The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Creating Publicity without a Big Media Buy

When looking for new donors, it might be tempting to spend your budget on a mailing or other form of paid advertising. But if you’re operating on a shoestring, you may not have the dollars to do any direct mail and ads to get noticed. In these situations, it’s better to be highly targeted and go deep than to have limited marketing resources that you spread very thinly over a wide area in kind of a scattershot approach.

If you’re a small- to medium-sized organization with a limited advertising budget, there are other, thriftier options to get the most bang for your promotion buck:

  • Do a member-recruit-a-member campaign to capitalize on the marketing power of those people who are most engaged with your organization.
  • Find partners by thinking about who wins when you have a greater impact or have more people supporting you. For example, a mental health and substance abuse services organization might consider child advocates, the legal system and support groups for substance abuse to spread the word.
  • Do some desk-side briefings with reporters. Get to really know some reporters in your community, so that when there are stories about your organization’s topic area, you’re the go-to resource.
  • Consider blogs–the outlet that has changed the face of public relations. While you’re developing relationships with key reporters, you might want to take a look at some local community blogs that are pertinent to your organization. Host a conference call for bloggers. Become active on that blog itself by posting comments that relate to your issue.

Bonus Blog Tips:

If you’re not familiar with how to find blogs or bloggers, visit search engine for blogs. Try searching for your community’s name and your organization’s main issue. You may even search for your organization’s name to find people blogging about you.

Also, in the Google search bar, search for “blog: the name of your organization,” and any people writing about your organization in blogs will be shown in your search results.


Source: Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 Presentation “The Experts Are In! Your Online Fundraising and Nonprofit Marketing Questions Answered.”


Resource made available in part due to the support of the Surdna FoundationSurdna Foundation


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Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

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