The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

7 Marketing Tips Every Fundraiser Needs

Everyone deserves a little self-promotion. Whether you’re shy about tooting your own horn or have fully mastered the humble brag, embracing your inner marketing maven will take your fundraising to the next level.

Our eGuide “7 Marketing Tips Every Fundraiser Needs” offers seven easy steps you can implement today to boost your marketing efforts—and your fundraising success. A well-organized, strategic marketing plan will do wonders for your donor engagement efforts. But where to begin? Well…

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”

Frame Your Message

What do you want to communicate? Are you telling your organization’s story, promoting a special event, selling tickets to a performance, or launching a new initiative? How does what you want to say impact your audience? Look at your message from their perspective. Why should they care? With the inundation of information we’re all met with every day, how will you stand out?

Follow these simple touchstones to create campaigns that are Connected, Rewarding, Actionable, and Memorable (CRAM), and your campaigns will “cram” their way through the clutter and catch your donors’ attention.

  • Connect to things your audience cares about; such as making a difference, being part of a community, feeling good about themselves, feeling heard, etc.
  • Reward people for taking action, both emotionally and tangibly. The most effective rewards are immediate, personal, credible, and reflective of your audience’s values.
  • Action that is specific, easy to do, and measurably advances your mission offers an immediate sense of gratification. Keep your Call to Action specific, simple, and shareable.
  • Memorable campaigns are unique, catchy, personal, tangible, desirable, and closely tied to your cause.

Show your appreciation. When someone responds to your Call to Action, thank them for participating and encourage them to tell their friends about their support of your campaign or organization. Provide a link to share on Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Know Your Audience

Who do you think would be interested? Compile a list of those closest to your organization—current donors, previous event attendees, newsletter subscribers, volunteers, board members. They’re your loyal audience, interested in everything you do. Next, look for people who support similar organizations, the communities directly affected by what you do, and even local officials and personalities who might be interested in supporting your program. They are your low-hanging fruit just waiting to be picked.

Choose Your Approach

How will you reach them? While some donors prefer to be contacted via direct mail, others respond to the immediacy of email. From social media to advertising to announcements through partner organizations, each channel calls for its own unique voice. Keep your message fresh by adjusting the tone and style to match your audience. And coordinate your outreach. Focus on the same overall message across channels to increase public awareness of your organization and your work.

Popular means of getting your message across include:

  • Your website (full site and mobile)
  • Blogs and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and so on)
  • Paid advertising (Facebook ads, Google AdWords, radio & TV, print or online banner ads)
  • Unpaid placements (PSAs, cross-promotional exchanges with peer organizations, etc)
  • Communications (newsletter, e-newsletter, direct mail)
  • Printed materials (brochures, annual reports, postcards)

Set Budget and Timeline

Congratulations! You’ve brainstormed and dreamed up big, exciting marketing ideas. Now you’re ready to get your message out.

Once you’ve determined the right mix of channels for your outreach, look at your total budget. How will you allocate funds for the best coverage of your message? Create a marketing budget and calendar that tracks when each piece will drop. Don’t forget to include who on your team will be responsible for managing and completing each item.

Tracking Success

Have clear goals in mind before you launch any campaign. Determine how you’re going to measure success for both marketing and fundraising. Whether your benchmark is a sold-out event, gaining new donors, meeting or surpassing your fundraising goal, or great word of mouth; a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish sets you up for a successful campaign.

Using your donor management system, run reports on attendance, money raised, open and click-through rates for your emails, and communications sent. What did people respond to the most? What didn’t get their attention? Once your event or campaign is complete, review your data to determine what worked and what needs improvement. Revise your strategy moving forward until you find the perfect balance for your organization.

Check out our “7 Marketing Tips Every Fundraiser Needs” eGuide to start (or refresh) your marketing journey today.

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About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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