows these requirements, you should be good to participate in the program. However, the following organizations are automatically ineligible for the program:
Governmental agencies and organizations
Hospitals and healthcare institutions
Schools, academic institutions, and universities
Google prohibits these organizations from participating in the program. However, if your organization falls under the last category, you may be able to participate in Google for Education, a similar program specifically for educational institutions.
How Do You Apply for Google Ad Grants?
Applying for Google Ad Grants for nonprofits isn’t complicated, but we’ve broken down the process into steps to simplify it even further. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for Google Ad Grants:
1. Check the eligibility requirements.
As we just went over, there are several eligibility requirements for participating in the program. Before you apply, you’ll want to make sure you qualify and take any actions necessary to become eligible. This way, you can make sure the application process goes smoothly and avoid having your application rejected.
2. Sign up for TechSoup.
Once you’ve determined that your organization is eligible for the program, the next step is signing up for TechSoup. TechSoup is an organization that works with Google and other companies to give nonprofits access to helpful resources at discounted rates.
In order to register with TechSoup, follow these three easy steps:
Go to the TechSoup registration page and create an account.
Select your preferred language and the country where your organization is located.
Click ‘New Member,’ select ‘Register,’ and agree to TechSoup’s terms.
After you complete this process, TechSoup will give you a validation token that you’ll need to activate your Google for Nonprofits account.
3. Create a Google for Nonprofits account.
Google Ad Grants is just one of the resources Google provides under the umbrella of Google for Nonprofits. When you create your Google for Nonprofits account, you’ll be able to access:
Google Workspace for Nonprofits, which grants your nonprofit access to Google’s suite of apps including Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Meet.
YouTube Nonprofit Program, which enhances your YouTube account for the nonprofit space with features like a donate button and video annotations that link to your website.
Google Earth and Maps, which allows people to find programs and resources near them.
In order to create an account, make sure you have your tax ID number, contact information, and TechSoup validation token on hand.
4. Set up Google Analytics.
It’s essential for your website to have Google Analytics connected to it before applying for Google Ad Grants. Circle back to the goals you have for participating in the program. This is where you’ll put them to work!
You should install Google Tag Manager and create some conversion tracking goals for your site that align with your goals for participating in the program. For example, you might want people to do one or more of the following:
Sign up to be volunteers
Register for an event
Donate to your nonprofit
Sign a petition for your advocacy campaign
Spend a certain amount of time on your website
Adding these goals to Google Analytics will allow you to track which pages are most successful in acquiring conversions. It will also allow you to recognize which pages need some work so that you can adjust them accordingly.
5. Complete the Google Ad Grants application.
Now that the preliminary steps are complete, it’s time to actually fill out your Google Ad Grants application. You’ll have to log in to your Google for Nonprofits account to access it.
Part of the application process includes submitting your website for review. The Google Ad Grants team will look over your website and its content to see if your organization is ready for the program.
Another thing to consider about your application is whether you’ll choose to start a “Smart Campaign” or “Classic” account. “Smart Campaign” is a more basic option with automated settings. It requires less management whereas the “Classic” account has more tools and customization options included.
Finally, Google will review your application and respond within three business days. When Google approves your account, you’ll automatically be able to access and start using Google Ads to amplify your organization’s most important web pages.
How Do I Use My Google Ad Grants Account Successfully?
Now that you have your Google Ad Grants account, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. The way to do so is to have a well-thought-out plan for how to develop and implement your ad campaigns.
While Google Ad Grants will certainlyincrease your website’s visibility, it’s the work you put into optimizing your account that will allow you to see the best results. Here are some ways to make sure your account is successful.
1. Create good content.
It’s easier said than done, but creating good content for your website is an integral part of your success with the Google Ad Grants program. Without good content, it doesn’t matter how much traffic comes to your website because users will be less likely to make conversions once they see your pages.
There are a couple elements your content should have to increase its value, including:
Topics with high search volume. Your content could be well written and engaging, but if no one’s searching for it, then it doesn’t matter. Make sure to feature content with popular topics that will help people find your site. For help with figuring out how topics rank, look at Google Trends or Moz to research keywords.
Focus. People typically only search for one topic at a time, so you’ll want to design your page to reflect that. Spread your content out so that each page has its own focus.
Built-out pages. On the other hand, you want to make sure your content on each page is substantial. This is not only crucial for user experience but also for how Google ranks your page. You’ll also attract more users if your pages actually contain helpful information people are looking for.
Calls to action. You’ve created your conversion goals, and now you want to make it clear to users what you want them to do in reference to those goals. For example, if you want people to register for an event, make sure to include a button or a link that will take them to your event registration page.
Mobile friendliness. More and more searches these days come from mobile devices. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your content is mobile friendly so that people can access it in the format you intend for them to. Additionally, mobile friendliness is one of Google’s ranking factors for organic traffic, which you’ll want to keep up in addition to your Google Ads.
The better your content is, the more people will flock to your website. Hopefully, this increased traffic leads to more conversions, which are important to measure and analyze to make continuous progress for your mission.
2. Track your campaign goals.
Data should be the guiding force in making decisions about your Google Ad Grants account, and lucky for you, there are tools at your disposal to help you use data effectively.
To get the most out of your Google Ad campaigns, you’ll have to set up conversion tracking and data analytics. These tools are included within Google Analytics, which you should already have installed. Use Google Analytics to set up goals so that you can track your campaign performance accordingly.
As we’ve gone over before, your goals for participating in the program are what shape how you will use Google Ad Grants to your advantage. You’ll want to track these goals to make sure you’re accomplishing them and adjust your website if you’re not performing as well as you had hoped. Ideas for goals are:
Signing up for your email list
Making a donation
Submitting a volunteer registration form
Buying a ticket for an event
Signing a petition
For each goal that you have, you’ll want to set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics. That way, you’ll be able to see how well your goals are panning out and make necessary changes.
3. Get to know your audience.
The Google Ad Grant program has ways for you to limit who your ads are shown to. To take advantage of this feature, you’ll want to define your intended audience and keywords for each campaign. That way, you can ensure that each campaign is focused and reaching the people you want it to reach.
To get to know your audience, it’s also helpful to do some keyword research. Once you know exactly what people are searching for that’s related to your page, you’ll have a better idea of what keywords to include in your own content that will help them show up in searches.
If you have an idea of what your audience isn’t searching for or what unrelated audiences are searching for, use negative keywords. Unlike regular keywords, negative keywords are used to prevent your content from showing up in searches that contain certain words.
Once you’ve been using Google Analytics for a while, you can start to look through the search queries of people who visit your site to see which ones don’t result in conversions or aren’t related to your nonprofit. This process will allow you to add more negative keywords to your list and only show up for relevant searches.
4. Use other marketing efforts.
Google Ad Grants are certainly a powerful marketing tool, but don’t forget about what else is out there! Continue your usual marketing activities, whether that’s regularly posting on social media or sending outemail newsletters once a week. The data you collect from your Google Ad Grants campaigns will also be useful to consider for these marketing methods as well.
Additionally, your Google for Nonprofits account gives you access to other marketing tools that you can leverage. For example, the YouTube Nonprofit Program makes it easier to fundraise on YouTube by teaching you how to create effective campaign videos and equipping your account with a donate button.
5. Focus on quality.
Although the program gives you $10,000 a month in ad spending, most nonprofits don’t use it all. This may be because some organizations don’t have enough time or resources to manage multiple campaigns. Alternatively, others may not have content geared toward their audience’s needs and therefore aren’t getting good results.
Whatever the issue is, you can still spend only a portion of what Google provides and have a successful Google Ad Grants account. For example, your audience may be specific to a certain area or interest that may allow you to reach it without spending the full amount of money.
In conclusion, remember to focus on the quality of your content and its ability to create conversions as opposed to haphazardly using all the funds Google provides.
How Do I Maintain My Google Ad Grants Account?
Maintaining your Google Ad Grants account is an ongoing process. You’ll want to make sure you’re using the funds Google provides effectively and that your campaigns reflect the data you’ve collected. Check out our suggestions for keeping your Google Ad Grants account strong:
Run at least 3-5 campaigns. When you start using Google Ads, get a feel for how many campaigns your organization can manage at once. Less than three won’t be enough to show results, but too many campaigns might overwhelm whoever’s managing your account. You’ll want to have multiple campaigns to promote different aspects of your website. For example, one campaign might highlight your donation page while another simply promotes your homepage with background information about your cause.
Connect your ad groups to your cause. Like your website’s landing pages, you’ll want to make sure your ad groups are focused on their respective topics as well as your organization’s mission. For example, if you’re an animal shelter looking for volunteers, your Volunteer ad group should include keywords like “volunteer at an animal shelter,” “work with cats and dogs,” and “help animals get adopted.”
Use ad extensions to your advantage. Ad extensions invite users to click on your content by providing them with extra information. There are several different kinds of ad extensions. An example is callout extensions, which allow you to add bullet points under your ads to highlight what’s important.
While creating your account was easy, maintaining might be more complicated than you originally anticipated. Not to worry though! This just means you might benefit from the help of a professional agency. Google Grants agencies can save you time and energy by managing your Google Ad Grants for you.
What Are the Google Ad Grants Account Rules?
Just as Google has certain requirements for creating a Google Ad Grants account, they also have rules for keeping your account active. It’s important to follow these rules to not only run your account successfully but to alsoavoid suspension.
Only use keywords with a quality score higher than 2.
Maintain a 5% monthly clickthrough rate (CTR).
Set up conversion tracking with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
Create at least 2 ads per ad group and at least 2 ad groups per campaign.
Include at least 2 sitelink ad extensions.
Answer the yearly program survey.
To stay on top of these rules and any potential changes to them, make sure to regularly check the Google Ad Grants compliance page. You may want to bookmark it or schedule time on your calendar each month to review it. A Google Ad Grants agency could also answer any questions you may have about the program’s compliance requirements.
Why Was My Google Ad Grants Account Suspended?
As long as your account remains compliant with the program’s requirements, it will renew monthly, requiring no further action. However, not maintaining your account’s compliance could put your account at risk of suspension.
Take a look at some of the most common reasons Google Ad Grants accounts are suspended besides the compliance rules we’ve reviewed:
Violating the program’s terms multiple times
Not meeting eligibility criteria
Losing 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
Abusing the ad network
Not reverifying your account when asked to do so
Falsifying information about your organization
If your account does get suspended, don’t panic! A Google Ad Grants agency can help you to figure out the problem and how to solve it to get your account back.
Can Someone Help Me Manage My Google Ad Grants Account?
Yes! If you’re at all confused or need help in any step of the Google Ad Grants process, a Google Ad Grants agency is equipped to help you out.
You could turn to a regular nonprofit marketing consultant, but for the expertise you’re looking for, a Google Ad Grants agency would be a better choice. Since they spend all their time working to manage Google Ad Grants, they have the knowledge of and familiarity with the program that you’re looking for.
Google Ad Grants agencies will manage the entire grant management process, including:
Determining your Google Ad Grants eligibility
Applying for the program
Managing your campaigns
Maintaining your account’s compliance
Optimizing your pages
Reactivating your account if it is suspended
Whatever you’re having trouble with, Google Ad Grants agencies are the best source of help for your questions about the program.
What Else Do I Need to Know About Google Ad Grants?
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With the rise of the digital age, people are consuming information faster than ever. In order to capture their attention before they click away or scroll to the next post, you need exciting graphics.
Graphic design is an essential part of marketing your nonprofit organization to the world. A powerful graphic allows you to deliver information to your audience in a way that’s visually appealing, informative, and impactful. As a result, you’ll be able to maximize your nonprofit’s reach and improve your brand visibility.
For some nonprofits, graphic design can feel daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start. If you’ve found yourself looking for inspiration, you’re in the right place. By examining compelling graphic design examples, you can see what’s possible for your own website, social media, and more!
In this article, we’ll show off 15 of the best examples of nonprofit graphic design by format, along with tips and tricks to creating your own. Specifically, we’ll go over:
By seeing how other nonprofits have successfully used graphic design, you’ll be in great shape to plan your own designs and excite your audience.
Ready to jump into the world of nonprofit graphic design? Let’s get started.
Graphic Design Basics: Building Your Brand
Your nonprofit organization might be serving the same need as another organization. So, how can you stand out from the crowd and maximize donations?
A great graphic design will help build your brand recognition. By using a consistent theme across designs (colors, illustrations, messaging, and more!), your supporters will be able to immediately recognize your nonprofit and better connect with its mission. Better yet, more people will become familiar with your organization and want to contribute.
There are many types of graphic design you can use to improve your nonprofit marketing strategy. Consider adding the following to your graphic design portfolio:
A Memorable Logo – Shape the public’s perception around your brand in a creative way. A good design incorporates your organization’s values and is easy to understand.
Engaging Website Design – Your design should engage visitors and make them want to stick around to learn more. Consider font, color scheme, and a layout that is accessible, modern, and unique to your organization.
Helpful Infographics – These tools bridge the gap between visuals and text in an exciting way. Infographics are especially useful for education or to highlight your organization’s impact.
Comprehensive Brochures – Digital and in-print brochures can help people learn about your organization and why they should become involved. Maximize engagement with clear formatting, helpful information, and graphics that evoke an emotional response.
Impactful Video Graphics – Videos are a powerful form of story-telling that resonates with audiences. Use features like animated text and moving graphics to showcase your organization’s mission and impact on the community.
As you look through examples in this article, consider which graphic design types would be most beneficial and relevant to your nonprofit. Remember to keep in mind your audience. Your graphic design should be inspiring and impactful for the group you’re targeting.
Nonprofit Logo Examples: Designing a Logo that Pops
1. Humane Society of the United States
Why We Love This Logo
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an animal welfare organization that has three focus areas: end the cruelest practices toward all animals, care for animals in crisis, and build a stronger animal protection movement.
Their mission to support animals in the U.S. is clear in the design. The logo features an illustration of America made from a variety of animals, ranging from pets like dogs and cats to wild animals like whales. The image is engaging to look at and immediately lets the viewer know that this logo belongs to an animal-centered group in the U.S., even if they aren’t familiar with the HSUS.
The color blue is another key feature that makes this logo great. Blue conveys positive qualities like trustworthiness, reliability, and professionalism to viewers. Blue is also in the American flag, so this color helps emphasize the organization’s mission to serve all of the U.S.
Top 3 Lessons From This Logo
Tap into your creativity! If your logo is boring, it won’t appeal to your audience.
Make your logo relevant to your organization’s mission. This will help strengthen relationships with supporters and attract new ones.
Select a color scheme that represents your values. Different colors make people feel different emotions, so consider your audience and how you want your logo to resonate with them.
2. Feeding America
Why We Love This Logo
Feeding America is a charitable organization that seeks to provide equitable access to nutritious food across the United States.
The words are stacked on top of each other so each letter is perfectly in line, creating a simple yet effective design. Feeding America’s mission is well-reflected in the letter “I’s” which align to create an ear of wheat. The wheat illustration adds character to the logo without making the words difficult to read or distracting the viewer.
This logo also uses color to its advantage. Feeding America’s color palette strategically ties back into their mission to tackle hunger. The orange and green colors feel earthy and can easily be linked to food production.
Typeface is another feature that plays an important role in this logo’s success. Feeding America’s logo was created with the font Gotham Bold, which is a sans-serif typeface. Sans-serif feels modern, clean, and friendly, making it a great choice for Feeding America’s branding.
Top 3 Lessons From This Logo
Integrate designs into your logo naturally.
Be simple and intentional with your color scheme. If you’re using more than one color, make sure the colors complement each other. We recommend using 2 to 3 colors maximum to create a minimal look.
Rethink Mental Illness aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental illness. This U.K. based organization offers support groups, mental health training, and more to improve mental healthcare.
For their 50th anniversary, Rethink Mental Illness created this special anniversary logo to commemorate their longevity. Developing an anniversary logo is a great way to demonstrate your organization’s longstanding commitment to serving its mission while adding authority to its brand. People want to feel confident that their donation is being put to good use, so highlighting your organization’s achievements can help attract more support.
Rethink Mental Illness seamlessly wraps the number 50 around its traditional logo, creating a feeling of unity. The number is large, clear, and immediately lets viewers know that this organization is celebrating a historic milestone.
Top 3 Lessons From This Logo
When creating an anniversary logo, stay true to your original branding. Use colors and fonts that your audience is already familiar with so they can easily recognize your updated logo.
The numbers should be as prominent as possible. We recommend making it the biggest element in your design so it’s clear that your organization is celebrating this achievement.
Make the numbers pop with a simple yet engaging design that ties everything together.
Nonprofit Website Design Examples: Highlighting Your Mission
1. The End Fund
Why We Love This Website Design
The End Fund is a charitable organization that seeks to end the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This group is the only one of its kind with its critical mission to provide NTD treatments to over 1.7 billion people.
This focus on improving the lives of people affected by NTDs is evident throughout their web design. On the homepage, The End Fund breaks down their organization’s purpose with educational and engaging sections. Each section flows smoothly into the next and utilizes the same color scheme of red, blue, and black with a consistent font.
For example, “The Problem” section uses illustrations and bold lettering to highlight the number of people suffering from parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases. This design makes the statistics digestible for a wide audience. It also helps to illuminate the magnitude of the problem so people feel more passionate about The End Fund’s cause.
Another great feature of this homepage is the interactive map that identifies where The End Fund operates and its impact when you hover over the red countries. This visualization grabs the viewers’ attention and makes navigating The End Fund’s website a positive experience.
Top 3 Lessons From This Website
Maintain consistent branding across your website. Use the same color palette, font, and tone of voice throughout to build brand recognition and avoid distracting users.
Make your website well-formatted with clearly labeled headings and tabs.
Break down complex information into easy to understand graphics. Instead of writing long paragraphs about your organization’s impact, display it in a map or infographic.
2. MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Why We Love This Website Design
MAHUBE-OTWA tackles poverty by empowering children, adults, and seniors to be self-sufficient.
Its homepage features a slideshow of engaging images that change every few seconds. These pictures include prominent captions that explain MAHUBE-OTWA’s services as well as an easy-to-click “Learn More” button that takes visitors to a more detailed page. This makes navigating the website and finding information a breeze.
Another great feature on this website is the interactive calendar located under the Events tab, which is displayed prominently on the homepage. This calendar makes it simple for site visitors to learn about in-person or virtual events so they can get more involved. The calendar also fits well with the rest of the website because of its purple and white color scheme.
Top 3 Lessons From This Website
Feature one or several images on your homepage. This lets visitors visualize your organization’s services and can help create an emotional response that connects people with your mision.
Include buttons with embedded links so visitors can easily navigate to another page on your website to learn more information.
Create an interactive calendar that makes learning about upcoming events easy. This can be coupled with text message or email reminders so your supporters can stay in-the-know.
3. Live Out Loud
Why We Love This Website Design
Live Out Loud is a charitable organization that seeks to uplift LGBTQ+ youth through offering resources, role models, and opportunities.
The branding across the website is consistent with the butterfly logo, which is featured prominently on the homepage. Here, visitors can see a slideshow of different teens in front of the butterfly logo as if these wings are their own. This ties back into Live Out Loud’s Mission to help kids become leaders in their communities.
With a straightforward menu bar at the top of every page, users can easily find the information they’re looking for. Live Out Loud simplifies and brings attention to the online donation process through a prominent “Donate” button highlighted in blue in all caps.
Once visitors click on the “Donate” button, a form is automatically generated with very few prompts, making donating simple and convenient. This helps donors feel more compelled to give again.
Top 3 Lessons From This Website
Incorporate your logo into your page in a fun and unique way! This helps maintain your brand and boosts excitement over your content.
Include a clearly labeled “Donate” button on the menu bar that grabs visitors’ attention. Try using all caps or a different font color to set it apart.
Embed an online donation form into your website with only a few prompts. This saves donors’ time and makes the donation process simple to complete.
The American Heart Association (AHA) seeks to promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease and stroke. One key way they achieve their mission is through providing public health education.
This focus on health education is evident in AHA’s infographic design. It features the clear title “How to Be More Active” in all caps at the top, which grabs the audience’s attention and defines what the infographic is about.
The layout, split between “Move More” and “Tips for Success,” is easy to understand and follow. AHA makes great use of illustrations to emphasize points and makes reading this graphic fun. The images, like the target by the “Set Goals” heading or the children playing, are relevant and help the infographic feel more approachable.
Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic
Place your title clearly at the top and choose a short, catchy phrase that encompasses the entire infographic.
Choose a layout that makes sense for the purpose of the infographic and is easy to follow. Your readers will be more likely to stick around and learn from the information!
Get creative and incorporate graphics that will excite your audience and make them want to read the corresponding information.
2. World Wildlife Fund
Why We Love This Infographic
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a conservation organization that seeks to protect the environment and the people and animals that inhabit it.
This infographic explores the important role sea turtles play in the Mesoamerican Reef. While this could be a difficult topic to explain, WWF’s infographic makes complex information digestible through short information bullets, sections covering different subheadings, and an engaging life-cycle diagram.
The life-cycle diagram features fascinating graphics of sea turtles and brief descriptions accompanying them. Clear arrows make it easy for the reader to follow the material.
The color scheme – made up primarily of blue, orange, and pink – helps the information pop. Blue, which is the predominant color, relates closely to the ocean and adds to the visual appeal.
Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic
Break down complex information using diagrams or brief bullet points. This helps your infographic appeal to a wide audience.
If you’re using a diagram, make sure it’s easy to follow. Use clear symbols that your reader will understand, like arrows.
Incorporate colors that complement each other well and, if possible, relate to the topic of the infographic. This will help your reader connect with the information.
This organization strategically makes their infographic more captivating through a graphic of a pregnant woman, which is relevant to its subject. Inside of the woman, statistics are listed out in large, white text, which helps it stand out from the green color. The body font is simple and easy to read, inviting the audience to read the text associated with the numbers.
Amnesty International has clear branding at the bottom of the infographic. This helps to build brand visibility and let viewers know more about the organization so they can get involved.
Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic
Make important statistics stand out by varying the text color and size. This will help bring your audience’s attention to the highlights of your infographic.
Choose a body font that complements your title and header fonts and has a minimal feel. Your reader will feel more inclined to read over everything as long as it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.
Include your organization’s name to increase brand awareness and, if space permitting, add the logo, purpose statement, and link to your website/social media handles.
Nonprofit Brochure Examples: Telling Your Organization’s Story
This digital brochure – 7 pages in length – gives a comprehensive overview of the organization including how they carry out their mission and use donor funds. On the front page, viewers can clearly see the organization’s name printed in the center and at the bottom as part of their logo.
The first page also includes a large, clear image of the organization at work, showing a child receiving medical treatment from a volunteer. This image highlights the impact of Doctors Without Borders and creates an emotional response.
The branding is consistent throughout the brochure, which uses the red, black, and white color scheme and the same header and body font. This strategy boosts brand recognition and maintains readers’ attention.
Another great feature of this brochure is the strong call to action at the end. Doctors Without Borders encourages readers to “be part of a global movement” and offers multiple ways (with links!) that they can get involved.
Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure
Use images to drive emotional impact! Include a powerful image on the front page that will make someone want to open up your brochure and read its contents.
Maintain consistent branding throughout the brochure. Your font, color scheme, and tone of voice should align with your other communication channels and advertising materials.
At the end of your brochure, include a call to action and let your supporters know what steps they can take next to get involved.
Their digital brochure can be flipped through like a book, enhancing the reading experience and inviting readers to engage with the material. AHS has a section dedicated to explaining the organization’s animal-driven mission and its impact in the Atlanta community. This helps supporters feel confident that they are giving back to a worthy cause. Plus, it can help boost local support because of the organization’s proud ties to Georgia’s capital city.
Another highlight is the use of graphics to represent how AHS has used donations to power change. The pie charts illuminate how AHS shifted from focusing primarily on shelter services to community outreach with COVID-19. These visualizations (and fun illustrations of pets!) help readers better connect with the material.
Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure
Let your reader know all about your organization! Within the first few pages of your brochure, there should be an about section that dives deep into your mission.
Appeal to your audience! If you’re a smaller nonprofit organization, you’ll want to draw supporters from your area. A great way to do this is by showing your pride for the city or region.
Include charts or graphs so your statistics resonate with readers. Include a clear key that explains the color scheme.
3. Boys and Girls Club of York County
The Boys and Girls Club of York County focuses their mission on empowering children to realize their full potential. This is done through a variety of programs for children, including summer camp.
This brochure works well for in-print distribution because of its tri-fold layout. Rather than focusing on the organization as a whole, this example targets the summer camp experience to get more children to enroll (and spread their mission far and wide to increase donations)! This allows the organization to provide more focused details such as the summer locations and fees.
The front panel establishes a clear purpose so people know that this brochure is all about summer camp. Colorful photos of kids having fun appeals to parents and will increase the chances of families reading through the brochure to learn more.
Another great quality is the clear headers, distinguished by bold font and colors, to bring the reader’s attention to the different sections. Even though the brochure has three different panels, there is a consistent style with the blue and green background colors and white text boxes.
Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure
In-print brochures are a great way to expand your outreach to people that may not be familiar with your organization. Choose a simple layout, like the tri-fold design, so your brochure feels more inviting to read.
You can use brochures to focus on specific programs or events. Dive deeper into the details, but include a small section that explains your organization’s mission.
Grab your reader’s attention! Your in-print brochure should stand out even when it’s placed with 10 other brochures. Opt for bold colors and exciting graphics on the front panel to intrigue people to flip through!
Nonprofit Video Examples: Expanding Your Reach
1. Smile Train
Why We Love This Video
Smile Train is a charitable organization that treats children with cleft lips and palates.
This organization has designed their video to be both informative and emotional. The video begins with a lighthearted animated scene of a child throwing food around and giggling. This is coupled with an important statistic about how children eat several meals a day. However, the next part of the video tugs at the viewers’ heartstrings by explaining that this is a struggle for children with clefts.
This video evokes an emotional response in the viewer and makes the audience feel more connected to their cause. Its simplicity draws attention to the problem Smile Train is trying to solve and why it’s an important issue to address.
The video is only 17 seconds long, but it gets to the point quickly and effectively. Viewers immediately know why Smile Train exists and their interest is piqued to learn more.
Top 3 Lessons From This Video
Make your graphics interesting and relevant to your organization’s mission. Animation, for example, can be a great tool for organizations serving children.
Statistics can be powerful in highlighting an issue, but don’t go overboard with it. Just one statistic can help shed light on your organization’s mission without overwhelming your audience.
You don’t have to produce a lengthy video to make an impact on your viewers! A video that’s short and simple keeps the audience’s attention and is a great way to introduce people to your organization.
This video shows real people affected by cancer and how ACS positively impacted their lives. Ranging from children to adults, the people in this video demonstrate the scope of this problem and how it can impact anyone at any time. Their stories are raw and vulnerable, with one woman even saying that she has a high chance of getting cancer again in the near future.
Between clips of survivors, the video includes slides with short phrases to drive important points home, like “You can make a difference,” and “We need your help” in all caps.
Along with cancer survivors, the Chief Medical Officer of the ACS is featured in the video. The video ends with his powerful appeal to the audience for donations to save lives like the people shown in the video.
Top 3 Lessons From This Video
Featuring people and stories of impact can help build connection to your mission. People want to feel confident that their donation is going towards a good cause, so this lets your audience know how their money is making a difference.
Add text to your video to emphasize important points, but keep it short and sweet! You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much text. Stick to visuals as much as possible.
Have a strong call to action in your video. Ask supporters to visit your website to learn more or donate.
3. Education and Employers
Why We Love This Video
Education and Employers aims to inspire students by connecting them with volunteers working in a variety of different professions.
This video follows a real-life case study of students to track gender stereotypes in the workforce – but there’s a twist! Three women ask the students to draw a surgeon, fighter pilot, and a firefighter, and the video follows the children’s drawing process. The majority of the children opt to draw a man for each of the professions, and are surprised when the women reveal that they work in these professions.
The twist in the video is a surprise to both the children and the audience. Education and Employers accurately captures the problem of gender stereotypes in this video and why there is a need to help children, especially young girls, realize their potential.
This video also interlays statistics about gender stereotypes and other key points with the clips of the classroom experiment. Black text on the white screen, as well as the letters formatted in all caps, grabs viewers’ attention. The typeface is easy to read and minimal, which increases the chances of the audience reading and internalizing the message.
Top 3 Lessons From This Video
Share your mission in action! Showing the audience a real-life situation of your organization’s impact and the issue it’s trying to solve can help increase your number of supporters.
Incorporating shock value can capture people’s attention and boost interest in your cause.
If you’re including text, make sure to use an easy-to-read font. Make your text stand out by using bold print, all caps, or a color that pops.
Now that you’ve seen the best nonprofit graphic designs, you can dive into bringing your own logos, websites, infographics, brochures, and videos to life!
Including some (or all) of these graphic design types will help get the word out about your awesome nonprofit (meaning more supporters and more donations)! Consider which types of graphic design would be most effective to bring attention to your mission and programs.
And remember, you can always keep learning! Continue to gather inspiration from nonprofits doing great things with graphic design. Check out their social media and websites so you can create the most engaging designs possible!
Interested to learn more about nonprofit graphic design? Explore these additional resources:
The Meaning of Color in Logo Design Your brand’s color scheme directly affects the way audiences will perceive your organization. Learn all about the emotional effects of different colors and how to decide which one is best for your nonprofit!