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10 Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy – Part 2

Avatar photo By: Kelly Cromwell  /  General

In Part 1 of 10 Ways to Boost your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy we covered a couple of steps to transform your nonprofit organization with cloud-based software.  Let’s outline a few more marketing tools and tactics that help your nonprofit marketing strategy do more with less.

Improve Your Nonprofit’s Volunteer Recruitment with Volunteer Management Software

Illustration of people looking for volunteers
More people than you think are willing to support a cause that is important to them.

Recent surveys by Stats Canada show that more people than you might think are willing to volunteer to support a cause that is important to them. How you ask them to give up their time can make all the difference in your recruitment efforts.

By using a volunteer management system you can outline specific roles, expectations and details of the commitment you are looking for which can actually make it easier for some volunteers to say yes.

When it comes to volunteer management platforms, SignUpGenuis is one that I’ve had success with. The free tier allows for one active signup open at a time, the trade-off is having your users endure ads. If you have multiple initiatives that you need to recruit for at a time, even the $9 a month plan isn’t too difficult to swallow.

Use an Email Marketing Strategy to Strengthen Member and Donor Communication

Illustration of sending email campaigns to users
Decades of digital marketing strategy guides consistently list email marketing as one of the most effective marketing channels

Regardless of how much you might despise unsolicited email filling up your inbox, it works. Decades of digital marketing strategy guides consistently list email marketing as one of the most effective marketing channels. Make sure you are providing your target audience with valuable information that they care about, and be mindful of the frequency.

There are dozens of email marketing platforms that can help you send emails, but Mailchimp’s free service level gives you access to basic templates, the ability to tag audiences and give you valuable feedback on every email you send via their reporting interface. They also have plenty of experience helping their users craft effective nonprofit marketing strategies using the Mailchimp platform.

Don’t let your fear and loathing of spam prevent you from engaging in this effective marketing tactic.

Setup a Phone Number with Google Voice

Organizations often default to conducting communications electronically to either reduce overhead, avoid listing personal residences or use volunteer phone numbers that don’t belong to them. A fixed phone number helps to establish legitimacy and a sense of permanence for members, partners, sponsors, and prospective donors.

In a matter of minutes, you can add the service to an account, it will take voicemails and sends audio clips to your email…transcribe them, and it is all part of the basic service.

Google Voice logo

Google Voice is a service add-on to Google Workspaces. Simply enable the service, and pick which users in the organization you want to bind phone numbers to. Unfortunately, this service is not free, but you can add a direct contact number starting at $10/month per user which is far more palatable than some of the basic service level packages of the major telecom companies.

The best part is that you can install the Google Voice app on any mobile device that can access the Google account, you can even answer calls on your desktop.  In a matter of minutes, you can add the service to an account, it will take voicemails and sends audio clips to your email, it will even automatically transcribe them, and it is all part of the basic service.

This is a fantastic, lightweight, highly portable way to give your organization some legitimate contact details if your stakeholders feel like email just doesn’t cut it.

There is a downside to Google Voice in Canada. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support SMS in Canada, however, the next item might be a preferable alternative.

Setup an SMS Autoresponder with Twilio

twilio logo

Twilio is a “customer engagement platform used by millions, known for democratizing channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email through API” What does that mean? They have an unparalleled platform where anyone can set up a custom message routing application in custom ways, with visual tools.

Twilio Studio can help acquire a fixed number and route calls to other predetermined phone numbers or Google Voice subscriptions of your choice

Twilio Studio can help acquire a fixed number and route calls to other predetermined phone numbers or Google Voice subscriptions of your choice. You can also configure a flow to auto-respond to SMS messages, perhaps sending back a message with a link to an FAQ on a website. It is possible to even create a complex Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that establishes logic to route calls or texters to specific users.

One of the most practical applications of their technology is setting up an SMS subscription hub where your stakeholders (resistant to email) could subscribe to messages that you can send out en-masse.

Warning: Twilio’s service is a pay-per-use service that charges 3/4 of a penny for each text message. Nonprofit organizations can access a grant from the Twilio Impact Fund.  Grants of $500 are available immediately to organizations verified through TechSoup Canada and should be enough to develop, and trial products and services for months before committing to a paid service. Grants can also scale as high as $150,000 depending on your mission, vision and scale.

Note: A typical phone number on Twilio costs $0.75 USD a month plus $0.0075 to send or receive a message. Sending out 1,000 messages a month would result in $8.25 in charges.

How to Build SMS Autoresponders in Twilio Studio

Configure a WhatsApp Business Account for Interactive Direct Messages

In order to set up a WhatsApp for Business account, you will need a unique SMS line for the validation process. If you don’t already have one, refer to the section on setting up SMS using Twilio.

Once that has been secured, you can Download the WhatsApp Business app, create an account, build the profile, and share it with multiple people that will be monitoring the account.

How to get started with the WhatsApp Business app

Don’t forget to connect your WhatsApp Business Account to your Facebook Business Manager so other organization members can engage with stakeholders via their desktop. A great way to have multiple people access a single point of communication with users.

Collect Donations with Paypal

PayPal logo

With most of the nonprofit organizations I’ve worked with, one of the first, or most important questions they ask early in our relationship is “How can we start accepting online donations from potential donors and other stakeholders?”  

Illustration of team planning online donations
Paypal’s “Donate” button is a very safe choice. Once approved, you can qualify for a charitable transaction rate of as low as 1.99% + a fixed fee.

The world of payment gateways is complicated. Evaluating merchant account fees and formulas, integrated forms, API interfaces, and PCI compliance checks can make even seasoned professionals submit. 

Paypal’s “Donate” button is a very safe choice. Once approved, you can qualify for a charitable transaction rate of as low as 1.99% + a fixed fee (nearly a full percent lower than most other merchant gateways).

Sign up for a business account, register as a nonprofit, set your options and add your banking information, then add the donate button to your website in minutes, and watch those donations come rolling in.

One word of advice, make sure to read through the fine print on the dispute process including Chargeback fees and dispute fees, to ensure you do what is necessary to instill donor confidence in giving.

Is PayPal Payment Processing Best For Your Nonprofit?

Run a campaign (for free) with Google Ads for Nonprofits

What better way to raise awareness of your cause and supercharge your nonprofit marketing strategy than to launch into a search engine marketing, pay-per-click campaign that spends $10,000 per month!?

Once you are validated by TechSoup and set up Google Workspaces for Nonprofits, you are eligible for Google Ad Grants Program. Just follow the steps on their website, and apply. It’ll create a Google Ads account in which you can start configuring a campaign, writing your ad creative, setting keywords you want to bid on and directing it to a landing page.

Although you won’t ever get a bill from Google for ad spending, the amount of money they allow the campaign to spend is directly related to the quality score of your campaign and subsequent ads you create.  The more optimized your campaign is, the more impactful your call to action is, the higher the conversion rate of your landing page the more Google will open up the daily spend on your campaign.If you’re contemplating taking advantage of the Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits program, it can be beneficial to engage a skilled Google Partner and digital marketing agency. Leveraging the expertise of a certified Google Partner to plan, configure and optimize your campaign and landing pages will help extend your campaign to its full potential.

Did you miss all the tips presented in Part 1 of 10 Ways to Boost your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy?