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 Otherwise, your nonprofit website may look outdated, your communications stop receiving responses, or your overall fundraising revenue decreases.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.

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 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 Master Volunteer Communications for Your Nonprofit

As a nonprofit professional, you have a lot to juggle: administrative tasks, event planning, fundraising asks, and more. But there’s an important component of your team that helps you push through these challenges and raise your level of success.

These are your volunteers.

Your volunteers make up the backbone of your organization. Without their help, many smaller (but still important!) tasks would be delayed or go unfinished altogether, which could significantly slow down your team’s progress. That’s why prioritizing volunteer engagement is essential. So what’s the best way to keep your volunteers engaged? Communication.

Effective volunteer communication keeps the wheels of your organization turning and ensures volunteers are up-to-date with what needs to be done. That’s why we’ve outlined our top strategies for mastering volunteer communications at your nonprofit:

  1. Make use of social media and email.
  2. Leverage your website.
  3. Make a good first impression.
  4. Regularly check in.
  5. Keep your volunteers updated.
  6. Segment your communications.

Keep your wheels turning and your volunteers engaged with the right kind of communication strategy. Let’s get started.

1. Make use of social media and email.

As you prepare to reach out to both potential and current volunteers, there are two top channels to consider: social media and email. Through social media, you can recruit volunteers, and through email, you can keep them directly updated.

But those are just a few of the benefits of using these channels. Let’s dive more specifically into each so you can get the most out of them.

Social Media

Social media can be used to share your recruitment message, but it’s essential that you don’t just post and walk away. According to the InitLive volunteer management guide, it’s helpful to craft a formal social media campaign. This campaign should outline what your message is and include content that is meaningful to your supporters.

Here are some tips as you prepare to engage with your audience:

  • Be brief. Shorter posts get straight to the point and are easier for readers to digest. This will encourage more engagement from your supporters.
  • Don’t feel the need to post all the time. While regular updates are important, you don’t always need to post multiple times a day. In fact, posting too often might turn off some readers.
  • Post new information. Share content that might not be found on your website or blog, which will add value to the post. For example, offer early access to new opportunities or highlight some of your standout volunteers!

As you share your content, make your recruitment link available on your specific posts and in your page description. Then, you should see more volunteers signing up!

Email

Email is also an important element of volunteer communications. Email not only helps recruit new volunteers, but it also serves as a way to keep your current group of volunteers updated (more on that later!).

Use email outreach to give past volunteers exclusive access to your available volunteer positions. You can even encourage them to share volunteer opportunities with their circle of friends, or offer a referral gift as an additional incentive to get the word out.

There are many ways both social media and email outreach can contribute to a solid volunteer communication strategy. Start by sharing meaningful but relevant content that will boost recruitment numbers, and you’ll be on your way to even more engagement.

2. Leverage your website.

Your website is typically the very first place potential volunteers will go to find out about opportunities with your organization. That’s why you should always keep this information up-to-date, especially if you want to recruit successful volunteers.

Your website will allow you to:

  • Post new volunteer opportunities
  • Offer supporters an easy way to sign up for those opportunities
  • Promote your overall mission

When your website prominently features your organization’s mission and includes clear calls-to-action (CTAs), this will make it easy for supporters to navigate their way to your volunteer opportunities and registration. Even more, a clear and intuitive website will ensure that your volunteers have a basic understanding of your goals and what you need from them.

Once you’ve optimized your website to communicate what it is you need from your volunteers, you’ll be in a better position to communicate with them going forward.

3. Make a good first impression.

Volunteers come to your organization because they believe in your mission. That’s why you should take the time to get to know them, to determine the specific appeal that brought them there and help them learn more.

This starts with your registration process. Use volunteer management software that creates an easy sign-up process and helps you sift through each individual’s information to assign them the best possible fit.

This applies whether you’re organizing an event and need to staff it, or you need people to help with data entry. It’s important to find out what skills your volunteers have and what they would enjoy.

When you clearly communicate with your volunteers and understand what is important to them, you’ll pave the way for a good first impression, happier volunteers, and more work that gets done.

4. Regularly check in.

Even after you’ve successfully recruited volunteers and everything seems to be running smoothly, effective communication doesn’t end there. It’s essential that you regularly check in with your volunteers to keep the engagement going.

For example, you can ask:

  • About any challenges that might have come up
  • If they’re enjoying their role
  • If they’d like to try something else to continue or deepen their involvement

Regular check-ins also include recognition. While it’s probably true that your volunteers aren’t doing this specifically for the glory, it’s important to recognize your volunteers to keep them motivated and ensure they feel appreciated.

Look for ways to communicate your appreciation through social media, email blasts, and even through features on your website. Personalize individual outreach as you say thank you and demonstrate the impact your volunteers have made on your overall goals, whether it relates to fundraising, events, or other tasks. If you’re looking for examples of emails that say thanks, check out these templates, which can be adapted to suit any type of supporter.

Case in point: Regularly keeping up with and recognizing your volunteers will help push your organization closer to achieving its mission. Be sure to openly communicate with them to recognize them for a job well done and make sure they feel fulfilled in their role.

5. Keep your volunteers updated.

Something that’s occasionally overlooked is the idea that volunteers should be treated the same way as your nonprofit’s employees. They offer value, just as your staff does. For that reason, volunteers should know about changes in the organization just like employees do.

Keep volunteers informed and let them know about important developments or challenges that have come up at your nonprofit. In turn, this will help raise engagement and make these individuals feel valued.

You can do this by:

  • Inviting volunteers to certain staff meetings
  • Including them in staff email correspondence
  • Communicating key changes that affect their volunteer positions

The more you involve your volunteers in developments at your nonprofit, the more they’ll feel valued and like they’re a part of your team. This can lead to longer-term engagement and retention, and can also help you build stronger relationships with your volunteers as supporters of your organization.

6. Segment your communications.

We’ve talked about how it’s important to communicate with your volunteers in general and keep them in the loop. However, sometimes certain pieces of information don’t apply to all of your volunteers.

Our last crucial tip for communicating with volunteers at your organization is to segment your communications. InitLive’s volunteer engagement guide notes that sending out irrelevant communications to volunteers will waste their time and lead to frustration.

Just as you would tailor your communications to donors in order to maintain a high donor retention rate, you should also segment your communications for different volunteers so they receive information that’s relevant to them. That way, you won’t waste their time with details that don’t apply to their role or shifts.

In order to do this, consider using a volunteer management solution that helps keep your volunteers updated with automated notifications that apply specifically to them. This way, you’ll be able to keep your volunteers informed, but they won’t need to read every single scheduling issue or other memos that have come up from another team.

The more you respect your volunteers’ time, the more they’ll respect your organization and want to stay involved.


Your volunteers help your organization stay on its feet and keep your day-to-day operations running smoothly. That’s why they deserve to be treated as an essential part of your team, and why communicating with them is so important. Once you’ve mastered your communication strategy with your volunteers, they’ll keep coming back to help you reach your goals.


Be sure to keep these tactics in mind as you build up your volunteer base and continue serving your mission. Best of luck!

Promoting Your Virtual Volunteer Opportunities: 4 Pro Tips

With people and organizations moving to the virtual landscape in the COVID era, there are new ways to empower and engage your supporters. Whether you’re looking to increase virtual event attendance or expand your volunteer base, developing a volunteer management strategy tailored to attracting online engagement is crucial.

In the digital age, effectively promoting your virtual fundraising opportunities is essential for mobilizing people to support your organization’s mission. 

Effectively managing your volunteers has a beneficial payoff for your organization. With a well-planned strategy comes increased engagement, meaningful relationships with your volunteers and community, and boosts to revenue over time. Plus, developing a strong plan will save your team time and expand your events’ turnout. 

Surprisingly, many growing organizations neglect developing a concrete promotional strategy for their volunteer programming. This component is often overlooked due to other priorities taking precedence. Some consider it to take too much time to address, or sometimes volunteer management is an issue not yet on their radar. However, remember that your organization can get ahead and grow your impact by making effective volunteer engagement and management a point of focus. 

Because virtual volunteering is at the forefront of an organization’s recruitment strategies and has staying power, it is a worthwhile endeavor. Digital platforms reach a broad audience regardless of location and can exponentially grow your organization’s reach. However, effectively promoting these opportunities is the challenge, as virtual volunteer involvement is still new for many supporters. 

Here’s what to consider when forming your strategy for promoting volunteer opportunities:

  • Using dedicated volunteer management software.
  • Tapping into the power of peer-to-peer recruiting.
  • Taking a targeted approach to marketing.
  • Promoting new ways for volunteers to grow their impact. 

This year, aim to seek out new ways for your organization to stand out online. Promote your organization’s opportunities strategically while forming meaningful connections with those who support you. Here’s how to promote your nonprofit’s virtual volunteering opportunities to your online audience of supporters. 

Use dedicated volunteer management software.

Anchoring your recruitment efforts with dedicated volunteer management software is a crucial aspect of your growth in the digital age. This software simplifies the management of those who volunteer with and support your mission. It will also provide invaluable data by tracking volunteer engagement. 

With this information, it’ll be easier to refine your marketing strategies over time by showing you what does and doesn’t work to attract and engage new volunteers. The long-term value of investing in management software is beneficial as it helps your organization increase volunteer engagement and retention to better support your cause.

For example, tracking engagement data can help you discover:

  • Which marketing outlets most effectively attract volunteers
  • Trends in volunteer feedback
  • Common characteristics of your most engaged volunteers

With these crucial metrics at your fingertips, your organization has untapped growth potential. Reading into trends and understanding behaviors will help you place your promotional efforts in the right place at the right time.

For instance, if you find that social media is your most effective source for volunteers for a particular type of virtual volunteer opportunity, you can anchor your future outreach strategies with social media. Or, if you find that volunteer sign-ups dropped for a recent event or campaign, you can look back to your marketing strategies to see exactly where your promotional efforts underperformed.

Tap into the power of peer-to-peer recruiting.

Your current volunteers are some of your most valuable assets when it comes to recruiting new volunteers. Provide them with the right tools to recruit volunteers to support your cause! Whether it’s on-the-ground or virtual support, every member is a crucial part of your organization and can act as a powerful ambassador when equipped for the job.

An effective way to gain traction with potential volunteers is through digital communication. This can take many forms on a variety of platforms. Encourage your volunteers to actively share their experiences on their social media platforms and by digital word of mouth; texting.

You want to ensure that your volunteers provide valid links to connect potential supporters with your online pages. Volunteer opportunity networks (like Mobilize) also help with this task too. It provides your volunteers with easy social share buttons and copy-and-paste codes to share via text or email. 

Be sure to include your organization’s social media handles as a point of contact, as well. Here, you might offer a range of engaging content:

  • Testimonials and stories from past volunteers
  • Impact reports and photos or videos of previous volunteer events
  • Volunteer shout-outs
  • The general buzz and conversation around your mission and work

Through social media, potential volunteers can get an accurate and immersive look into what it would be like to volunteer for your organization. Be sure to work these into your broader social media strategies to see the best results over time.

Finally, thank your volunteers for spreading the word. People respond well to appreciation and will be compelled to keep recruiting on your behalf. This directory of thank-you templates from Good United is a handy resource to get started. 

Take a targeted approach to marketing.

In the last year, marketing communication has shifted largely online, especially with people working from home. This sudden change forces nonprofits to rethink communication strategies, especially their approaches to marketing their events and efforts to their volunteers. 

Just as your organization has altered its strategy for communicating with employees internally, make sure your external communication to volunteers is also following today’s best practices. To stand out in a crowded online space, targeting your message specifically to them will be your best bet.

Start by refining your email strategies. With email being a cornerstone of digital communication, messages that seem irrelevant or spammy are much more likely to get ignored by your volunteers. Combat this by keeping your end-user in mind. Write your subject lines and openers to acknowledge that they’re people behind the screens, too. Rather than blasting general announcements about new opportunities to all of your supporters, take a more targeted approach when possible. 

There are helpful resources to refer to for tactful audience-centric messaging. This will help make your messages more effective and prevent them from feeling like generic or irrelevant appeals for support. 

These emails can be personalized by direct your users to the most relevant opportunities based on what you already know about them. An example of this could be tracking which types of opportunities a volunteer has engaged with in the past to promote specific future opportunities to them. This will further enhance their relationship with that supporter and encourage them to continue to support your cause.

This messaging practice can further be used to encourage non-volunteers to get involved. When someone donates to a particular campaign, consider how that campaign’s specific messaging and goals motivated them to give. What action words and attention grabbers did they use to reach the end goal of the user donating? Use those insights to determine which types of volunteer opportunities and messaging tactics will be most appealing to them.

Promote new ways for volunteers to grow their impact.

Giving current volunteers ways to grow their impact on your mission is another vital part of effective long-term volunteer management. When you’ve built strategies to retain volunteers over the long haul, also use them to attract new supporters. Beyond expanding your volunteer base, find creative ways to expand their opportunities with your organization. An investment in their engagement is a powerful motivator.

When you expand opportunities for your volunteers, it can look like a variety of methods. For example, you can provide current and potential volunteers with opportunities like:

  • Volunteer grants that can help them boost their impact on your mission through matched donations from their employers.
  • Training programs and additional development opportunities to learn new skills related to your work.
  • Special membership perks for stand-out members, such as long-term volunteers, and those who are proactive in recruiting new volunteers.

By offering ways for volunteers to grow their impact over time, you essentially give them a reason to stick around. In addition to simply offering a range of different volunteering opportunities, Tactics like these are key to engage and retain supporters over the long run, which is itself one of the best ways to market your programming to potential volunteers.

With new and effective methods to promote your organization’s virtual volunteer opportunities, you can grow your reach and impact. Digital platforms have taken precedent with volunteers and organizations alike to recruit, retain, and motivate volunteers. 


It’s crucial to remain at the forefront of effective volunteer management strategies. If strategic volunteer management is a new undertaking for your organization, brush up with Mobilize’s complete guide, which walks through even more marketing and recruiting tips.

Regardless of the exact tactics you roll out, the main idea is to come up with the best ways to effectively inform others of your opportunities, as you want to expand your reach as much as possible. Your organization’s online presence has the potential to reach a broad audience regardless of location. Your impact can grow in exponential ways as you deepen relationships with your supporters. 

Creating your strategy is as simple as using the right volunteer management software to expand your organization’s mission’s reach and impact. Be sure to supplement it with peer-to-peer recruiting and targeted messages. 

With the new year, there is ample opportunity for creative and practical ideas to bolster your digital presence. With this, your organization’s volunteer base will expand and further the impact you have in your community.

Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide (Access Page)

Here it is…
The Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide
Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom Guide
219 nonprofit marketing lessons learned from your colleagues in the field. Use the wisdom in this Guide to achieve stronger results than ever before.
 
 
Access the report by clicking the link above (please wait a moment for download – the file is large), or save it to your computer by right-clicking the link above and selecting “Save Target As” (IE) or “Save Link As” (FireFox). Requires Adobe Reader.

You’ll also start receiving the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-newsletter with tools, templates and in-depth case studies and articles on key nonprofit marketing topics. If you already subscribe, you’ll continue to receive the e-news on the regular schedule.

 


 

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Nancy E. Schwartz
Publisher, Getting Attention Blog & E-Newsletter
President, Nancy Schwartz & Company

9 Steps to Great Nonprofit Podcasting

Hats off to Internet marketing consultant and blogger Carson McComas (aka frogbody) for drafting his right-on-the-money list of podcast guidelines. I’ve riffed from his list to create this one for nonprofits:

1) Keep your podcasts short at the beginning.

  • No longer than 10-15 minutes till you test  what works best.
  • Portability is one of the greatest draws of podcasting, and you don’t want your listener to have to stop mid-cast.
  • The ideal podcast length may be generationally-based. Research just now underway.
  • But, in time, if the subject, and podcasters, can support it, you can go up to 30 or 45 minutes.

2) Stick to a single topic for each podcast.The format is tight, keep the focus that way too.

3) Keep your nonprofit’s podcast voice personal and chummy.

  • Remember what a turn-off the voice equivalent of muzak (think automated tele-marketer), and do everything you can to avoid that.

4) Outline your podcast, before you start recording.

  • This should be a no brainer but you’d be surprised. Nothing will discourage your nonprofit’s listeners from listening again as much as a drifting, focus-free podcast.
  • Stay on message.

5) Verbally identify your podcast at the start of your podcast with “Date, issue number, topic/guest, etc.

  • We need this meta data to give it context.
  • Someone may listen out of sequence months or years later. “Take a couple seconds to lay it out at the start,” advises Carson.

6) A conversation is more engaging than a monologue.

  • Bring a second podcaster into the conversation, when possible for variety in voice and perspective. Keeps things a little more lively.
  • Carson thinks that a male-female conversation is most compelling. I’m not sure here. What do you think?

7) When you interview a guest, don’t hog the mike.

  • Remember, the reason you’re doing the interview is that your guest has something to say.
  • Let him or her say it, with you serving as facilitator.

8 ) Be professional, with your equipment, and your editing.

  • You wouldn’t throw a poorly-printed campaign into the mail, so why would you produce a hard-to-hear, unedited podcast?
  • Tighten up your podcast like you do every written communication. Your listeners will thank you.

9) Make it easy for listeners to get new podcasts via email

  • Include iTunes and Odeo subscribe links on your nonprofit’s blog and website to make it easy to subscribe.