October 16, 2018

5 Marketing Strategies to Increase Donations

Ken Beasley, Push10 Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits

If there’s one thing that every nonprofit wants more of, it’s donations. But, growing your list of members and boosting your donations requires keen attention to your brand, your website, and your content.

Let’s take a look at 5 actionable strategies that any nonprofit can use to boost donations:

#1: Nail Your Brand
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
– Seth Godin

When done right, branding can be your most successful long-term growth tool. Branding is emotional. At its core, branding is the space that your association or organization occupies in people’s minds. When people think of disaster relief, what comes to mind? Probably the Red Cross. Now that’s some powerful branding! When an organization has substantial brand recognition, it becomes much easier to attract donors.

But, how do you do that?

Well, there are lots of ways. In truth, it’s a long process, and it’s more complicated than a great looking logo — though that certainly doesn’t hurt. At a minimum, building an effective brand requires reaching your audience repeatedly and consistently, with communications that are inline with your brand promise. When it comes to pushing out content to hosting an event, you need to be branding everything. From messaging, to tone, to visual language, all of your communications need to accurately portray your unique brand. The data speaks for itself. On average, consistent brand representation increases profits by 23%. (Source: LucidPress)

Branding and corporate identity materials for Philadelphia Health Partnership

#2: Improve Your Website’s Performance
Did you know that 39% of people will stop engaging with your website if it takes too long to load resources? Having a site that is not only bug-free, but also performs well is a necessity in the digital age. So, before you go off and try the next “Top 10 Best Marketing Strategies Ever!” blog post, make sure that you have taken care of the basics. Make sure that your website runs smoothly and delivers content quickly.

What content management system do you use? Does it give you the power and speed that you need? Is your server adequate enough for all of the resources that your non-profit has? The very last thing that you want is to turn donations away because of a poorly performing website. You’ve poured so much time and so many resources into your conversion funnel; don’t let a slow, buggy website destroy all of that hard work.

#3: Your Website User Interface Design Matters. A lot.
“I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.”
– Lindon Leader

Your website needs to run smoothly, yes, but it also needs to be attractive and compelling. According to Adobe, 66% of people would rather read something that’s beautifully designed than not. Not to mention that 38% of people will stop engaging with your website altogether if the interface isn’t well designed and user friendly.

In the hyper-competitive world of nonprofits (1.5 million and counting) grabbing people’s attention is difficult. You want a website that focuses on the core elements of your organization. Make sure that your website’s architecture is well-designed and it encourages people to click. Your website should not only encourage people to donate, it should also make it easy for them to do so.

Geneva Philanthropic Consultants Website Design

#4: Effective Content Marketing
If your website is your 24/7 sales department, then your content is your marketing team. Fresh, engaging content that presents a consistent tone is a proven way to increase donations. Even if you have the most beautiful bug-free website that’s wonderfully branded, people aren’t going to visit it if there isn’t quality content.

While content marketing is essential for most businesses, it’s especially important for mission-driven nonprofits. You want your visitors to be able to understand feel a connection with your goals. You also want them to form an emotional connection with your organization as a whole. Whether it’s blog posts, eBooks, white papers, videos, or podcasts, you need to be pushing out content that’s fresh, original, and thought provoking.

Direct Mail Postcard Design for Girls First Fund International Nonprofit

#5: Meet Donors at Every Stage
To really appeal to prospective donors, you’ll want to make sure your brand, content, and site appeals to them and addresses their needs. It’s important to understand your target market, learn what makes them tick, and make key marketing decisions with those users in mind. You’ll also want specific content tailored to appeal to donors at every stage of their “buyer’s journey.”

Video and blog posts are a fantastic way to engage prospects in that critical top-of-the-funnel, while emails and webinars appeal to those a little further down the funnel. As marketing becomes more and more competitive, you really have to start targeting prospects at a granular level. There are countless types of “guerrilla” marketing tactics, so do be afraid to try something new and perhaps a bit unorthodox.

Branding for non-profit, Philadelphia Health Partnership

Final Thoughts
Branding, web design and content marketing are three proven ways to attract donors and boost your revenue. Digital marketing is a competitive arena and other nonprofits are vying for donations as well. To maximize visibility and increase donations, it’s important to devote resources to all your marketing efforts on a continual and consistent basis.

Want to learn more? Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can put the power of your brand to work for you.