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Network for Good Marketing Mavens Roundtable

A hot topic with a lot of our customers year-round is nonprofit marketing. What makes for a memorable, shareable campaign? How can we strengthen our marketing efforts on a day-to-day basis? How do we get our supporters to open our email blasts?

So, I thought I’d turn to some experts (my colleagues in the marketing department at Network for Good) and ask these marketing mavens one burning question—What can nonprofits do to improve their donor’s experience? Below is our top advice in each of our fields, from strategy and content to the digital and online experience to putting your data to work.

Want to take your marketing up a notch? Here’s how.

Big Picture

Charnele Bazemore, Senior Director of Demand Generation and Marketing Operations

Think VISUALLY. People engage best visually. Visual engagement is the norm, so you should always be thinking about how you can engage with your audience in that way. Visual elements are a great way to connect people with your brand and tell your story in a powerful way. Whether you are creating an infographic to display simple stats, adding a background color or graphic to your emails and social posts, or leveraging photos and videos to take people behind the scenes of your Nonprofit. If you have the option, show people, don’t tell them.

Digital Outreach

Rebecca Flora, Digital Marketing Manager

Don’t be shy! In our current digital age, there are infinite ways to reach users who want to donate to your mission. Social powerhouses like Facebook and Instagram, and search behemoths like Google and Bing, have made online advertising user-friendly and easily accessible. With as little as five dollars a day, you can share the passion and message of your mission to a wealth of new donors, hungry to contribute. Additionally, utilize the unique opportunities for nonprofits these social and search platforms provide. Facebook offers a matching program on #GivingTuesday and Google provides the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 grant, that can be used toward digital marketing. Whether you’ve carved out a piece of your budget for digital advertising or you’re utilizing the grant programs, don’t back away from digital marketing for your mission!


Linda Lombardi, Content Manager

Be so familiar with your nonprofit’s mission, history, and programs that you can tell any of your amazing stories at the drop of a hat. I agree with Rebecca…don’t be shy. Your supporters care about everything you’re doing. They’re eager to hear from you. Use your email blasts and thank yous to keep them updated on your campaigns, events, and programs so they can be in the know and feel a stronger connection to your work. Your story is what drew them to you in the first place. Keep it front and center when you write appeals or talk to donors in person. If you really want to impress—challenge yourself to tell your story in two minutes or less. Don’t think it can be done? Need some inspiration? The Gettysburg Address is two minutes long. A complete, inspiring, story in just 272 words, complete with a call to action.

Personalized Communications

Eloise Mansfield, Demand Generation Marketing Manager

People are bombarded by emails, so you need to make your message stand out. Keep your donor’s information (especially email addresses) clean and current in your donor database to avoid being caught by spam filters. There’s nothing worse than sending an email that’s addressed to the wrong person. Personalizing your emails is a great way to optimize campaigns and increase results. Simple tricks to make messages more meaningful include: adding first names to subject lines, pulling in last donation amount, sharing how donations were used. Personalization goes a long way in making donors feel like friends. In addition to personalization, track and optimize your email open rates. Constantly refine your subject lines so they are as effective as possible. Run subject line tests to quickly decide the messages your audience responds to best. Donors care about your organization. Spend time crafting thoughtful, concise, responses through the art of personalization.

Donor Experience

Olivia Mariani, Senior Manager, Revenue Marketing

Focus on the experience of the donor at every stage of their interaction with your nonprofit. I’m constantly wondering how I can get prospects and customers to the next stage, and more importantly, aligning the message and information I’m sending them with where they are in that journey. That requires collecting and acting on data they’ve provided, asking directly for feedback through surveys and A/B tests, and developing content and marketing programs that are aligned to each journey in the customer experience.

Social Media

Courtney Sidky, Social Media Project Manager

Remember to keep the “social” in social media. These platforms can help you build a loyal and loving donor base. Post regularly to increase engagement and get to know your followers. Use Instagram to show your donors where their contributions go by uploading photos of the recipients. Twitter is a great way to reach people invested in your cause, especially for urgent calls to action. LinkedIn can help you identify local organizations and leaders who might be interested in partnering with your nonprofit. Plus, it’s a great place to learn about industry trends. Host your events on Facebook so that it is easy for your followers to share them with their friends and family.

Online Donations

Emily Wang, Digital Marketing Manager

Make sure your donation button is easy to find on your homepage, and make sure it’s always above the fold meaning visitors can see the button without scrolling on your page. Use color and contrast to make your button stand out on your page. How many clicks does it take to get to your donation page? The optimal number of clicks is two. If it takes your visitors more than two clicks to reach your donation page, you could be losing donations. Make it easy for your donors to give!

Donor Data

Miao Wu, Financial Business Analyst

Your data is vital to your work marketing your mission and nonprofit. It tells you how you’re performing and how you’re doing year over year. Collect and keep everything and build your historical data. With the information you gain, you can build a lot of analysis and base future campaigns on your discoveries.

Implement these marketing strategies and more with Network for Good’s donor management system. Find out how today. Got marketing tips and tricks of your own? Share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear what’s working for you!

(Photos l-r: Charnele Bazemore; Rebecca Flora, Linda Lombardi, Eloise Mansfield, Olivia Mariani, Courtney Sidky, Emily Wang, and Miao Wu. Photos of Flora, Lombardi, Mansfield, and Wang © Jendayi Asha Creative.)

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