Explore the top nonprofit marketing blogs!

The Top Nonprofit Marketing Blogs You Should Bookmark

For professional fundraisers and nonprofit leaders, staying in touch with industry trends, new software updates, and current marketing best practices is an ongoing challenge. Whether there’s a global pandemic forcing nonprofits to pivot to all-digital engagements or an updated best practice that impacts how you communicate with donors, it’s critical to keep up. Otherwise, your nonprofit website may look outdated, your communications stop receiving responses, or your overall fundraising revenue decreases. 

But thanks to the opportunities that the modern digital age offers us, there’s a breadth of online nonprofit resources that can aid your fundraising strategies and offer essential knowledge and tips. While you can do a simple Google search and click through results, many nonprofit organizations and thought leaders in the industry actually have dedicated places to address these challenges. There, they discuss common tips, advice, and relevant news that can impact fundraising efforts.

That’s where nonprofit marketing blogs come in! Whether it’s their /tips or /resources or /blog page, many professionals in the philanthropic space will implement a running blog roll into their online services.

If you’re seeking updated software or want tips on how to plan a successful virtual fundraising event, you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of a nonprofit blog as well as dive into some of our favorites for you to check out:

Oftentimes, doing your own research can offer the valuable insight and guidance that your organization needs to answer nonprofit questions, get advice on top industry tools, and explore best practices to take your own fundraising to the next level. You just need to know where to look. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

Kickstart your nonprofit marketing research with Getting Attention!

What is a nonprofit marketing blog?

What is a Nonprofit Marketing Blog?

A nonprofit marketing blog is a dedicated resource of articles, educational guides, and industry updates most often hosted on websites of charitable organizations, fundraising professionals and consultants, and donation software companies.

A nonprofit marketing blog is usually a dedicated page hosted on websites of charitable organizations, fundraising professionals and consultants, and donation software companies. The blog roll will be made up of content like:

  • Educational guides — This might include software recommendations, best practices and tips, fundraising ideas, and more.
  • Industry updates — You might post news stories relating to your mission or community that impact your nonprofit.
  • Nonprofit updates — For instance, you might write announcements on upcoming fundraising events/campaigns, or a summary/report of a recently held one.
  • Current events and trends — This might include general news updates within the fundraising or nonprofit world. 
  • Impact stories — You might use stories from the very community members your nonprofit has impacted. 

There are many reasons why organizations will implement a blog roll into their website. For one thing, a blog roll can act as a helpful SEO-building tool. That’s because it’s the perfect place to build backlinks, target high search volume keywords, and provide valuable content that your supporters and audience actually want. In turn, this can increase your ranking on search engine result pages and attract new prospects! Plus, it’s almost necessary for Google Grant users, as it’s required that nonprofit participants have valuable and promotable website content to receive the grant.

Ultimately, nonprofit marketing blogs position themselves as thought leaders in the space. If a blog is consistently releasing relevant news and industry trends of the nonprofit marketing world, it’ll soon become a go-to resource for philanthropic professionals all over. As readers, if you ever have a question about how to improve your peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, what text giving tool is best, or how to implement prospect research into your donation strategy, turning to nonprofit blogs has proven to be a reliable and informational source. Specifically, nonprofit blogs:

  • Provide nonprofit and mission updates for passionate supporters — Your most active supporters don’t just give to your cause to feel good about themselves. They’re genuinely invested in your mission and want to know about recent accomplishments, campaigns, events, and other important updates.
  • Offer context and impact stories for new visitors — It’s very likely that when prospects want to learn more about your organization, they’ll check your website. Having a blog roll is the perfect place to host information and introduce new supporters to your mission and impact.

These days, there’s no shortage of blogs for nonprofit professionals to turn to. With so many great resources available, it can be hard to determine the most valuable nonprofit blog to consult. Let’s explore some of our favorite blogs in the next section.

Explore these nonprofit marketing blogs.

Explore These 5 Nonprofit Marketing Blogs

Getting Attention

Getting Attention is made up of professional fundraising consultants dedicated to Google Ad Grant management. As a certified Google Grant agency, our team at Getting Attention helps nonprofits oversee their Google Grant accounts no matter what stage they’re at. From applying to the grant to ensuring the account remains compliant to reactivating a dead account, Getting Attention is there to help.

While we might be a bit biased, Getting Attention also has a great nonprofit marketing blog! We boast articles spanning a variety of essential nonprofit topics, from the basics of Google Grants to guides for planning a comprehensive nonprofit marketing plan.

Check us out with some of your favorite posts:

Check out Getting Attention's nonprofit marketing blog.

Double the Donation

Did you know that an estimated $4-$10 billion in matching gift funds go unclaimed each year? Double the Donation has the largest and most accurate database of matching gift and volunteer grant information in the nonprofit industry so your donors don’t miss a match opportunity. 

As thought leaders in the fundraising and nonprofit industry, Double the Donation also has a dedicated blogroll. Their impressive blog consists of industry guides and nonprofit tips ranging from corporate fundraising to general fundraising guides to top software providers!

Here are some of our favorite posts:

Check out Double the Donation's nonprofit marketing blog.

re:Charity

re:Charity is a nonprofit blog entirely dedicated to hosting fundraising resources, tips, best practices, industry guides, and software lists. There’s a breadth of information on re:Charity, with specific blog categories dedicated to fundraising, marketing, technology, and nonprofit strategies.

Here are some of our favorite articles:

Check out re:Charity's nonprofit marketing blog.

Fundraising Letters

Fundraising Letters is a website entirely dedicated to helping nonprofit leaders craft compelling and engaging communications with supporters. From basic fundraising emails, matching gifts, sponsorships, donation requests, and more, they offer fundraising letter templates for every occasion and cause— plus it’s completely free to download and use!

Once on the site, you can also explore their blog roll. The Fundraising Letters blog allows professionals to peruse educational resources provided by thought leaders throughout the nonprofit industry. Here are some articles you might see:

Check out Fundraising Letter's nonprofit marketing blog.

Crowd101

 If you’re thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign, there’s no better resource than Crowd101! Crowd101 hosts a wide variety of resources and blog posts to help fundraisers begin a crowdfunding event, market it effectively, and explore other fundraising tips.

Their blog is split into a few sections, like Getting Started with Crowdfunding, Crowdfunding examples, Fundraising ideas, Real estate crowdfunding information, and more! Here are some of their top blog posts: 

Explore Crowd101's nonprofit marketing blog.

Additional Resources

Having a dedicated nonprofit marketing and fundraising strategy is critical for your organization’s success and the forwarding of your mission. As a philanthropic professional, doing your due diligence in research is one of the best ways to keep updated with best practices and ensure that your own efforts are producing results. Nonprofit marketing blogs are the perfect place to begin!

Want to continue increasing your nonprofit knowledge? Check out these additional resources:

Partner with Getting Attention when it comes to your nonprofit marketing.

Take your nonprofit sotrytelling to the next level with this guide.

Nonprofit Storytelling: Best Practices for Fundraisers

When it comes to marketing your nonprofit’s mission and connecting with donors on a deeper level, nothing is better than an engaging and compelling story. 

Stories are one of the most influential ways to influence people and strike their emotions. Just look at Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and JFK’s inaugural speech— these weren’t just speeches, but stories that pulled at heartstrings and made a lasting impression on hundreds of thousands of individuals— and counting.

But it’s not enough to have a mission statement and a general idea of your nonprofit goals. Your nonprofit storytelling needs to capture your audience’s attention, clearly explain the problem, and empower supporters to be a part of the solution. Ultimately, it should inspire gifts and other forms of support.

So how can you make a story compelling? What’s the best way to ensure your story is supporting your nonprofit’s mission? In this guide, we’ll walk through:

Nonprofit storytelling is a critical component of your marketing strategy, so getting the foundation down and ensuring you’re not glossing over key points is essential. Let’s get started. 

Contact Getting Attention for a consultation on your nonprofit storytelling efforts.

What is nonprofit storytelling?

Why Is Nonprofit Storytelling Important?

It’s hard to forget a good story. While we might not remember the specific facts or details, storytelling is still one of the best ways to connect with other humans and share an experience. According to research from Stamford University, people are much more likely to remember a story (63%) than a statistic (5%). 

You already have impact stories built into your everyday work. The communities your nonprofit serves and the meaningful work you’ve done are all bountiful resources for powerful storytelling. These stories provide context for why your mission is important and how your nonprofit plays a role.

This is why nonprofit storytelling is such an incredible tool — by placing your supporters at the forefront of your story, you empower them to become invested in your mission and inspire them to act as the hero of your tale.

What are the storytelling benefits to your nonprofit?

Storytelling Benefits To Your Nonprofit

You know that nonprofit stories are some of the best ways to connect with supporters and inspire them to take action. Here are the specific benefits that a dedicated nonprofit storytelling strategy can bring you:

  • Raise more money — Your nonprofit’s storytelling efforts can be the exact conduit you need to inspire donors to give. And, when you get your story in front of the right audience, you never know the kind of support you’ll get. From first-time donors to major donors, storytelling can inspire them.
  • Improved click-through rate and online conversions — The more compelling your nonprofit stories are, the better the chance that people will click onto your website, social media posts, email, Google Ads, or other digital marketing content that you create. 
  • Grow membership — Does your nonprofit organization have a membership program? This type of program is dedicated to your most passionate supporters, those who want an active role in making an impact on your mission. And nonprofit storytelling is one of the best ways to attract passionate supporters and connect individuals deeper to your cause.
  • Help donors understand a new problem — Sometimes, the issue your organization faces is multifaceted. And, as time goes by, technology evolves, and society changes, the issues your nonprofit tackles will be different as well. Stories are a reliable way to educate an audience and teach them something new.
  • Thank donors for impact — Donor appreciation is a critical component of building lasting relationships and increasing the chance that they’ll give again. Instead of just sending a bland thank you email, share a thought-provoking and real story about how the donors’ support made a difference will go much farther.
  • Inspire loyalty and trust — When it comes to acquiring new donors, it’s much more beneficial to focus on retaining new ones. Plus, long-term support goes much farther than just one-off gifts. This type of consistent and passionate support is what truly drives organizations to make a difference.

Nonprofit storytelling is a valuable tool when it comes to increasing revenue, raising awareness, mobilizing volunteers, and building trust. If you want to leverage this tool smartly and reap the full benefits above, you’ll need a comprehensive understanding of the elements that make up storytelling and best practices to take it to the next level.

What are the elements of nonprofit storytelling?

What Are The Elements Of Nonprofit Storytelling?

When you envision a story, you likely think of a beginning, a middle, and an end. There’s a hero, a villain, and some sort of resolution at the end. 

Nonprofit storytelling is no different, except that the supporters listening aren’t just the audience. Instead, your supporters play a critical role and act as the hero in the story.  

Here are the elements of nonprofit storytelling you’ll need to consider:

Compelling Character

All nonprofit stories need a compelling character.

Every good story needs a hero. For your nonprofit story, you’ll need a compelling character to act as the main lead and inspire support. However, it’s not enough to just come up with a random name and move on. 

Here’s what we recommend when creating your nonprofit story hero:

  • Face, name, and voice — People care about other people, so putting a face and name to this individual is critical if you want to connect with supporters. 
  • Relatable to the general audience — If your supporters are mostly working-class people, having your main character be a college student might not be the right course.
  • Impacted by your organization — The main resolution for this story should be impacted by your nonprofit and the help it’s gotten from donors and supporters.

Remember, your supporters have to root for the main character, feel for them, and get inspired to take action. 

Dramatic Arc

Once you have your character down, you need to plan the dramatic arc. This is what hooks your audience, gets them invested in your narrative, and empowers them to play their own role in the story.

Here are the elements of a dramatic arc:

The dramatic arc is a key component of nonprofit storytelling.

  • Exposition — This is where you’ll introduce your character and establish goals. The goals should relate to your mission. Let’s say that your mission is to provide clean water. One of your character’s goals could be ensuring that his kids remain healthy after getting sick from dirty water.
  • Conflict — This is where you’ll present the challenge that your character is facing. The conflict should be related to the problem your nonprofit is trying to solve. Consider all the obstacles your character might face, like a lack of policy knowledge, a deadly disease going around town, and more. 
  • Rising action — This is where you’ll explain why the problem is a problem. You might also highlight previous attempts to solve the issue. For instance, you might say that the local town has needed clean water for a while, but recent natural disasters and weather have made it difficult to keep the infrastructure in place. 
  • Climax — This is where you’ll explain how the problem got fixed and the exact role that your nonprofit plays. What did your nonprofit do? What was the specific action that made the difference? You could say that with the help from your annual fundraising campaign, your nonprofit was able to build a clean water infrastructure system that is easy to fix and regulated yearly.
  • Resolution — This is where you’ll show the newly improved life of the character in your story. Now, you can urge the audience to play a part as well through a call to action, whether that’s to donate, share a message, volunteer, or some other form of support.

As you’re crafting your story, keep in mind all of these steps and the best way to carry out the narrative. You want to be as clear as possible about the goals of the character, the challenges they face, and how exactly your nonprofit and audience can help.

Solution 

As you’re telling your story, a critical component will be the solution. After all, this is proof that your organization actually makes a difference and isn’t just collecting money from supporters for the sake of it.

When explaining your solution, you should: 

  • Empower the donors to be a part of the story — This is critical if you want your audience to actually take action. Make it clear how the donor is a core component of this story and critical for the solution. 
  • Use language that creates a sense of urgency — No one will feel the need to donate right there and then if there’s no sense of urgency. Mention a specific deadline and then what would happen if your nonprofit is unable to act. 
  • Outline clear steps for the audience to take action — This can include a donation button or social sharing buttons.

Every good story has some sort of resolution. When it comes to your nonprofit story, it’s essential that the solution is positive but still shows the audience that your organization is essential. After all, you’re still vying for additional support. There’s always work to be done and your supporters need to know that they play a critical role.

Supporting Data

If you want your nonprofit story to have validity, you need data to support it. Today’s donors value transparency and proof, so make sure you have concrete evidence of impact.

During your fundraising campaigns, it’s important to collect data and compile reports on how donations are being used. Perhaps without your nonprofit’s fundraiser, tens of hundreds of families wouldn’t have access to clean water for a year.

However, don’t overdo your nonprofit story with concrete numbers and facts. These aren’t the pieces of information that your audience will remember once the story is over. In fact, it could even take away from the core message you’re trying to tell. Provide the data at the end of the story, or simply offer it as supporting evidence once the nonprofit storytelling is complete.

These are best practices to take your nonprofit storytelling to the next level.

Best Practices To Take Your Nonprofit’s Storytelling To The Next Level

Your nonprofit storytelling is a valuable tool to increase fundraising, improve donor outreach, and make lasting connections with supporters. To ensure that you’re making the most of your storytelling strategy and leveraging all opportunities to further your mission, we recommend a couple of best practices. 

Make sure your nonprofit storytelling supports a specific goal.

Make Sure Your Storytelling Is Supporting A Specific Goal

While entertaining and captivating your audience is important in your nonprofit storytelling, it won’t amount to much if there isn’t a specific goal or action at the center of your narrative. The specific goal you pick will depend on your unique needs and audience, but here are some common examples that fundraisers will often use to guide your nonprofit storytelling: 

  • Raise a certain amount of money
  • Grow membership program
  • Help donors understand a new problem
  • Thank donors for their impact
  • Improve conversion on a landing page

Your nonprofit stories can do more than simply inspire loyalty and trust in your supporters. It should drive them to take a specific action and support a nonprofit goal. Look at your current nonprofit database and make note of engagements or key performance indicators that are falling short. Then, craft a story to support that and include a clear and direct call-to-action.

Make sure your nonprofit storytelling activates empathy.

Activate Empathy In Supporters

Ultimately, your nonprofit story needs to inspire some sort of empathy in supporters and make them feel something. This is the main conduit to whether or not supporters will feel passionate about your mission and decide to give.

Here are some storytelling tips that you can use to evoke emotion:

  • Use an emotional narrative is the best way to convey the full impact of your story. Step into the shoes of your main hero and envision exactly how they are feeling in the moment. Better yet, talk to the community your nonprofit serves and ask them to offer their own words, both of how they felt and the facts of the situation.
  • Describe sensory details like sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch to paint an immersive picture for your audience. 
  • Focus on your main hero of the story instead of a collection of multiple people. This gives your audience someone to root for and actually want to help.

Don’t let your supporters fall asleep or aimlessly click away during your nonprofit story. Capture their attention and engage them with emotional vocabulary, descriptive storytelling, and a hero that people want to support.

It's crucial you know your audience for nonprofit storytelling.

Know Your Audience

To ensure that your nonprofit storytelling forms a connection with supporters and drives meaningful value for your mission, you’ll need to know the audience you’re telling it to. Taking the time to ask who you’re talking to and figuring out the story elements that resonate with them is critical.

Depending on the audience you might even consider different protagonists or perspectives you can tell your story from, as well as different formats like visual or text.

Uses visuals during nonprofit storytelling.

Use Visuals

Have you ever heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Pairing visuals along with your nonprofit story is a key way to evoke emotion from your audience, leave a lasting impression in your supporters’ minds, help people learn, and build your organization’s brand.

The best part is that visuals can take so many forms nowadays and can supplement your storytelling in different ways:

  • Photos can bring a real face to the story you’re telling, helping supporters understand that their help is impacting real people.
  • Videos are an engaging tool that can be used to tell a story in stunning detail. It can introduce your audience to your cause firsthand and give an exclusive look into the work that you do. As much as 57% of people who watch a nonprofit video will actually donate.
  • Infographics are one of the best ways to convey a wide breadth of information in an easily digestible format. Ideas include using charts, maps, reports, fun graphics, and more to help your audience visualize data and understand your impact. Plus, infographics are pretty easy to create on a budget!

Look through your own arsenal of marketing materials and determine if any of your visuals are viable for use in your nonprofit story. Remember to get permission before using anyone’s photo, however!

You should leverage online content when nonprofit storytelling.

Leverage Online Content 

If you want your nonprofit story to reach as many people as possible, it’s important that you’re able to leverage online content smartly. In this modern age, the internet is one of the best places to tell your story, connect with supporters, and share that story with others online.

Let’s take your nonprofit website, for example. Each page you have is an opportunity to tell a story and inspire your supporters. In particular, many nonprofits use their blog or news pages to dive deep into compelling stories and provide supporters with additional details. Impact stories and campaign summaries are some of the best ways to not only keep supporters updated with your efforts but show them how meaningful their support was to your mission.

Along with your website content, you can also share your nonprofit stories on social media. Social media is an ever-growing online resource that thrives off a good story. Who knows, you may even go viral! Use social media to share stories, engage with supporters directly, gain immediate feedback, and lead supporters to your giving page.

How can nonprofit storytelling work with the Google Ad Grant?

Apply for the Google Grant with Getting Attention

Another way to get your nonprofit’s story out there is with online ads. Google ads is a platform where organizations can display advertisements and other marketing content to web users within search engine results pages. The ads should come up strategically and are based on the keywords used to search.

This is where the Google Ad Grant comes in. The Google Grant is a program hosted by Google that gives $10,000 in Google ad credits to nonprofit organizations each month for as long as needed. The purpose of this grant is to help nonprofits promote valuable digital content (like your stories!) to their supporters.

To gain access to the Google Grant, nonprofits need to prove their eligibility and apply. This application process isn’t complicated, but there are specific steps that need to be taken. Plus, all eligible nonprofits can use the Google Ad Grant!

Maintaining your Google Grant account is probably the hardest part of this program. You have to make sure your ads remain compliant and that your account is aligned with the Google Guidelines. Partner with a certified Google Ad Grant agency to learn more about whether this grant is right for you or if you need help managing your current account.

A good story is nothing without an engaged audience. Google Ads allows you to get your content in front of the right eyes.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit storytelling is an invaluable tool. People are inspired by stories, people learn from stories, and people remember stories. And, by its nature, your nonprofit is a compelling story just in itself, with a built-in goal (mission) and antagonist (issue) to drive the narrative forward and captivate your audience members. If you want to learn more about how you can expand your nonprofit marketing and further your reach, we recommend exploring our additional resources:

Contact Getting Attention to see how nonprofit storytelling and Google ads work together.

Learn more about nonprofit marketing consultants here.

A Guide to Finding the Right Nonprofit Marketing Consultant

In this modern, digital era, a well-thought-out and data-driven marketing strategy is crucial to any organization or business. For nonprofits, in particular, your marketing strategy is an essential component of driving your mission and garnering support from donors.

Nonprofit marketing raises mission awareness, ensures you develop strong relationships with supporters, promotes your organization’s services, and so much more! However, it’s not enough to draft a couple of emails and send off a few generic social media posts. That’s why nonprofit leaders often turn to marketing consultants for professional help.

There are many different types of marketing consultants out there, each with their own specialty and qualifications that make them valuable to partner with. However, not every consultant will be able to help your nonprofit and understand your mission equally. 

A great nonprofit marketing consultant works closely with your fundraising team to ensure that the steps in your marketing plan further your goals.

If you’re looking to supplement your marketing efforts with professional help, you’re in the right place. This guide will walk through:

Having a successful outreach and donor engagement strategy is critical if you want to bring genuine value to your organization. Let’s learn how exactly the right marketing consultant can help with that.

Contact Getting Attention, a nonprofit marketing consultant for help.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about nonprofit marketing consultants.

Nonprofit Marketing Consultant: Quick FAQ

What is a nonprofit marketing consultant?

A consultant is a professional who provides advice and guides organization leaders in an area of specialty. 

This means a nonprofit marketing consultant is someone who gives advice on how nonprofits can take their outreach and donor engagement strategy to the next level.

Marketing consultants can help with a variety of tasks, but ultimately they should work closely with your nonprofit to support your strategy no matter the stage you’re on. From general support to a complete overhaul of your marketing strategy, a consultant can help at any point during the process.

Why do nonprofits seek out marketing consultants?

Nonprofits will seek out marketing consultants for a variety of different reasons. However, it can sometimes be hard to figure out the best time to reach out— especially if you’ve never worked with one before.

Here are common occasions when and why nonprofits might seek out marketing consultants:

  • Before an upcoming major campaign
  • To assist in big technology upgrades
  • When restructuring your fundraising strategies
  • To apply to nonprofit marketing grants

It’s important to note that you don’t have to wait for an event or large campaign to seek out a marketing consultant. If you simply want to revitalize your communication efforts or you notice a key performance indicator falling behind, a marketing consultant can step in at any point and provide assistance.

How can marketing consultants help your nonprofit efforts?

What exactly do marketing consultants do? First and foremost, they should have a deep understanding of your organization and audience, along with the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish.

Then they’ll come up with a marketing plan that incorporates all of that knowledge and aims to propel your nonprofit towards those goals. 

Along with strategic planning, here are the specific actions nonprofit marketing consultants might help you with when executing their plan:

  • Copywriting
  • Nonprofit storytelling
  • Content management
  • Print and web design
  • Data tracking and reporting
  • Grant application
  • Google Ad Grant maintenance

Of course, the exact help that the marketing consultant provides will depend on exactly what your nonprofit needs!

What are common nonprofit marketing consultant services?

Here are the common services of nonprofit marketing consultants.

Here are the common focuses and specialties of nonprofit marketing consultants:

  • Website
  • Email marketing
  • Social media
  • Google Ad grant
  • SEO
  • Direct mail
  • Campaign marketing

This isn’t an exhaustive list— there are tons of different specialties that a consultant can help your nonprofit improve. Later on, we recommend some top marketing consultants based on these focuses.

Steps to finding a nonprofit marketing consultant.

Steps To Finding The Best Nonprofit Marketing Consultant

There is an abundance of marketing consultants out there, so how do you find the best one for your nonprofit organization? And what specialty should you seek out?  Does it matter if the team is local or not? 

If you want to find the consultant who best aligns with your nonprofit’s goals and can take your marketing strategy to the next level, we recommend the following steps:

These are the essential steps to finding a nonprofit marketing consultant.

1. Review your nonprofit marketing needs with an audit

Before you start thinking about partnering with a marketing professional, you have to get a sense of how your current marketing strategy is performing  and determine your needs.

We recommend starting with a marketing audit. This might include a:

  • SWOT analysis — SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 
  • Gathering of current marketing assets— This way, you know what materials you have already and what you’ll need.
  • Data analysis — Look at your past marketing data. What strategies have worked in the past? What strategy missed its mark? 

From there, you can create an action plan. Divide your needs into “immediate” and “long-term.” This way you can choose the best marketing consultant for your highest priority needs!

2. Meet with nonprofit board and other key stakeholders

Before making any major decisions and investing in a marketing consultant for your nonprofit, you need to ensure that the rest of your nonprofit leadership team is on board and understands the exact help you’re seeking. 

When meeting with your nonprofit board and other key stakeholders, discuss:

  • Guidelines for a general budget
  • A target start date for the consulting service
  • A general timeframe for the partnership. 

Remember, these guidelines are just there to do just that— guide you. It’s important to remain flexible, as not everything can be predicted before the partnership even begins.

3. Compile a list of prospects that meet your needs

Once you have a good idea of your current marketing needs and what you want out of the partnership, it’s time to compile a list of possible consultants.

Here are some of the common ways that you might find potential marketing consultant partners:

  • Recommendations from colleagues at similar nonprofit organizations
  • Online lists or directories of top nonprofit technology consulting firms
  • From here, consider what is most important to you. If you prefer to meet in person with a team, then look for an agency that is local. If you know that you need consulting in website development and support, make sure to review the agency’s specialties to see if they align with your goals. 

As you look through this list of consultants, it’s important to consider their experience and client history. Try and look for a marketing professional that often works with nonprofits similar in size, mission, and needs as yours. 

4. Create a RFP (Request for Proposal)

Here is an example of an RFP, used to reach out to nonprofit marketing consultants.

Often, nonprofit leaders will create a request for proposal (RFP) when choosing a consultant. RFPs are used to request a proposal from potential partners and communicate your nonprofit’s needs, mission, and any relevant goals that the prospect consultant might need. Requesting a proposal is likely the most direct and straightforward way to determine if a consultant is right for you. 

Your RFP will be unique to your organization, but we recommend including these essential components:

  • An overview of your organization, any relevant history, your mission, and a brief description of your donor base.
  • A description of your nonprofit marketing needs.
  • The guidelines of the partnership, like the general budget and timeframe.
  • Expected outcomes for the partnership. You can even include a list of tangible deliverables.
  • Any questions or requests to the consultant team for additional information or background history.

Generally, your RFP should give consultants the necessary information to propose a strategy to address them. The more focused your RFP is, the more effective the proposal will be!

5. Reach out to top candidates

It’s time to compile a list of top candidates. This can be a tough choice, so reach out to your team and nonprofit leadership to rank their favorite choices and compare.

Once you’ve narrowed down your top picks and finalized your RFP, you should reach out to your prospects. Make sure that the consultants you connect with receive your RFP and know exactly how to get back in touch if they’re interested in working with you.

6. Ask for references and follow up

When you hire a marketing consultant, you are adding another player to your nonprofit team. It’s important to vet them just like you would a potential new hire.

Review the consultant proposals like you would job applications. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask for references or case studies from past clients. It’s important that you have an accurate understanding of the consultant’s past experiences to see if this relationship would work with you. 

Once you’ve figured out your favorite candidate, it’s time to follow up and begin the partnership. 

Here are the top nonprofit marketing consultants we recommend.

Top Nonprofit Marketing Consultants

Don’t fret if you still don’t know where to start! We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite marketing consultants for nonprofits right here divided by specialty. You’re bound to find the best partner for your unique needs:

Getting Attention — Best for Google Grant Management

Check out Getting Attention, a nonprofit marketing consultant.

At Getting Attention, the Google Ad Grant is our core marketing consultant specialty. Using Google Ads and the Google Grant program is one of the most valuable ways to jumpstart your marketing efforts and promote your digital content.

As a fully certified Google Grant agency, we are here to assist nonprofits in managing their account no matter if they’re just applying or want to revitalize an existing campaign. Our marketing team will work closely with your nonprofit to ensure that the strategies you use and the plans you carry out are aligned with your audience’s needs and your overall mission.

Standout Consultant Services

  • Google Grant Application — Our professional consultants are here to walk you through every step of the application process.
  • Google Grant Hygiene — Both in your Google Grant and overall marketing strategy, data is important. You don’t want unclean or duplicate data bogging down your fundraising efforts. We’ll help you keep your data clean and organized.  
  • Google Grant Reactivation — Maintaining your Google Ad Grant account isn’t as easy as one might think. It’s not uncommon for an account to be suspended if it doesn’t comply with certain guidelines. Our professionals can get your account up and running in case you are suspended. 
  • Keyword Research — This research is vital if you want to take your digital marketing to the next level and show success in your Google Ads. That’s why keyword research is one of our main skills!
  • Google Grant Management — You should only partner with a Google-certified agency to help with account management. Not only can our Getting Attention professionals track data and research keywords, but we can also make sure your campaigns remain compliant with all of Google’s official guidelines.

Are you interested in a free consultation? Contact us to learn more about how Getting Attention’s services can help your nonprofit’s marketing strategy.

DNL OmniMedia — Best for Strategy Development

Check out DNL Omni Media, a nonprofit marketing consultant.

DNL OmniMedia is a full-service nonprofit marketing consulting firm and is dedicated to helping fundraisers carry out an effective campaign and reach supporters. 

Standout Consultant Services:

  • Pay per click marketing
  • Copywriting services
  • Video and digital marketing
  • Print and web design

Visit DNL OmniMedia’s website to learn more.

Kanopi — Best for Nonprofit Website Support

Check out Kanopi, a nonprofit marketing consultant.

Kanopi Studios is a digital website agency and a top partner for nonprofits looking to take their online marketing efforts to the next level. They currently support over 150 active sites and work closely with nonprofits to ensure that their content is effectively promoting their mission and supporting their overall marketing strategy. 

Standout Consultant Services:

  • Website user research 
  • Content strategy development
  • User personas and mapped out user journeys 
  • Full website growth plan

Visit Kanopi’s website to learn more.

Capital Campaign Toolkit — Best for Capital Campaigns

Check out Capital Campaign Toolkits, a nonprofit marketing consultant.

The Capital Campaign Toolkit is made up of professionals aimed to help fundraisers tackle capital campaigns and market them effectively. Capital campaigns are usually ongoing and resource exhaustive, so having a dedicated marketing consultant on your team can be valuable.

Standout Consultant Services:

  • A seven-phase capital campaign plan
  • Templates, checklists, and worksheets
  • A guided feasibility study for nonprofit professionals

Visit Capital Campain Toolkit’s website to learn more.

Meyer Partners — Best for Direct Mail Marketing

Check out Meyer Partners, a nonprofit marketing consultant.

Meyer Partners is a marketing agency for nonprofits dedicated to helping fundraisers craft effective direct mail appeals. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that direct mail is dead— it’s still a valuable channel when it comes to marketing your mission and connecting with supporters. 

Standout Consultant Services:

  • Direct mail copywriting
  • Creative storytelling advice
  • Data collecting and reporting 

Visit Meyer Partners’ website to learn more. 

Additional Resources

Your nonprofit’s marketing strategy is a critical component of your overall success, so turning to a professional consultant might be your best bet. Make sure you do your research and reach out to agencies that align with your mission and audience. If you want to continue learning more about nonprofit marketing and how to optimize your strategy, check out these additional resources:

Contact Getting Attention for a marketing consultation.

A 2021 guide to nonprofit marketing.

A 2021 Guide to Nonprofit Marketing

Imagine this: Your nonprofit spends months planning the perfect fundraising event. You’ve gathered the resources, hired the catering, and recruited volunteers to pull it all together. A scattering of your most active supporters register, but you don’t get the turnout that you hope. This shortcoming is due to your nonprofit marketing. 

As a fundraising professional, you already know the importance of an effective marketing strategy. A comprehensive nonprofit marketing plan can spread awareness of your mission, deepen relationships with donors, help you engage with new prospects, and better align your team with your organization’s values and goals. 

However, every marketing effort has its challenges. Whether resources are tight, strategies aren’t garnering the needed results, or you just aren’t sure how to craft your next fundraising email, nonprofit marketing is no walk in the park.

You’ve come to the right place! During the past year, nonprofits have made tremendous efforts to digitize their communication strategies and increase convenience for their donors. In this 2021 guide to nonprofit marketing, you’ll learn more about:

Whether your organization is at the grassroots level or your nonprofit is more established, it’s always beneficial to ensure that your current marketing plan isn’t missing any essential elements. Let’s dive in with an overview of what nonprofit marketing is. 

Contact us to learn how the Google Ad Grant can help your nonprofit marketing.

What is nonprofit marketing?

What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing is the use of marketing tactics and strategies to amplify an organization’s cause and mission, solicit donations, and attract volunteers and supporters.

After you and your fundraising team work hard to plan out a campaign or set up an exciting fundraising event, the next step is getting supporters interested and invested. Without an effective marketing strategy, you won’t be able to grab your supporters’ attention, let alone meet new prospects. 

Effective nonprofit marketing is easier said than done, however. You need a carefully crafted plan with clear goals in mind and dedicated software solutions to carry them out. This level of thought and comprehensiveness in your nonprofit marketing can benefit you by:

These are the benefits of nonprofit marketing.

  • Raising mission awareness — One of the biggest roles of your nonprofit is to spread the word about your mission. Effective marketing will raise awareness of your mission, ensuring that people not only know your nonprofit goals, but also what you’re doing to achieve them. 
  • Increasing funds — This is an obvious one, but worth noting. When you’re able to market your nonprofit and raise awareness about your mission, the more potential funding you’ll receive. 
  • Driving long-term donor support — Nonprofits don’t just thrive with monetary funds, they need long-term support. Good marketing can build key relationships and result in more consistent and reliable donations, rather than one-off gifts. In fact, the average monthly online donation is $52 (which is a total of $624 per year) compared to the average one-time gift of $128.
  • Attracting all types of support — As you craft your nonprofit marketing strategy, you might be thinking that your main goal is to get donations. However, there’s an abundance of other types of support that your marketing can help with. This includes volunteer recruitment, fundraising events, membership programs, and other forms of support you may have. In fact, this can even lead to monetary gifts down the road. In fact, volunteers are twice as likely to donate as non-volunteers.
  • Promoting your services — What exactly does your organization do? How does it aim to impact your mission? Your nonprofit services are an integral part of your fundraising efforts and is inspire your supporters to give. With a comprehensive marketing plan, you can more effectively promote those services. 

But how can you utilize nonprofit marketing smartly and reap the above benefits? The answer: with a detailed and organized nonprofit marketing plan. 

How to create a nonprofit marketing plan.

Creating A Nonprofit Marketing Plan

If you want your donor outreach and communication strategy to be successful, it’s recommended to craft a dedicated nonprofit marketing plan. A nonprofit marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines all the information you need to meet your audience’s needs and spread your mission effectively.

Your nonprofit marketing plan will be unique to your goals, mission, and audience. However, you can take these general steps to ensure you’re not missing out on any essential elements:

  • Perform a marketing audit — It’s a good idea to get a sense of your current marketing standing and gather the resources you have. This way, you can start thinking about the changes and tweaks you’ll need to make. A marketing audit can consist of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, data analysis of results, and then creating an action plan.
  • Define goals and mission — Your marketing plan shouldn’t just guide your actions, but really support your nonprofit journey to your ultimate goals. We recommend using the SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) method to create your marketing plan goals. Then, list your goals by priority. 
  • Understand your audience — It’s critical that your nonprofit marketing plan knows who it is trying to reach. You should outline both your current audience and your target audience. Further narrow down your audience with donor segments and donor personas. 
  • Craft your message — Your supporters are bombarded with online ads and companies trying to get their attention all of the time. It’s important that your marketing messaging stands out through the crowd. We recommend using the CRAM (connected to a cause, rewarding, actionable, memorable) rule to connect with donors. This is also where you’ll think about the language and tone of your message, the specific calls to action you’ll use, and any visual branding elements. 
  • Allocate budget — Marketing plans aren’t cheap. You need to create marketing materials, invest in online tools, and pay your hard working staff. As a general rule, it is advised that 5-15% of your operating budget is reserved for marketing. This is also when you might consider applying to nonprofit marketing grants.
  • Outline marketing channels — There are tons of marketing channels that you can choose from, and each has its own strengths and challenges. We’ll review the different types in the following section. 
  • Analyze performance — Every marketing plan needs a dedicated way to measure performance. Otherwise, how do you know if it worked or whether it needs to be improved for the future? Consider the metrics you want to track and the tools you’ll use. 

Crafting a comprehensive nonprofit marketing plan isn’t a small feat, but once you have one, this document can guide your team to its goals.

For more help, we advise you to visit our dedicated article on nonprofit marketing plans with free downloadable templates to keep you organized and on track. 

Explore these nonprofit marketing channels

Nonprofit Marketing Channels to Explore

The nonprofit marketing channels you use are incredibly important when it comes to effectively reaching your donors and meeting new prospects. With new tools making online communications easier and nonprofits leaders hosting elaborate fundraising events from the comforts of their own home, there are several valuable marketing channels.

Let’s walk through some of the most popular channels that can catapult your marketing efforts:

How does email marketing impact nonprofit marketing?

Email Marketing 

Email is an extremely reliable and comprehensive channel for nonprofit marketers because it allows you to connect with all types of supporters. From first-time donors to longtime major donors, fundraisers use email to send appreciation letters, event invitations, and regular newsletters with general organization updates.

Here are a few ways to leverage email marketing to reach all of your audiences:

  • Send a regular newsletter with your newest content, updates about your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs. 
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Segment your email audience based on common traits for more targeted and relevant messaging. Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
  • As soon as a donor gives, a volunteer participates, or some other form of support, send an email showing your appreciation. 

Email generates $42 for every $1 spent. With an ROI of 4,200%, it makes sense that this is a marketing channel worth investing in and taking the time to flesh out. 

How does direct mail impact nonprofit marketing?

Direct Mail

Many nonprofit marketers make the mistake of assuming that direct mail is dead. However, direct mail response rates actually hover between 5% and 9%. When compared to the email response rate of 1%, it’s clear why direct mail is still an incredibly valuable channel. 

For nonprofits, direct mail marketing and fundraising is the process of writing, printing, and sending out hard copy requests for funds, event invitations, or thank you letters to your passionate supporters. These letters arrive in your donors’ mailboxes and end up in their hands, providing a tangible connection to your organization — especially when compared to opening up an email.

If you want your direct mail content to hold genuine value and inspire action, here are some tips:

  • Lean on storytelling — Perhaps the most unique aspect of direct mail is the personal touch. This is a key opportunity to connect with donors through good storytelling. For example, you could describe a family that your nonprofit has helped to get readers invested in your cause and excited to give.
  • Connect copy with visuals — No one wants to read a huge wall of text. Make sure you incorporate visual and written elements together so that they support your call to action. Whether you use photos of real people or creative graphics to explain different points, the visuals you choose should be strategic and reinforce the messaging in your copy. Plus, a compelling photo can do wonders in enticing readers to internalize your mission. 
  • Combine direct mail with digital marketing — Direct mail marketing does best when it is combined with your other digital marketing efforts. For instance, make sure to include easy ways for direct mail readers to connect online if they’d like. You might include a QR code within the letter directing supporters to your online donation page. Or, you can include social media information to encourage engagement on a different platform. 

Direct mail can benefit both your nonprofit and show donors that you really care. Make sure to check your recipient’s communication preference before sending out letters willy nilly, however. Plus, consider partnering with a direct mail marketing company to make the process of writing, stuffing, and sending your letters easier. 

Explore how event marketing can support your nonprofit marketing.

Event Marketing

One of the most engaging and fun ways to market your mission to supporters and gain some beneficial press coverage is with a nonprofit fundraising event!

From charity marathons to fundraising auctions to fancy galas, there are a number of different nonprofit events that you might host. Not only do you raise a good amount of funds, but you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with your community in-person (or virtually) on a more personal level.

Here’s how you can take your nonprofit event to the next level and market your mission effectively:

  • Have consistent branding on digital and physical event materials.
  • Advertise mission on event signage, both digital and physical.
  • Provide easy ways to give or connect after the event, like a text fundraising phone number.
  • Send an event thank you letter as soon as it is over.
  • Provide free or sell branded event merchandise so that attendees can continue to promote your mission.

Nonprofit events provide invaluable opportunities to engage your donors in unique ways and promote your mission memorably. Make sure you’re making the most of this marketing channel. 

How does video marketing impact nonprofit marketing?

Video Marketing

Video marketing has been exponentially growing in popularity, and for good reason, too. From short videos on TikTok to longer content on Youtube, many nonprofits have found success in using this form of media to promote campaigns, events, and their mission in general.

Why is this? Well, here are some reasons why video marketing is so valuable:

  • Easy to process — Humans process visual content 60,000 times faster than text. This is why it’s so great for educating your audience or explaining a point. 
  • Inspire action — Videos are known to do really well when it comes to inspiring emotions. This is much harder to emulate with just a photo or a paragraph. 
  • Shareable — Who hasn’t gotten a cute video of a pet sent from a friend? In fact, 92% of consumers on mobile will share videos with others. 
  • Entertaining 60% of people report that video is a media they consume thoroughly, unlike images which are easy to flip through. 

Some popular ways to use video marketing are within your nonprofit website, in social media posts, and in email content! Send out an event invitation with a video teaser or record a video of a community member your nonprofit has helped to show donors just how much they’ve made an impact. 

Bonus Tip! Because of their file format, videos can potentially slow down a website. We recommend turning off auto-play to prevent this from happening!

Social media and nonprofit marketing.

Social Media

In 2020, there were 3.96 billion people actively using social media in the world, which is an increase of 10.9% from 3.48 billion in 2019. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most viable and successful ways to reach supporters and market your mission.

Not only is social media free, but it’s also a key way to connect with supporters on a deeper level. You can engage with followers, encourage them to comment or repost, and build a brand personality that supporters want to keep coming back to. 

While this will depend on the social media platform you use, here are some general ways you can leverage this type of online engagement:

  • Share news about your organization and cause.
  • Boost brand awareness and recognition.
  • Post calls-to-action for online gifts, event registrations, volunteer signups, and more.
  • Recruit volunteers and employees.
  • Announce appreciation to donors, employees, and volunteers.

Whether you use Twitter for its short-form posts and shareability or  Facebook for its pages and peer-to-peer fundraising features, social media is definitely a channel you should spend a good amount of time thinking about. 

How does your nonprofit website impact marketing?

Website

Your website is a huge resource when it comes to marketing your mission. It’s likely the first place prospects go to learn about your mission and where long-term supporters go to give support. It not only hosts valuable information on your organization but also provides engagement opportunities like online giving, event registration, and more.

When designing or optimizing your nonprofit website, keep these tips in mind:

  • Ensure full and regulatory accessibility compliance with the WCAG and ADA.
  • Liberally use calls-to-action buttons and links to direct users to your popular landing pages.
  • Keep user experience in mind when it comes to ease of use and navigation.
  • Make sure all tools and content management systems are functioning properly and are updated.
  • Have consistent branding throughout the site.

It’s important to remember just how much your website does. Not only do you use it to collect online gifts, but it’s also where supporters learn about your mission, get inspired through its online content. Essentially, your website is the accumulation of all of your marketing efforts in one platform. 

Thus, making sure your website is optimized and functioning well is essential if you want your nonprofit marketing to be successful. 

How can content marketing help nonprofit marketing?

Content Marketing

Content marketing is all about creating valuable and promotable nonprofit content that can build your nonprofit brand and reputation in the sector. This content will likely live on your website, but you can also create specific content to email or host a downloadable or gated resource. 

Here are the type of content you might create:

  • Educational content about your mission, cause, and industry news and trends.
  • SEO optimized blog content to get your online content ranking higher in search engines.
  • Easily shareable content that encourages your audience to send it along to their friends.
  • Content that is easily repurposable, like a downloadable resource into an email message!

Plus, your content marketing materials can be used for future marketing efforts, whether it’s for email or social media. Consider creating a dedicated team focused on content copywriting.

Use text message in your nonprofit marketing.

Text Message

With a 98% open rate, text message marketing is one of the best ways to promote a campaign and reach your audience where they already are. 

To use text marketing, it’s recommended to invest in a comprehensive text giving tool. This not only allows you to send outbound messages but also empowers donors to give by text as well! This is a powerful way to leverage contextual giving.

Contextual giving is a donation given at the moment when the donor was inspired in the first place. For instance, let’s say a prospect stumbles upon an in-person fundraising event and is inspired by the turnout and the mission. They see the phone number plastered on event signage and decide to text it to give a gift. If you didn’t have text giving, they might have waited until they got home to give, which at that point was too late. 

Use text marketing to announce events, send urgent appeals (remember to include instructions for donating!), remind volunteers about upcoming shifts or training, and promote donations throughout your campaign or specific event. And, you can do all of this with your text giving tool.

How can the Google Ad Grant help your nonprofit marketing?

Google Ad Grants

A popular way that nonprofits expand their marketing is with Google Ads, a platform where organizations display advertisements, services offerings, products, and other marketing content. Google places these ads strategically in the search engine result pages as well as non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos. 

This is why many nonprofits will apply for the Google Ad Grant, a program that offers nonprofit professionals $10,000 in ad credits to spend each month. This is an incredible opportunity to not only expand your marketing strategy but do it all without pushing your budget.

The best part? Any nonprofit that is eligible and complies with Google guidelines can use this grant. 

Interested in learning more about how to apply and manage the Google Ad Grant? Explore our dedicated article about applying for the grant here. 

Contact us to learn how the Google Ad Grant can help your nonprofit marketing.

 

The number of marketing channels you can use to reach donors these days seems to be never-ending — we only listed the most popular ones! The good thing is you don’t need to leverage each one for your marketing campaign to be successful. 

Choose a couple of key channels, and then take a multi-channel marketing approach to reach your donors at multiple touchpoints. This is the best way to build meaningful relationships and successfully spread awareness of your mission. 

Follow these nonprofit marketing best practices.

Follow These Nonprofit Marketing Best Practices

When it comes to your nonprofit marketing, there are a lot of moving components that you have to keep in mind. From how to craft your messaging to the strategies and channels you use, there’s quite a bit to juggle.

To keep your marketing team organized, here are some general best practices that can help any fundraising team hone their marketing:

  • Understand your audience. Every marketing campaign should have a target audience in mind. Knowing what demographic group or type of supporter you are trying to reach will inform every step of your nonprofit marketing plan.
  • Have a goal. Are you trying to raise money or awareness? Encourage volunteering? Garner registrations for a fundraising event? Every marketing campaign needs a concrete goal and target action in order to be successful.
  • Make it personal. It’s much easier for people to relate to other individuals than broad generalized groups. Make sure your marketing efforts feel personal enough to connect with donors emotionally and inspire them to take action.
  • Segment your list. We mentioned this already, but segmenting your marketing audience is critical. After all, people will respond best to communications that are targeted to their needs, goals, and preferences.
  • Use current events. A good way to bolster your nonprofit marketing is to use what is currently going on in the world as a way to create urgency. Is there a story related to your cause in the news? For instance, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofits took the time to connect their mission to this broader world issue and leverage that public awareness.
  • Follow up with donors and volunteers. For a successful nonprofit marketing campaign, you don’t just send out materials and communications and be done with it. Marketing isn’t just to promote your nonprofit services but to build ongoing relationships with supporters. Make sure you have a system in place to check in with current donors or volunteers, as well as follow up with any lapsed supporters to ensure they stay active.
  • Track your data. Data is the backbone of your nonprofit marketing efforts. Not only is it tracked to ensure that your campaign is performing positively and creating genuine benefits, but it can also be used to improve future campaigns or act as a resource for supporters wanting to learn more about your nonprofit efforts. In the end, your nonprofit data can be just as valuable as a marketing asset as your email!

The fundraising landscape seems to change year by year, so keeping up with nonprofit marketing best practices and trends is critical. With digital innovations making it easier to connect with donors and new tools increasing the types of support you can utilize, you have to remember that your supporters’ needs are a priority. Without them, your nonprofit cannot make as meaningful of an impact in your community. 

Additional Resources

How can you continue to kick start your nonprofit marketing efforts and drive even more conversions for your organization? Explore these additional resources to continue your research:

How can Getting attention help your nonprofit marketing? With the google ad grant!

Explore this guide to marketing grants for nonprofits.

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Grants for Nonprofits

When it comes to accomplishing your nonprofit mission and making a genuine impact in the world, you need an effective and successful marketing strategy. 

However, getting the funds to drive your nonprofit marketing plan is no easy task. Often, it’s recommended to use around 5-15% of your operating budget primarily for marketing efforts. If more money is needed, some nonprofits will also look to pull from their overhead fund.

If you find that your budget is tighter than usual, your organization’s need has increased tenfold, or if you simply want to expand your outreach efforts, consider exploring the world of marketing grants for nonprofits.

There are tons of different marketing grants available, some specific to a certain cause or sector, while others are geared towards only smaller or larger organizations. If you want to learn more about which grant you should apply for, you’re in the right place. This guide will answer the following: 

Nonprofit marketing grants can provide the right push for your organization to build a solid communication strategy with supporters. But this can’t be done without finding the right grant for your needs and following the necessary steps to apply. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in. 

Contact us at Getting Attention to talk about marketing grants for nonprofits.

This section will review the basics of marketing grants for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Marketing Grants | The Basics

A nonprofit grant is a fund awarded to an eligible organization that does not need to be repaid. Marketing grants are often rewarded based on nonprofit values, the industry it’s in, and other eligibility requirements. 

Who is awarding these grants? Well, nonprofit grants can come from various sources, typically split up between these categories:

  • Government grants — These are funded by the government or with taxpayer money. Government grants can be given on the federal level, state level, and local level.
  • Foundation grants — These are funded by organizations dedicated to providing money to the nonprofit sector and are often started by individuals.
  • Corporate grants — These are funded by corporate companies, like Google or Walmart, that want to use some of their money to support philanthropic causes.

Nonprofit grants can be further divided by what exactly they are funding. This will depend on the grant awarding institution, as some only will give grants for specific projects and others leave nonprofits to use the funds at their own discretion. In general, grant funds are often directed to:

  • Unrestricted funds — Grant will be used to cover day-to-day operating costs and support the general work of an organization. This is not limited to one purpose.
  • Capital support — Grant will be used to support specific capital campaigns. This might include funding a construction project, renovation, or other large program.
  • Restricted funds — Grant will fund a particular purpose, project, or program. This is the most common type of grant funding.

Here are the different forms of nonprofit grants.

As you’re browsing through the different types of nonprofit grants available, it’s important that you have a comprehensive understanding of the institutions that award them and how exactly the funds should be used. Make sure you are familiar with each distinction to determine the most viable grant for your mission.

Here are the benefits of nonprofit marketing grants.

The Benefits of Nonprofit Marketing Grants

You already know that the right grant can take your nonprofit marketing effort to new heights. But what does that exactly mean? Let’s walk through the following benefits of marketing grants for nonprofits:

  • Carry out charitable initiatives — Ultimately, marketing grants will be used to help carry out your various charitable initiatives. Any marketing or promotion you do for your online giving page, exciting fundraising events, and other initiatives can be taken to the next level with the right marketing grant. Sometimes grants will be awarded for a specific initiative, like to fund a particular program within your nonprofit services.
  • Pay for donor outreach — One of the primary components of nonprofit marketing is your donor outreach efforts. From email newsletters, to direct mail, to sending out canvassers to meet supporters in person, your donor outreach efforts need effective funding to ensure its success.
  • Help more people with your organization — When your marketing strategy is well-developed and targeting the right audience, you not only attract more supporters, but might even catch the eye of those who might need help from your organization. Sometimes people don’t realize that there are organizations out there dedicated to aiding those in their exact situation. Effective marketing ensures that people are aware of your nonprofit and its services. 
  • Educate and spread awareness of your mission — In the end, a marketing grant is there to help you educate and spread awareness about your mission. The more people that are aware of the issues your organization is fighting for, the more likely that you’ll gain valuable support for your cause. Besides just your regular supporters, you might capture the attention of major donors, business sponsors, and more!

The value of grants to nonprofits is immeasurable, especially once you think about the impact that your organization can have on your mission if your marketing plan and fundraising efforts reach and exceed goals. 

Let’s review how to find and apply to marketing grants for nonprofits.

Finding and Applying to Nonprofit Marketing Grants

The next step is to begin thinking about marketing grants that your nonprofit is eligible for and how to begin the application process. 

It’s important to remember that the process for finding and applying to marketing grants will look unique depending on your mission, the project you’re trying to fund, and the grant you choose. 

That’s why before you start looking for the best marketing grant for your nonprofit, make sure you:

  • Know your mission — You already know what your mission is, but it’s important that you’re able to effectively communicate it to anyone, especially if you’re trying to get a grant from them. They need to resonate with your mission as much as you do, as well as entirely understand what your goals are and how a grant will help you reach them.
  • Do the necessary research — Each grant has its own application process and requirements. It’s important that you do the research to check eligibility, make sure you fit the applicant profile, understand any deadlines or other important dates, and more. 

From there, we recommend you start off the search process with grant databases. There are a wide array of resources that you could check, but we recommend these:

  • Grantstation.com — A database to search, review, and apply for nonprofit grants.
  • Grantwatch.com — Another database to find and apply for nonprofit grants.
  • Grants.gov — A website under the Office of Management and Budget to help nonprofits find federal grant-making agencies.
  • Guidestar — An online database that connects nonprofits with grant opportunities (and vice versa). Create a profile for your nonprofit to start applying for grants, while also helping grant-makers discover your cause.

Along with dedicated grant databases, you can also do a simple online search. To narrow down results, look up popular keywords relating to your mission to ensure you find the perfect grant. 

For example, let’s say you run a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing clean water. If you search with keywords like “sustainability” or “environment,” you are more likely to find grants that will support your mission. These keywords can save you time in looking for the perfect grant, ensuring you can work harder on your application and grant proposal!

Here is the typical nonprofit grant application process.]

Nonprofit Grant Application Process

Each application process will be unique to the grant, so make sure you know exactly what you need to be eligible and apply. 

For instance, one popular option is the Google Ad Grant because it is awarded to anyone who is eligible and isn’t limited to the number of funds it has. However, there are still some lengthy steps, as the Google Ad Grant application process requires:

  1. TechSoup.org registration and Validation token
  2. A Google for Nonprofits account
  3. Google Analytics on your website
  4. Current and valid charity 501(c)(3) status
  5. Compliance with Google Grant guidelines
  6. An SSL certificate
  7. A valuable and promotable website

While these individual steps may not seem hard to complete, you can’t forgo any of them if you want to gain the benefits of the Google Ad Grant.

Can the Google Ad Grant help your organization? Read our dedicated article to learn more. 

It’s important to note that the application process above is not a common example. More often than not, grant awarding institutions will require applicants to send in a proposal to advocate for their cause and explain how their organization will use the grant.

A grant proposal is a formal request from a nonprofit to a funder to help them achieve specific results. The best proposals are concise, persuasive, and communicate the mission flawlessly to grant awarders.

To ensure that your application process doesn’t fall short during the grant proposal, here are some quick tips:

  • Don’t be generic — Be extremely specific about what your mission is trying to accomplish and how exactly the grant will help. 
  • Refer to data — To persuade grant awarders that your nonprofit is worth it, pull from past data and fundraising efforts to show that you’ve already made an impact in the past. Or, you can show that with a little more funding (like from a grant) you would have been able to multiply that impact.
  • Be clear and concise — You don’t want to bore the person reading your proposal. Delete any fluff and get right to the point.
  • Reference direct impact — We have already touched on this, but it’s an important point to emphasize. As you explain your mission and how you’ll use the grant money, reference the direct impact that it should make. Plus, if you have data to back this up, grant awarders will be much more likely to invest in your cause. 

During this process, it’s not unlikely that you found more than one grant that appeals to your mission and that you are eligible for. If you’ve applied to more than one grant at a time, make sure that you’re effectively keeping track of all your applications. Create a calendar to remind you of important dates and conditions that each grant may have. 

Explore these top marketing grants for nonprofits.

Top Marketing Grants For Nonprofits To Explore

There are tons of grants that you might be able to explore, so bunkering down to sift through databases might seem a little daunting. If so, you’re in the right place!

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite nonprofit marketing grants— who knows, maybe you’ll find the perfect one for your nonprofit.

Google Ad Grants

Check out Google Ad Grant, a marketing grant for nonprofits.

The Google Ad Grant is a program hosted by Google that gives $10,000 in ad credits to eligible nonprofits each month. This grant is only to be used on Google Ads and to promote the nonprofit’s digital content. If you comply with the program’s rules and guidelines, your organization can continue to receive this $10,000 grant in ad credits each month for as long as you need! 

With the Google Ad Grant program for nonprofits, organizations can:

  • Increase online conversions.
  • Reach out to new donors.
  • Market multiple ad campaigns.
  • Analyze and track performance.

The Google Grant isn’t your traditional grant where there is only a limited amount of money to allocate. In fact, any nonprofit that is eligible and complies with Google guidelines can use this grant! 

Partner with Getting Attention to get started with the Google Grant, a marketing grant for nonprofits.

Google for Nonprofits 

Check out Google for Nonprofits, a marketing opportunity for nonprofits.

Along with the Google Ad Grant, Google has a dedicated account for nonprofits based in the US. While this isn’t exactly a marketing grant, the Google for Nonprofits account does provide access to the Google Ad Grant, as well as other services that can take your nonprofit marketing to the next level.

You’ll be able to use the Google Workspace for Nonprofits, Youtube Nonprofit Program, and Google Earth and Maps. 

Bill & Melinda Gates

Check out the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been committed to fighting inequities for the past 20 years. They work with businesses, the government, and nonprofit organizations to improve equality gaps in the world. In particular, they have tons of grants they award to nonprofits with missions they believe in. 

All you need to do is send in a grant application and then a grant proposal will be drafted to gain a complete and accurate understanding of how to execute the project effectively.

 

3M Foundation

Check out the 3M Foundation,  a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

3M Foundation offers grants for nonprofits to help advancements in the STEM fields, climate change, and other global humanitarian relief efforts. 

However, at this time the 3M Foundation is an invitation-only funder. Along with aligning with 3M’s focus areas and strategies, you’ll need to meet certain criteria and serve a 3M Community. To learn more about how you can become eligible for their grants, visiting their website is recommended. 

The Carnegie Corporation

Check out The Carnegie Corporation, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

The Carnegie Corporation is a grant awarding institution that aims to invest in nonprofits that want to make a meaningful change in the world. 

The majority of the organizations that grants are given to are usually contacted by the Carnegie corporation themselves, and spans from education grants to peace building grants to equality grants.

The Coca-Cola Foundation 

Check out The Coca Cola Foundation, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants since 1984 to support community initiatives around the world.​ In fact, Coca Cola is committed to giving back 1% of its prior year’s operating income annually. In 2020 alone, $139 million was granted from The Coca-Cola Foundation to eligible organizations and missions.

Walmart Foundation

Check out the Walmart foundation, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind to support nonprofit organizations whose missions align with their philanthropic priorities. Their grantees are usually split between the priority areas of opportunity creation, sustainability, community building, and racial equity. 

Ford Foundation 

Check out the Ford foundation, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

The Ford Foundation was founded 85 years ago and awards grants to nonprofits that are dedicated to civic engagement, fighting inequality, and promoting environmental sustainability. They do have a limited number of programs and projects, so it’s recommended to explore all of their grant opportunities to see which ones are available for funding. 

Amazon Web Services 

Check out the Amazon Web Services, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

Amazon Web Services is a grant awarder dedicated to empowering nonprofit organizations to leverage technology to advance their goals. The AWS has two grant programs that nonprofits can apply to, both aiming to help fundraisers move their research and marketing to the cloud so that they can innovate quickly and at a lower cost. 

Bank of America

Check out the Bank of America, a marketing grant awarder for nonprofits.

The Bank of America is a longstanding grant awarder for nonprofits that aims to advance economic mobility and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities all across the country. Their grants are focused on helping missions that serve basic needs like food and housing, workforce development and education, and community development. 

Additional Resources

Marketing grants for nonprofits are invaluable resources and can catapult your mission and fundraising efforts farther than you’ve ever thought possible. And, this journey can all start by finding the right grant for your nonprofit needs. Hopefully, you found some viable options in the list above, or through the grant databases that we recommended.

If you want to continue your research on the best nonprofit grant and how you can expand your marketing, explore the following additional resources:

Not sure which grant is best for you? Remember, the Google Ad Grant can be awarded to anyone who is eligible!

Contact Getting Attention for a free consultation to see if this marketing nonprofit grant is right for you.

Learn more about how to craft a successful nonprofit marketing plan in this guide

Nonprofit Marketing Plan in 8 Steps (+ Free Templates!)

You’ve worked hard to build an organization that makes a difference for your mission and the community you serve. You plan exciting fundraising events and months-long campaigns to engage your donors and inspire support to your cause. However, all this work is less effective without a strategic plan to market it. 

While your nonprofit and mission are extremely important, you won’t be able to make meaningful change and connect with supporters without a strategic marketing plan.

Taking the steps to outline a nonprofit marketing plan is critical if you want to set your organization up for success, serve your audience’s needs, and drive meaningful conversions. Whether you have one overarching plan for the year or create them on a case-by-case basis, creating a comprehensive marketing plan will only make planning successful campaigns in the future easier and more effective. 

Our marketing experts at Getting Attention know the importance of a well-developed nonprofit marketing plan. Whether you’ve never created a dedicated plan before or you simply want a refresher to ensure you’re not missing out on any important points, we created this guide to walk you through the following topics:

Your nonprofit marketing plan can do more than just advise on the best channels and messaging to use. It acts as an all-knowing resource for your entire fundraising team when it comes to representing your mission and pushing you to your goals. Ready to learn more? Let’s start with a simple overview. 

Contact Getting Attention for a free consultation on your marketing plan.


What is a nonprofit marketing plan?

Nonprofit Marketing Plan: What Is It?

A nonprofit marketing plan is a dedicated document to help your fundraising team create promotional materials, stay consistent with branding and goals, and reach a target audience effectively. 

This document should be made available to everyone in the organization so that no matter the campaign or event they are promoting, the messaging and tactics are supporting the core mission. This is the best way to not only reach your supporters and meet new ones, but it also ensures that all team members are on the same page when it comes to how you can accomplish your goals. 

In the end, your marketing plan becomes much more than just guidelines for picking an outreach strategy. Your nonprofit marketing plan should:

  • Provide clarity to your nonprofit team — No matter what, your fundraisers should not lose track of your nonprofit mission and goals. Your nonprofit marketing plan will clearly outline this information so that your team is clear on every detail and the most valuable way to communicate them.
  • Keep tasks and team members organized — A fully fleshed-out fundraising campaign comes with a lot of moving parts, especially when it comes to marketing it. When it comes to sending out email blasts, creating marketing materials, and engaging with donors on social media, it can be overwhelming without a concrete plan on when and how to complete these actions. A nonprofit marketing plan will outline exactly the tasks that need to be done, the steps it will take, and when they should be completed.
  • Focus on reaching donors and increasing awareness — The goal of any marketing strategy is to connect to your audience, bring awareness to your mission, and inspire action from supporters. Your nonprofit marketing plan will walk through the specific motivations of your supporters and prospects, as well as list out the most valuable channels and strategies to appeal to those emotions. 

You won’t be able to accomplish the above without a well-crafted and developed nonprofit marketing plan, however. Keep reading to explore the essential components your own marketing plan needs.

here are the essential components of a nonprofit marketing plan.]

The Essential Components Of Nonprofit Marketing 

When it comes to your nonprofit marketing plan, it’s best to be as thorough as possible. Don’t leave any stone unturned and risk a lack of clarity for team members or gaps in outreach methods.

While your specific marketing plan will be unique to your mission and campaign, there are still several core essential components that you’ll need.

Here are the components you should check for in your nonprofit marketing plan.

Overview of Organization

  • Mission statement  Your mission statement should summarize why your organization exists, the audience you serve, and how you’ll serve them in just a couple of sentences. Mission statements can clarify a sense of direction for your team members and remind supporters of the ultimate purpose of your organization. For example, Water.org’s mission statement is “Water.org empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing.”
  • Key stakeholders and nonprofit staff structure — Your stakeholders include both internal and external factors, like board members, paid staff, program directors and volunteers, and association members. It’s important that your entire organization has knowledge of important team members as well as how they all work together. This way, if someone has a question or concern, they know exactly who to go to.
  • Goals — What exactly is your organization hoping to accomplish? For your marketing plan, it can be helpful to outline both long-term and short-term goals, each of them different stepping stones for your core mission. You might outline goals for each month, as well as some for the entire year. When creating goals, it’s recommended to use the SMART method.
  • Priorities — As you outline your goals, rank them in terms of priority. For instance, if your mission is to provide equal gender education opportunities, your priority might be to raise money for needed school supplies over creating scholarship opportunities. Though both goals are valid and important, you can’t expect students to excel in scholarship programs without adequate materials.

Overview of Audience

  • Current audience — What type of people currently support your organization? Look at your nonprofit database and determine if there are any commonalities. List out the type of people and entities that consistently donate and support your organization.
  • Target audience — Who are the people you are trying to reach? For each campaign or event you plan, you should have a specific audience you want to market to. This audience can include new donors, existing donors, lapsed donors, major donors, and more! You can narrow your target audience down with donor segments and donor personas. 

Messaging and Communication Plan

  • Language and tone — Make sure your language and tone make sense with both your mission and who your audience is. For instance, if your organization is focused on education and helping children, you might take on a more user-friendly and casual tone. Consider including some common phrasing or word choice in your plan to make it even easier for your marketing team. 
  • Calls to action — Keeping in mind your nonprofit goals, what are the types of actions you want your target audience to complete? This can range from giving a gift, signing up for newsletters, or another type of actionable support.
  • Branding, color, logo, font — While the aesthetics of your marketing materials might not seem as important as your messaging, it is crucial that your branding and other design factors are consistent. This not only ensures that your marketing efforts remain organized, but that audience members can recognize your organization as soon as they see content, building a deeper connection between supporters and your brand.
  • Tactics and marketing channels — How are you going to exactly use your audience and messaging to promote your mission? Your marketing plan should outline specific tactics (like donor segmented email lists) as well as the most successful marketing channels to use.
  • Marketing calendar — An effective marketing strategy doesn’t happen in just one day. You’ll likely release content and launch campaigns throughout the year, so it makes sense to include a marketing calendar within your dedicated plan.
  • Reporting and analytics method — No marketing plan is effective or complete without a valid way to track its performance. Make sure you have reporting and analytics set up so that you can follow a campaign’s success and learn about the tactics that made it thrive and the factors that can be improved.

It’s easy to look at these components and think you can fill them out at once. However, it actually takes careful planning and data analysis to accurately determine factors like the most valuable goals to target and which marketing channels to use. Keep this in mind as you learn about the basic steps we recommend to creating a nonprofit marketing plan.

Let’s dive into how to create a nonprofit marketing plan.

Follow These 8 Steps to Creating a Nonprofit Marketing Plan

1. Review past performance and conduct a marketing audit

Before you really get into the nitty-gritty of your nonprofit marketing plan, take a moment to reflect on your current standing and past performance. To ensure your marketing plan is as valuable as possible, determining what has and hasn’t worked in the past is your best bet.

Review your previous marketing efforts and ask yourself the following: 

  • Did you achieve your desired goals and objectives? 
  • What was the most successful past of this strategy or campaign? 
  • What didn’t go as expected with the campaign?
  • What could we do differently in the future?
  • Can any marketing materials be reused for future campaigns?

Having a sense of your past efforts and determining the gaps in your strategies will give you a sense of how you can improve your next campaign. 

Along with reviewing past performance, you can even conduct a more in-depth marketing audit. This might include a:

  • SWOT analysis — SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.
  • Collect your assets, services, products, and resources — When you gather your various marketing assets, you’ll have all the information in one place and will be better able to consider your options.
  • Analyze data — Once you’ve taken the time to gather your data, it’s time to look at it as a whole. Make notes of what you notice as you go.
  • Create an action plan — What’s working? What could be improved? Where are the gaps? Create an action plan based on what you discover in your audit.

In many cases, your internal marketing team can successfully conduct a marketing audit. If this is your first time or you don’t have an established team yet, then consider working with a professional marketing consultant or outside auditor.

2. Establish SMART Goals

Once you have an idea of your past marketing performance, your current resources, and relevant data trends, you can move forward with setting actionable goals.

It’s not enough to set general fundraising goals. Your goals should be carefully chosen and aimed to drive meaningful conversions to your nonprofit organization and support your overall mission. That’s why we recommend using the SMART method to set goals. 

Use this SMART Goal chart to guide your nonprofit marketing.

  • Specific: Your goal should be as specific as possible— focus on one thing and don’t try to accomplish multiple things at once. If it’s a fundraising goal, set a monetary amount, if it’s a conversion goal, determine the rate at which you want to increase actions. 
  • Measurable: Goals are only useful when you can measure their success and progress. Make sure your goal has metrics you can use that allow you to assess your progress towards your goal. This way, if you notice rates dropping, you can adjust your strategies. 
  • Attainable: Don’t set lofty, unrealistic goals. Look at your past fundraising results and aim for a slightly higher objective. For example, if you currently only have 10,000 Instagram followers, it’s much more attainable to set a goal of increasing it to 20,000 than 1 million followers. 
  • Relevant: Your goals should be stepping stones to your ultimate mission. Make sure that every goal you set is helping you get where you want to go. 
  • Time-based: Goals shouldn’t be set and then never checked in on. Make sure you have a deadline for when you’d like to meet your goal. Even if you don’t accomplish it, this information can help you plan future campaigns and strategies. 

Here’s an example of a SMART goal you might set for your nonprofit that aims to increase funding for equal education through their matching gift program:

“By the end of this year, we aim to increase our matching gift program participation from 150 donors to 300 use the funds to create college networking opportunities for at-need students. To track our progress, we will check these numbers and create reports biweekly.

This goal is time-based (end of year), has a specific and attainable target (increasing matching gift participation from 150 to 300), is relevant to your mission (college opportunities to decrease education inequality) and includes reporting methods (biweekly reports).

 

3. Study marketing trends and current news

While internal nonprofit data and past performance can take you miles when it comes to formulating a marketing plan, it’s also a good idea to look at current trends and news items that you can incorporate. 

For instance, there’s a wealth of nonprofit fundraising and marketing trends released each year. You might see that social media has become more popular to connect with donors and then prioritize that in your future marketing. Here are some reliable data sources you might use:

Along with nonprofit trends, you can look at current news events and other important national occurrences. This is known as “newsjacking,” and involves leveraging popular keyword searches from relevant stories and other important occurrences, whether that’s a global pandemic or a national holiday. This not only helps you reach a wider audience but lets your supporters know that you’re current and engaged with what’s happening in the world. 

4. Outline your target audience 

Knowing who your marketing strategy is trying to reach is one of the most valuable ways to improve your efforts and connect with supporters in meaningful ways.

We touched on this earlier, but it’s recommended to outline your target audience by using donor segmentation and donor personas:

  • Donor segments — To better reach your audience, use donor segmentation to group supporters by common traits. These segments allow you to create targeted strategies to better connect to that specific group. You can segment supporters by shared characteristics/traits like whether they’re new donors, current donors, lapsed donors, or potential donors. You can also use traits like age, location, career, etc.
  • Donor persona — This is a semi-fictional person made up of the traits of your chosen audience/donor segment. Donor personas allow you to better understand the motivations of your audience and use those motivations to drive your campaign. These are extremely helpful because they humanize your messaging— it’s much easier to formulate messaging when you imagine one type of person versus a vague general group of people.

To employ donor segmentation and personas into your nonprofit marketing strategy, we recommend:

  1. Segmenting your audience into small, medium, and major donors or first-time donors, repeat, and lapsed donors.
  2. Draw various donor personas under each segment. Your personas should be as specific as possible. You might include a description of their support, how much they’ll usually give or volunteer, their preferred method of communication, personal details like education status or age, and the causes they support.
  3. Start crafting messaging for each donor persona based on the traits you listed out.

Let’s walk through an example. Your nonprofit organization focuses on promoting equal education opportunities around the United States. You decide to segment your audience based on first time, repeat, and lapsed donors. Within lapsed donors, you create a donor persona of a recent college graduate who has given while they were in school, often volunteers with other causes, prefers email communication, and cares deeply about education rights.

As you craft your messaging, keep your donor persona in mind. Perhaps you’ll consider an email campaign that reminds them of their past involvement and mentions how, with their help, they can provide the quintessential college experience they just had to others in need. You might even include volunteer opportunities that they might be interested in, as well as an impact statement of what a future gift could mean. 

5. Craft your messaging

While your nonprofit is doing good in this world, it doesn’t mean you’re the only organization attempting to make a meaningful difference. It’s not enough to have a solid mission and goals, but you need to craft your messaging in a way that stands out from the rest. After all, the average office worker receives about 121 emails daily, with nonprofit emails only having an average open rate of 25.17%. You need your messaging to stand out from the crowd. 

One recommendation is to use the CRAM rule in marketing messaging:

Use CRAM to craft your nonprofit marketing plan message.

  • Connecting — Connect your cause to something your audience cares about.
  • Rewarding — Make the experience rewarding and satisfying.
  • Actionable — Your marketing message must have a good call to action.
  • Memorable — The experience with you must be sentimental or have tangible rewards to make it memorable.

One of the best ways to uphold all the qualities in CRAM is to use effective nonprofit storytelling techniques. In fact, 56% of those who support nonprofits through social media say that it’s compelling storytelling that motivates them to make a donation. Use real stories and photos from the communities that you’ve helped and the impact you’ve had on individuals to really drive the point home. 

6. Allocate budget

When it comes to your nonprofit marketing plans, there are a lot of moving pieces to manage. Creating the materials, maintaining certain accounts, and tracking each data point effectively aren’t actions that come cheap.

You need to make every dollar account, so it’s critical that as you lay out your marketing plan, set your budget carefully. 

As a general rule, it is advised that 5-15% of your operating budget is reserved for marketing. Look at your overall budget for the year, take 5-15% of it, and then start dividing it by marketing strategy and channel. It’s better to undershoot your budget than overestimate it when planning. 

It’s important to be as specific as possible about the expenses of your campaign as well as the expected revenue and result. This will ensure that you are prepared at every step of the road and that you don’t run into any unexpected problems when it comes to budget. Plus, having your budget already allocated out will help get board members and other stakeholders on board. 

7. Choose the best marketing channels

Now comes the exciting part! Remember, before you dive into the marketing channels you’ll want to focus on, it’s important that you first determine your target audience and the budgeting you allow yourself. 

There are tons of marketing channels that you can choose from, and each has its own strengths and challenges. Here are the popular ones:

  • Email —  Email is often the go-to for nonprofit marketers because it allows you to connect with all types of supporters, whether new, repeating, or lapsed. It’s great for sending event invitations, thanking donors for their gift, and even just providing general updates with a regular newsletter. Email is generally an intimate platform to speak with those who know you and trust you on a personal level.
  • Website — Your website is a huge resource when it comes to marketing your mission. It’s likely the first place prospects go to learn about your mission and where long-term supporters go to give support. It not only hosts valuable information on your organization but it also provides engagement opportunities like online giving, event registration, and more. 
  • Blog — Sometimes nonprofits have a blog on their website to drive more traffic and provide meaningful content about your organization. It’s also a great way to provide a community and act as a go-to resource for supporters. Consider blogging about nonprofit industry trends, mission updates, and recent events or campaigns. 
  • Facebook — Facebook has many amazing features that can help nonprofits market their mission and connect with donors. You can utilize its events features, its page capabilities, and even encourage supporters to reshare your content. Facebook is also great for showcasing impact, expanding reach, and engaging in conversation among different supporters.
  • Twitter — Twitter is known for its real-time short text updates and retweetability. It’s the perfect place to share updates on an issue or announce the exciting news.  
  • Google Ad Grant — The Google Ad Grants program helps nonprofits take their marketing to the next level with $10,000 each month in free Google ad space. All eligible nonprofits can receive this grant if they simply apply. Learn more about how the Google Grant can help your organization in our dedicated blog post. To get started or help in maintaining your account, it’s recommended to partner with a certified Google Grant agency

Along with the strengths of each marketing channel, it’s also beneficial to look at past marketing campaigns and data to see which outlet has had success in the past. If you see that your Facebook fundraisers have shown great promise in both donation amount and shareability, then it’s a good idea to focus more on this channel.

While pinpointing the best marketing channel for your needs is important, remember that the recommended route of action is to take a multi-channel marketing approach. This allows you to use a variety of channels and strategies to work together towards one ultimate goal. 

Make sure that your multi-channel marketing efforts support each other. For instance, in a direct mail event invitation you might include a QR code to your online registration page and your social media accounts. Increasing as many touch points as possible will only build the bond between donors and your mission, creating the foundation for long-term support. 

Contact Getting Attention to learn how to Google Grant fits into your nonprofit marketing plan.

8. Create a marketing plan calendar

The last step to creating your nonprofit marketing plan is to finally put everything into place. You know who you’re targeting and you have your strategies and messaging all picked out. It’s time to put it all together with a comprehensive and detailed marketing plan calendar. 

This calendar should be a timeline of your marketing plan actions, including:

  • The start and end dates of events or campaigns.
  • The team and leaders involved, including goals for each member.
  • Budget allocations for each event and action.
  • Volunteer and staff training dates (if necessary).
  • Regular meetings with the staff.
  • Content calendar for when the material is released.

Once this is all in place, make sure that your team members are all on the same page. This blueprint will ensure that everyone stays organized and knows their roles and when to perform actions, streamlining the entire marketing process as it plays out. 

Explore our nonprofit marketing plan templates!

Nonprofit Marketing Plan Downloadable Templates!

Planning your nonprofit marketing can be a painstaking process and involves many moving parts. Feel free to download one of these templates (or download them all!) to ensure your planning remains organized and streamlined.  

General Nonprofit Marketing Plan Template 

SMART Goals Template 

Donor Persona Template 

Marketing Plan Budget Template 

Nonprofit Marketing Calendar Template 

Learn how Getting Attention can support your nonprofit marketing plan.

Learn about how Google Grant agencies can help your nonprofit.

Google Grant Agency: 3 Certified Partners for Nonprofits

Since 2003 Google has offered the Google Ad Grant program to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and has helped them take their digital marketing to the next level. With this program, nonprofit organizations receive $10,000 a month in ad credits to create and host advertising campaigns on Google. If you’re looking to get your nonprofit content in front of the right eyes, the Google Ad Grant is perfect for you. 

The best part? Anyone who is eligible and applies ultimately is able to get the grant!

However, just because the Google Grant board approved your website and account doesn’t mean that program will automatically bring meaningful results. Google Grant campaigns require consistent upkeep, performance tracking, and compliance with Google’s official account requirements. Not complying can even result in your account being suspended. 

That’s why we recommend working with a certified Google Grant agency. There are tons of marketing professionals that say they can help with the Google Grant, but only a select few that are certified by Google. To help get your search started and ensure you partner with the right professional, this guide will walk through:

  1. What are Certified Google Grant Agencies?
  2. What do Certified Google Grant Agencies do?
  3. What Should You Look For In Your Google Ad Grant Manager?
  4. Our Recommended Google Grant Agencies

The Google Ad Grant can take your nonprofit marketing to the next level. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste and partner with the right Google Grant manager. Let’s get started!

Interested in learning more about the basics of the Google Ad Grant before diving in? Check out our dedicated guide here. 

Our team at Getting Attention is a certified Google Grant agency and can help manage your account.

Let’s explore what certified Google Grant agencies are.

Certified Google Grant Agencies: What Are They?

Many Google Grant users will turn to general marketing professionals to help set up, maintain, and grow their Google Ad campaigns. 

However, the Google Ad Grant program is not like other Google Ads accounts. 

For one thing, the Google Grant has extremely specific requirements and guidelines that organizations must meet. Additionally, regular Google Ad accounts actually have to pay per ad-click, whereas Google Grant participants can display their advertisements for free (up to $10,000/month)!

To ensure that nonprofit leaders are getting the best guidance possible, Google has a dedicated certification program for agencies that have the resources and knowledge to support the Google Grant program. Only a few dozen agencies and managers are actually certified, so make sure you check this list during your search. 


What do certified Google Grant agencies do?

What do Certified Google Grant Agencies do?

Did you know that grantees managed by Certified Professional Agencies drive 8x higher conversion values than non-managed grantees?

This is because Google Grant agencies can do more than just set your Google Grant account up. In fact, professional agencies can help your Google Ad marketing campaign every step of the way. 

Partner with a certified Google Grant agency for help with grant compliance, application, and account management.

Google Grant Application

Are you looking to get started with the Google Ad Grant for the first time? Working with a Google Grant agency can help you get started and even guide you through the application process, helping ensure that your website and accounts get approved on the first try. These are the application requirements they can help with: 

  • Creating a Google for Nonprofits account — This account is not only necessary for Google Grants, but can also provide access to services like Google Workspace for Nonprofits, Youtube Nonprofit Program, and Google Earth and Maps. The application is available through Google for Nonprofits and the right Google Grant agency can aid in filling it out. 
  • Registering with TechSoup.org — To verify your Google for Nonprofits account you’ll need to register your organization with TechSoup.org. TechSoup provides a Validation Token that Google uses to verify your eligibility and confirm your Google for Nonprofits account. If you’ve never registered your organization with TechSoup, Google Grant agencies can help you sign up for an account here
  • Installing Google analytics on your websiteGoogle Analytics is essential for not only your own data tracking purposes, but it is also a requirement that all websites need prior to applying. 
  • Ensuring your website has valuable and promotable content — To get the grant, you’ll need to submit your website for review to the Google Ad Grant team. To ensure you remain eligible, Google Grant agencies can assist in optimizing your web presence and online content.  
  • Holding current and valid charity status — You’ll need current 501(c)(3) status to receive the Google Grant. The right Google Grant agency can make sure that your documents and registrations are all up to date. 
  • Obtaining a valid SSL certificate — The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol between a web server and browser. You’ll need an SSL certificate on your nonprofit website to move forward.
  • Agreeing to Google Nonprofit Terms – To apply for a Google Grant, nonprofits need to agree and comply with the Google Nonprofit Terms. Certified agencies can walk through the terms and ensure that fundraisers know exactly what they’re signing up for. 

It’s simple — if your nonprofit organization holds valid charity status and your website is well-developed and promotable, then you’ll for sure get the Google Grant. Partner with a Google Grant agency to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks and that the application process goes smoothly. 

Google Grant Account Management

Once you are approved for the Google Ad Grant, the real work begins. Managing your Google Ads can be difficult, especially when you have other projects to juggle and events to plan. 

How can you ensure that you’re making the most of the $10,000 allotted each month and driving meaningful conversions? Here’s what the right Google Grant agency can do:

  • Create, maintain, and optimize ad campaigns — A healthy Google Grant account has ideally 3-5 ongoing campaigns if you want to see results. A Google Grant agency can keep track of these campaigns, report on performance, and refine your online content to continuously improve the campaigns. They can even provide a live dashboard and reporting with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager so that you can get a sense of your goal progress in real-time.
  • Get your ad grant reactivated and compliant — Getting your account suspended does happen and it’s often due to poor account maintenance or a failure to comply with Google Grant guidelines. If your account is suspended, getting reactivated can be a somewhat painstaking process. Partnering with a professional who knows the ins and outs of the Google Grant compliance rules is your most beneficial option.
  • Maintain account hygiene — Don’t worry about having to maintain your data! Google Grant agencies can ensure that you have no outdated or unnecessary data hindering your work. 
  • Optimize online website content — As your Google Grant campaign continues, you’ll find that certain content will need updating or that you’ll need to create whole new pages just to serve your audience’s needs. Google Grant agencies can help with researching keywords that are relevant to your mission and assist with any landing page relaunches or redesigns to drive online traffic and conversions. 
  • Consistently checkup on your account — Working on your Google Grant account is an ongoing process. Google Grant agencies are dedicated to checking in consistently with your account and ad campaigns to ensure that they are doing all they can to promote your mission and increase target actions. 

Don’t worry if the full $10,000 isn’t spent each month. Your Google Grant manager knows that the ultimate goal isn’t to spend the entire grant but to use what you can to actually drive online conversions and see measurable results for your organization. It’s much more valuable to spend fewer ad credits and focus on smaller campaigns for a targeted audience than scrambling to spend the entire amount. 

Google Grant Compliance 

One of the most prominent roles of a Google Grant agency is to ensure that nonprofits stay compliant with their guidelines and rules. Otherwise, without full compliance, your account is at risk of being deactivated. 

Google Grant policies change or update from time to time, so the official compliance page will be your best bet if you want to check up on a rule. As of August 2021, here are some of the most important requirements:

Keywords

  • Do not use single-word keywords unless it is one of the approved exceptions.
  • Avoid overly generic keywords that don’t indicate the intent of the person searching, for example: ‘“free videos”, “e-books,” or “today’s news”.
  • Ensure your keyword quality has a score higher than 1 or 2. You can determine keyword quality with Expected clickthrough rate, Ad relevance, and Landing page experience. It’s recommended to check your quality score on a regular basis to pause non-permitted keywords. Explore these qualities more on Google’s Quality Score about page. 

Data

  • Maintain a 5% clickthrough rate (CTR) each month. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.
  • Have valid conversion tracking set up through Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.

Account Structure

  • Have at least 2 ads per ad group, with at least 2 ad groups per campaign.
  • Have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions.
  • Respond to the annual program survey sent to the login email addresses on each Ad Grants account.

Bottom line: A Google Grant agency should keep your Grant account in check and ensure that it is fully compliant with all of the rules necessary, even as they are updated or changed. Make sure that the Google Ad Grant professional you partner with is able to support your needs as your account grows and evolves. 

Our team at Getting Attention is a certified Google Grant agency and can help manage your account.


Here’s what you should look for in your Google Grant agency.

What Should You Look For In Your Google Ad Grant Manager?

The first thing you should look for is whether or not the marketing agency is certified by Google. Thousands of agencies will say that they can help with the Google Ad Grant, but only a few dozen have actually been through the Google Grant certification process.

You don’t want to partner with a new agency and get your account suspended just because they do not fully understand Google’s compliance requirements. To avoid having to go through the process of reactivating your account, a certified Google Grant agency is essential. 

Along with a Google certification, look for these particular qualities:

  • A focus on Google Ad Grants — Many marketing agencies offer a variety of different services, with the Google Ad Grant being just one of them. More often than not, an agency dedicated to Google Grants or with a core focus on it is your best bet. With a team assigned solely to the Google Grant, you’re sure to know when new features are available or keep compliant with changing guidelines. 
  • A fair pricing model — The prices that agencies charge can span quite a bit, so make sure you’re understanding the full pricing model before you make any major decisions. For instance, inquire if they have a set-up fee (which is not standard) or if they charge you for an audit (which is often free). 
  • Agency case studies — Oftentimes, established agencies will have a host of case studies depicting how they’ve helped nonprofit clients in the past increase online conversions with Google Grant. It can be helpful to specifically find case studies with organizations similar to yours in size and goals. 
  • Reviews and testimonials — Along with case studies, make sure to look up reviews and testimonials. While the agency likely boasts positive reviews on their website, it can also be worth looking into Google reviews and Facebook reviews.

The good news is that Google has already done some of the work for you with its certification program. Using that list, you can then do further research to hone down the perfect Google Grant agency.

Explore these top certified Google Grant agencies.

Explore These Certified Google Grant Agencies

Explore this dedicated directory of Google Ad Grant certified professionals to find the agency that is best fit for your organization and needs. Every professional in this directory has gone through Google’s own certification program and effectively proved that they are qualified to advise and manage Google Ad Grant accounts. Use the official page to:

  • Filter agencies by criteria like language or region.
  • Check out each agency’s website to explore their offerings and specializations.
  • Reach out to agencies that pique your interest and maybe receive a complimentary audit. 

While you can do the digging on your own, we actually have a couple of certified Google Grant agencies that we’d recommend, starting with Getting Attention. 

Getting Attention: Our Favorite Google Grant Agency

Learn more about Getting Attention’s Google Grant agency services.

Here at Getting Attention the Google Ad Grant is our sole specialty. We are a fully certified Google Grant agency and are prepared to help your account no matter what stage it is at. We don’t just take a quick review of your account and services and offer some tips. Our team partners closely with yours to fully understand your mission, who your organization serves, and how you can drive meaningful conversions and results.

Here are some of our services:

  • Google Grant Application — Don’t worry about forgetting something in your application. Our experts are here to walk you through every step to ensure that your account is reviewed and accepted. 
  • Google Grant Hygiene — When it comes to your Google Grant account, data is everything. With our help, you’ll never have to deal with duplicate points or outdated data bogging down your processes. 
  • Google Grant Reactivation — We know that getting your Google Grant account suspended isn’t ideal. We can help you get your account up and running again and make sure it stays that way. 
  • Keyword Research — Sometimes, the key to a successful Google Grant account is valuable online content and research. That’s why keyword research is one of our main skills. Make sure your website content is effectively serving audience needs while also inspiring them to take action. 
  • Google Grant Management — Tracking conversions and campaign performance is an ongoing process for Google Grant account holders. Not only can we assist in staying on top of reporting, but we can also pinpoint the most useful opportunities and goals for your nonprofit. 

Are you interested in a free consultation? Contact us to learn more about how Getting Attention’s services can help your nonprofit grow. 

Other Google Grant Agencies

Nonprofit Megaphone

Learn about Nonprofit Megaphone, a certified Google Grant agency.

Nonprofit Megaphone is a Google certified Google Grant Management team that has helped over 400 nonprofit clients set up their Google Grant ads and see phenomenal increases in conversions. 

Nonprofit Megaphone is prepared to help nonprofits:

  • Acquire the Google Grant — Getting approved by the Google Grant agency is a breeze with Nonprofit Megaphone. They even have a 100% success rate!
  • Create and maintain ad campaigns — No matter the number of services or programs, Nonprofit Megaphone can help nonprofit leaders create successful ad campaigns and select the best keywords to do so. 

Explore how Nonprofit Megaphone can help your Google Grant account here

Media Cause

Learn about Media Cause, a certified Google Grant agency.

The Media Cause team has been managing Ad Grant accounts for nonprofits for over 10 years now, dedicated to helping nonprofits drive awareness, attract new donors, and increase other valuable online conversions.

Media Cause can help nonprofits

  • Increase meaningful actions on your website — Whether it’s joining your email list or making Media Cause aims to build strategic campaigns that target the right people, at the right time, and with the right messages.
  • Optimize their existing Google Grant account — Media Cause will regularly monitor and optimize your Google Grant campaigns to ensure it is always driving meaningful and high-value traffic to your website.

Explore how Media Cause can help your nonprofit here

Additional Resources

When it comes to starting your nonprofit online marketing on the right foot, the Google Ad Grant is your answer. However, applying and maintaining the Google Grant account is no walk in the park. Whether you’re having trouble proving your website is valuable or can’t keep up with Google’s compliance guidelines, turning to a certified Google Grant agency, like Getting Attention, is your best bet.

Interested in learning more about Google Ad Grants or marketing your mission effectively? Explore these additional resources:

Our team at Getting Attention is a certified Google Grant agency and can help manage your account.

Learn everything you need to know about the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits in this guide.

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: Everything You Need to Know

Google Ad Grants have been around for almost two decades now, but it seems that not enough nonprofit organizations are taking advantage of this powerful program. 

By equipping eligible organizations with $10,000 in ad credits per  month— yes, you read that right!— to reach out to supporters online, the Google Ad Grant program enables nonprofits across the world to see a phenomenal increase in website activity and digital conversions. 

If your nonprofit wants to thrive in this modern space and ensure its website reaches the right audience to push your mission forward, starting with the Google Ad Grant will establish a secure and dependable marketing foundation in which your organization can only grow. 

Whether you already have an account but need help leveraging all of its capabilities, or your account has started to lag and you want to reinvigorate it, or you don’t have an account at all, you’re in the right place. Our ultimate guide to Google Ad Grants for nonprofits is here to teach you about:

Let’s dive in.

Contact us at Getting Attention to learn more about the Google Ad Grant.

This section will review the basics of the Google Ad Grant.

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits | The Basics

The Google Ad Grant is a program hosted by Google that offers nonprofit professionals $10,000 each month to spend on ads in Google Search. If you comply with the program’s rules and guidelines, your organization can continue to receive this $10,000 grant each month for as long as you need. 

What are Google Ads?

When you look up a term or question on Google search, like ocean conservation, you’ll get tons of results for educational articles and news stories. Along with these results, you’ll also run into advertisements providing convenient access to organizations and foundations dedicated to supporting this cause. 

This is all thanks to Google Ads

Google Ads is a platform where organizations and businesses can display advertisements, services offerings, products, and other marketing content to web users. The platform places ads strategically in the search engine result pages (like Google’s) as well as non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos. 

While Google Ads are similar to Google Ad Grants, they are also very different. There are stricter guidelines to be a part of the Google Grant program. Additionally, Google Ads participants have to pay a fee per ad click instead of using a fund each month. 

Bottom line: If you are looking to increase marketing for your charitable organization, Google Ad Grants will allow you to do so without spending a single penny. 

What are The Benefits of Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits?

With the Google Ad Grant program for nonprofits, organizations can:

  • Increase online conversions like event signups, donations, volunteer registrations, and more. 
  • Reach out to new donors and inspire them to take action.
  • Market multiple ad campaigns at once.
  • Analyze and track performance to ensure that campaigns are always improving.
  • Learn about how to better meet the needs of their digital supporters. 

If your nonprofit has a website and is active in the online space, applying for a Google Ad Grant is your next natural step for your marketing strategy. After all, current and prospective supporters are likely already looking up relevant topics about your mission anyways. 

Plus, Google Ad Grants isn’t like your traditional grant where there is only a limited amount of money, requiring eligible organizations needing to meet certain criteria and compete for the money. 

Any nonprofit that is eligible and complies with Google guidelines can use this grant. 

What Do Nonprofits Need to be Eligible?

In order to qualify for the Google Ad Grants, nonprofits need to meet certain requirements. It’s important to note that the program is available in over 50 countries, with each having its own requirements. We will be primarily discussing the eligibility requirements for organizations in the United States.

Use this checklist when determining Google Ad Grant eligibility.

Here are the following requirements for eligible nonprofits:

  • Hold current and valid charity status. It is essential that you have a current 501(c)(3) status.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications regarding how to receive and use donations obtained from the grant. You must also agree to the Google for Nonprofits and Google Ads terms of service.
  • Have a website that is both functioning and provides valuable content on your nonprofit and mission. This website must be hosted on your own domain and adhere to Google’s website policy.
  • An SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a security protocol between a web server and browser. This will look like a lock icon in the navigation bar in Google Chrome. If there is no lock and you see the words “not secure” next to your website’s URL, it means SSL is not installed or there is another issue.

If your nonprofit organization has a solid foundation in the digital space, it doesn’t take much to be eligible for the Google Ad Grant. However, there are also Google Ad Grant agencies that can help with the process and make sure you comply with Google’s requirements and have an optimized website.

What Organizations are Not Eligible?

While the Google Ad Grants program is widely available to many charitable organizations that want to reap its benefits, there are a couple of exceptions.

These are the organizations that are not eligible to apply and use Google Ad Grants:

  • Governmental entities and organizations
  • Hospitals and medical groups
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions, and universities — However, the philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible! 

We’d also like to note that Google does have a similar grant program for educational institutions, so if this is applicable to your situation we recommend checking it out. 

Who Should Apply for the Google Ad Grant?

Many small nonprofits wonder if they should apply for the Google Grant— will it genuinely help them? The general answer is yes. However, while all nonprofits are encouraged to apply to the Google Grant, that doesn’t mean the program will benefit them all.

The Google Grant is especially helpful for organizations that have extremely relevant missions and topics— meaning many people are searching for it online— with an established website with content that reflects and supports those topics. 

If this sounds like your nonprofit, then the Google Grant can be very beneficial. It doesn’t matter if your nonprofit is just getting started or if your work already spans countries. Many small nonprofits have valuable website content that effectively serves their audience and promotes their mission— the perfect Google Ad Grant candidate.

In fact, the Google Grant gives smaller nonprofits an even playing field, especially when compared to other larger organizations. If your organization is eligible and has an established web presence, then it is fully recommended to apply. 


Let’s review how you might apply for the Google Ad Grant.

Applying for the Google Ad Grant

Getting accepted into the Google Ad Grant program isn’t as complicated as it may seem. However, there are a couple of essential steps that must be followed if you want to be eligible and attain the program’s benefits.

To apply for the Google Ad Grant, here are the basics steps you’ll need to follow:

 Use this chart to see what your next step is to apply for a Google Ad Grant.

1. Create a Google for Nonprofits Account

If you want to get started with the Ad Grant program, it’s essential that you have an active Google for Nonprofits account. If you already do, you can skip to Step 3. Otherwise, the application is available through Google for Nonprofits.

With a Google for Nonprofits account (for US organizations) you can have access to the Google Ad Grants along with these additional services: 

  • Google Workspace for Nonprofits
  • Youtube Nonprofit Program
  • Google Earth and Maps

Before you get verified for a Google for Nonprofits account, you’ll also need to register your organization with TechSoup.org. TechSoup provides a Validation Token that Google uses to verify your eligibility and confirm your Google for Nonprofits account. If you’ve never registered your organization with TechSoup, you can sign up for an account here

2. Ensure Google Analytics is Installed

Google Analytics is essential for not only your own data tracking purposes but is also a requirement that all websites need to have prior to applying. 

We recommend installing Google Tag Manager on your website and setting up some conversion tracking goals for your site. These goals should be valuable actions that you want your audience to complete while on your site, like making an online gift.

These goals can guide your analytic tools and help determine the content or pages that will best appeal to users and inspire them to complete that goal. Plus, you can effectively track marketing campaigns and tweak them when needed. 

3. Submit Your Website and Basic Google Ads Account to the Google Ad Grants Team for Review

Submit your website for review to the Google Ad Grants team. They’ll certify whether you’re eligible by determining if your web presence and content are ready. 

Once you are approved, you can then get started building out a basic Google Ads account, and then submitting that for review as well.

As you are applying, you’ll be given the choice of a “Smart Campaign” or a “Classic” Google Ads account. Make sure you apply for the “Classic” account as the “Smart Campaign” is a much more basic version.

You’ll need to be consistently maintaining your Google Ad Grants account for you to see results.

Maintaining your Google Ad Grant Account 

Once your Google Ad Grant Account is up and running, your work isn’t quite done. You still need to allocate your $10,000 smartly, figure out which campaigns to conduct, and maintain and track those campaigns. 

Here is what a healthy Google Ad Grant account looks like:

  • Ideally 3-5+ campaigns.
  • Each campaign has multiple ad groups.
  • Each ad group has at least three ads, with one responsive search ad, an ad that adapts to show more text and relevant messaging to your customers. 
  • A liberal usage of ad extensions, a key way to extend your ads with additional information and provide people with more reasons to click your online content. 
  • Effective conversion tracking in place.

These qualities are easier said than done, especially when fundraising leaders already have to juggle so many different tasks. In particular, managing the full $10,000 a month can be challenging. 

How to Manage the $10,000

While this may come as a surprise, the majority of nonprofits using the Google Ad Grant actually do not spend the full $10,000. This could be for many reasons, like:

  • Difficulty in management — Not every nonprofit has the resources and support to maintain multiple marketing campaigns, with a large chunk of money not being spent or put to use.
  • Lack of high-quality online content — If your Google Ads aren’t performing well, it might be because your website and other online content are not meeting the needs of your audience. 

However, just because you don’t spend $10,000 a month doesn’t mean you don’t have a fully functioning and successful Google Ad account. For instance, perhaps your audience is just narrow. If you’re promoting ads in one specific city, you don’t need to spend the full amount of money to target the audience you need. 

Bottom line: It’s way more important to focus on the quality of your visitors and the number of online conversions than just maxing out your monetary quota. If you do find yourself falling into the first two reasons, continue reading for further advice. 

Conversion Tracking

The Google Ad Grant isn’t just about spending $10,000 a month, it’s about making meaningful and valuable conversions.

Managing your Google Ad campaigns can be simple, but you do need to set up conversion tracking and data analytics in order to do so successfully. The best part is, you already have Google Analytics installed on your website— so use it! It’s important that you set up one or more “Goals” within Google Analytics so you can track valuable actions on your website.

To determine the best goals to track, explore your website and note the actions that you want users to take the most to push your mission forward. Something like online gifts, volunteer registrations, and newsletter signups are common goals. 

Don’t forget to also set up conversion tracking for each of these actions using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. 

Valuable and Promotable Website Content

If you want your Google Ad Grants account to be successful and provide value to your supporters, you need to have online valuable website content that is promotable to your audience. 

Look at your website pages and make sure that they have:

  • A high search volume topic — Sometimes you’re prioritizing content on a topic that very few people search for. A dedicated blog post summarizing a volunteer event likely won’t get as much traffic as more educational informational content answering the most common questions about your mission and work. To get a better idea of the terms and topics your audience is actively seeking out, check out Google Trends or other tools like Moz
  • One single focus — A common problem that nonprofits run into is not having enough dedicated content on important topics. Don’t lump your most searched questions into one page. The important big topics should all have their own page or blog post on your website. 
  • Enough content — Don’t make a different page for each topic just for the sake of doing so. Google won’t respond positively to a page with just a couple of sentences on it. Taking the time to develop researched and comprehensive pages will not only perform better for Google Grant but increase your organic search engine rankings as well. 
  • A call to action — When someone lands on these well-developed and valuable website pages, they should know the exact next step you want them to take. From filling out a form to signing up for text alerts, make this next step clear with a strategically placed call to action in the form of a prominent button or link.

Valuable and promotable website content is not only critical to get your Google Ads account approved, but it also ensures that the Google Grants program actually helps you gain meaningful conversions. 

Google Ad Grant Compliance

This is a topic that is extremely important to Google Ad account management. In fact, not complying with the Google Grant policies will even lead to your entire account being suspended.

While visiting the official compliance page will be your best bet to up-to-date policies, here are the most important requirements (as of August 2021) to remember: 

  • Do not use single-word keywords unless it is one of the approved exceptions.
  • Avoid overly generic keywords that don’t indicate the intent of the person searching, for example: ‘“free videos”, “e-books,” or “today’s news”.
  • Ensure your keyword quality has a score higher than 1 or 2. You can determine keyword quality with Expected clickthrough rate, Ad relevance, and Landing page experience. Explore these qualities more on Google’s Quality Score about page. 
  • Maintain a 5% clickthrough rate (CTR) each month. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.
  • Have valid conversion tracking set up through Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
  • Have at least 2 ads per ad group, with at least 2 ad groups per campaign.
  • Have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions.
  • Respond to the annual program survey sent to the login email addresses on each Ad Grants account.

It’s highly recommended to frequently check (even bookmark!) the Google Ad Grants compliance page to keep up-to-date, as the rules sometimes do change. 


Learn how working with a Google certified agency can aid your Google Ad Grant account.

Working with a Google Grant Agency

Oftentimes, nonprofits will turn to professional help to manage their Google Ad Grant accounts. Many of them will turn to a traditional marketing agency to handle their accounts, however, this is actually not the best route to take.

The Google Ad Grant program is not like other Google Ads accounts. This is because Google Ads doesn’t have the requirements or compliance rules that Google Grants accounts need. This is why Google has a dedicated certification program to compile agencies that are fully equipped to support the Google Grants program. 

It’s critical that if you do turn to professionals to help apply, create, maintain, and manage a Google Ad Grants account that you make sure that they are a Google Grants “Certified Professional.” There are tons of agencies that claim they can help with the Google Ad Grant, but only a few dozen are actually certified. 

Getting Attention: A Certified Google Ad Grants Agency

Getting Attention is a fully certified agency here to serve any of your needs when it comes to your Google Ad Grant account. We are prepared to help you every step of the way, no matter if you’re learning about the program for the first time or just need help getting your existing Google Grant marketing campaign off the ground. 

Here are some of our services:

  • Google Grant Application — Our team of experts can walk you through every step of the way to ensure that your nonprofit is accepted.
  • Google Grant Hygiene — Maintaining your data and keeping it clean can be a pain point for many nonprofits. We’re here to ensure you never have to worry about outdated or unnecessary data bogging down your processes. 
  • Google Grant Reactivation — Has your account been lagging or even suspended? We can help get your account reactivated.
  • Keyword Research — High quality and valuable website content is one of the most important qualities of a successful Google Ad Grants campaign. Make sure that you’re targeting the most relevant and useful keywords with our research team. 
  • Google Grant Management — To determine if your marketing strategies are working, you need to be tracking conversions. We’ll ensure that not only are you on top of your conversions but that you also are tracking the most useful opportunities. 

Are you interested in a free consultation? Contact us to learn more about how Getting Attention’s services can help your nonprofit grow! 

Additional Resources

The Google Ad Grant is an obvious opportunity for nonprofit organizations looking to take control of their digital marketing and target their audience effectively. However, getting started and maintaining the account isn’t a simple walk in the park. Understanding all the rules and compliance guidelines is your best bet when it comes to making the most of your Google Grant account.

Want to continue your research on Google Ad Grants or learn how to market your mission effectively? Explore these additional resources:

Contact us at Getting Attention to learn more about the Google Ad Grant

How to Train and Onboard Your Nonprofit Volunteers

If you have volunteers within your nonprofit organization, consider the following multiple-choice question:

Volunteers exist to: a) save us money or b) make us money.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. But it does reflect on your attitude toward training your volunteers.

If volunteers are all about saving you money, then you might question why you should invest in their training. After all, training is an expense, and they’re about saving, not costing you money. In that case, stop here. You wouldn’t want to look at an alternative, right?

On the other hand, if you see volunteers as a way of making your nonprofit money, read on to find out how to train and onboard your dedicated volunteers!

1. Better understand your volunteers’ value.

When you’re looking to get the most out of your volunteers, keep in mind that “making money” doesn’t just mean an increase in revenue. It’s providing great mission services so that clients talk up your nonprofit to others. It’s keeping your files in order so your staff can make more appointments. It’s treating your assets like their own when stewarding your finances. It’s attending town council meetings so your local government understands how serious your cause is to the community. And yes, it’s selling their share (and more) of tickets to your upcoming fundraising gala.

2. Invest in volunteer management software.

When you look at volunteers like an endowment—a reserve that makes money that you can use to move your mission ahead—that is when you get the most from your volunteers. 

If you take this approach, it quickly becomes obvious that just like a typical finance manager, you’re going to need some organization to track your assets so you can get the most from them. In today’s world, that means investing in software.

In other words, if you’re going to manage more than a handful of volunteers, putting a volunteer management software system in place is essential to carry out key functions such as:

  • Organizing records. This houses your volunteer personnel files, and allows you to send one-to-one and mass communication with volunteers, make notes on conversations, and even record disciplinary actions.
  • Scheduling and tracking hours. The bane of most volunteer managers’ lives is scheduling. Knowing who needs to be someplace and when, how many volunteers are needed in each role, and how much time they contribute gives you a better picture of individual volunteers and your program as a whole. Plus, effective hour tracking is critical for additional funding opportunities—such as volunteer grants
  • Tracking training and qualifications. Volunteers progress in training at various rates, and you need to know who is qualified for what when making assignments.  
  • Evaluating volunteer progress. How are they doing? It’s a question you need to ask and answer from the board down to the office clerk. A formal evaluation system, recorded so you can refer to it on a regular basis, is a great decision-making tool, even if the decision is whether they remain as a volunteer or not.
  • Recognizing accomplishments. Do you have a “Volunteer of the Year/Month/Week” award? Being able to systematize the process through your software can take the politics, and headaches, out of the decision. Plus, it’ll make sure your volunteers feel appreciated!

Remember, for volunteers to make you money, you need to be as time-efficient as possible with both your time and theirs. Using the right software will be a major step in that direction.

3. Emphasize strategic volunteer onboarding processes.

All this is good, but let’s get a little more granular. For instance, what are you tracking? 

Perhaps your mother said to you “what starts right ends best.” You never knew she had volunteer training in mind when she said this! But she’s correct: it’s essential to start off right. Since at some point or another, everyone is a newbie, let’s start there.

Onboarding is a lot more than introducing your volunteers and telling them where the bathroom is. It starts with some data collection. You need all of the basics—such as name, address, phone number, and these days, even their social media account handles—so they get all of your latest news. Don’t forget to get an emergency contact name and number, too!

Getting some professional background information will be very helpful as well. That will give you insight into their skills and interests. Do they already come with some of the mandatory training or clearances that are needed for your work, like child protection and background checks? That’s essential information to have.

Have they already interacted with your nonprofit in another capacity—as a donor, a client, or a customer? Knowing this means they already have some familiarity with your mission, or at least how you fund it.

Need a checklist of 25 onboarding ideas? Get it here.

4. Explore low-cost and effective training resources.

After you get the information you need from your volunteers, it’s time to get them more intricately connected with your mission. You want to strike a balance between time efficiency and personalization. 

You don’t need a high production-value training course. In fact, your volunteers may connect with you and your mission better if your content has a bit of homemade quality. However, it’s important to remember some best practices like these:

  • Create short segments that are hyper-focused on one aspect of your work. Single segments of less than five minutes are best. You want the information to be easily digestible. Long segments could mean that your volunteer stops in the middle and never comes back. 
  • Consider a short quiz with a few questions between segments to help increase retention. 
  • Create an outline of topics like history, mission statement, impact, clients, volunteer roles, and more. If you can get clients, community members, or other volunteers to narrate your training, all the better. 
  • Make training resources available online, preferably in a passworded section of your website. That makes them portable so your volunteer can look at them at any time, and exclusive, so your volunteer feels like they’re getting on the “inside” of your nonprofit.

If you can automate a connection between your volunteer management software and the completion of the quizzes, great! If not, be sure to record their progress manually—a good job for a volunteer! 

As your volunteer progresses through the sequence, ask them about their progress. Do more than say “how are you doing with those videos?” Inquire about their response to certain aspects of what they see. For example, you might ask, “what was your response to our client Betty, when she told the story of why she came to us?” 

If your organization requires mandatory training on topics like child protection, and your volunteer hasn’t completed the necessary program, your next step is to provide or arrange for external training and clearances. 

The information provided in your basic orientation is great for anyone to have, whether they follow through with volunteering or not. But you don’t want to waste time if your volunteer doesn’t qualify to take part in your mission. Plus, it’s important to remember that if these programs are required by governmental authorities or your nonprofit’s policies, you cannot have them do any work until they pass. 

Now comes the specialty training that’s tailored to their specific work with your nonprofit. It may be in accounting, fundraising, board service, marketing, mission services, or a wide variety of other areas. Today, with so much available online (including many of your volunteer opportunities!), you can and should put together a robust program from a variety of sources. 

An online education platform like Nonprofit.Courses can be a great help. It aggregates thousands of nonprofit education videos of a variety of lengths and topics, most of which are free and open access. For a fee, they can even set up a specific page for your volunteers and help you curate content.


Now, with your volunteers trained and ready, it’s time to make some money. Good luck!

Matt Hugg is an author and instructor in nonprofit management in the US and abroad. He is president and founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, eLearning educational resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members, and volunteers, with thousands of courses in nearly every aspect of nonprofit work.  

Nonprofit Event Registration: 5 Tips for Sign-Up Forms

The registration process can be one of the first touchpoints that a supporter has with your organization. In fact, you’re more likely to host a well-attended and effective event if it’s easy for supporters to register. For this reason, you want the sign-up process to be easy and accessible to anyone who has expressed interest in your work. 

If you want to perfect the way that your nonprofit handles events, you might as well start with the first step of the attendee experience: the sign-up. One of the best ways to ensure that your donors will get involved with your events is by offering a seamless registration process. This way, you prevent any additional hurdles between your supporter and your activities. 

For example, according to Regpack, 90% of applicants prefer to register for an event online, so only offering in-person registration might lower your number of attendees. These mistakes are the ones you’ll want to avoid as your event schedule returns to its pre-pandemic level.

To help streamline your registration process, we’ve picked our top 5 tips for sign-up forms so that your donors can easily add their names to your event list. Here are our picks: 

  1. Only ask necessary questions.
  2. Use one or two powerful images.
  3. Optimize your form for mobile.
  4. Make your “submit” button stand out.
  5. Compile reports on attendance data.

Using these 5 tips will help you optimize your registration form for success, ensuring that your organization is off to the right start for this exciting new chapter. With an effective and easy-to-use sign-up form, you can prevent donors from potentially abandoning your event and instead increase your attendance rate.

1. Only ask necessary questions.

These days, it feels like we are filling out all kinds of online forms, so you want to be mindful of your donor’s time when you’re designing your sign-up process and form. Be sure to only ask for necessary information. Simplifying your website and registration form makes it less likely that potential attendees will abandon the form due to a lengthy process. The last thing you want is for a supporter to be interested in your event, only to exit out because the form was too long.

You could try using an online form builder to ensure that you’re getting everything you need without a lot of extra fluff. For example, you should ask for information such as: 

  • Name
  • Contact information 
  • Payment information
  • Dietary restrictions, if you’re offering food

It might seem obvious to only include necessary information, but you might think that some questions are essential when they really aren’t for event registration. You might consider leaving out: 

  • How the donor learned about your event 
  • Questions about the donor’s demographics (age, gender, race, etc.)
  • If the donor has attended one of your events before

If you do want to know this information, try asking at the event or sending a follow-up survey after the event has ended. You could also split your form into multiple pages. However, be sure to keep each page relatively short, as you do not want attendees to abandon your form because the process is tedious.You want to make it as easy as possible for the donor to register and attend your program, which will do more to build a connection than extra information fields. 

Ultimately, you want your form to follow a logical order that is free of unnecessary extra steps. Here’s a bonus tip: use registration software that adapts in real-time as registrants provide information so the supporter doesn’t have to see any irrelevant information. For instance, if your supporter doesn’t have any dietary restrictions, don’t allow the registration form to show them potential allergies.

2. Use one or two powerful images.

Now that you have a streamlined registration form, you might want to add some images to make it more engaging. Visuals make a huge difference in developing your nonprofit into a memorable and engaging brand. However, including too many images can actually distract the potential attendees from completing your form. 

Rather than having several compelling visuals on your registration page, use just one or two eye-catching images. Fewer pictures can help maintain your audience’s engagement levels without being too distracting. 

When choosing your images, you want to be selective. Make sure the images: 

While it may seem contradictory with images, less is more. One striking image can do a lot more than several mediocre ones, and it might even give a potential attendee the final push they need to register for an interesting and socially-beneficial event.

3. Optimize your form for mobile.

Designing your content for mobile use has become more and more important every year. Most people tend to access the Internet from their mobile devices, and engaging with your nonprofit through their phones is no exception. In fact, 360MatchPro found that donors made 33% of their online donation transactions on mobile devices in 2019. 

The frequency with which users engage with your content on their phones means that the mobile version of your website should be aesthetically pleasing and functional. Isn’t it annoying when you try to view a website on your phone, only to find that it’s too zoomed out, too zoomed in, or takes forever to load? By optimizing your website for mobile use, you’re ensuring that your user’s experience will be as satisfactory as possible.

If you’re not sure where to begin with your mobile optimizations, start with these adjustments: 

  • Images and text should modify in proportion to the size of the screen 
  • Forms should still be accessible and easy to fill out 
  • The page should load as fast as possible 

When so much online traffic comes from mobile engagement, it’s important to ensure your event registration page is optimized for phone use. The easier it is for your supporters to sign up, the more likely that they will. 

4. Make your “submit” button stand out.

Your “submit” button is how your donors seal the deal, so you want it to be unique and engaging. Don’t forget to exclude unnecessary or repeated questions to keep your registration form as short as possible. keep your entire registration on a single page, with the “submit” button on the bottom. 

Here are some ways you can make your “submit” button stand out: 

  • Use a bold font 
  • Incorporate striking colors
  • Draw your donors to the “submit” button with a compelling tagline
  • Choose your words wisely — a straightforward call-to-action like “submit” or “register” will be more effective than a longer phrase

You’ll also want to be sure that registrants will receive confirmation that they’ve registered, whether it’s a different page that shows their submitted information, an email confirming their RSVP in their inbox, or both. In this confirmation, you could include pertinent details about the event, such as the location, the time to arrive, or what to bring.

5. Compile reports on attendance data.

With the right event registration technology, you can pull reports that provide valuable information about sign-ups and attendance. This data can give you a better idea of which supporters are involved and which ones aren’t. Now you can strategize different ways to re-engage donors who might have become disconnected from your nonprofit. 

But who’s signing up for your events isn’t the only thing that you can track. You can also collect data about: 

  • Conversion rates on your registration page
  • Attendance rates compared to registrations
  • Registrants who have paid and those who haven’t
  • Attendance trends over time as you host more events

If you want to go above and beyond, you could even try A/B testing to compare the effectiveness of specific portions of your registration page or emails. Doing so might help you determine which strategies work best for your supporters.


With these 5 tips, you can improve your registration process, making it faster for supporters to sign-up and easier for you to manage your events. And although your programming efforts are likely focused on in-person events, all of these tips could still apply to planning virtual events

But here’s a good rule of thumb for any event: always prioritize your supporter’s registration experience. Streamlining the sign-up process is a crucial step in boosting your attendance numbers.