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Nonprofit Marketing Ideas for 2020

Traction on Demand’s Nonprofit Marketing Solutions Consultant, Jacqueline Chen, highlights some easy-to-implement nonprofit marketing ideas for 2020 and beyond.


New year, new me, new everything — we’re always looking to go bigger and better than the year before. It’s overwhelming at times to think about all the changes you want to make to hit your goals, and it’s the same when it comes to marketing.

Understanding your constituent and how you drive value to them is crucial, but there are so many levers to pull and push to reach them.

Where do you start?

Marketing lessons learned from 2019

One of my big lessons learned in 2019 is to pull back on the quantity of changes, but improve the quality of testing so you can learn how that change is serving you.

It’s impossible to prescribe an all-knowing formula across all organizations to solve your marketing needs — like how to drive new acquisitions, engage with your constituents or raise more funds. But what doesn’t cease to fail any organization is learning what’s right for them and their audience.

Here are some examples of areas to look at. It’s not a one size fits all, but hopefully, it’ll give you a spark of inspiration to think about what your 2020 changes will be when it comes to marketing.

Digital Advertising

We’ve heard time and time again that the majority of the population has gone digital, and if you haven’t started, this could be your year! The most common hesitation we hear is around ad spend return, so don’t be afraid to start small:

  • Get comfortable with the tools and learn which ad platforms work best for you
  • Start with a small budget, a niche target, and only one or two platforms at first
  • Look into platforms like Facebook who are bridging the gap between nonprofits and donors through tools such as Facebook Fundraiser

Redesign your email game

You’re likely using email and have a few templates you use time and time again. I’m not going to suggest A/B testing things like subject lines, because as mentioned earlier, it’s about quality of changes not quantity of A/B tests you do. And let’s be honest, we could think of subject lines for days — but is it going to drive the bottom line?

Have good open rates but not fundraising enough? If you assessed your email metrics for the year and you’re finding the results to be not as jazzy anymore, it might be time to redesign:

  • Try an email with fewer images and do this over a few different campaigns
  • Ensure you’re telling a compelling story — what’s the value shown to your constituent?
  • Create a landing page that is similar to your email — don’t be afraid to try more text

Rethinking mobile

While emails have been a long-standing tool to reach constituents, many nonprofits aren’t harnessing the power of SMS text. Here’s why you should re-think the classic SMS in 2020:

  • Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails
  • On average it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email
  • SMS is a great tool to push important messages through to constituents — similarly to email marketing, just don’t overdo it
  • To test the effectiveness of SMS texts use a tracking URL as your call to action and attribute clicks from the URL
  • Look at your constituent demographics — SMS is particularly successful with 18- to 24-year-olds

Taking steps to AI

AI is a buzzword that’s been making its way around and while it sounds very futuristic and the technology looks cool, what’s it going to take to get there?

It won’t happen overnight, but you do have to start somewhere. AI tools often take 30-90 days to accumulate enough data to give reasonable predictions, so just start by recognizing how you want to use the data and simply start collecting.

A simple AI starting point could be automatically segmenting your constituents by likelihood to engage or convert — that way you can reach the right audience with your communications.

Looking forward

The number of possible changes to implement is endless, but pick a few significant ones you want to focus on for 2020 to drive impact to your organization and constituents.

Looking for more nonprofit marketing ideas for 2020? International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joined us at Dreamforce 2019 to discuss how they’re leveraging Salesforce tools to revolutionize their marketing initiatives, allowing organizations to maximize their reach in times of crisis. Check out the full video here!

nonprofit-marketing-ideas-2020

Written by Jacqueline Chen, Cloud Technologist at Traction on Demand

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