A person stands at a desk looking at a computer. Text: "Boosting Virtual Member Engagement: The Definitive Guide"

Boosting Virtual Member Engagement: The Definitive Guide

Member engagement is a driving force in growing your association. Fonteva’s guide to member engagement defines this term as “the ongoing outreach and interactions between associations and their members to keep constituents informed, educated, and motivated to continue their memberships.” With an engaged membership base, your organization will see increased retention, a stronger community, and even increased non-dues revenue.

When planning for your association’s future, it’s crucial to consider how you will keep current members engaged while attracting new ones. Improving member engagement will require you to explore your association’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your members’ needs and preferences. To get started, you’ll need to employ the following strategies:

  1. Set goals and choose engagement strategies.
  2. Understand and appeal to members.
  3. Prioritize community building.

In this guide, we’ll break down each of these tactics and how they will put you on the path toward deeper virtual engagement. Let’s get started! 

1. Set goals and choose engagement metrics.

Outlining the goals you’d like to achieve must be the first step you take toward increased engagement. The goals your organization chooses will dictate which initiatives you focus on, how resources are allocated, and which metrics you’ll need to track in order to measure success.

To get started, look at your association’s past performance. You might reference member surveys to understand what areas could use improvement, developing goals meant to target those weaknesses. The goals you create should be structured as “SMART” goals, or goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Let’s say you want to boost your association’s social media presence. One of your goals could be to increase your LinkedIn follower count from 500 to 1,000 within the next year. Because this goal uses a specific number and timeframe, is realistic, and is relevant to your objective, it qualifies as a SMART goal.

Once you’ve settled on a few engagement goals for your association, it’s important to start tracking metrics related to those goals so you can accurately measure your progress. Here are some common key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you track improvements in virtual member engagement:

  • Social media metrics: Social media provides a treasure trove of useful data about users and how they interact with your page. You can track your follower count, likes, comments, shares, click-through rates, and more (depending on your goals). To narrow down which metrics you’ll track, remind yourself of your goals and develop KPIs that directly apply to those goals.
  • Virtual event KPIs: If your association holds virtual or hybrid events, make sure to measure the engagement of virtual attendees (just like you would for in-person attendees). You can measure factors like registrations, actual attendance, returning and new attendees, and participation time.
  • Email marketing engagement: Emails likely play a big role in how your association attracts new members and connects with existing ones to keep them in the loop. You can track how engaged members are in your announcements, newsletters, fundraising prompts, or other campaigns by measuring metrics like open rates, click-throughs, conversions, and unsubscribes.

Many of these metrics can be tracked using an association management tool to create custom reports to visualize your organization’s performance. These reports provide a much more accurate, easy-to-understand way to analyze association data.

2. Understand and appeal to members.

After deciding on your association’s core engagement goals and identifying how you’ll measure progress, you’ll need to start implementing strategies that improve engagement opportunities for members.

If your organization is seeing low engagement rates across the board, your current offerings may not align with what members are looking for. To make the switch to discussing topics and holding events your members will be excited about, you’ll need to learn more about their interests.

Here are some of the strategies you can use to understand your members and adjust association activities to meet their needs:

  • Send out surveys. Surveys are a great way to see inside your members’ minds and hear directly from them what they expect from your organization. There are many kinds of surveys you can send, depending on what you want to learn from members. You might send more general surveys asking about their interests, or narrow the subject by asking how your virtual engagement strategies could be better. Another popular way to get member feedback is by sending post-event surveys (ideally, there should be separate surveys for in-person and virtual attendees).
  • Segment members. Create groups of members based on shared characteristics like their interests, tendencies, or preferences. For example, you might create a subset of members who take advantage of almost all of your continued learning opportunities and further segment these members by their communication preferences. Then, you can direct communications about the opportunities and subjects they are interested in to those segments as appropriate.
  • Set up a variety of engagement opportunities. Because your members each have different preferences and goals, make sure to offer various engagement opportunities to address their unique needs. Options for virtual engagement can include virtual events, meetings, learning opportunities, and discussion forums, all providing a different way to connect and build a community. For instance, members who want to expand their network and form relationships outside of association events and meetings may use your membership directory most often.

Taking an approach that focuses primarily on meeting individuals’ needs rather than creating a blanket solution will make all members feel included and catered to. Over time, this careful consideration will help build more positive member experiences.

3. Prioritize community building.

Additional engagement opportunities like fun events or fundraisers can help add value to the membership. These activities strengthen the bonds between members in your community, leading to increased renewals and member retention rates. While you may think of these events as being limited to in-person annual dinners, there are virtual and hybrid options you can extend to remote members as well (like a quarterly virtual happy hour). 

Fundraisers are a great way to unite your members for a common cause, whether you are fundraising for your association or on behalf of a charitable organization. To get members more engaged in the fundraising process, you can put together a member-led fundraising committee. Give this committee specific responsibilities like developing fundraising ideas, planning fundraisers, and executing fundraising events.

After your event or fundraiser wraps up, always remember to thank those who attended or donated. These thank yous will keep members coming back to your events or donating in the future. Keep in mind that the time period following a successful event or fundraiser can be a good opportunity to send renewal reminders, if applicable.

Virtual member engagement goes beyond encouraging connections between individual members and your association. It also motivates members to connect with one another, building a web of professional relationships that they can leverage to advance their careers, further their education, and secure exciting new opportunities. To achieve this level of engagement and give members the experiences they are looking for, be sure to select a membership management platform that will make implementing new strategies and measuring your progress simple.

This guide will cover the basics of Google Ad Grant Agencies and five options you can partner with.

The Complete Guide to Google Ad Grant Agencies: 5 Options

The Google Ad Grant gives nonprofits access to Google Ads, allowing them to enhance their digital marketing plan. Nonprofits who receive this grant will receive $10,000 every month to spend on Google Ads, which appear at the top of Google’s search results pages.

However, there are parts of the Google Ad Grant that are complex and may require knowledge that your nonprofit staff lack. In that case, you may want to work with a professional in the field, such as a Google Ad Grant agency.

This article will give you the rundown on Google Ad Grant agencies and what your nonprofit should know about working with one. Here’s what we’ll cover:

A Google Ad Grants agency can lend your nonprofit the experience and knowledge necessary to apply for and use the Google Ad Grant strategically. This allows your nonprofit to efficiently grow its online presence and reach a larger audience, resulting in more supporters, volunteers, and donors. These individuals help your nonprofit drive the impact that you desire, allowing you to work more efficiently towards your goals. So let’s dive into what a Google Ad Grant agency is!

Click through to schedule a free consultation with the Google Ad Grant agency Getting Attention.
Let’s dive into what a Google Ad Grant agency is.

What is a Google Ad Grant Agency?

A Google Ad Grant agency is a professional organization that can help your nonprofit optimize your Google Ad Grant strategy. While some of these agencies focus wholly on Google Ad Grants, other agencies offer Google Ad Grant services as one of many other digital marketing services.

These agencies are designed to take the pressure off your nonprofit’s staff to create and manage your Google Ad Grant account. With their professional touch, they’ll be able to launch campaigns that help you achieve your desired results.

Learn more about how a Google Ad Grant agency can help your nonprofit.

How Can a Google Ad Grant Agency Help Your Nonprofit?

Much like other types of marketing consultants for nonprofits, Google Ad Grant agencies can help your nonprofit in multiple ways. Some common features that these agencies offer as part of their Google Ad Grant services include:

This clipboard graphic shows some common services Google Ad Grant agencies provide, detailed in the text below.
  • Google Ad Grant application: Unlike other grant applications, the Google Ad Grant application requires more of a back-and-forth with Google. A professional agency will handle the account creation and application tasks for you.
  • Account management: A Google Ad Grant agency will monitor your account, ensure that it complies with the Google Ad Grant’s complicated guidelines, and reactivate it if necessary.
  • Keyword research: A successful Google Ad strategy relies on the thoughtful use of keywords. An agency will have the experience and tools necessary to choose keywords that will help you reach your desired audience.
  • Landing page optimization: Your Google Ad will direct traffic to landing pages. To encourage further engagement with your nonprofit’s website, a Google Ad Grant agency will help optimize your landing pages.
  • Create and optimize onsite content: Having an appealing landing page isn’t enough to engage potential supporters, you’ll also need helpful and interesting onsite content. Not only will Google Ad Grant agencies optimize already existing content, but some will also create new content for you.
  • Campaign management: In order to make the most of your Google Ad Grant, you’ll want multiple ad campaigns running for different keywords. Tracking these campaigns can get complicated, which is why Google Ad Grant agencies will help you by managing your campaigns for you.

Essentially, Google Ad Grant agencies can take over all the work associated with your Google Ad Grant account. This can be immensely helpful for nonprofits that don’t have the capacity to maintain their account consistently, yet need the traffic the ads drive to help them recruit new supporters.

Click through to schedule a free consultation with the Google Ad Grant agency Getting Attention.
Let’s cover the benefits of working with a Google Ad Grant agency.

What Are the Benefits of Working with a Google Ad Grant Agency?

One of the major benefits of working with a Google Ad Grant agency is the comprehensive list of services they provide. However, there are other benefits that nonprofits can reap from a partnership, such as:

This graphic lists four benefits of working with a Google Ad Grants agency, which are described in the text below.
  • Time saved: Nonprofit employees are often spread thin, so outsourcing the work of managing your Google Ad Grants will result in more time for your staff to allocate to other tasks and reduced stress.
  • Professional experience: Even if your nonprofit’s staff members have the capacity to work on your Google Ad Grant account, the program can be a learning curve for those just getting started. A Google Ad Grant agency will have the professional knowledge and experience to efficiently and strategically handle all tasks that arise from your Google Ad Grant account.
  • Consistent upkeep and maintenance: To keep up with Google search trends, your Google Ad Grant agency will consistently check on your account, evaluate how well your campaigns are performing, and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy. Your nonprofit will benefit from the regularity of these improvements.
  • Clear reporting: Google Ad Grant agencies will be able to clearly demonstrate the impact of your Google Ads by generating easy-to-understand reports that you can use in meetings with your nonprofit leaders and board members.

If you have the budget for outsourcing the work associated with Google Ad Grants to an agency, these benefits will outweigh the costs simply through the visibility you will gain with professional help. However, part of a successful partnership is choosing the right Google Ad Grant agency to work with.

Learn more about evaluating which Google Ad Grant agency is right for your nonprofit.

7 Tips for Choosing a Google Ad Grant Agency

Now that you know how a Google Ad Grant agency can help you with your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy and what benefits such a partnership brings, let’s dive into what your nonprofit should consider when choosing a Google Ad Grant agency. While researching your different options, take into account the following:

This clipboard image lists some tips for choosing a Google Ad Grant agency, also covered in the text below.
  1. What you want: Ask yourself, what do you want out of a partnership with a Google Ad Grant agency? Reflect on what conversions are most important to you—if you’re looking to recruit donors and make donation requests of interested individuals, your strategy will look different than if you’re just trying to raise awareness of your cause.
  2. Price: Different Google Ad Grant agencies will have different prices and service packages available. You’ll want to select an agency that fits your needs and your budget.
  3. Approach to Google Ad Grants: Since some digital marketing agencies provide Google Ad Grants services as well as other offerings, you’ll want to consider whether you’d be happy with these types of agencies or if you’d prefer to work with an agency that deals specifically with Google Ad Grants.
  4. Certified by Google: While not completely necessary, a Google certification means that Google has vetted the agency’s work and recognized that they have in-depth knowledge of Google Ad Grants.
  5. Reviews: Read reviews of the Google Ad Grant agency and see what other nonprofits have to say about their services. Pay particular attention to if they’ve previously worked with nonprofits similar to yours or working in a similar vertical.
  6. Case studies: To get a more in-depth look at how your potential Google Ad Grant operates, check to see if they have created any case studies of successful partnerships. You can use these to evaluate the agency’s effectiveness.
  7. Free consultations: After you’ve narrowed down your choices to a couple of options, consider requesting a free consultation from these agencies. Having the opportunity to see how different agencies would handle your nonprofit’s specific Google Ad Grant strategy will allow you to better assess if you would be happy partnering with them.

While your Google Ad Grant is just a part of your nonprofit’s overall digital marketing strategy, it can still create significant results for your organization, such as greatly increasing awareness of your cause and helping you to recruit passionate new supporters. Work with a Google Ad Grant agency that understands your nonprofit’s unique needs and that is able to assist you as you need.

Click through to schedule a free consultation with the Google Ad Grant agency Getting Attention.
Here are five stellar Google Ad Grant agencies your nonprofit could work with.

5 Top Google Ad Grant Agencies

To help jumpstart your research for a great Google Ad Grant agency to work with, here are five agencies to consider.

1. Getting Attention

Getting Attention is an agency dedicated specifically to Google Ad Grants. It boasts a diverse, global team of seasoned experts with years of experience that will help you set up and maintain your Google Ad Grant account. They will take the time to get to know your mission and your beneficiaries, then apply that information toward creating personalized Google Ad campaigns that help your nonprofit stand out on the search engine results page.

Their services include:

  • Google Ad Grant applications: If your nonprofit doesn’t already have a Google Ad Grant account, Getting Attention will guide you through the application process and help you get started with the program.
  • Account hygiene: It’s important to have up-to-date data on how your ad campaigns are doing in order to improve them. Getting Attention’s team is dedicated to removing outdated and unnecessary data to make sure your nonprofit doesn’t get bogged down.
  • Keyword research: This Google Ad Grant agency is committed to constantly improving your nonprofit’s messaging through thorough keyword research,  which will help drive traffic to your website.

Getting Attention offers free consultations to interested nonprofits and has an affordable plan with a monthly fee for their services.

2. Platypus Digital

A digital marketing agency that specifically focuses on nonprofits, Platypus Digital is determined to connect charities to the people they need, such as donors and fundraisers. Based in the UK, they have a focus on cultivating a strong relationship and mutual understanding with their clients and have helped over 180 charities with their digital marketing services.

Some of the services they offer include:

  • Google Ad Grants management: As one of Google Ad Grant’s Certified Professional Agencies, Platypus Digital has extensive knowledge and experience to apply to your nonprofit’s Google Ad Grant strategy.
  • Google Analytics: Aside from Google Ad Grants, Platypus Digital also performs audits and health checks on your Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to help you reach your desired results.
  • Meta Ads: Social media is a great digital marketing opportunity for nonprofits. Platypus Digital can help you make the most of this opportunity through Meta Ads, increasing visibility through Instagram and Facebook.

To help you gain greater insight into Platypus Digital’s work, the agency provides case studies of its specific offerings. These include their SEO, data review, and conversion rate optimization services.

3. Digital Ninjas

This agency works with organizations large and small to achieve their digital marketing goals. They pride themselves on being flexible partners, offering expert and impartial advice with data-led planning and execution. Some of the features they offer include:

  • A/B testing and optimization: By comparing the results of similar keywords, Digital Ninjas will be able to optimize your ad campaigns.
  • Web experience improvements: To keep website visitors interested and engaged, this digital marketing agency will help you revamp your existing website or even build you a new one.
  • Personalized QR codes: Digital Ninjas uses QR codes to seamlessly connect the offline and digital world, taking direct mail to the next level. With personalized QR codes, you’ll be able to redirect supporters to your donation portal with all available details pre-populated.

Digital Ninjas has previously helped organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Pink Elephants. They offer flexible pricing and packages and employ dedicated Customer Happiness Ninjas to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your partnership.

4. Luminate Marketing

An agency that specializes in working with mission-driven organizations, particularly in the religious vertical, Luminate Marketing adjusts its services to meet your budget and help bring your mission to light. Their offerings include:

  • Vision workshops: If your nonprofit isn’t sure about where to start with digital marketing, these vision workshops are designed to help you hone in on your messages and create a marketing plan that works for you.
  • Branding and design: Luminate Marketing can help you develop logos and brand guides and can help you create digital and print designs for your promotional purposes.
  • Strategy and messaging: If you need an expert’s opinion, by partnering with Luminate Marketing you’ll have ongoing access to their team of professionals who can work with you to refine your approach and content.

Luminate Marketing’s offerings come at a range of different price points. Aside from their paid services, they also provide a list of free resources for organizations that don’t have the capacity to partner with them at the moment.

5. TrueSense Marketing

TrueSense Marketing is a full-service, strategic, direct-response fundraising agency. With over 50 years of history and over 400 team members, they are dedicated to listening to your donors and helping your nonprofit grow. Their services emphasize:

  • Recruiting new donors.
  • Retaining existing donors.
  • Reactivating lapsed donors.
  • Increasing your donors’ gifts.
  • Engaging your donors meaningfully.

Their previous clients include food banks, animal care, veterans services, and many other types of nonprofits seeking to get the word out about their cause.

Click through to schedule a free consultation with the Google Ad Grant agency Getting Attention.
Let’s take a look at some additional resources about Google Ad Grant agencies.

Working with a Google Ad Grant Agency: Next Steps

With this guide, you can make an informed decision about whether working with a Google Ad Grant agency is the best step for your nonprofit, and if it is, which agencies would be best suited for you. Consider how Google Ads will fit into your nonprofit’s overall marketing plan, and partner with an agency that will help you create the impact you desire.

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Ad Grants, take a look at these resources:

Click through to book a free consultation with Google Ad Grant agency Getting Attention.
Learn everything you need to know about donor recognition, so you can boost retention.

Donor Recognition: A Strategic Guide To Showing Appreciation

Put yourself in a donor’s shoes. After perusing a nonprofit’s website, you take the plunge and make a sizeable donation of $100. You receive an email with your tax receipt but don’t hear another word.

You were so inspired by their mission, but you didn’t receive so much as a thank-you email in return for your financial support. In turn, you feel slightly unappreciated and decide to look into other organizations pursuing similar causes. That’s why donor recognition is vital!

If that organization had reached out with a personalized thank-you letter, you’d be much more likely to give again. And while this example might sound a bit dramatic, it happens all the time. Nonprofits don’t always recognize those who give to their causes, and that can reflect poorly, especially when major contributions aren’t acknowledged.

If your nonprofit’s donor recognition strategies are lacking, you’ve come to the right place! To help, we’ll highlight the importance of thanking your donors and explore creative ways you can show your appreciation. Here’s what you can expect:

At NXUnite, we’ve worked with several of the industry’s leading professionals. These thought leaders regularly share their expertise on how nonprofits can thrive in an ever-changing landscape. One of the timeless strategies we’ve noticed is that acknowledging donors is a must for establishing a reliable base of support.

With a few creative donor recognition ideas in your back pocket, your donors will know just how much their contributions are valued. In no time, you’ll inspire them to stick around for the long haul.

To recognize your donors, design interactive thank-you eCards with eCardWidget.
Let's start with a definition of donor recognition.

What Is Donor Recognition?

Donor recognition is the process of thanking supporters for their contributions to your organization. While the term is typically associated with individual contributions, nonprofits can express appreciation for anyone that’s donated money, goods, or services to their cause. That includes businesses and other organizations.

Acknowledgment can occur either privately—such as by personal letter or phone call—or publicly—like with a donor wall or other display. Depending on your supporters’ preferences, acknowledging their contributions can take many forms, from a simple thank-you letter to more elaborate awards, plaques, or public displays of appreciation.

Organizations often separate donor recognition into tiers based on the type of gift and the total amount given. The higher the amount, the greater the level of recognition. For example, a major donor might receive a lasting thank-you on a donor wall, while a donor who gave $30 might receive a personalized eCard.

Let's review the benefits of effective donor recognition.

Reasons Why You Should Recognize Your Donors

Recognizing your donors is the number one way to nurture positive relationships with them. You want them to feel valued and speak positively about your organization. By taking the time to express your gratitude, you can positively impact your work in several ways. For example, you’ll be able to:

  • Increase your donor retention rate. When donors feel appreciated, they’ll stick around for the long haul. Even small, recurring donations can add up. So, no matter the size of their gift, expressing gratitude can go a long way.
  • Motivate existing donors to give more. Donors continue supporting charities when they feel like they’re making a difference. By recognizing their contributions and giving insight into their impact, you can make them feel like their support is essential to your success. In turn, they may donate more in the future.
  • Acquire new donors. When you thank those who support your cause, others will take notice. Whether you do so publicly or privately, the word will get around to new prospects. Existing donors will brag about your team. When others see that your nonprofit clearly appreciates its donors, they’ll want to give too.
Effective donor recognition will increase retention, incentivize giving, and boost acquisition.

Properly thanking supporters for their committed support can transform your nonprofit’s abilities. After all, your donors are the lifeblood of your organization, so you want to take steps to attract and retain them every chance you get.

Try these creative donor recognition ideas to show your genuine gratitude.

14 Donor Recognition Ideas

Creative recognition ideas will empower you to connect with donors and retain their support. While a simple “thank you” can go a long way, you’ll want to get creative to make a lasting impression on donors.

If your current strategies aren’t making the cut, we’ve curated a list of our top donor recognition ideas we think you’ll love.

Send custom eCards to express your gratitude for donors.

Personalized eCards

What is the best gift for donor recognition? A personalized thank-you eCard, of course!

Take the traditional thank-you email up a notch and offer a visually-engaging token of appreciation. eCardWidget’s guide to charity eCards explains that eCards work for several reasons. For example, they offer benefits like:

  • Convenience and affordability. Forgo mail processing time and postage costs. Within seconds, you can submit a personalized thank-you card, and it’ll appear in your donor’s inbox. By skipping snail mail, you’ll provide instant gratification.
  • Interactiveness. You can include interactive elements that simulate the feeling of opening a physical greeting card. For example, recipients can click an image of an envelope to reveal the card.
  • Customization. Digital cards are extremely customizable, making it easy to match them to your nonprofit’s mission. You can even include videos and other animations, unlike traditional greeting cards.

Create personalized thank-you eCards that reflect your nonprofit’s unique voice and brand. Then, send them to your generous donors. They’re an incredibly cost-effective and personalized way to express appreciation. Your donors will love receiving online greeting cards that communicate your appreciation for them, like this example from Youth For Understanding:

Create donor recognition eCards to send to each of your nonprofit's donors.

Send charity eCards post-donation or during key times of the year, like on recipients’ birthdays or during the holiday season. This is a great way to let donors know you’re thinking about them. By sending a personalized eCard, you’ll create a lasting memory for givers.

Use eCardWidget to design and send thank-you eCards to your donors.

A genuine, personalized letter is a great donor recognition idea.

Thank You Letters

Personalized notes that show gratitude for a donor’s support are a classic way to express appreciation. A well-crafted email or a handwritten letter that expresses genuine appreciation for the donor’s support is a simple and effective way to say “thank you.”

Your letter doesn’t have to be long. It can be as simple as crafting a couple of paragraphs, customized to speak to their specific relationship with your organization.

To personalize your letter, include information such as:

  • The donor’s name
  • The specific amount they donated
  • Other engagement history, such as volunteering
  • Information about their employer’s matching gift program, if they have one

Overall, a heartfelt note of gratitude can make a donor feel appreciated and valued for their contributions. In turn, this can help cultivate a lasting relationship, and recipients will recognize the effort that went into crafting a personalized letter.

A donor appreciation wall is a formal and public way to acknowledge supporters.

Donor Recognition Walls

Creating a wall or display with the names of your donors is a visual way to acknowledge contributions. It allows you to take donor appreciation public by recognizing donors for their generous contributions in a place where all the world can see.

Donor walls can come in many forms, such as physical plaques or virtual displays. While traditionally built in the physical world, nonprofits with limited budgets can create virtual donor walls on their websites. Not only is this more budget-friendly, but you can update the wall in real time.

Either way, donor walls can feature donor names, photos, or messages of appreciation. You can also add special touches such as a donor of the month or yearly donor awards.

Whatever you decide, a donor wall is a great way to show your donors that their support is valued and appreciated. It’s also a great way to inspire others to give.

Host a donor appreciation event and only invite your committed supporters.

Donor Appreciation Events

If you want to go all out, host a donor appreciation event. Hosting an event specifically for your donors can make them feel special and can help your team show your gratitude for their support.

Plan exclusive events for your major donors. These events could be a private dinner, a VIP tour of your facility, or a special performance.

Virtual gatherings work well too, especially when supporters are scattered in different locations. Try hosting a casual virtual get-together or happy hour where everyone can come together on Zoom.

Posting shoutouts on social media is a great public donor recognition idea.

Social Media Recognition

While great for promoting your work, social media is also a great place for donor recognition. From Facebook to Instagram, recognize your donors on social media by:

  • Tagging them in posts and stories about events they attend.
  • Sharing personal impact stories from donors.
  • Posting photos about projects their donations have made possible.
  • Sharing videos and written testimonials from your beneficiaries.

Social media enables you to reach a wide audience, allowing you to showcase how much you love your donors. When you craft meaningful messages, your donors will feel compelled to share them with their networks. In turn, you can connect with new prospects, too.

Public donor recognition can be powerful. Just make sure your supporters are fine with you publishing their pictures and names online.

For this donor recognition idea, have your staff or volunteers personally call donors.

Donor Recognition Phone Calls

A personal phone call from a staff member or volunteer can make a donor feel valued and appreciated. You can have a personal conversation with your donor, showing them that you’re genuinely grateful for their support.

When speaking to your donors, use the opportunity to provide updates on your organization’s progress. Depending on time constraints, you might also use this as an opportunity to solicit feedback or other ideas for improving your work.

While an excellent way to express appreciation, this donor recognition idea can be time-consuming. Try to limit phone calls to individuals who give a certain amount and prefer this form of recognition.

Create donor appreciation videos to leverage visual storytelling techniques.

Thank-You Videos

A personalized video message from your nonprofit’s staff is a creative and heartfelt way to show donor appreciation.

For major donations or big projects, interview a beneficiary to show just how much your donors’ gifts impact your mission. Sharing stories about how donor contributions have made a difference in the lives of those you serve is a powerful way to show gratitude and inspire continued support.

Tectonic Video’s nonprofit video storytelling guide explains that you should incorporate a few key elements, such as:

  • A narrative arc that engages the audience
  • Relatable characters
  • Clear and consistent narration
  • Compelling visuals

In turn, you’ll appeal to your donors’ emotions and leave a lasting impact on them.

When published online, well-produced videos can increase visibility for your cause, too! Others can see just how impactful donations are, prompting them to donate as well.

Create branded merchandise and send it to reliable supporters as a form of donor recognition.

Branded Merchandise

Sending donors some merchandise connected to your mission can be an excellent token of appreciation.

Not to mention, it’s a fantastic way to tap into social proof. For example, let’s say you send some apparel to a committed donor. They might sport a trendy hat or t-shirt around town. This can prompt meaningful conversations about your mission. Even if people don’t ask them about it, others will see your organization’s name on it, prompting them to search for it online.

When it comes to merchandise, consider creating and sending the following as a way to recognize donors:

  • Apparel like nonprofit t-shirts and hats
  • Tote bags
  • Mugs and water bottles
  • Stickers and decals
  • Keychains

Every time they put on their t-shirt or see your keychain when they unlock their front door, they’ll think of your nonprofit. Plus, they can wear or use these items proudly and spread the word about your nonprofit like we mentioned.

A great donor recognition idea is to offer valuable content like special reports and behind-the-scenes updates.

Exclusive Content

Providing exclusive content to your donors can make them feel like insiders. For example, if they designated their donation to a certain program, be sure to give them exclusive updates on the program’s progress.

As you brainstorm ideas for what content you’ll offer, consider these common donor recognition rewards:

  • Digital content such as eBooks, videos, podcasts, and webinars
  • Behind-the-scenes updates or sneak peeks
  • Special reports
  • Access to exclusive merchandise

Not only does offering exclusive content serve as a form of donor recognition, but it also provides an incentive for donors to continue giving. When you spend time creating valuable rewards, they’ll want to continue accessing the exclusive content.

Recognize your donors by sending discount vouchers for local restaurants and stores.

Discounts at Local Businesses

Partner with local businesses like restaurants and stores to offer discounts to donors. Not only is this a great way to express appreciation, but it also allows you to tap into corporate social responsibility and promote local businesses.

Once you have discounts lined up, mail or email the coupon to your donors along with a note of your appreciation. You can say something simple like:

“Please enjoy 15% off your next purchase at [store] as a token of our appreciation for your continued support.”

Provide donors with discounts to your nonprofit's events as a form of donor recognition.

Discounts For Your Events

Your nonprofit likely hosts events regularly. From family-friendly 5Ks to lavish galas, events are a powerful way to bring people together in support of your cause. Chances are, entry into these events isn’t free.

As a way to recognize your donors, offer discounts to your nonprofit’s events and conferences. To limit the number of people who receive discounted access, only promise these discounts to those who donate to specific campaigns or above certain amounts.

Inspire supporters to stick around by showing donor appreciation with handmade gifts.

Handmade Donor Recognition Gifts

Creating handmade gifts, such as paintings, pottery, or crafts, is a creative way to show gratitude and acknowledge the donor’s support. The recipient will know you took the time to create something special just for them.

It can be as simple as a thank you card or as elaborate as a hand-painted portrait. The goal is to show them that their support is valued in a unique and personal way.

Maybe your organization aspires to provide vital resources to at-risk youth. You might have them craft something for mid-tier and major donors, making this donor recognition idea much more meaningful.

An exclusive donor newsletter can communicate donor appreciation and incentivize continued support.

Donor Newsletter

Chances are, your nonprofit already sends a regular newsletter to its entire email subscription list. You use it as a way to communicate big updates, highlight upcoming events, and share volunteer opportunities. Intertwine this communication technique with your donor recognition strategy by sending an exclusive donor newsletter.

Send a personalized newsletter to your donors with updates on your nonprofit’s work, impact, and future plans. Include photos and stories to make it engaging and meaningful.

Alternatively, create a section in your regular newsletter that spotlights a different major donor each time. This is an excellent way to publicly recognize major gifts throughout the year.

Create an annual gratitude report that emphasizes donor appreciation.

Annual Gratitude Report

Your annual report provides a look back on your nonprofit’s year. It’s one of the most important documents you create all year. One easy way to thank your donors is by listing them in this highly-distributed document.

You have a couple of options with this donor recognition idea:

  • List donors alphabetically
  • Group donors based on donation ranges

If you want to kick things up a notch, consider creating a separate “gratitude report” exclusively for showcasing donors’ impact. While annual reports generally focus on hard stats from the past year, a gratitude report looks specifically at the wins for the year, communicates appreciation, and lays the groundwork for the upcoming year.

A few different organizations leverage this donor recognition strategy as a way to highlight those who make their work possible. Take the Pride Foundation’s Gratitude Report for example.

As a way to express donor appreciation, they crafted a virtual report that speaks directly to donors. In it, you’ll find highlights of the grants and scholarships the foundation was able to award alongside testimonials from those influenced by donations. This approach is a fantastic way to communicate your donors’ impact.

Follow these donor recognition tips to boost your retention rate.

Donor Appreciation Best Practices

Beyond picking the right ideas, there’s an art to expressing your appreciation for donors. No matter your cause, make sure you craft a donor recognition strategy that adheres to these tried-and-true best practices:

  • Do get creative with your donor recognition ideas. Anyone can send a generic thank-you email. Get creative with your ideas to stand out. Being creative can be as simple as creating custom eCards connected to your cause.
  • Don’t wait to say thank you. The quicker you express appreciation, the better! If you wait too long, donors may think you’ve forgotten about them.
  • Do develop a donor recognition plan. Developing a plan will help you define levels of donor recognition, the types of recognition your team will give, and who should be recognized.
  • Don’t ignore donors’ recognition preferences. Saying “thank you” should be as personalized as possible. That means adhering to individuals’ preferences. If they prefer a private phone call, ring them up. If they want a public shoutout, draft a social media post!
  • Do use donor-centric messaging. Focus on the donor and how their contribution will make a difference. Making your donor the center of the call allows you to emphasize gratitude and show that the organization values their contributions.
  • Don’t overlook small donations. Acknowledge every donation you receive, no matter how big or small. Each contribution matters, so make sure you recognize each and every one of your donors.
Follow these dos and don'ts of donor recognition.

Sticking to these tips will enable you to recognize donors in meaningful ways that inspire them to stick around. Pay attention to how your donors respond and adjust accordingly.

Check out these resources to get more donor recognition ideas.

Final Thoughts on Donor Recognition

If your nonprofit wants to build a reliable base of support, donor recognition isn’t an option! Thoughtful donor recognition helps build loyalty and encourages repeat giving from the same individuals. Public recognition can be especially impactful since others will see how much you value your supporters.

Ultimately, donor recognition is a powerful tool for any organization that wants to ensure the success of its fundraising efforts.

The donor recognition ideas we shared should give you everything you need to get started, but don’t stop there! To continue learning, check out some of these additional resources:

Thank your donors by creating engaging digital eCards with eCardWidget.
Perfect your nonprofit website’s ‘About’ page with these six tips.

Perfecting Your Nonprofit Website’s ‘About’ Page: 6 Tips

Your nonprofit website’s About page (or menu) gives visitors more information about your mission, how you work toward it, and other crucial details about your nonprofit’s background. That may sound straightforward, but it doesn’t mean this page should be an afterthought in the web design process.

On the contrary, your website’s About page is an opportunity to tell your story in an engaging way, promote accountability and transparency, and ultimately recruit more supporters to your cause. It’s one of the first resources many potential new supporters will review to get a sense of what you’re all about, making it a critical part of the donor journey.

Make your About page work for your nonprofit’s digital marketing efforts by designing it using these tips: 

  1. Offer a clear mission and vision statement.
  2. Describe your strategic plan. 
  3. Introduce your leaders.
  4. Recap your organization’s history.
  5. Provide financial details.
  6. Spotlight recent news updates or research.

As we work through each tip, we’ll also highlight examples of effective nonprofit About pages from Kanopi’s roundup of the best nonprofit websites. Check out that resource for even more examples and consider how you can adapt each best practice to meet your organization’s unique needs. Let’s get started!

1. Offer a clear mission and vision statement.

The first thing you should explain on your About page or within your About menu is why your organization exists. Give visitors a clear understanding of what your organization does and why by highlighting your mission and vision statements. 

Your mission statement should describe your organization’s foundational purpose and how you work toward that goal in one or two sentences. For example, if your organization works to end child hunger in the United States, your mission statement might be something like “We work to end child hunger nationwide by partnering with local communities to develop free food banks for families in need.” 

A vision statement illustrates what the world would be like if your organization was able to achieve its mission. So, using the same example, your vision statement could say “We fight for the day when food insecurity has been eliminated in the United States.” 

Check out Habitat for Humanity’s mission and vision statement page for a clear example of how to make these statements succinct and impactful. The page reads:

  • Our mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.
  • Our vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. 

If you already have a mission and vision statement for your nonprofit, feature them in a prominent spot on your About page. If you don’t (or if you’re looking to update those statements), this is the perfect opportunity to meet with your team and brainstorm new ideas that better summarize your organization’s work. 

2. Describe your strategic plan. 

After drawing in visitors with your compelling mission and vision statements, they’ll be curious about exactly how your organization brings those ambitions to life. Make sure your About page includes details about your organization’s strategic plan, including your primary projects and programs. 

For example, The Nature Conservancy’s “How We Work” page includes plenty of details about how the organization carries out its conservation mission, including: 

  • Influencing policy
  • Researching sustainable conservation solutions
  • Working with the private sector
  • Partnering with local communities
  • Developing new technologies

Each section also includes a call to action (CTA) button letting visitors learn more about each initiative. 

3. Introduce your leaders.

One of the most essential functions of your nonprofit’s About page is to foster trust between website visitors and your organization. When audience members see who is in charge of your nonprofit and their impressive credentials, you’ll show them that your organization is in good hands. 

Here are some of the individuals you might highlight on your leadership page: 

  • Board of directors
  • Senior managers
  • Regional managers/directors
  • Subject matter experts

It’s also helpful to include a short bio for each individual to give visitors a sense of their background and experience. For instance, the CARE leadership page lets visitors click on each name and review short profiles for each board member or global management team member. 

4. Recap your organization’s history.

Show prospective supporters the positive impact your organization has made over time by recapping your history on your About page. 

Highlight key dates and significant milestones such as: 

  • Your organization’s founding date
  • The tenures of notable leaders
  • Significant or very successful projects
  • Major policy changes your organization influenced 

To make your story more engaging, create an interactive or visual timeline with key dates of your journey. Take a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s History page as an example. This page includes a timeline grouped by decade with pictures to illustrate each step of the story. 

This is also a great opportunity to link to your digital donor wall, highlighting the individuals that made your organization’s progress possible!

If your organization uses a top content management system like Drupal or WordPress, you can search for a design widget or module to build your timeline. It might also be helpful to work with a web designer who specializes in nonprofit projects to bring your vision to life and ensure your timeline is as engaging and visually appealing as possible. 

5. Provide financial details.

Another essential aspect of building trust with website visitors is promoting accountability through financial transparency. Be clear about how you use your funding and where your organization stands financially. This will go a long way toward convincing potential donors that your nonprofit is worthy of their gifts

Include the following details on your About page: 

  • Annual reports
  • Details about how you use funding
  • Charity ratings
  • Values and fundraising code of ethics

For example, Doctors Without Borders’ robust financial accountability page highlights the organization’s financial, annual, and activity reports, fundraising ethics, and more. The website even includes a fixed footer that breaks down exactly how donors’ gifts are used, reassuring supporters that their donations are being handled responsibly. 

6. Spotlight recent news updates or research.

Show website visitors that your nonprofit is actively involved in a number of initiatives by highlighting news updates and research on your About page. Be sure to spotlight the following: 

  • News articles about recent projects. Your nonprofit might be in the news from time to time for different projects or events. Make the most of this publicity by sharing recent news articles or clips on your website. 
  • Press releases about internal updates from your nonprofit. You might publish press releases to announce changes at your organization, such as when you hire a new CEO or reach a milestone goal. 
  • Recent research and reports you’ve published. One of your organization’s public services might be conducting research in your cause area. Make this information easily accessible for interested website visitors. For example, the research page on the Girls Who Code website highlights recent reports about women and girls in tech. 

Keeping relevant news and research updates front and center offers another opportunity for supporters to get a sense of what your mission looks like in action. Visitors will be able to see what your current priorities are and even identify new ways they can get personally involved. 

Once you’ve perfected your About page using these tips, you’re ready to unveil it to the world! Promote it across your digital marketing channels by sharing a link on social media or including the link in your paid search ads

Remember, if you’re looking for expert advice and tips on how to craft top-quality About pages, don’t hesitate to reach out to a nonprofit web designer. These professionals can leverage their expertise to help you design content that speaks to your unique audience. 

Title: "4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit's Event Revenue" 3 People stand in front of stacks of coins and cash.

4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Event Revenue

Pulling off a successful event involves a lot of moving parts. You have to plan logistics, assess your staff’s capabilities, and get the word out to your supporters. Whether you’re hosting an annual auction or trying out a brand new bike-a-thon fundraiser, there are plenty of ways you can improve your event and generate more funds for your nonprofit.

In this article, we’ll walk you through four methods using the example of a hybrid silent auction. As we get into more detail, keep your specific needs and goals in mind, and tailor these tips to your own event.  

1. Create a plan centered on your audience.

When you create a fundraising plan for your event, make sure you make decisions based on your specific audience. Put yourself in your supporters’ shoes, and plan your event around their interests. You might choose a new location based on previous donor feedback or schedule the event later in the year to capitalize on your donors’ end-of-year giving habits.

Be sure to include all of these essentials in your fundraising plan:

  • Timeline. Plan out deadlines around sponsorships, auction item procurement, and when invitations need to go out. Consider how much time you’ll need for marketing the event to your supporters, as well.
  • Division of staff responsibilities. Build teams and committees around your areas of need. For our auction example, you should have an item procurement committee to request items and arrange for pickup or delivery.  
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your success. Will you measure your success by the amount of money raised? By attendance? By overall auction performance? Set specific metrics so you know how well you are doing.

Make sure everyone on your team understands their responsibilities for the fundraiser to ensure it runs smoothly and generates as much revenue as possible.

Gather information from past events to discover what worked and what didn’t. If you don’t have data or feedback from past events, don’t hesitate to survey your donors now to gauge their interests.

2. Add an online component.

Adding an online option to any event will create a more engaging, accessible experience for your attendees. When your guests are fully engaged, they’re more likely to donate! Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you may need to research the ways you can successfully incorporate these elements. Let’s go back to our example of a silent auction to see what an online component could look like in action. 

In an auction, you will reach more supporters if you make your auction accessible to remote users with quality auction software. Imagine if you are hosting an auction to benefit your school. Offering the option to participate remotely will encourage support from family members of students who live near and far.

Tools like mobile bidding also simplify and speed up the bidding process for in-person guests–leading to more excitement and more funds!

3. Market your event using multiple channels.

Marketing can feel scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know your supporters well, as we talked about earlier, you will know where they are hanging out online. Take stock of all your marketing channels, then expand your efforts based on where your communication will be the most effective. If your supporters are mostly on LinkedIn, for example, promoting on Snapchat might not be the most efficient use of your time and resources. 

Use these tips to make the most out of your marketing strategy:

  • Promote your event on the social media channels you know your supporters spend the most time on. Target your audience in every communication. 
  • Connect your marketing channels to drive more traffic. If you post event flyers at a local restaurant, add a QR code that leads to a social media post or even your event website with more information.
  • Consider automating some of your donor outreach using your CRM to free up more staff time for other event planning needs.

The wider you can spread the word about your event, the more you’ll boost attendance and revenue. 

4. Maximize fundraising opportunities.

Build elements from other fundraising campaigns into your event to add variety to how your guests and supporters can give. 

In our example of a silent auction, this could look like promoting an ongoing text-to-give campaign on your auction website. When you send announcements out to guests about mobile bidding during the auction, provide your text-to-give information in case attendees want to make additional donations along with their bids.

Almost any fundraising campaign can be added to your event to maximize revenue, such as:

  • Promoting matching gift opportunities. This strategy has worked for nonprofits for decades. Donors become much more engaged when they know their money will go farther, and matching gifts are a great way to do this.
  • Selling branded merchandise. Everyone loves to take home SWAG! Have t-shirts, mugs, or reusable bags printed up with your nonprofit’s logo, and sell them at your event.
  • Announcing an upcoming peer-to-peer fundraiser. Recruit your supporters to become involved at a personal level, using the power of their spheres of influence to raise money. 
  • Placing a donation box at the event. Some events will ask guests to bring canned goods, jackets, or shoes to the event, providing an opportunity to have tangible, fast results that advance your mission.

Think about your fundraising strategy for the year and look for opportunities to support another fundraiser at your event. Your decor could even include information about future events!

Whether you decide to use a hybrid silent auction as your primary fundraising model or modify these tips so that they are more cohesive with another method, nonprofits everywhere can benefit from this combination of strategies. 

When the event ends and your fundraiser has come to a close, review your metrics. Use this information to make any necessary adjustments for future events, and in turn, you’ll experience more successful events that drive more funds and move the needle for your organization.

Learn more about ways to get the most of out a product fundraiser

The Top 5 Reasons to Leverage a Product Fundraiser

The considerations that must take place when starting a fundraiser can be overwhelming, but the first step is always determining what type of fundraiser you want to run. There are thousands of choices with pros and cons to each, but product fundraisers can be particularly successful in raising money for your cause. We’ll look at five benefits to running a product fundraiser.

1. Easy to organize

In contrast to fundraising events, which usually require months of planning and extra expenses like venue or catering costs, starting a product fundraiser is simple. To get started, you’ll just need to follow these steps:

  • Establish your goal and deadline
  • Choose a product fundraising partner
  • Choose a product to sell
  • Set up your physical or digital order form

Not only is the set-up easy, but selling is simple, too. No volunteer training or workshop is needed to teach someone how to sell. This is helpful for a fundraiser with a strict timeline since it requires very little planning and can be started or stopped at any time.

Running a fundraiser where your volunteers already know their roles is helpful, but they might not be needed at all in a product fundraiser. Depending on your organization, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to selling your product. For example, you can leave a stack of order forms on the receptionist’s desk or accept orders completely online. If you’re selling products to fundraise for a school, you can give the product to the students and have them sell it.

2. Easy to market

Marketing is important for all aspects of a nonprofit, but product fundraisers are particularly easy to promote. Since they’re a tangible fundraiser, products make for great photo opportunities. Taking pictures of the items you’re selling can make nice social media posts promoting your products and fundraising goals.

Visuals are particularly influential when it comes to getting people interested in your cause. Feathr advises using compelling images to capture people’s attention as they’re scrolling through their social media feed. For example, if you’re selling food, detailed pictures of tasty snacks you’re selling can be really enticing.

Your product could also represent your organization in some way. Sell merchandise with your organization’s logo on it and supporters might be inclined to buy because they’d like to publicly show their support for your nonprofit. As an added bonus, selling something that displays your logo will make your supporters brand ambassadors. By wearing your logo, they’ll provide greater visibility for your brand.

3. Donors get something in return

Product fundraisers make it easier to raise money because people who wouldn’t normally donate to your cause might be interested in buying a product. These buyers might be incentivized by the fact that they could get something in return for giving, seeing your fundraiser as a purchase rather than a donation..

On the flip side, if your buyers are supporters of your organization, they might feel more connected to your nonprofit when they get something in return for donating. They’ll also be encouraged to give knowing that the money from their purchase is funding a good cause. No matter who the buyer is, this is an effective way to raise money because they’ll get a high return on their investment.

4. Reach a wider audience

Product fundraisers also make it easy to reach more of your supporters and wider community by selling both in person and online. Here are some ways you can advertise your nonprofit and its fundraiser outside of your organization’s immediate community of supporters:

  • Social media
  • Your website
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Flyers
  • Partnering with local businesses

There are opportunities for sales in more places than you can imagine. For example, if students are selling cookie dough to raise money for their school, they might take order forms to a parent’s office after school. Their parent’s coworkers might be interested in buying cookie dough and placing an order to support your school.

5. Flexibility in product choice

The best part about product fundraisers is that they’re fully customizable! There’s a wide variety of things you can sell and the sales timeline is completely up to you. If you have a target audience in mind as you’re organizing the fundraiser, choose a product you know they’d like.

Also, consider when you’ll be running the fundraiser. Products can be seasonal, and this can work to your advantage.

For example, ABC Fundraising suggests selling Christmas ornaments as a fundraiser for a church during the Christmas season. Members of the congregation will be interested in buying ornaments regardless of your fundraiser, but will be especially motivated by their affinity for their church. You could even get the children in the church to make ornaments as a fun Sunday morning craft and sell those ornaments for the fundraiser.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas for effective product fundraisers. Choose an idea that appeals to your audience the most and customize your fundraiser to work well for your organization. No matter what idea you choose, the benefits of product fundraisers can make a huge impact on your nonprofit.

Learn how to promote matching gifts with Google Ads in this guide.

How to Promote Matching Gifts: Reimagining Your Google Ads

Matching gifts play a vital role in any modern organization’s fundraising. However, not all donors know that these programs even exist, resulting in lost revenue for causes like yours. That’s why you need a plan to promote matching gifts if you want to use corporate giving as a viable fundraising avenue.

With an estimated 4.3 billion users worldwide, the Google Ads platform empowers nonprofits to connect with a world of prospects. That means you can fill in these knowledge gaps and let more prospects than ever know about matching gifts. Best of all, eligible organizations can receive free ad credits to spend on promoting web content through the Google Ad Grants program.

So long as you follow the program’s rules, the Google Ad Grant gives you the flexibility you need to get creative with your matching gift promotion.

To get your creative juices flowing, we’re here to help you combine the power of corporate giving and Google Ads. If you’re ready to supercharge your fundraising efforts, here’s what this guide will cover:

Creating Google Ads and meeting the Ad Grant program’s requirements can be tricky for newcomers. That’s why we recommend working with the experts at Getting Attention.

Their Google Ad Grant managers know what it takes to create compelling ads that expand your digital marketing capabilities. With an expert on your side, you can create persuasive ads that promote matching gifts to qualified users. While waiting to chat with their team, explore the tips below to get some ideas for your Google Ads strategy.

Get a free consultation with our recommended Google Grants agency to start promoting matching gifts.
Before getting started, know why nonprofits use Google Ads to promote matching gifts.

What To Know Before Promoting Matching Gifts With Google Ads

Diving headfirst into creating Google Ads for matching gifts can be tempting. But it’s important to go into it with some background knowledge and a solid strategy.

Knowing the basics will give you the necessary foundation for creating Google Ads that meet the program’s requirements and inspire users to complete the matching gift process.

What are matching gifts?

Matching gifts are a type of corporate giving program in which companies promise to match their employees’ donations to eligible nonprofits. Employers usually create a series of guidelines, such as the maximum donation amount they’ll match, which employees are eligible, and which nonprofits are eligible.

Acquiring a matching gift requires a few steps. Double the Donation’s article on donation matching breaks down the process into a few key steps:

Before marketing matching gifts, you need to know how the process works.
  1. An individual donates to your nonprofit and researches their eligibility for their employer’s matching gift program.
  2. If eligible, they’ll submit a request to their company to match the donation.
  3. Finally, the company will confirm the initial donation with your team and make its own donation.

Pretty simple, right? The only downfall is that many donors don’t know about this opportunity. In some cases, they’re actually confused by the framework and might not follow through on submitting requests to their employers. That’s why marketing is crucial.

What is the Google Ad Grant program?

The Google Ad Grants program provides free advertising credits to eligible nonprofits. Participating organizations receive a monthly allocation of $10,000 to spend on Google Ads. They bid on mission-related keywords and design ads that inspire people to visit their website.

The Google Ad Grants program gives eligible nonprofits free ad credits, making it a cost-effective way to promote matching gifts.

In our guide to the basics of Google Ad Grants, we explain that “through this program, Google’s goal is to empower nonprofits to supercharge their search engine marketing (SEM) efforts and deliver worthwhile public service messages to a global audience.”

Nonprofits most often promote content related to fundraising, volunteering, and their services. That makes this the perfect place to promote matching gifts!

Want to find out if your nonprofit is eligible for Google Ad Grants? Before applying for the program, check out this guide to determine your eligibility.

There are several reasons why nonprofits should learn how to promote matching gifts with Google Ads.

Why To Promote Matching Gifts With Google Ads

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding matching gifts — including everything from what they are to how to submit an employer request. Your nonprofit needs to step up its marketing game to increase matching gift awareness and drive more matches to completion.

So, what makes Google Ads an effective avenue to promote matching gifts?

Think about it: whenever you want to learn something new, you likely Google it. Your donors are the same way! When they want to support a cause near to their hearts, they often use Google to research organizations pursuing relevant missions.

Google Ads can make sure your content shows up first for those all-important keywords related to your mission, making it ideal for promoting matching gifts.

The proof is in the numbers, though! Online giving research estimates that:

  • In 2021, return on ad spend (ROAS) was the highest for search ads compared to other digital advertising methods.
  • Organizations only spend around $0.06 for every dollar raised online.
  • View-through revenue (revenue from donors who saw but didn’t click on an ad) accounts for 35% of all giving sourced from digital ads.
  • 98% of searchers click a result on page 1 of Google Search results.
Most searchers click a result on page one of Google, making Google Ads a smart way to promote matching gifts.

Nonprofits see these incredible results because of Google’s large user base and the Google Ad Grant’s customization features. For example, you can use geotargeting to narrow down your audience to specific regions.

You can also leverage features like Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) to improve ad performance. Getting Attention’s ultimate Google Ad Grant guide explains that you’ll submit a variety of ad headlines and descriptions for an RSA. Then, Google will automatically cycle through different versions of your ads to find the ones that drive the most clicks.

Here are some convenient tips for promoting matching gifts using Google Ads.

How To Promote Matching Gifts With Google Ads

We fully believe that Google Ads can play a critical role in promoting matching gifts to your donors. While it takes a bit of work to create your ads and manage your account, you have the potential to spread more matching gift awareness than ever before!

Let’s walk through some basic steps for getting started.

1. Create Matching Gift Content on Your Website.

Google has a pretty strict website policy for nonprofits using Google Ads. Any content you promote through the Google Ad Grant program must be hosted on your domain. So, if you want to promote matching gifts, you’ll need matching gift content on your site.

While essential for your Google Ads, creating this content is also a great way to spread matching gift awareness among any visitor — no matter how they end up on your website.

Here are some common ways you might incorporate matching gifts into your website:

  • Your donation form. Every organization has a donation form! This is one of the most popular pages that nonprofits promote using the Google Ad Grant. Anyone who visits this page will already be considering donating, making it an optimal time to promote matching gifts. Include an employer search tool where donors can research their eligibility for their employers’ programs. After all, who wouldn’t want to multiply their donation without spending another penny?
  • A dedicated matching gift page. This should be your ultimate resource for matching gifts. Include details about what matching gifts are and how donors can submit requests to their employers. Don’t forget to embed an employer search tool, so users can research their companies’ programs.
  • A ‘Ways to Give’ page. This covers all the ways someone can give to your cause, whether through corporate giving, volunteering, or attending an event. Include a section on matching gifts. You might give an overview of what they are and direct users to your dedicated matching gift page to learn more. (Hint: This page is great to append to any ad you create and will help you spread the word to a wider audience.)
These types of pages will giving you landing pages related to matching gifts for your Google Ads.

Once your content is published, you can add these as the landing pages for your matching gift Google Ads. Your “landing page” is where users will arrive on your site after clicking your ad. Choosing landing pages that correlate with your keywords means you can meet users’ goals and deliver the exact content they want.

Want to tidy up your website before promoting its with the Google Ad Grant? Check out our guide to the basics to nonprofit web design.

2. Select the Right Keywords for Your Google Ads.

Your keywords are an important part of your ads. These are what users will type into Google to find your cause, so it’s important to select the right ones.

Through the Google Ad Grants program, you’ll receive free access to a variety of tools to track your ad performance. One of these is Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner will help you conduct keyword research to promote matching gifts.

You can use this platform to conduct keyword research, get keyword suggestions, and determine what your prospects are searching for on Google. It’ll also give you an idea of how much to bid on keywords. Then, you can develop ads that target these search queries and promote matching gifts.

When creating a keyword list for your matching gift ads on Google, here’s what we recommend:

  • Think about what your donors would search to find your cause. How might a prospective donor find your nonprofit on Google? For example, if your nonprofit supports Breast Cancer patients and funds research, a donor might search “donate to breast cancer research.” Think about how any mission-related keywords like this correlate with matching gifts.
  • Don’t be too specific with your keywords. Remember, a lot of people don’t know about matching gifts, so using general keywords can be beneficial. A keyword like “matching gifts to breast cancer research” is too specific and will limit your audience. However, don’t be too generic, as your ads might not be shown to people who want to support your work.
  • Don’t spend your budget all in one place. When starting out, you’ll want to avoid high-competition keywords. Many organizations might bid on the same keywords, driving up the bid costs. Stick with some less competitive, more specific keywords as you get started. Keyword Planner will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to bid on different terms.

Navigating keyword research platforms and choosing search terms can be tricky and somewhat daunting for newcomers. That’s why we recommend working with a Google Grants agency. Professionals know how to find the keywords your donors are searching, reducing the learning curve for your team. That means you can publish your ads and start promoting matching gifts sooner!

An Example of Choosing Matching Gift Keywords

Let’s walk through an example, so you can see how this might look in practice. Let’s stick to our Breast Cancer foundation example. Using Google Keyword Planner, you can enter terms like ‘donate to breast cancer research’ and ‘support breast cancer patients.’ The tool will provide you with recommendations for building out your keyword list with related terms.

These terms are just specific enough to target potential donors without being overly specific to where you limit your audience. People searching these terms are likely thinking about donating or supporting your cause in other ways.

From here, think about what landing pages you can drive users to that relate to these terms. For example, you can drive users to your donation form that features matching gifts. You can also append additional links to your ‘Ways to Give’ page or matching gifts page using Google Ads’ sitelink extension feature.

3. Write Your Google Ads for Matching Gifts.

At this point, you’ve picked your keywords and landing pages. Now is when your creativity comes into play! You’ll need to write your ad and think carefully about how to promote matching gifts with it.

Your ad is the first impression that users will have of your cause. This is where you’ll share your case for support and encourage users to support your cause. Because of this, make sure it’s well-written and persuasive.

When crafting your ad, keep the following in mind:

  • Incorporate your keywords. This indicates to users that your ad relates to what they searched. Throw your keywords and some variations into the headline and description of your ad.
  • Create cohesion between your landing pages, keywords, and ad text. The content you promote should align with the user intent for the keyword. For example, if someone searches “donate to animal rescue,” it makes more sense to link users to a donation form rather than a blog post about matching gifts. Then, use your ad text to explain how your ad relates to the search query.
  • Use ad extensions to provide additional ways to engage. Google Ads provides customization features to build out your ads and optimize your account. With the sitelink ad extensions feature, you can include mini-ads, linking users to additional pages on your site. Sticking to the example above, you could make your donation form your main landing page. Then, add your ‘Ways to Give’ page and matching gifts page as sitelinks.
  • Include a call to action in your ad. It’s always smart to tell readers exactly what you’d like them to do after seeing your ad. Phrases like “donate now” or “learn about matching gifts” can persuade people to click your ad.

Crafting the perfect Google Ad to promote matching gifts can take some time. After publishing your ads, make sure to log into your account regularly to monitor ad performance and make adjustments.

Work with a professional to promote matching gifts with the Google Ad Grant.

Working With a Google Ads Manager To Promote Matching Gifts

If you’re still confused about how to promote matching gifts, you don’t have to attempt it alone! And even if you’re experienced with Google Ads, managing a Google Ad Grant account can be time-consuming. That’s why we recommend working with an experienced Google Ad Grant manager.

As our recommended agency, Getting Attention knows how to craft compelling Google Ads. Whether you want to promote matching gifts or amplify other areas of your work, they’ll work with you to accomplish your marketing goals.

To empower their nonprofit partners to achieve new heights, they offer these services:

  • Google Ad Grant eligibility check and application
  • Full account setup or existing account audit
  • Ad creation
  • Keyword research report and recommendations
  • Ongoing account maintenance and reporting
  • Landing page relaunch, including design work
  • Suspended or lapsed account reactivation
These Google Ad Grant services will help take your matching gift promotion to the next level.

If you want to learn more about promoting your cause with Google Ads, line up a free consultation! From here, you can discuss your Google Ad Grant goals. They’ll help you understand how Google Ads fold into your matching gift promotion and your marketing strategy as a whole.

Here are some resources to continue learning about how to promote matching gifts with Google Ads.

Getting Started With Your Matching Gift Promotion

Matching gifts can make up a sizeable part of your organization’s revenue. However, you need a thorough marketing strategy to make sure your donors know about corporate giving opportunities like this.

As you now know, Google Ads are the perfect marketing avenue to throw into your toolbox! The Google Ad Grant can take your matching gift promotion to new heights when you get creative.

As the world’s most popular search engine, Google puts nonprofits like yours in touch with more prospects than ever. But it’s up to you to craft ads that inspire them to get involved with your cause and learn more about matching gifts.

As you start building out your marketing strategies, make sure you’re fully prepared by exploring these resources:

5 Association Web Design Tips to Boost Member Acquisition

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).

Of course, pictures aren’t the only visual element to pay attention to. Don’t forget to build your membership website with:

  • The tactical use of white space
  • Concise, action-oriented text
  • Complimentary color palettes 
  • Clean, striking typography 

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
  • Surface-level versions of your member directory
  • Engaging resources that are useful to your members, such as informative podcasts

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.

The online member directory is probably one of the most underrated marketing tools in your association toolkit. 

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.

For inspiration on how to create and customize your own online member directory, check out Wild Apricot’s member directory templates.

Test, test, and test again.

When in doubt, test, test, and test again. 

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.

Learn more about the Microsoft Ad Grant in this comprehensive guide.

The Microsoft Ad Grant: An Essential Nonprofit Tool

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:

We have a lot to review, so let’s get started!

For help managing your Microsoft Ad Grant, reach out to Getting Attention.
First, we'll go over the basics of the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Microsoft Ad Grant Basics

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.

Here is an example of a nonprofit ad being promoted using the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

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.

Next, we'll go over the benefits of the 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:

Take a look at some of the benefits of participating in the Microsoft Ad Grant 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.

More conversions.

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:

  • Donations
  • Email list signups
  • Event registrations
  • Petition signatures
  • Ticket sales
  • Volunteer 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.

Here are several different ways your organization can leverage its Microsoft Ad Grant.

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:

There are so many different ways to use Microsoft Ad Grants.
  • Encouraging donations
  • Expanding your donor or subscriber base
  • Advocating about issues important to your organization
  • Recruiting volunteers
  • Spreading the word about upcoming events
  • Encouraging actions like signing petitions
  • Informing your supporters about matching gift opportunities

With your goals in mind, you’ll create campaigns with better focus and get the most out of your Microsoft Ad Grant.

In this section, we'll help you determine whether your organization is eligible for the Ads for Social Impact program.

Eligibility Requirements

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:

Determine whether your nonprofit is eligible for the Microsoft Ad Grant.

For a full list of eligibility requirements, check out Microsoft’s program eligibility page here.

Here's how to apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Verify Phone. Next, you’ll verify your organization’s phone number so Microsoft can communicate with you.
  4. 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.

Take a look at these Microsoft Ad Grant best practices.

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:

Following these best practices will allow you to optimize your Microsoft Ad Grant.

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.

Learn how your organization can use Microsoft Ad Grants in conjunction with other fundraising tools.

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:

These fundraising tools pair perfectly with the Microsoft Ad Grant.
  • 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 can help you manage your grant effectively.

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:

Digital marketing agencies are equipped to help you manage your Microsoft Ad Grant.
  • 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.

Check out these additional resources on fundraising tools other than the Microsoft Ad Grant.

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.
  • How Venmo for Nonprofits Can Help Organizations Raise More. Venmo is not only a personal mobile payment service, but nonprofits can also leverage the platform to collect donations. This article walks through how nonprofits can use this tool to boost their fundraising efforts.
  • 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.
Join the NXUnite community for valuable nonprofit resources and tips!
This guide offers plenty of tips and resources for fundraising professional development.

Fundraising Professional Development: Top Tips & Resources

Fundraising professional development starts here. Join the NXUnite community today.

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!

This section explains why fundraising professional development is important.

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. 

This section will cover places to find fundraising development resources.

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: 

These are a few common places where you can find more fundraising professional development resources.
  • 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!

These are the best resources for fundraising professional development.

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. 

Interested in participating in or presenting at an NXUnite panel? Sign up to join the NXUnite community.

Double the Donation

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 courses

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. 

Their online learning opportunities include webinars, e-courses, and intensive workshops. 

Your state’s nonprofit association or membership organization

Joining a local association within your region or state can be highly beneficial for networking with other professionals that understand the unique fundraising environment of your local area. 

You can either find your local chapter of a larger association such as AFP or look for other organizations that specifically focus on your area. For example, you might join the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, or CalNonprofits. A regional or local organization will host events and webinars that bring together other fundraising professionals in your area who are dealing with similar issues. 


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. 

The exact date for this year’s matching gift summit hasn’t been announced yet, but you can check NXUnite’s nonprofit conference page for updates!


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. 

Cause Camp

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. 

Check out NXUnite’s roundup of the best nonprofit conferences to explore additional opportunities. 

Here are a few relaxed, informal ways to pursue fundraising professional development.

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. 

Wrapping Up

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:

Sign up for NXUnite today to connect with fellow fundraisers and pursue fundraising professional development.