Use online channels to market your fundraiser.

5 Pro Tips for Marketing Your Fundraiser in the Online World

Let’s face it—if you’re not using online channels to market your fundraiser, you’re missing out on more donors, more dollars, and more support for your mission. Whether you’re hosting a golf tournament fundraiser, a gala, or even a bake sale, these tips will help you level up your online marketing.

1. Use a marketing-savvy software solution.

Get your tech in place before you do anything else online. A software solution for your fundraiser is a key part of spreading the word and attracting participants and donors. According to GolfStatus, your event’s management platform should be able to:

  • Generate attractive, professional event websites
  • Manage online registration
  • Securely process donations and other payments
  • Help promote your events with marketing automation
  • Create and sell custom sponsorship packages
  • Offer a mobile app for event participants with push notifications
  • Effortlessly transfer fundraising data into your CRM
  • Be backed by a responsive support team

2. Track your campaign’s progress with online marketing metrics.

Bottom line, you need to know what’s working and what’s not in marketing your fundraising event. By creating a marketing plan that outlines key metrics, you can better understand the success of your different campaigns. The following metrics can provide useful insights:

  • Conversion rate. This is the percentage of viewers, website visitors, email recipients, etc. who complete a desired action, such as making a donation, signing up to become a volunteer, or registering for your fundraising event.
  • Social media following. Understand your social media campaign’s success by tracking likes, followers, comments, clicks, and shares on each respective channel.
  • Click-through rate. This is the percentage of recipients who actually click on the link, button, or other calls to action in your marketing materials.
  • Email open rate. This figure tells you the number of email recipients who opened the message. This metric is helpful for understanding if your subject lines are clickable enough to hook recipients into opening the email.

3. Be strategic about your social media presence.

While it might be tempting to create accounts or profiles on every social media platform out there and blast information about your fundraising event, it’s not the best idea. Not only will you spread yourself too thin, particularly if you don’t have a dedicated social media manager to post regularly and monitor each channel, but you’re likely to get less engagement. Instead, focus on building a robust social media presence on just a few platforms where your target audience is present.

Here are a few guidelines from Double the Donation for choosing which social media platforms to focus on and leverage to promote fundraising events:

  • Poll your supporters. Send out a survey to your donors, volunteers, and other supporters and ask them which platform(s) they use regularly.
  • Focus on the platform that aligns with your content strategy. Does your organization have a library of video at its disposal (or plan to create marketing videos)? Will you rely more on photos and written testimonials? Different social media platforms have different content focuses. For example, Instagram is best-suited for photos and videos, while Twitter is better for short text snippets.
  • Research your audience demographics. Factors such as age, hobbies, and location all contribute to what social media they consume and on what platforms, and are useful for targeting invitations to fundraising events. Gather demographic information to help choose which platform and content works for your nonprofit’s supporters.

4. Work with celebrities and influencers.

Online channels have made it easier to connect with celebrities and influencers. It may feel like a long shot, but nonprofits have a number of options to partner with those in the public sphere to amplify your cause and any fundraising events benefiting it. Keep the following in mind:

  • Local celebrities can have a big impact. This could be the mayor, local news anchor or meteorologist, radio personality or host, community sports team, or well-known business owner. This can add a draw to your fundraiser without the hassle or expenses involved with a major celebrity.
  • Focus on influencers related to your cause, community, or the type of event. Holding a singing competition or talent show? Consider reaching out to a performer who grew up in the area to be a guest judge. Throwing a golf tournament? Bring a long-drive professional to provide on-course entertainment (and raise extra money). Athletes, performers, businesspeople, and even well-known nonprofit professionals make great celebrity guests, especially if they have a connection to your cause.
  • Pitch a sponsorship opportunity. If an influencer isn’t able to be at your event but still wants to get involved, make it simple for them by offering a sponsorship opportunity for their brand. Their brand benefits from the power of cause marketing and your organization gets exposure for your event and mission.

Getting Started with Software

Your organization stands to benefit from an increasingly online world. Online marketing not only spreads awareness about your work, but garners support for fundraising events and your mission in general. You can maximize your online presence by getting a software solution in place for your fundraising event. Whether you need a ticketing option for a charity golf tournament or online bidding software for auctions, a web-based software will save you time, make it easy to collaborate with your team, and help raise even more money for your organization.

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

Nonprofit Marketing Plan: 8 Key Steps (+ Free Templates!)

You’ve worked hard to build an organization that makes a difference for your mission and the community you serve. You plan exciting fundraising events and months-long campaigns to engage your donors and inspire support for your cause. However, all this work can’t fulfill its complete potential without a strategic nonprofit marketing plan.

Taking the steps to outline a nonprofit marketing plan is critical if you want to set your organization up for success, serve your audience’s needs, and drive meaningful conversions.

Whether you have one overarching plan for the year or create individual plans on a case-by-case basis, creating a comprehensive plan will make planning successful campaigns in the future easier and more effective.

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

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

Work with our team to learn how Google Ad Grants fit into your nonprofit marketing plan.
This section explores the basics of nonprofit marketing plans.

What Is A Nonprofit Marketing Plan?

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

This document should be available to everyone in the organization so that no matter the campaign or event they are promoting, the messaging and tactics support the core mission. This is the best way to communicate with current supporters, acquire new ones, and keep all team members on track to reaching your organizational goals.

Most organizations work with the board to outline their marketing plan and assign roles for the upcoming fiscal year. However, plans can also be created for individual projects throughout the year.

This section explores the advantages of developing a strong nonprofit marketing plan.

The Benefits of a Strong Nonprofit Marketing Plan

In the end, a strong nonprofit marketing plan becomes much more than just guidelines for picking the right outreach channels. A well-crafted plan helps nonprofits focus their efforts, allocate resources, and measure success. It’s also essential for documenting objectives, strategies, and tactics to guide your marketing team and ensure that the organization is staying on track.

When you take a comprehensive approach, your nonprofit marketing plan can:

  • Provide clarity to your nonprofit team. No matter what, your team should never lose track of its mission and goals. Your nonprofit marketing plan will clearly outline this information so that your team is clear on every detail and the most valuable way to communicate them to stakeholders.
  • Keep tasks and team members organized. A fully fleshed-out fundraising campaign involves several moving parts, especially when it comes to marketing. Whether you’re sending out email blasts, creating marketing materials, or engaging with donors on social media, it can be overwhelming. A concrete plan eases that stress with guidance on when and how to complete these actions. A nonprofit marketing plan will outline the exact tasks that need to be done, the steps each will take, and when they should be completed.
  • Focus on reaching donors and increasing awareness. The goal of any marketing strategy is to connect to your audience, bring awareness to your mission, and inspire action from supporters. Your nonprofit marketing plan will walk through the specific motivations of your supporters and prospects, as well as list out the most valuable channels and strategies to appeal to those emotions.

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

This section walks through the essential elements of a nonprofit marketing plan.

The Essential Components of A Nonprofit Marketing Plan

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

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

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

Overview of The Organization

When crafting your plan, start with the basics of your organization. Think about the foundation on which your organization is built. Then, define elements, such as your:

  • Mission statement — Your mission statement should summarize why your organization exists, the audience you serve, and how you’ll serve them in just a couple of sentences. Mission statements can clarify a sense of direction for your team members and remind supporters of the ultimate purpose of your organization. For example,’s vision statement includes “We’re here to bring water and sanitation to all. We want to make it safe, accessible, and cost-effective. We will achieve our vision by continuing to unlock more funding than what is currently dedicated to help solve the global water crisis, removing the financial barriers that stand between people in need and access to safe water and sanitation at home.”
  • Key stakeholders and nonprofit staff structure — Define both internal and external stakeholders, including board members, paid staff, program directors and volunteers, donors, and members. It’s important that your entire organization has knowledge of important team members as well as how they all work together. This way, if someone has a question or concern, they know exactly who to go to.
  • Goals — What exactly is your organization hoping to accomplish? For your nonprofit marketing plan, it can be helpful to outline both long-term and short-term goals, each of them different stepping stones for your core mission. You might outline goals for each month, as well as some for the entire year.
  • Priorities — As you outline your goals, rank them in terms of priority. For instance, if your mission is to provide equal education opportunities, your priority might be to raise money for needed school supplies over creating scholarship opportunities. Though both goals are valid and important, you can’t expect students to excel in scholarship programs without adequate materials.

Communicating the basics of your organization will give everyone a solid understanding of your mission and what you’re aiming to accomplish. In turn, your messaging can communicate those aspects accurately.

Audience Overview

Your goal should be to motivate your audience to take action, and that starts with knowing who you’re attempting to reach with your messages. As you fill out this section of your nonprofit marketing plan, define the following elements:

  • Current audience — What type of people currently support your organization? Look at your nonprofit database and determine if there are any commonalities. List out the type of people and entities that consistently donate and support your organization.
  • Target audience — Who are the people you are trying to reach? For each campaign or event you plan, you should have a specific audience you want to market to. Then, you can break this audience up into new donors, existing donors, lapsed donors, major donors, and more. NXUnite’s guide to nonprofit marketing plans explains that you can leverage your current audience to create prospective personas based on age, traits, preferred communication methods, and giving preferences.

Knowing who currently supports your work and who else you’d like to reach will enable you to connect with the widest audience possible. Even if you already have a strong base of support, you’ll always want to expand your audience, which is where defining your target audience will come in handy.

Messaging and Communication

Think critically about how you want to present your nonprofit in its messaging. This will set the tone with your audience and establish your brand image. Some key communication elements you’ll want to define in your nonprofit marketing plan include:

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

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


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

8 Steps to Creating A Nonprofit Marketing Plan

With the basic elements of a solid plan in mind, you can move forward with drafting your plan. We’ll break it down into eight easy steps, ensuring you don’t leave any stone unturned.

Follow these steps to craft your nonprofit marketing plan.

1. Review Past Performance.

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

Review your previous marketing efforts and ask yourself the following:

  • Did you achieve your desired goals and objectives?
  • What was the most successful part of this strategy or campaign?
  • What KPIs did we track? Did they accurately represent the campaign’s success?
  • What didn’t go as expected with the campaign?
  • What could we do differently in the future, or what strategies should we test to improve performance next time?
  • What should strategies and outlets should we use again in future campaigns?
  • Can any marketing materials (such as photographs, videos, or written content) be reused for future campaigns?

Analyzing data, having a sense of your past efforts, and determining the gaps in your strategies will help determine how you can improve your next campaign.

How to Conduct A Nonprofit Marketing Audit

Along with reviewing past performance, you can even conduct a more in-depth marketing audit. Start by collecting various marketing assets and resources. That way, you’ll have all the information in one place and will be better able to consider your options.

From here, we recommend conducting a SWOT analysis. This method is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organization identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to competition or project planning.

Here’s a breakdown of this approach:

This graphic explains how to conduct a SWOT analysis when creating your nonprofit marketing plan.

  • Strengths: List anything your nonprofit excels at and separates it from competitors. These might include an exceptionally loyal base of donors, a skilled staff, or unique services.
  • Weaknesses: This refers to the internal characteristics of the organization that put it at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. This category could include things such as vacant staff positions, a lack of name recognition, or limited resources.
  • Opportunities: This refers to external factors that could be beneficial to the organization. These could include things such as grants, a growing market, or new technology.
  • Threats: Name any external factors that could negatively impact your work. For example, these could include a reduction in government funding, an increase in competition, or changes in the economic environment.

Knowing what’s actively working to help you and what’s working against you will help you craft a holistic nonprofit marketing plan. After completing your analysis, create an action plan based on what you discovered in your audit. What’s working? What could be improved? Where are the gaps? What’s your unique value proposition that competitors can’t bring to the table?

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

2. Establish SMART Goals for Your Nonprofit Marketing.

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

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

Use this SMART Goal chart to guide your nonprofit marketing.

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

Following this framework will allow you to set clear objectives that drive action. Otherwise, you may end up with poorly-written goals like “raise more donations” or “get more social media followers.”

Examples of SMART Marketing Goals

If you need help brainstorming potential primary goals, here are some core ideas to kickstart your creativity:

  • Acquire new donors, volunteers, or members
  • Attract new corporate sponsors and strengthen existing partnerships
  • Become a thought leader in your area of expertise
  • Raise awareness for your mission

Note that you’ll need to take these primary goals and get more specific to give your team concrete numbers to work toward.

Let’s look at a more specific example. Here’s an example of a SMART goal you might set for your nonprofit that’s to increase funding for equal education through matching gift programs:

“By the end of this year, we’ll aim to increase matching gift participation from 1,000 to 1,300 donors. In turn, we’ll use the funds to create college networking opportunities for at-need students. To track our progress, we will check these numbers and create reports biweekly.”

This goal is time-based (end of the year), has a specific and attainable target (increasing matching gift participation from 1,000 to 1,300), is relevant to your mission (college opportunities to decrease education inequality), and includes reporting methods (biweekly reports).

Read more

Nonprofit compliance is essential to effective operations and can support marketing.

How to Grow Your Nonprofit’s Credibility Through Compliance

Nonprofits are subject to numerous state and federal regulations. These requirements are necessary for the initial creation of a nonprofit organization, as well as its ongoing compliance, especially as the organization grows. But by adhering to legal regulations, a nonprofit can also communicate its integrity to its supporters.

When a nonprofit follows the rules set forth by the government, it not only stays rooted in its core cause, but also communicates to its supporters that they can trust the organization to steward contributions correctly and use those contributions to better beneficiaries’ lives.

In order to help you grow your organization’s credibility, we’ll walk through three compliance tasks that your nonprofit should prioritize:

  1. Securing tax-exempt status
  2. Defining bylaws
  3. Registering for charitable solicitations

To garner the support of donors, volunteers, and advocates, your nonprofit will first have to show why they should give their support. Consider how following these three compliance requirements can prove your nonprofit’s credibility and encourage more support from your community.

1. Securing tax-exempt status

When you first create your nonprofit, your organization will have to prove to the IRS that it has charitable intentions through Form 1023. This is one of the determining factors in being classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your organization’s first opportunity to demonstrate its credibility.

Before you can apply for tax-exempt status, you’ll need to prepare by taking these steps:

  • Establish a nonprofit corporation. File Articles of Incorporation to establish your organization as an entity separate from its founders.
  • Obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN). Apply for an FEIN online through the IRS website. You can only do this after your organization has been legally formed.

After taking these preliminary steps, your organization will be ready to file Form 1023 to apply for tax-exempt status. This form, which is 28 pages long before any attachments and materials required for filing, is like a thorough examination of your organization.

Think of this process as an audit of your organization’s previous or planned activities. The IRS uses this application to ensure your organization aims to fulfill 501(c)(3) services. In doing so, it accounts for the validity of your organization’s work.

2. Defining bylaws

Another requirement of Form 1023 is the inclusion of your nonprofit’s bylaws. This is a set of rules that define how your organization will be governed by its board of directors.

These bylaws will protect your organization against risks and eliminate the guesswork when it comes to carrying out your nonprofit’s mission. These rules will be especially helpful in solving unique situations. For example, if you think of a clever organization name five years from now, you’ll want to have made the provision to allow for changing your nonprofit’s name.

You should include the following in your organization’s bylaws:

  • Organizational purpose: Explain what your organization aims to do and how it will accomplish that mission.
  • Board member details: Determine the term lengths for board members and the process for board member succession/removal.
  • Meetings: Establish the frequency and nature of meetings, as well as any relevant requirements or rules.
  • Conflict resolution: How will the organization handle any internal conflicts?
  • Changes: Don’t forget to include the provision that bylaws can be amended in the future.

According to Foundation Group, “good governance establishes a foundation for good work.” Clear governing rules allow your organization to be held accountable for its actions, which will ultimately make it more trustworthy.

After you’ve drafted and approved your organization’s bylaws, you may consider making them public. You might publish them on your website or refer to them in blog posts. A good website design will combine stylish branding elements with your most important organizational information so that anyone can access and understand the inner workings of your nonprofit.

Although publishing your bylaws is optional, it’s a valuable step toward transparency. When supporters can see and agree with your organization’s bylaws, they may better appreciate how serious your organization is about following them.

3. Registering for charitable solicitations

According to Double the Donation’s guide to nonprofit fundraising, “individual giving makes up nearly three-fourths of all charitable contributions.” When it comes to donations, your nonprofit will likely consider several methods of raising money that appeal to its supporters. From email outreach to silent auction events, your organization’s fundraising campaigns are essential to supporting your mission.

It’s important to prioritize compliance when requesting donations to show supporters that your request follows all the right protocols.

Before your nonprofit starts marketing its mission and asking for contributions, find out if you need to register for charitable solicitations. Most states require charitable solicitations registration, but there are nine that don’t:

  1. Delaware
  2. Idaho
  3. Indiana
  4. Iowa
  5. Montana
  6. Nebraska
  7. South Dakota
  8. Vermont
  9. Wyoming

If your state does require this registration, it’s important to prioritize it and renew the registration when it’s due, usually annually. You’ll also have to register in multiple states if you plan on soliciting donations throughout the country. Completing your charitable solicitations registration shows supporters that you do things the right way and aren’t just in it for the money.

With the state’s approval of your registration, supporters can see that your organization’s structure and finances were examined before it was granted permission to ask for donations. Then, when they contribute, they’ll have confidence that their donations are going to exactly what your organization promotes.

Just as you’d prioritize supporters’ preferences when it comes to marketing channels or event features, think about how they view your nonprofit’s internal operations. Your donors should be able to trust that their time, money, and advocacy are supporting a good organization with an important mission and the right intentions.

Author: Greg McRay

Greg is the founder and CEO of Foundation Group, one of the nation’s top providers of tax and compliance services to nonprofits. Greg and his team have worked with tens of thousands of nonprofits for over 25 years, assisting them with formation of new charities, plus tax, bookkeeping, and compliance services. He is credentialed as an Enrolled Agent, the highest designation of tax specialist recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Greg and company work with charities and nonprofits all across the country and worldwide.

Explore this guide for a comprehensive look at Google Grants eligibility.

Google Grants Eligibility: Is Your Nonprofit Eligible?

The Google Ad Grants program is designed to empower eligible nonprofits to get the online attention they deserve without straining their marketing budgets. Receiving a monthly grant of $10,000 to spend on Google Ads can allow your nonprofit to boost its web traffic via Google Search. But first, you’ll need to meet the necessary Google Grants eligibility criteria.

While Google Grants are a valuable resource for nonprofits, not all nonprofits are qualified to receive the funds. To facilitate the process of determining your Google Grants eligibility and applying for this program, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about verifying your Google Grants eligibility.

At Getting Attention, we’re devoted to helping nonprofits secure Google Grants and strategize how they’ll make the most of their funds. Since we’re always up-to-date on the latest Google Ad Grants requirements, we have all the necessary experience to help you understand how to maximize this marketing opportunity.

In this guide, we’ll cover the following points to assist your nonprofit in verifying its eligibility for the Google Ad Grants program:

  1. What is the Google Grant?
  2. Why are there Google Grants requirements?
  3. Which nonprofits are eligible for Google Grants?
  4. How do I start the Google Grants eligibility verification process?
  5. Can my nonprofit lose its Google Grants eligibility status?
  6. Are there experts that can verify my Google Grants eligibility?

Google Ad Grants are without a doubt one of the most beneficial marketing opportunities that nonprofits can leverage. In a rush? Watch this overview video to take you through everything you need to know about Google Grants eligibility:

Otherwise, read on to learn more about the program’s details, eligibility criteria, and the application process.

Get a consultation and let our team confirm your Google Grants eligibility.

Before we discuss Google Ad Grants requirements, let’s review the basics of the program.

1. What is the Google Grant?

Google Grants, also called Ad Grants or AdWords Grants, is a Google-sponsored marketing grant program that awards eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in ad credits each month. Grant recipients can use these funds to bid on different cause-related keywords. When allocated effectively, these credits provide a cost-free way for nonprofits to advertise their most important web pages at the top of Google search results.

For instance, let’s say you’re a philanthropic individual with a strong passion for ending elephant endangerment. With this in mind, you might visit Google and search a query such as “end elephant endangerment” or “save the elephants.” To attract potential supporters like you, a wildlife rescue charity or world conservation organization might use their Google Ad Grant to bid on these terms and direct you toward their donation page.

By confirming your Google Grants eligibility, you can create Google Ads like this example.

Unlike most nonprofit grant programs, the Google Grants program is not constrained by available funds. In other words, all nonprofits that meet Google Ad Grants requirements can receive the $10,000 per month—there is no limit to the number of nonprofits who can participate.

What are the benefits of qualifying for Google Ad Grants?

Free advertising on the world’s largest and most popular search engine can revolutionize how your nonprofit reaches supporters online. When you confirm your Google Ad Grants eligibility, you’ll benefit from:

  • Enhanced online visibility and reach
  • More interactions with your nonprofit’s website, particularly with your most important content
  • Complimentary analytics to measure campaign performance
  • The ability to market multiple digital campaigns at once
  • The potential to increase conversions, including online donations, event registrations, volunteer sign-ups, and advocacy participation

These five benefits add up to driving more awareness for your nonprofit, and in turn, achieving your conversion goals. All you have to do is confirm you’re eligible, apply for the program, and start creating your campaigns.

Google implements Google Ad Grants requirements for several reasons.

2. Why are there Google Grants requirements?

Most companies that offer corporate philanthropy programs aim to support organizations whose missions align with theirs. After all, their name is attached to however the nonprofit chooses to spend their funds. That’s why, just as with any other grant, there are several Google Grants eligibility rules you must meet before qualifying for ad credits.

While you might not have to compete for the funds, Google still wants to ensure that you’re promoting a legitimate cause and exercising proper security precautions online. Having Google Grants requirements in place prevents the following scenarios from occurring:

  • Dishonest groups might gain access to ad funding and trick unsuspecting users into revealing sensitive information, such as credit card details or home addresses.
  • An organization, even while pursuing an honest cause, may not have sufficient site security measures in place, so information provided by donors or volunteers can be intercepted by hackers.
  • An organization might send users to a website without any valuable content, resulting in a poor user experience for those looking up certain terms on Google.

Google Ad Grants requirements proactively address these potential situations before they can occur, ensuring that the program delivers value to users, nonprofit grant recipients, charitable supporters, and Google itself.

When it comes to Google Grants requirements, who is eligible for a grant?

3. Which nonprofits are eligible for Google Grants?

Fortunately, Google is very straightforward in its eligibility standards. While exact Google Grants requirements vary from country to country, they generally follow the same structure. To qualify for the program, your nonprofit must:

  • Currently hold valid charity status in your country. In the U.S., that means being registered as a 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS.
  • Be registered with TechSoup and Google for Nonprofits. If you’re not already registered, we’ll go over both of these processes later on.
  • Agree to the application’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
  • Have a functioning website with substantial, valuable content. Read on to learn more about the program’s website quality requirements.

To help you better understand these requirements, let’s discuss some of the main criteria Google will look at when determining a nonprofit’s Google Grants eligibility:

This graphic breaks down the three main criteria of Google Grants eligibility.

Type of Nonprofit Organization

In the U.S., only 501(c)(3) nonprofits can receive ad funding through the Google Grants program. 501(c)(3) means that the Internal Revenue Service recognizes the nonprofit as an official charitable organization and thus exempts it from any federal tax obligations.

The Google Grants program factors in a nonprofit’s specific industry as well. Note that these three sectors are ineligible to participate:

  • Government: Government-affiliated organizations and entities
  • Healthcare: Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
  • Education: Schools, academic institutions, and universities

However, these eligibility requirements are specific to Google Ad Grants. Google offers other programs, such as Google for Education, that ineligible organizations can take part in.

Website Quality

According to the official website policy for Google Ad Grants, Google also evaluates a nonprofit’s website to determine its eligibility for the program. Since ads purchased via Google Grants will direct search engine users to a nonprofit’s website, Google wants to be sure that the content is both valuable and fulfills users’ search intent.

When assessing a website, Google looks for:

  • Website ownership. Your nonprofit must own the domain that users would be directed to when clicking on your Google ad.
  • Clear and detailed descriptions of your organization, its mission, and its activities. Your website should have updated, high-quality content providing essential information to users about your nonprofit.
  • Unique content. Your site should feature content that is exclusive to your nonprofit and not found elsewhere on the internet.
  • No broken links. Broken links no longer lead to their intended destinations. Instead, they send users to a 404 error page. Be sure to frequently check your links and update them as necessary, such as implementing a redirect to a relevant piece of content.
  • A quick load time. There are many ways to optimize your website’s load time. For instance, keep your site running quickly by using smaller, compressed images as opposed to larger ones.
  • HTTPS security. An HTTPS-secured website is encrypted, offering users greater protection and privacy during their browsing.
  • Noncommercial activity. Commercial activity, such as product sales or consultation offers, should not be the sole purpose of your website. If any commercial content appears on your website, you must clearly describe how it supports your mission. In certain cases, you must include an annual report detailing how your organization used commercially-obtained funds.
  • Limited advertisements: All ads on your website must be relevant to your mission and unobtrusive to site visitors.

In short, your website simply needs to be a high-quality destination for search engine users. While all of these Google Grants requirements for your website might seem rigorous, a well-maintained website will already meet many of these qualifications without requiring substantial changes.

Compliance With Program Policies

To become and remain eligible for Google Ad Grants, your nonprofit must comply with various program policies set forth by Google. This includes following the Google Ad Grants terms and conditions, standard Google Ads policies, Google’s general terms and conditions, and account management policies. Some of these policies enforce:

  • Not using ads, keywords, or landing page destinations that promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination, or violence.
  • Not abusing the ad network. In other words, you cannot run ads, content, or destinations that attempt to trick the ad review processes.
  • Handling collected data with care, such as full names, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, sexual orientation, and race or ethnicity.

If you’re still unsure if your nonprofit qualifies for the Google Grants program, reach out to a professional who can verify your eligibility and keep your account up to compliance standards. As we’ll explore later, Google Ad Grants experts (like our team at Getting Attention) are dedicated to learning and staying informed on Google Grants eligibility and compliance rules, allowing you to devote your time to other priorities.

Takeaway: Google has quite a few eligibility requirements your organization must meet to qualify for the Google Grants program. However, amplifying your mission is well worth the time you’ll spend checking into your Google Grants eligibility!

After determining your Google Grants eligibility, here's how you can participate in the program.

4. How do I start the Google Grants eligibility verification process?

Once you’ve determined your organization’s Google Grants eligibility, it’s time to start the verification process. This is where you’ll set up the relevant accounts and actually fill out the program’s application.

Luckily, the application process is the easiest part of managing your Google Grant account. So long as you’ve got everything squared away with your eligibility, you can start the process as soon as you’re ready. Here are three easy steps you’ll need to follow:

These are the steps you'll need to follow to confirm your Google Grants eligibility and apply for the program.

  1. Register with TechSoup. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to authenticate your nonprofit through TechSoup. TechSoup works with companies like Google to provide nonprofits with free and discounted software, hardware, and services to streamline their work. Verification typically takes 2-14 business days, so be sure to factor this into your timeline. Once you’re officially registered, they’ll give you a validation token to provide to Google.
  2. Sign up for a Google for Nonprofits account. Before you apply, your nonprofit needs to create a Google for Nonprofits account, which involves providing your tax identification number, nondiscrimination policies, and general contact and organization information. This account offers many tools your nonprofit can take advantage of, like Google Workspace and the YouTube Nonprofit Program. However, account approval could take several days, so get started as soon as possible.
  3. Apply for the Google Grant. Once your Google for Nonprofits application is approved, you can apply for the Google Ad Grants program. This is a multi-step process that includes: (1) signing into your Google for Nonprofits account, (2) clicking “Activate” under Google Ad Grants, (3) filling out the eligibility form, (4) returning to Google for Nonprofits, and (5) submitting your account for review.

Since both TechSoup and Google will have to manually review your applications and confirm your accounts, it’s best to start sooner rather than later. Once you’ve been approved, you can create your Google Ads account and configure your campaigns to best suit your goals.

If this process seems a bit intensive, consider turning to professional assistance. Getting Attention specializes in helping nonprofits apply for Google Ad Grants, so reach out for a free consultation! We’ll confirm your eligibility and take you through each of the steps above.

Set up a free consultation and let our experts confirm your Google Ad Grants eligibility.

Failing to meet the Google Grants requirements will lead to revocation of your eligibility status.

5. Can my nonprofit lose its Google Grant eligibility status?

Yes, it is definitely possible to lose your Google Grants eligibility. If your nonprofit doesn’t remain compliant with the program’s policies, Google will suspend your account. This, of course, can be easily avoided by following these best practices:

Follow these tips to maintain your Google Ad Grants eligibility.

  • Maintain an active account. Google wants to see that you’re making good use of the grant, so log in at least once a month and update your account at least every 90 days.
  • Make your ads relevant to your specific audience. Create ads that target your desired audience by both topic and region. Your ads should accurately reflect your nonprofit’s mission as well as reach relevant users online.
  • Evaluate keywords monthly. Check your keywords often to see what’s working and what isn’t, then restrategize as necessary. Additionally, it’s critical to avoid using single keywords, overly generic keywords, or keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2.
  • Maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR). Be sure to maintain a 5% click-through rate each month. Failing to meet this standard for two consecutive months can result in account deactivation.

When Google first established its program, there weren’t any formal requirements in place. This often led to nonprofits advertising unhelpful content on their website and targeting keywords that didn’t align with user intent, thus connecting them with unqualified prospects. Because of this, Google launched its official compliance rules in 2018 to encourage nonprofits to develop thoughtful ad strategies that drive meaningful conversions.

Luckily, Google provides a number of resources to help you meet Google Grants eligibility criteria. For example, to improve CTR, you can pause keywords that are generic or high impression, low CTR.

If you’ve lost your Google Grants eligibility, there’s no need to stress. Google has a clear process for requesting account reactivation and they’ll often indicate where you fell short of the account requirements. A Google Grants consultant can direct you through the reactivation process.

Let's walk through how an expert can determine and maintain your Google Ad Grants eligibility.

6. Are there experts that can verify my Google Grants eligibility?

Oftentimes, nonprofits will look to traditional marketing agencies for their Google Grants needs. However, the Google Grants program differs quite a bit from standard Google Ads. Therefore, it’s best to look for agencies that specialize in Google Grants.

Getting Attention is qualified to help you every step of the way. Here are just a few of the many services we can provide your nonprofit throughout your Google Grants journey:


This graphic illustrates the ways Getting Attention can help your nonprofit after you've determined your Google Grants eligibility.

  • Google Grant Application: Our experts can efficiently and effectively complete the application for you with a high success rate for acceptance. We’ll check your Google Grants eligibility and walk through all of the essential steps so your account gets approved on the first try!
  • Google Grant Hygiene: While you focus on your nonprofit’s mission, we’ll take care of maintaining your campaign data, tracking conversions, and conducting tests to determine which ads inspire conversions.
  • Google Grant Reactivation: If your account is ever suspended, we can help get your account back up and running in no time.
  • Keyword Research: Our research team can do the heavy lifting to make sure you’re using the most relevant and impactful keywords for your nonprofit.
  • Grant Management:We’ll help you strategically allocate your funds and ensure you remain compliant with all program rules. We’ll also note valuable opportunities for improving your strategy based on our findings.

Our goal is to meet and beat your expectations with Google Ad Grants. If you’re interested in learning more, we’re happy to chat with you about your goals. Request a free consultation today and we’ll get to work on shaping up your Google Ad Grants strategy.

Our professional agency will confirm your Google Grants eligibility.

Partner with a Google Grants agency to determine your nonprofit's Google Grant eligibility.

Wrapping Up

From improving your website to working with a specialized agency, we’ve covered the ins and outs of meeting the Google Grants eligibility requirements. Hopefully, you’re now able to assess your own nonprofit’s eligibility and get started on the application process. If not, our team is always here to help!

Remember, confirming your eligibility is only the beginning! There’s so much to optimize when it comes to managing a Google Ad Grants account, and the possibilities for inspiring new prospects through the program are endless.

If you’re interested in learning more about effective account management, review the following resources to take your nonprofit to the next level and meet your mission goals through Google Ad Grants:

Get a free consultation with our experts and let us confirm your Google Grants eligibility status.


Learn more about the benefits of digital marketing for your nonprofit

5 Ways Digital Marketing Can Help Your Nonprofit Thrive

Your nonprofit champions a noble cause that needs attention from the public to get donations.

The best way to get more eyes on your organization is to craft a brand identity and leverage digital channels to market yourself.

That being said, the days of needing to buy a billboard or a full-page newspaper ad to get noticed are over. Digital marketing is the new standard for raising brand awareness, and your nonprofit should leverage the many digital channels at your disposal. All you need to get started is your computer and a nonprofit marketing plan. Let’s explore what digital marketing can do for your nonprofit and which channels are available for nonprofits to use.

The advantages of digital marketing for nonprofits

Before we discuss different digital marketing channels, let’s review what digital marketing can do for your nonprofit. With digital outreach strategies, your organization can:

1. Raise awareness for your mission

The first step in convincing prospective donors that your cause is worth their support is educating them about your mission. With digital marketing, your nonprofit can spread critical information about your initiatives so that your community understands your nonprofit’s purpose. Your digital marketing materials should:

  • Stress the urgency of your cause
  • Feature beneficiaries and their stories
  • Explain what your nonprofit is doing to help

The Internet is the world’s foremost information hub, so it should be your go-to channel to educate people. It can take time for your online content to get substantial viewership, but with access to the nearly 5 billion people logged on every day, you’re bound to reach readers curious about your cause.

2. Engage potential supporters

Once you’ve educated community members about your mission, your job is to convince potential supporters to get involved with your initiatives. Digital marketing allows you to share donation appeals far past your local community and supporter base. For instance, you could acquire a new donor in a different state simply by posting a donation appeal on your social media feed.

Another advantage digital marketing has over traditional tactics, such as print ads or telemarketing, is that it’s easy to integrate content across different channels and streamline the donor journey. Instead of sending a flurry of direct-mail flyers and mail-in gift envelopes, simply link to your website’s donation page in your social media bio. This solution is more user-friendly and convenient for both you and your potential donors, no matter which channel they encounter you on first.

3. Reach beneficiaries

Besides using digital marketing to collect donations, your nonprofit can also advance its mission by connecting with new beneficiaries. By sharing about your organization’s programs and their tangible impact online, people in need of your services can find your nonprofit more easily. Additionally, digital channels help interested parties bypass engagement barriers, such as physical distance or schedule conflicts, by linking directly to your virtual contact information.

4. Connect with other nonprofits and businesses

Your organization thrives off of connections within your community, and that includes like-minded businesses and nonprofits. Many socially responsible businesses partner with nonprofits to make a difference, and digital marketing materials can get you in contact with each other. Likewise, if there’s a nonprofit in your area that has similar goals and target audiences, you could throw a joint fundraiser to engage each others’ supporter bases.

5. Assert thought leadership

People want to support a reputable nonprofit, so establishing your credibility and knowledge is crucial. Informing people about your achievements, sharing the stories of happy beneficiaries and donors, and associating with other nonprofit thought leaders will convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about! Displaying this information is easier online, where you can post links to collaborations, interviews, and milestones.

Types of digital marketing for nonprofits

Now that you understand the main benefits of digital marketing, it’s time to create a marketing plan. To strategize efficiently, it helps to leverage a combination of the digital marketing tools at your disposal, which may include:

  • Your website: As the online hub for your nonprofit, a well-designed website should house all of the facts that turn casual web surfers into donors. For instance, a potential donor can browse through your site to assess your credibility, understand your mission, and ultimately make a donation, all from looking at your website’s content.
  • Social media: Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were designed to help you connect with like-minded people. Even if you don’t go viral, you can still leverage these sites to access your supporters’ networks, post educational content like infographics, and advertise your fundraisers.
  • Google Ad Grants: You can imagine that the most popular website in the world is one of the best places to advertise your nonprofit. And, with Google Ad Grants, you can claim $10,000 of search engine advertising space for free every month. Microsoft offers a similar program for its network of search engines.
  • Email: Even if you’re a beginner to digital marketing, you’ve likely had experience with email already. It’s one of the best ways to instantly deliver newsletters and fundraising appeals to your supporters.
  • Search engine optimized (SEO) content: Your nonprofit can leverage the search engine results page’s visibility, even without a Google Ad Grant. By using tactics to boost your website’s SEO value, your site can climb the ranks on the search engine results page and get more attention.

The key to running a successful digital marketing campaign through any of these channels is to make data-driven decisions. In fact, NPOInfo lists marketing data as some of the most important metrics a nonprofit should monitor. Before you launch your digital marketing content, ensure your nonprofit CMS and CRM platforms are equipped with reporting tools that can gauge the success of your outreach efforts. Then, use your findings to address your campaign’s weaknesses and make necessary improvements.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you’re excited about the potential benefits that go along with digital marketing. If you need guidance on your strategy, consider working with a nonprofit digital marketing agency. According to Fifty & Fifty, these agencies offer services such as graphic design, online ad campaign management, social media content creation, and more. Whether you hire outside help or venture into digital marketing on your own, create materials with your mission in mind, and you’ll go far!

Matching Gift Operational Stats: Insights From Top Nonprofits

Matching Gift Operational Stats: Insights From Top Nonprofits

There are millions of established nonprofit organizations, and the matching gift tactics they employ range from fully built-out strategies to lacking entirely. A recent research report by the Top Nonprofits team shares insights from the leading peer-to-peer focused fundraising groups⁠—specifically focusing on the P2P Top 30.

Matching gift operational study

Here at Getting Attention, we found these findings to be particularly helpful in shedding light on the comprehensive matching gift strategies from some of the most successful organizations overall. That said, we decided to pull a few key matching gift operational stats produced by the study that we’d like to share with you.

Let’s dive in!

100% of the P2P Top 30 organizations employ some sort of matching gift promotion.

The first statistic that we want to note is that of the 30 organizations’ whose practices were analyzed in the matching gift study, every one of them had some sort of matching gift strategy built into their overall fundraising efforts.

Again, the extent to which matching gifts were incorporated certainly varied from one nonprofit to the next, but all 30 fundraisers mentioned matching gifts in at least one component of their efforts.

There is a positive correlation between matching gift strategies and overall fundraising revenue.

Another interesting finding demonstrates that there is a positive correlation between an organization’s matching gift strategies and its total fundraising revenue (inclusive of matching gifts and other funding streams).

In fact, this graph from the study lays out the data, showing that nonprofits’ matching gift scores and their overall revenue tended to increase alongside one another.

Matching gift and overall revenue correlation chart

All in all, it can be inferred that organizations with well-thought-out matching gift promotions are more likely to see elevated nonprofit funding and that those organizations with high levels of fundraising success are more likely to invest in a comprehensive matching gift strategy.

The mean matching gift strategy score for the P2P Top 30 falls at 7/14.

For their recent study, the Top Nonprofits team designed a dedicated scorecard to analyze various elements of participating organizations’ matching gift strategies.

The study references the following criteria⁠—each statement accurately reflecting the organization’s matching gift strategy earns the nonprofit an additional point:

  1. Hosts a dedicated matching gift page on its website.
  2. Mentions matching gifts within the donation form.
  3. Uses an auto-completing company search field.
  4. Includes matching gift information within the confirmation screen.
  5. Has an embedded company information widget on the confirmation screen.
  6. Populates company information widget with employer program details automatically.
  7. Shares direct links to program guidelines + next steps on the confirmation screen.
  8. Sends matching gift emails post-transaction.
  9. Mentions matching gift opportunities in the confirmation email.
  10. Leverages separate, dedicated matching gift email(s).
  11. Triggers matching gift emails using the organization’s own domain and branding.
  12. Links to program guidelines + next steps in follow-up emails.
  13. Sends matching gift emails within 24 hours of the initial donation being made.
  14. Uses matching gift software.

Overall, the average matching gift score for the fundraisers included in the project was calculated to be 7/14⁠. This translates to a ‘B’ on the overall grading scale.

Broken down by software provider, the study also notes that the mean score for organizations utilizing Double the Donation software falls at 8.1/14. Meanwhile, Affinaquest’s HEPdata users earned an average of 4.6 points, and organizations using no software (or a still-unknown provider) averaged 3.3/14.

Only 6.7% of organizations analyzed with the Top Nonprofits scale earned a perfect score.

(And they all used the same software provider: Double the Donation)

Of the nonprofits analyzed in the study (30 total), only 6.7% (or two organizations) earned a perfect score, having met all fourteen designated criteria on the grading scale.

This means that the vast majority of fundraisers have significant opportunities for improving their matching gift efforts⁠—and can easily do so by pursuing the elements missing in their current strategies.

We did note, however, that both organizations earning full marks employed the same matching gift software⁠—Double the Donation’s 360MatchPro.

There are 4 primary locations wherein top nonprofits typically promote matching gifts.

Though there were fourteen criteria laid out in the matching gift study, most matching gift promotional efforts can boil down to four overarching opportunities.

This includes an organization’s dedicated matching gift web page, donation forms, confirmation/thank-you screens, and follow-up email communications.

93.3% of top nonprofits have a matching gift page on their website.

Nearly all nonprofits analyzed in the matching gift study currently provide a dedicated matching gift web page on their website. Even those scoring on the lower end of the scale had online matching gift hubs available on their sites.

In fact, this essential asset is one of the key foundations of a healthy overall matching gift strategy. It provides ample information for donors to learn about the opportunity and how they can get involved. Plus, most organizations link to the resource on their confirmation screen, in follow-up emails, and more.

Many of the P2P-based organizations analyzed also host separate event sites for their most prominent fundraising events. Of these groups, some chose to host their matching gift pages on the event-specific website, while others chose to present theirs on the parent organization site, and others still opted for separate match pages on each.

53.3% mention matching gifts within their donation forms.

Another key practice covered in the Top Nonprofits report indicates that mentioning matching gifts within an organization’s donation forms is essential. The explanation? It’s an excellent opportunity to collect donor employment data. When the form provides context into the why behind employment data inquiries (i.e., to uncover matching gift opportunities), donors are typically happy to oblige.

And according to the matching gift promotions analysis, more than half of the organizations in the study integrated this tip into their practices.

Like just about every other aspect of nonprofit matching gift marketing, the ways in which they did so differed. This ranged from short and sweet labels marking the optional data fields for employer matching information to summaries of matching gifts and the benefits that come with program participation.

83.3% highlight matching gifts on their confirmation screens.

Following the donation form itself is typically a gift confirmation screen. And according to the study, the majority of leading nonprofits use this chance to promote matching gifts. However, the extent of the confirmation page promotional efforts varies widely.

For example, some organizations offered single-sentence mentions that encouraged donors to pursue the opportunity on their own. The fundraiser may prompt individual donors to contact their company’s HR department to find out if their employer participates.

However, other nonprofits took a more advanced approach. These teams provided company-specific program guidelines and eligibility criteria and even direct links to online submission forms. This allows the donor to kick off the matching gift process from the initial thank-you screen with just one click!

While the former is better than lacking matching gift mentions altogether, the latter technique really works to simplify matching gifts for donors and ultimately aims to drive more matches to completion.

16.7% do not include matching gifts on their donation forms nor their confirmation screens.

Unfortunately, a number of organizations (luckily, a small number) did not include matching gift information in their donation forms or their confirmation screens. This ultimately means that the fundraisers do not have an easy way to collect employment information during the giving process, nor do they offer instant next steps after an individual submits their gift.

This could cause an organization to miss out on available matching gifts. Because remember: more than 26 million individuals work for companies that offer matching gift initiatives. Yet 78% of the match-eligible segment has no idea that they qualify for such a program.

Matching gift promotion opportunities

For nonprofits that fall into this group, incorporating matching gifts within the giving experience⁠—either directly within, immediately afterward, or, in the best of both worlds, both locations⁠—is a quick and impactful way to ramp up matching gift marketing.

86.6% enlist follow-up emails to remind donors about matching gift opportunities.

Once the donation process itself is complete, most organizations took the time (or, more likely, triggered automations) to follow up with donors regarding matching gifts. These typically fell into one of two categories: mentions of matching gifts within a more general confirmation or acknowledgment email or dedicated, separate email focused on matching gift opportunities and how to get involved. And in the best cases, some combination of both!

According to the study, however, not all follow-ups necessarily hold the same value. In fact, the report outlines tips and tricks for creating optimized matching gift messages, which include using the organization’s own email domain and branding, personalizing the contents with employer-specific information, and more. And the most strategic nonprofits utilize emails that provide direct links to the recipients’ online submission portals, empowering donors to launch the matching gift process right from the email.

10% highlight matching gifts in confirmation emails and separate follow-up messages.

Though 86.6% of organizations follow up with donors about matching gift opportunities post-transaction (using some combination of confirmation emails that highlight matching gifts and separate matching gift messaging), only 10% of participating nonprofits incorporated matching gifts in both types of email communications.

Why does this matter? Well, the more opportunities a donor has to be informed and reminded about matching gifts, the higher the chances are that they complete their end of the matching process. Another common roadblock among fundraisers that enlist only confirmation emails to mention matching gifts is that donors are more likely to skim and discard the message without the reader even getting to the part about matching gifts. That’s a missed opportunity for donors and nonprofits alike!

Of those that send matching gift emails post-transaction, 52% do so within 24 hours of donors first contributing.

Another finding we saw in the study is that when it comes to following up on match-eligible donations, timeliness matters. In fact, one of the key criteria included in the matching gift scorecard asks whether the organization sends matching gift emails in the first 24 hours after the initial donor contributes.

And of the organizations that have enlisted matching gift emails, more than half do, in fact, meet this standard. The report even highlights that many organizations’ triggered their first matching emails within minutes of the donor clicking “submit” on their gift!

Not to mention, a separate compilation of matching gift operational stats from Double the Donation indicates that match reminder emails sent within 24 hours of an initial donation result in a 53% open rate. That’s more than 2-3 times higher than the average nonprofit email open rate⁠—inferring that donors are more likely to engage with the content when sent in a timely manner.

73.3% of the Top 30 organizations use Double the Donation’s tools.

Organizations analyzed within the Top Nonprofits study of the P2P Top 30 can be divided into four categories based on software usage.

At the time of the report, 73.3% employ Double the Donation’s matching gift automation solution, 360MatchPro. Meanwhile, 16.7% use HEPdata tools, and 3.3% use Amply software. The remaining 6.7% of organizations did not seem to use any dedicated matching gift tools.

The following chart from the report helps visualize the findings:

Matching gift operational stats - software usage

So what does this finding imply? More top-earning nonprofit fundraisers are trusting Double the Donation to empower their matching gift efforts than any other provider.

Not to mention, Double the Donation users scored more highly on the matching gift score chart overall compared to users of alternative software solutions.

Wrapping Up

By analyzing the matching gift operational stats of top nonprofits, we can gain insights into best practices to follow and make a note of emerging trends in matching gift fundraising. From there, organizations like yours can learn from others’ successes and identify growth opportunities—then pursue those areas more effectively.

Interested in learning more about top matching gift strategies and best practices? Check out these additional resources to dive deeper:

  • The Matching Gift Research Report [From Top Nonprofits]. Check out the full study here! We referenced some of our favorite matching gift operational stats in this guide. However, the complete research report shares in-depth analysis of thirty leading nonprofit fundraisers that you won’t want to miss.
  • 14 Important Questions to Ask About Matching Gifts. Got questions? We have answers⁠. Explore the basics of corporate matching gifts and how to leverage the opportunity for your team in this guide. The more you know, the better you can optimize your nonprofit’s efforts to drive results.
  • 19 Matching Gift Companies with Impactful Programs. Get familiar with some of the most prominent matching gift programs and see if your donors work for these companies. View guidelines and initiatives for employers like General Electric, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and more.

Make the most of the matching gift opportunity with Double the Donation. 

Learn everything you need to know about digital marketing for nonprofits in this guide.

Digital Marketing for Nonprofits: A Complete Guide

Pretty much everything takes place on the internet these days: shopping, socializing, and even (you guessed it!) supporting charities. That’s why digital marketing for nonprofits is non-negotiable nowadays.

With the vast majority of people online, online marketing is one of the smartest ways to connect with new and existing supporters. Any nonprofit hoping to stand out among competitors, drive donations, and ultimately thrive in a digital-first world needs to spend time curating an online strategy.

At Getting Attention, we work with nonprofits to amplify their missions through the Google Ad Grant, which is a form of nonprofit marketing. We have a pretty solid grasp of what effective digital marketing for nonprofits can do for causes like yours, which is why we’re here to help!

To help you establish your digital presence, we’ll walk through everything you need to know. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or brand new to the game, there’s something for everyone. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Taking a smart approach to nonprofit digital marketing will empower you to expand your online presence and drive more support for your cause. Let’s start things off with the essentials.

Get a free consultation to talk about how Google Ads can support digital marketing for nonprofits.
This section defines digital marketing for nonprofits.

What is digital marketing for nonprofits?

Nonprofit digital marketing refers to all the online outreach strategies organizations use to promote their causes to current and prospective supporters. It involves any processes used to attract donors, engage volunteers, and drive mission awareness online.

Common digital marketing channels nonprofits use include websites, social media, texting, and email. Nonprofits typically employ multiple outlets to promote their causes to as many individuals as possible, which is a strategy known as multichannel marketing.

To properly allocate their budgets to the most effective channels, a nonprofit’s marketing team will typically create a document known as a marketing plan. Within this document, they’ll outline the organization’s goals, branding standards, key performance indicators, core messaging, and tone.

There are a lot of advantages of digital marketing for nonprofits.

Why is digital marketing important for nonprofits?

As nonprofit marketers, we all know that establishing an online presence is vital to our success, but why exactly is that so important? How does promoting your cause online help push your mission forward?

Let’s explore the common benefits you can expect from a strong digital marketing strategy for your nonprofit.

Increase brand awareness.

Your current and prospective donors are already online every day, scrolling through social media, reading emails, and browsing Google. Establishing your online presence allows you to connect with these individuals and meet them where they are.

Nonprofit digital marketing is one of the easiest ways to fit into supporters’ everyday lives. Imagine this: someone’s scrolling through Facebook. Among the posts from family and friends, they see where one of their friends shared your nonprofit’s post about a new project you launched. They’re curious, click a link in the post, and explore your organization’s website to learn more. After reading about the program, they feel inspired to help make your project a success, and they sign up to volunteer.

That’s the power of nonprofit digital marketing! You can expand your audience almost effortlessly, especially thanks to the power of social sharing.

Break down geographical barriers.

One major benefit of digital marketing for nonprofits is that it allows you to connect with supporters across the globe. 

People are more accessible than ever before! You can easily post on social media, and it’ll instantly populate on supporters’ feeds. No need to wait for direct mail to reach them.

In comparison, traditional marketing is restricted by geography, and it’s costly and labor-intensive to launch a global marketing campaign. Digital platforms empower you to avoid those restrictions altogether!

Raise fundraising revenue.

Online donations are growing each year. In fact, overall online revenue increased by 23% over the past year. That incredible growth stems from missions like yours proactively promoting their work online!

For starters, your website allows you to accept online donations in the first place. You can drive users here across all of your digital outreach.

Then, channels like email allow you to promote your website’s fundraising opportunities to engage existing donors. By using segmentation, you can deliver opportunities that specific groups are likely to be interested in based on their past giving history.

Social media allows you to cast a wide net and connect with new donor prospects. This is especially true when current donors share your posts and encourage their like-minded friends to donate!

And with platforms like Google Ads, you can tap into the billions using Google every day and choose keywords that target donors who are ready to give.

Recruit more volunteers.

Volunteers are some of your most loyal supporters. They’re the ones working on the ground to make your mission possible, and online marketing for nonprofits can play a vital role in boosting recruitment. Promote volunteer opportunities in your email newsletters, on social media, and via text.

Not to mention, the digital space opens up more volunteer opportunities than ever before. You can get creative and even have them do something as simple as partake in a peer-to-peer fundraiser.

Promote your services.

Connecting with beneficiaries is an important part of your success. Effective digital marketing for nonprofits allows you to connect with your beneficiaries and make sure they’re aware of your services. It also allows you to explain the work you’re doing to supporters.

Start by creating a page on your website that explains your services. Then, you can use different channels to promote this page and get your services in front of the right audiences.

For example, let’s say you want to boost adoptions for your animal shelter or promote your vaccination services. Google Ads are a great opportunity for amplifying this. You can choose relevant keywords like “adopt a cat” or “animal vaccination services.” Then, use geotargeting to promote your services to users in your area.

Make the most of your marketing budget.

If your organization is like most, you’re likely operating on a limited budget. It’s no secret that nonprofits are usually challenged to do more with less. The great part of leaning into digital marketing is that it has fairly low overhead costs, especially when you tap into marketing grants like the Google Ad Grant.

Not to mention, some nonprofit digital marketing outlets have an incredible return on investment (ROI).

Our Google Ad Grant Impact Report found that nonprofits see an average ROI of $4.78 for every dollar they spend on paid search ads. View-through revenue (AKA revenue from donors who saw but didn’t click on an ad) accounts for 35% of all giving sourced from digital ads.

With incredible numbers like that, it’s not hard to see why so many nonprofits invest in digital marketing!

Several channels can be useful for nonprofit digital marketing.

Common Types of Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

Now that you understand why digital outreach is vital to any modern organization’s success, you’re ready to dive into common channels.

We recommend taking a multichannel approach to nonprofit digital marketing, meaning that you should choose multiple outlets to promote your cause. While it’s tempting to choose all available outlets, it’s best to experiment and figure out what works best. That way, you won’t spread your efforts too thin.

Crafting meaningful outreach for each platform’s audience will allow you to grow your online presence more effectively. As you read about the different channels you can use, think carefully about which outlets will help you achieve your mission’s goals!

These are the most important nonprofit digital marketing strategies.

Search Ads

Of all the digital marketing methods, search advertising is certainly one of the most effective ones! Using Google Ads, you can amplify your website’s content for mission-centric keywords.

With this form of paid advertising, you choose the keywords you want to rank for and develop ads that promote specific content on your website. Then, Google will place your ads in strategic locations on the search results pages for the terms you bid on. Note that Google rotates through ads from different organizations, especially for competitive terms.

You have complete control over your ads, including everything from your ad copy to what landing pages you’ll promote. With a thoughtful Google Ads management strategy, you can:

  • Target people who are actively searching for your cause. Target keywords directly related to your mission, like “donate to ocean conservation” or “save the ocean.” That way, anyone who’s searching for your mission online will come across your website.
  • Share any content that will push your mission forward. You can educate people about your cause, share your volunteer registration form, boost donation opportunities, or amplify anything that’s important to your cause.
  • Connect with prospects in your service area. Use geotargeting to ensure your ads only appear for users in certain locations. That way, your content is only served to users who will find it useful.

Here's an example of search advertising, which is a specific nonprofit digital marketing strategy.

Best of all, you can leverage this nonprofit digital marketing method for free with the Google Ad Grant. When you apply for Google Grants and are approved, you’ll receive $10,000 in free funding every month to spend on paid ads.

Although, there’s a considerable learning curve that comes with the program. An agency (like Getting Attention) can step in to help out. Our experts will work with you to understand your nonprofit’s digital marketing goals. Then, we’ll craft a strategy that launches your nonprofit toward those objectives. From applying to the program to crafting your ads, we’ve got you covered!

Chat with our team about leveraging Google Ads and how it can support your nonprofit's digital marketing strategy.

Online Greeting Cards

If you’re looking for a creative way to market your cause, online greeting cards might be just what you need. They provide an engaging way to spread the message about your mission and all the good work you’re doing. Plus, they get supporters in on the action.

You have a couple of options for leveraging digital cards as an online marketing tool. For one, you can offer them for free and encourage supporters to send as many as they want to their loved ones. Alternatively, you can sell them to supporters, which can incentivize them to give. Both are great options to inspire supporters to start a conversation about your cause.

Digital greeting cards are great nonprofit digital marketing tools.

Either way, you’ll need to brand them to your cause. Here are a few easy ways to do that:

  • Add your logo to the design. No matter what the occasion is, add the logo to the corner of each greeting card to connect it to your organization.
  • Use images related to your mission. For example, an animal shelter might create Valentine’s Day cards that feature pets up for adoption. If you work for a homeless prevention organization, you might design holiday fundraising cards that explain the card’s proceeds will provide housing during the cold holiday season.
  • Customize the message that will be sent with each eCard. Each card will have a message attached to it, providing the perfect chance to explain your mission and call readers to action. Encourage recipients to visit your site, donate, or take some other action.

With fun and eye-catching designs, eCards are more likely to be shared and talked about than traditional marketing materials. Plus, you can offer designs for every occasion. To spark some inspiration, you can offer birthday, holiday, thank-you, and tribute eCards.

Donors can share their favorite designs and express their passion for your cause to their loved ones. If your eCard fundraising platform enables multiple sending options, your supporters can send the cards via email, social media, or text, making it the perfect addition to your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing for Nonprofits

When you first think about digital marketing for nonprofits, your mind might immediately go to email. Email is the bread and butter of most nonprofits’ online marketing strategies, because you can send customized outreach and send outreach directly to supporters’ inboxes.

Just like search ads, email accounts for an incredible amount of online revenue, clocking in at 15% of all nonprofit revenue.

As you add email to your nonprofit’s digital marketing repertoire, keep these tips in mind:

  • Create a compelling subject line. When someone’s scrolling through their inbox, your subject line will be what either reels them in or prompts them to delete the email without even opening it. Take time to craft a subject line that piques recipients’ interest and explains the content of your email.
  • Think through your design. Whenever someone opens your email, make sure it’s clearly associated with your cause and is organized effectively. Start by branding each email to your organization with elements like your logo, official fonts, and brand colors. Then, organize the email’s content using visual hierarchy techniques to draw readers’ eyes to important content.
  • Feature compelling content. Kwala’s guide to email newsletters explains that “the beauty of a nonprofit newsletter is that you can customize it to fit your organization.” Test out different types of content, like beneficiary stories, announcements about upcoming events, relevant news articles, and milestone updates.

However you approach your strategy, email is a must when it comes to digital marketing for nonprofits. These suggestions are only just a glimpse into email best practices.

Nonprofit Website Marketing

Digital marketing for nonprofits revolves around one core asset: your website.

A well-designed website will be a primary resource for anyone engaging with your cause online. It’s where supporters will get directly involved in your work by donating, signing up to volunteer, registering for an event, and reading educational materials about your cause.

With all that rides on an effective website, you’ll want to take plenty of time optimizing it to provide a valuable user experience. Whether you’re designing yours from scratch or overhauling your existing design, keep these tips in mind to craft a persuasive site:

  • Secure your website with HTTPS. Securing your site is a must for any website that collects private information. It’s also one of the Google Ad Grant website requirements. You want your donors and other supporters to trust you with their sensitive information, like payment details. Acquiring an HTTPS certificate will allow your site to encrypt any data transferred on your site. Explore our linked website requirements guide above to learn the exact steps for acquiring an HTTPS certificate.
  • Optimize your design for mobile users. Use a mobile-responsive content management system (CMS) for nonprofits. That way, your content will automatically resize for mobile users. You’ll also want to quicken your site speed by compressing images and removing extraneous HTML. A slow site speed is annoying for any user, especially those on mobile devices.
  • Design for accessibility. You want every prospect to be able to interact with your website, so make sure your site adheres to the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). You’ll need to take steps like adding alternative text to all your images and ensuring your site’s colors have a sufficient contrast ratio.

Once you’ve perfected your design, you can start to drive more traffic to your website by promoting it via search ads, email, social media, and any other nonprofit digital marketing outlet.

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

When social media first surfaced as a nonprofit digital marketing outlet, organizations would create profiles and post sporadically, hoping that supporters would stumble across their announcements. Today, nonprofits proactively fold social media into their digital marketing plans, sticking to strict posting schedules.

Social media is prominent for so many reasons. For one, it unlocks two-way communication, allowing you to interact directly with supporters in ways you can’t with other outlets. For example, you can like supporters’ posts about your cause and respond to comments on your page.

It’s also an incredible way to leverage social sharing and visual storytelling, thanks to its multimedia features. You can even tap into nonprofit digital marketing strategies like influencer marketing (which isn’t solely for for-profit businesses or social-media-obsessed teenagers).

A Breakdown of Different Social Media Channels

Facebook pioneered the way for nonprofits, acting as the first real social media outlet organizations could leverage. Now, nonprofits are using Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to connect with their audiences. Any of those can be a valuable addition to your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy.

As you get started, keep these pros and cons in mind for each platform:

  • Facebook has more than 2.96 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular platform. It’s great for long-form content, storytelling, and impactful multimedia like videos and photos. Content on this platform tends to be longer-lasting than other platforms, and Facebook offers some unique fundraising features, like Birthday Fundraisers. However, organic reach has dropped substantially compared to what it used to be.
  • Instagram has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users. Much like Facebook, it offers fundraising features like donate stickers for Stories and “support” buttons on profiles. You can post interactive Stories and lean into visual storytelling. Be aware that there are a lot of features users can leverage like Stories, Reels, and paid ads, which can be overwhelming if you’re not particularly tech-savvy.
  • Twitter is great for short-form content and shareability thanks to its retweet functionality. Plus, hashtags and trends make it easy for users to find trending topics. The downside is that tweets age out quickly. Thousands of tweets are published each minute, flooding people’s timelines with content.
  • TikTok is perfect for reaching younger audiences and inciting large-scale movements. It’s great for visual storytelling, trends, and shareability. However, this platform often requires a unique approach for nonprofits that want to incite change and maintain a professional image.

This chart breaks down the audiences, pros, and types of content for each social media channel used in digital marketing for nonprofits.

Choosing the right social media platforms will help launch your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy forward. For the best results, consider the types of messages you share across each, and adapt your outreach to fit each platform’s audience.

Video Marketing for Nonprofits

As humans, we’re naturally drawn to captivating visuals. In fact, we process images much quicker than text. Not to mention, 91% of individuals prefer visual content to written content.

From TikTok’s meteoric launch in popularity to video publication tools on traditional social media, video storytelling has quickly become commonplace in digital marketing for nonprofits. As you test out this strategy, keep these tips in mind:

  • Share inspiring stories. Video allows you to put a face to your cause. By sharing testimonials from beneficiaries or volunteers, you can give supporters a peek into how your organization impacts lives.
  • Make the most of the first few seconds. Your videos need to capture viewers’ attention right off the bat. Billions of videos are published every day, so there’s a lot of competition for your supporters’ time. Create some sort of hook, question, or teaser to reel people in from the start.
  • Have a clear call-to-action (CTA). As with any nonprofit digital marketing strategy, you’ll need to provide clear next steps for supporters. Remember, your videos might be entertaining pieces of content that showcase your cause, but they must ultimately serve a bigger purpose. Display your CTA toward the end of the video, prompting your audience to donate, volunteer, or support your cause somehow.

The best part is that video marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. It can be as simple as picking up your smartphone and recording. Then, you can use video tools like Promo, Biteable, or Canva to craft beautiful videos for your nonprofit digital marketing.

Content Marketing for Nonprofits

Content creation and blogging are valuable nonprofit digital marketing assets for any organization. Well-written content empowers you to educate your audience about your mission, leverage SEO to bring in new leads, and tap into free PR when people share your content online.

Creating digital content for your cause can help you drive more value through your marketing. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Source ideas from volunteers, donors, and staff members. These individuals are closest to your cause and might have great ideas for what your audience would be interested in reading.
  • Vary your content types. For instance, your team might create detailed blog posts, informative ebooks, eye-catching infographics, or case studies showcasing success stories.
  • Consider your content’s design. How you present the content is almost as important as the content itself! Be conservative with fonts and colors to make content readable. You’ll also want to make your work scannable when possible by using headings, bulleted lists, and visual hierarchy techniques.

Informative and inspiring content can be a smart addition to your outreach. However, content creation can be time-consuming. Think carefully about how it plays into your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy, so you don’t overexert your team!

This section walks through the key steps of creating a nonprofit digital marketing strategy.

Crafting A Nonprofit Digital Marketing Strategy

Take the time to craft your nonprofit digital marketing strategy carefully. From defining your exact goals to choosing the platforms you’ll use, there’s a lot you’ll need to do.

Remember, digital marketing for nonprofits is all about learning to do more with less. Being smart with your approach will allow you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Let’s walk through a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you get started.

1. Set your digital marketing goals.

As with any endeavor, your nonprofit needs clear goals before investing time and money into its digital marketing strategy. What do you want to accomplish, and what will success look like after you’ve implemented your strategy?

Instead of choosing an arbitrary goal, choose one with concrete metrics attached. A good rule of thumb is to avoid non-definite adjectives like “more.” Consider these examples:

Goal #1: Increase social media engagement to acquire more volunteers.

Goal #2: Grow your nonprofit’s Instagram following by 500 people, and use that following to acquire 75 new volunteers by the end of the year.

Notice how there are clear metrics attached to the second goal, making it much clearer what success will look like.

Creating SMART Goals

To create goals that push your mission forward, we recommend using the SMART method, which stands for:

  • Specific: Be specific about the channels and methods you’ll use. For example, the first goal is arbitrary, saying that you’ll use any social media platform to boost volunteers. The second goal is more specific in that it explicitly says your team will grow its Instagram following and use that following to source new volunteers.
  • Measurable: Ensure there are clear metrics attached to your goal for measuring success. Thinking back to our example, metrics for success would include 300 new Instagram followers and 75 new volunteers acquired through that list.
  • Attainable: Don’t be too ambitious with your goal. You’ll want to make sure it’s actually attainable. Otherwise, you risk demotivating your team when they don’t reach your goal. Look at past performance as a starting point for your goal, and go from there!
  • Relevant: How will your goal support your mission and create additional value for your work? In the examples above, you’ll grow your volunteer list, increasing the power behind your programs.
  • Time-Based: Set an end date for your goal, whether that’s by the end of the year or by the end of a specific campaign. This will create a sense of urgency for your team.

This graphic breaks down a SMART goal example for nonprofit digital marketing.

By following this framework, you’ll create effective goals that lay a solid foundation for your nonprofit’s digital marketing strategy. Then, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the types of messages you’ll need to use to achieve these goals.

2. Craft the messages you want to share.

What key information do you want your audiences to know, remember, and share about your organization? Defining your key messages before pushing campaigns live is important for a few reasons:

  • Key messages keep your entire organization aligned. No matter who’s creating marketing collateral, they’ll be on the same page about what they need to say and how to say it.
  • Key messages help target different audiences. Your nonprofit interacts with different groups of people. You likely communicate with donors, volunteers, beneficiaries, and your general community. You can craft key messages for each audience to make sure you’re targeting the right audiences effectively.

When it comes to digital marketing for nonprofits, everyone on your team needs to know how to convey your organization consistently. Crafting key messages is how you’ll accomplish that.

An Example of A Key Message

So that you can see how this step looks in action, let’s walk through a quick example. Let’s say you’re leading the charge on digital marketing for a youth homeless shelter.

Key message: We protect the welfare of youth in our community through housing, hot meals, warm showers, mentoring, mental healthcare, and college admissions support.

  • For volunteers: You can work on the ground floor to hand out hot meals and collect resources from the community.
  • For donors: You can help us protect the welfare of our community’s youth by donating to housing, hot meals, water costs, mental health services, or college admissions support.
  • For youth mentors: You can provide mentoring to at-risk youth, giving them a familiar face as they overcome life’s obstacles.

Each of these key messages has the same purpose and underlying tone. They’re simply tailored to motivate each group.

3. Choose the right nonprofit digital marketing outlets.

With your key messages and marketing ideas ready to go, it’s time to choose the outlets that will best support your mission.

Remember, a multichannel approach is the smartest way to maximize your reach. Choose the outlets that make the most sense for your message and goals. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you do that:

  • Think through the audience for each platform. For example, TikTok is great for inspiring younger audiences, while email will help you capture the attention of slightly older audience members.
  • Tailor your message to each platform. It’s not enough to toss up the same message on every platform and call it a day either. This general approach won’t get you very far. Maybe you’ll use Facebook to share video content, a blog post to share a testimonial, email to send regular updates, and text messages to solicit donations.

Overall, think through which nonprofit digital marketing platforms you’ll use to reach the primary audience for your key messages. If you’re investing in paid advertising, give your team plenty of time to get set up. Then, strategize how you’ll adjust your key messages to suit each channel, whether paid or organic.

4. Start promoting your cause.

It’s time to push your messages live! Regardless of which channels and strategies you choose, spend plenty of time planning before moving forward. Here are some questions to ask as you prepare:

  • When will you send your nonprofit’s digital marketing messages?
  • Who will be responsible for carrying out these activities?
  • How much do we plan to spend on digital marketing for our nonprofit?
  • How does this support our organization’s overarching goals?

Pushing your messages live is a major turning point for your strategy. It’s when all your hard work comes to fruition.

As you start publishing your messages, remember to engage with supporters. After all, the ability to interact is the beauty of online marketing for nonprofits!

5. Track results by measuring KPIs.

As you gain momentum, it’s time to start analyzing results. Note that it might take time to gain traction, especially if you’re brand new to digital marketing for nonprofits.

Routine reporting will help you track performance and make adjustments to reach your goals. While there’s an abundance of metrics you can track, here are some common ones to kickstart your brainstorming:

  • Engagement KPIs: likes, time on page, open rate, bounce rate, comments, and video views
  • Brand Awareness KPIs: website traffic, keyword rankings, social shares, tags and mentions, referral traffic, and impressions
  • Conversion KPIs: online donations, online volunteer sign-ups, digital event registrations, cost of acquisition, number of quality leads, and number of new social media followers

When it comes to online marketing for nonprofits, you'll want to track the performance metrics in this chart.

We recommend establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) from the very start, so you can make sure you have proper tracking in place. Think back to the very first step as you choose your KPIs, ensuring the metrics you choose correlate with your goals.

Note that you’ll need to implement tracking tools to monitor most metrics. For example, social media comes with built-in tools, email requires the use of email marketing tools, and Google Ads requires you to use Google Analytics. Some analytics resources are free (like Google Analytics with a Google for Nonprofits account) while you’ll need to pay for others.

Ultimately, monitoring your metrics will allow you to make the necessary adjustments and ensure your nonprofit’s digital marketing is as impactful as possible. If your email open rates are dwindling, tweak your subject lines. If your Google Ads have a low CTR, experiment with better ad copy.

Let's wrap up with some additional resources about online marketing for nonprofits.

Wrapping Up

Thanks to digital marketing for nonprofits, you have the power to connect with more prospects than ever before. There’s no need to wait for direct mail to reach them anymore when you can send digital communications that instantly arrive in their inboxes or on their social media feeds.

By curating a strong nonprofit digital marketing strategy, you can inspire more supporters than ever before – no matter if they’re in your community or across the globe!

From video marketing to search ads, there are so many ways you can connect with today’s supporters. And if you want to add Google Ads to your marketing arsenal, we’re here to help. Getting Attention’s experts will work with you to understand your nonprofit’s online marketing goals and create a Google Grants management strategy that makes sense for you. Reach out to get started.

While you wait for your free consultation, continue exploring the world of digital marketing for nonprofits with these resources:

Get a consultation to talk about how Google Ads can strengthen digital marketing for your nonprofit.

Explore this ultimate nonprofit marketing guide to learn everything you need to know.

Nonprofit Marketing: A Guide for Amplifying Your Mission

Imagine this: Your nonprofit spends months planning the perfect fundraising event. You’ve planned out all the activities, lined up catering, and recruited volunteers to pull it all together. A scattering of your most active supporters register, but you don’t get the turnout that you hope. You’ve likely fallen short because of poor nonprofit marketing.

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

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

You’ve come to the right place! In this ultimate nonprofit marketing guide, you’ll learn everything you need to craft a plan that makes sense for your mission. Here’s what we’ll cover:

At Getting Attention, we empower nonprofits to expand their nonprofit marketing capabilities with the Google Ad Grant. While we’ll explore that channel a bit more later, know that it’s a powerful addition to any nonprofit’s toolkit. Plus, it’s completely free!

Whether your organization is at the grassroots level or your nonprofit is more established, it’s always beneficial to ensure that your current nonprofit marketing strategy is airtight. Let’s dive in with an overview.

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

Here's a definition of marketing for nonprofit organizations.

What Is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing refers to the marketing strategies and channels used to amplify an organization’s cause, solicit donations, attract new supporters, and retain existing ones. Depending on an organization’s goals, nonprofit marketing can involve several marketing activities, such as social media marketing, content marketing, and text marketing.

Organizations often create a nonprofit marketing plan to allocate their budget and time appropriately. This document outlines essentials like your core mission, tone, target audience, preferred marketing channels, and branding.

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing for Nonprofits

When it comes to promoting your mission, choosing the right methods is paramount to your success. There are two categories of marketing methods your nonprofit can leverage:

  • Inbound marketing refers to the ways organizations gain prospects’ attention through unpaid promotion or content production. Common examples include search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, and organic social media posts.
  • Outbound marketing relies on paid methods to capture prospects’ attention and is often referred to as “advertising.” You might use Google Ads, social media advertising, radio ads, or any other paid outlet to promote your mission.

While inbound marketing methods help draw potential prospects in a natural way, outbound marketing can help connect with audiences who might not otherwise encounter your cause.

Striking the perfect balance between inbound and outbound channels will allow you to cast a wider net and reach more prospects. While paid outlets might initially seem out of your budget, know that some paid advertising platforms (like Google Ads) offer discounts or free access to nonprofits.

Nonprofit marketing costs can add up if you're not careful.

How Much Do Nonprofits Spend on Marketing?

Conducting meaningful marketing initiatives without adequate resources is like chasing a rainbow: you’ll never quite make it. Your team needs sufficient funds to support its goals, or it’ll spend all its time spinning its wheels without ever gaining traction.

While there’s no clear-cut answer to how much an organization should spend on marketing, there are a few methods you can use to calculate a smart budget:

  • The percent method: Allocate between 5 and 15 percent of your total budget to marketing, communications, and fundraising. As essential outreach activities, many organizations group these three areas together as a single line item in their budget. This budgeting method makes it easy to scale your nonprofit marketing budget as your organization grows.
  • The dollar method: Give a set dollar amount to marketing, communications, and fundraising based on past expenditures. This method eliminates the need for predictions and makes spending expectations clear.
  • The incremental method: Take the current period’s budget and revenue into account. Then, use that to adjust each line item by incremental amounts to create your next budget. This makes it easy to allocate money smartly without starting from scratch.

No method is perfect, but these are some common ones that organizations follow. Note that nonprofits often make the mistake of cutting marketing from the budget when resources get tight. However, promoting your mission allows you to stay prevalent in donors’ lives and drive more donations to keep your doors open.

Whether you’re facing budgetary constraints or simply want to reduce nonprofit marketing costs, it’s smart to reduce marketing costs by applying for grants like Google Ad Grants.

Effective marketing for nonprofit organizations can launch you toward your mission's goals.

Why Nonprofit Marketing Matters

After your fundraising team plans an exciting fundraising event or your volunteer coordinator creates new volunteer opportunities, the next step is getting supporters interested and invested. Without effective nonprofit marketing, you won’t be able to grab your supporters’ attention, let alone meet new prospects.

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

  • Raising mission awareness: One of your nonprofit’s biggest roles is to spread the word about your mission. Effective nonprofit marketing will raise mission awareness, ensuring that people know your mission’s goals and what you’re doing to achieve them.
  • Increasing funds: This is obvious but worth noting. When you’re able to market your nonprofit and raise awareness about your mission, you’ll naturally receive more donations.
  • Driving long-term donor support: Nonprofits don’t just thrive with monetary funds; they need long-term support. Effective marketing can build key relationships and result in more consistent and reliable donations rather than one-off gifts. In fact, Nonprofits Source estimates that the average monthly online donation is $52 (which is a total of $624 per year) compared to the average one-time gift of $128.
  • Attracting all types of support: As you craft your nonprofit marketing strategy, you might be thinking that your main goal is to get donations. However, there’s an abundance of other types of support that your marketing can help with. This includes volunteer recruitment, event participation, membership programs, and other forms of support you may have. Garnering other types of support can even lead to monetary gifts down the road. In fact, volunteers are 66% more likely to donate than non-volunteers.
  • Promoting your services: What exactly does your organization do? How does it aim to impact your mission? Your nonprofit services are an integral part of your fundraising efforts and inspire your supporters to give. With a comprehensive nonprofit marketing strategy, you can more effectively promote those services to supporters and beneficiaries.

Effective nonprofit marketing offers these great benefits.

In other words, effective outreach impacts every area of your organization. Promoting your organization is a non-negotiable if you want to achieve your mission and incite real change in your community.

Before kicking off your nonprofit marketing strategy, make sure you're aware of common challenges.

Challenges of Nonprofit Marketing

While nonprofits share overall marketing challenges with for-profits, they face unique hurdles. No one quite comprehends these challenges as well as the nonprofits that face them. Understanding what you’re up against will help you think ahead, overcoming these challenges as they arise:

  • Establishing trustworthiness. Unfortunately, there are quite a few fraudulent organizations out there posing as real organizations. You’ll need to convince prospects that your organization is legitimate, knows how to steward funds properly, and is worthy of their monetary support.
  • Selling your mission. Unlike for-profit companies, nonprofits must sell their ideas to prospects rather than a product. On the bright side, nonprofits have well-defined missions and can leverage peer referrals through methods like word-of-mouth outreach and digital greeting cards.
  • Working on a limited budget. Budget constraints make marketing difficult, even with a well-defined mission and compelling story. Paid outlets can be harder to tap into because of this. Although, the Google Ad Grants program gives free access to Google’s paid advertising platform.
  • Appealing to all audiences. Connecting with different target audiences can be difficult. For example, your older donors might prefer print outreach, while younger audiences prefer text or social media outreach. Luckily, segmenting your audiences and thinking through the messages you promote on each platform can help tremendously here.

There’s nothing your nonprofit can’t overcome with a little tenacity! Think through these challenges while crafting your nonprofit marketing strategies, and you’ll successfully connect with supporters without breaking the bank.

There are several great channels you can use in your nonprofit marketing.

Nonprofit Marketing Channels to Explore

The nonprofit marketing channels you use are incredibly important when it comes to effectively reaching your donors and meeting new prospects. With new tools making online communications easier, the list of marketing channels expands each day!

Best of all, you can use different channels in tandem with each other. A multichannel marketing approach will allow you to connect with as many supporters as possible. If someone doesn’t regularly check their email, they might still come across your social media posts. Or, maybe a text message or direct mail solicitation will inspire them to get involved.

In any case, using several channels is a great way to keep your nonprofit top of mind! The good news is you don’t need to leverage every platform for your nonprofit marketing to be successful.

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

These are the most common nonprofit marketing channels.

Search ads are a valuable addition to your nonprofit marketing strategy.

Search Ads

A popular way that nonprofits expand their marketing is with Google Ads, a platform where organizations display advertisements, service offerings, products, and other marketing content. Google places these ads strategically on search engine result pages to grow each organization’s online presence.

This is why many nonprofits will apply for the Google Ad Grant. This program offers nonprofits $10,000 in ad credits to spend each month. In turn, nonprofits can promote their website content for valuable keywords that their prospects are searching online. This is an incredible opportunity to not only expand your nonprofit marketing strategy but do it all without pushing your budget.

The best part? Any nonprofit that is eligible and complies with Google guidelines can use this grant. It automatically reactivates every month, too. As long as you comply with the program’s rules, you’ll add up to $120,000 to your nonprofit marketing budget each year.

It’s up to you to choose the right keywords related to your work. For example, Science Moms created a Google Ad campaign to target terms related to “fight climate change.”

This example image shows Science Moms using Google Ads in their nonprofit marketing strategy.

However, there’s a considerable learning curve for the program. That’s where an expert Google Grants agency can step in. The specialists at Getting Attention are here to champion your cause at every turn. We’ll handle every aspect of the Google Grant management process, working to understand your nonprofit marketing goals first. That way, you can focus on other areas of your mission and relax knowing your Google ads are in good hands.

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

Email marketing for nonprofit organizations is one of the most valuable strategies.

Nonprofit Email Marketing

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

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

  • Send a regular newsletter with your newest content, updates about your organization, industry data, and volunteer needs.
  • Send monthly emails with donation needs and opportunities.
  • Segment your email audience based on common traits for more targeted and relevant messaging. 78% of marketers agree that subscriber segmentation is the most effective strategy for email campaigns.
  • As soon as a donor gives, a volunteer participates, or someone shows some other form of support, send an email showing your appreciation.

Thanks to organizations leveraging careful marketing strategies, email generates $36 for every $1 spent. With such a high ROI, it makes sense that this is a nonprofit marketing channel worth investing in and taking the time to flesh out.

As part of your nonprofit marketing strategy, rely on supporters to spread the word about your cause.

Word-of-Mouth Nonprofit Marketing

Don’t discount the power of word-of-mouth marketing! Your existing supporters are your biggest nonprofit marketing assets.

When your volunteers and donors feel strongly about your cause, they’ll naturally want to brag about your valuable work to their friends and families. These friends and family members are often like-minded, sharing similar values and making them great prospects for your cause.

Peer-to-peer outreach can be incredibly powerful. In fact, 92% of consumers will believe a recommendation from loved ones over any other type of marketing. Instead of relying on supporters to do so themselves, encourage them to reach out to their networks, post online about your cause, or share your organization’s social media posts to spread the word.

One of our favorite ways to encourage peer-to-peer referrals is with nonprofit eCards. They’re an easy and interactive way to spread the message about your mission, activities, and successes.

Create eCards to market your nonprofit.

Create designs for every occasion to encourage referrals year-round. Here are just a few ideas to get started:

  • Birthday fundraising eCards to encourage supporters to give in a loved one’s name as a way to wish them a happy birthday
  • Holiday eCards to spread some holiday cheer during special times throughout the year
  • Thank you eCards to help supporters express their gratitude
  • Tribute eCards for individuals to give in honor of their loved ones
  • Mission awareness eCards to call attention to your work during a cause awareness campaign

You can customize the message sent with each eCard to encourage users to check out your cause online. Once you publish your eCards, you can offer them for free, sell them for a set price, or give them in exchange for donations. No matter what, people will be excited to browse your collection and share a cause that’s close to their hearts.

Social media marketing for nonprofit organizations enables social sharing.

Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

By 2027, the number of social media users is expected to skyrocket to 6 billion. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most viable and successful ways to reach supporters and market your mission.

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

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

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

Whether you use TikTok for connecting with younger generations or Facebook for its long-form posts and peer-to-peer fundraising features, social media is definitely a channel you should spend a good amount of time thinking about.

Direct mail isn't dead! Use it in your nonprofit marketing.

Direct Mail Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Paid ads can take your nonprofit marketing to the next level.

Nonprofit Advertising

While people commonly interchange “advertising” and “marketing,” advertising is actually a specific subset of nonprofit marketing. It specifically refers to using paid channels to promote your mission. And as we mentioned, paid channels are also referred to as “outbound marketing channels.”

Some of the most common nonprofit advertising channels include:

  • Search ads (like Google Ads)
  • Radio and TV ads
  • Social media ads
  • Influencer advertising

Advertising is a great way to expand your audience and amplify your content to people who aren’t actively researching nonprofits.

Even if you’re working on a limited budget, paid channels aren’t entirely out of reach! As we also mentioned earlier, many advertising platforms offer free or paid options for nonprofits.

Dive into the world of nonprofit advertising with our ultimate guide to learn more about leveraging paid channels in your nonprofit’s outreach.

Use videos in your nonprofit marketing to engage in visual storytelling.

Nonprofit Video Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

Amplify your website's content by using SEO best practices in your nonprofit's marketing.

SEO Marketing for Nonprofits

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

By implementing a few SEO best practices, you can boost your site’s organic rankings. When designing or optimizing your nonprofit website, keep these tips in mind:

  • Center each page around a core topic related to your cause. Be sure to pick relevant keywords for each page.
  • Ensure full and regulatory accessibility compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
  • Liberally use calls-to-action buttons and links to direct users to your popular landing pages.
  • Keep the user experience in mind when it comes to ease of use and navigation.
  • Make sure all tools and content management systems are functioning properly and are updated.
  • Have consistent branding throughout the site.

Not all of these tips are directly related to SEO, but they all contribute to your site’s performance in some way, whether you’re optimizing the user experience or improving your content.

Plus, optimizing your website will set you up for success with multichannel outreach, like when you’re promoting it via social media or search ads.

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

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

Content marketing for nonprofit organizations can be helpful for establishing credibility.

Content Marketing for Nonprofits

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

Here are common types of content you might create:

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

Plus, your content marketing materials can be used for other nonprofit marketing efforts, whether you promote it email, Google Ads, or social media. Consider creating a dedicated team focused on content copywriting.

Develop a texting strategy for marketing your nonprofit.

Text Message Marketing

With a 99% open rate and 90% read rate within just three minutes of sending, text message marketing is one of the best ways to promote a campaign and reach your audience where they already are.

To use text marketing, we recommend investing in a comprehensive text-to-give tool. This not only allows you to send outbound messages but also empowers donors to give by text as well! Tatango’s guide to nonprofit text messaging recommends looking for a text messaging provider with the following features:

  • A2P (Application to Person) messaging. A service that offers A2P messaging makes it easy to send off a single message to hundreds or thousands of supporters at once. This saves your nonprofit time, which can be used towards creating compelling donation appeals that will inspire giving across your entire donor base.
  • Ability to handle fast messaging speeds. When you’re operating around tight fundraising deadlines, you need a reliable way to reach supporters quickly with your donation appeals. A provider with a fast messages per second rate will ensure that your campaign reminders reach supporters just moments after sending them.
  • Security for your campaigns. To protect your subscribers’ personal information and maintain your nonprofit’s good standing, you need to protect your text-to-give campaign from cybersecurity threats. Your text messaging provider should come with multiple security measures like two-factor authentication, secure sending, and automated logout so only your nonprofit’s team can access your sensitive data and send off messages.
  • Subscriber segmentation. Segmentation is the process of dividing your contact list into subgroups based on similar characteristics, such as recency of opting into your text messaging campaign, donation frequency, and their average giving amounts. Work with your text messaging platform to create highly tailored lists and messages that are more likely to motivate donors to give.

With a secure and user-friendly text messaging platform, your nonprofit can confidently deliver a high ROI and engage supporters year round. Plus, the right text messaging service can help you leverage contextual giving.

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

Use text marketing to announce events, send urgent appeals (remember to include instructions for donating!), remind volunteers about upcoming shifts or training, and promote donations throughout your campaign or specific event.

Spend time creating powerful graphics to use in your nonprofit marketing.

Creating Graphics for Your Nonprofit Marketing

Any kind of nonprofit marketing leans heavily on effective visuals. For one, this makes your content stand out. It doesn’t matter whether someone’s scrolling through their social media feed or passing by a bulletin board with your fundraising flyer pinned to it — they’re more likely to notice marketing collateral that has eye-catching graphics and vibrant colors.

Considering that people retain 55% more information when paired with an image, effective visuals make your content more memorable to prospects,too.

More nonprofit marketers have realized this over the years and have stepped up their graphic design game. Whether you realize it or not, graphics already play a huge role in your outreach including everything from your email newsletters to direct mail outreach. Here are a few areas where graphic design comes into play:

  • Your logo. This is one of the most crucial marketing assets your cause has. It’ll appear on everything from your fundraising letters to your business cards. Prospects should see it and immediately associate it with your organization.
  • Website design. The graphics you include on your website are just as important as your site’s layout. You’ll want to include everything from images of your beneficiaries and volunteers to artistic elements that emphasize the most important aspects of each page.
  • Merchandise. If you sell t-shirts, mugs, or any other fundraising products, make sure you feature effective designs on them. Eye-catching graphics will make the buying experience much easier for prospects who come across your ads for them.
  • Printed materials. Effective graphic design doesn’t just apply to your digital marketing materials. It also factors into any printed collateral like your fundraising letters, flyers, and service brochures.

If graphic design isn’t your forte, that’s where a graphic designer can come in to save the day. Those that have experience in the mission-driven space understand what it takes to make charitable causes stand out.

We recommend Kwala! Their team will work with yours to create anything your team requests, including flyers, logos, stickers, and even fundraising product designs. Take a look at this postcard that they designed for the Wildlife Rescue Group:

Create nonprofit marketing postcards like this with help from professional designers.

Kwala designed this nonprofit marketing postcard.

Well-designed materials like this will ultimately reel supporters in and drive more action, whether you want people to donate, volunteer, or get involved in some other way. Turning to professional graphic designers means you can focus on furthering your mission and trust that your marketing materials are resonating with supporters.

Creating a nonprofit marketing strategy involves a few steps.

How Do You Create a Nonprofit Marketing Strategy?

To successfully connect with supporters and beneficiaries, we recommend crafting an organized nonprofit marketing strategy. Your strategy should outline all the information you need to meet your audience’s needs and spread your mission effectively.

It will be unique to your goals, mission, and audience. However, you can take these general steps to ensure you’re not missing any essential elements.

Conduct an audit to determine the effectiveness of your current nonprofit marketing strategy.

1. Perform A Marketing Audit.

It’s a good idea to get a sense of your current marketing standing and gather the resources you have. That way, you can start thinking about the changes and tweaks you’ll need to make.

Gather past outreach materials and campaign metrics. From here, you’ll conduct an audit to analyze your most recent outreach efforts. A nonprofit marketing audit often consists of conducting a SWOT analysis, which stands for:

  • Strengths: List any areas where your nonprofit excels and stands out from competitors. For example, maybe you have unique services, strong brand awareness, or an astoundingly loyal base of supporters.
  • Weaknesses: List anything that prevents you from achieving your nonprofit marketing goals. For example, maybe you have a very limited budget or a poor digital presence.
  • Opportunities: Include any external factors that give you advantages over competitors. For example, maybe your mission is prevalent in the news, or you have a strong pipeline of corporate sponsors.
  • Threats: This includes any external factors that negatively impact you. Considering that they’re external, these factors are out of your control. For example, maybe someone’s attempting to discredit your organization.

With all of this written out, you’ll have a strong visual representation of where your nonprofit marketing currently stands. Analyze your results, and create an action plan for playing to your strengths, overcoming any weaknesses, increasing your opportunities, and mitigating any threats.

Define the goals you want to achieve with your nonprofit marketing.

2. Define Your Marketing Goals.

Your nonprofit marketing strategy shouldn’t just guide your actions, but it should also really support your nonprofit journey to your ultimate goals. Are you trying to raise money or awareness? Encourage volunteering? Garner registrations for a fundraising event? Every marketing campaign needs a concrete goal and target action in order to be successful.

We recommend using the SMART method to create your nonprofit marketing strategy goals:

  • Specific: Define the exact goal your nonprofit is aiming to achieve, and be able to explain how achieving it will support your mission.
  • Measurable: Your goal should have clear performance indicators attached.
  • Attainable: Given your organization’s current standing (e.g., time, money, expertise), choose something you can realistically achieve.
  • Relevant: Whatever goal you choose should contribute to your organization’s overall success. For example, increasing volunteer registrations clearly impacts your organization more than reaching a certain number of likes on an Instagram post.
  • Time-based: Give your team a realistic deadline by which to achieve your goal. Then, create milestones along the way.

From here, list your goals by priority. The end result will be clear nonprofit marketing goals that allow you to drive greater outcomes for your cause.

Knowing your audience will help you tailor your nonprofit marketing to better suit your constituents.

3. Understand Your Audiences.

It’s critical that you focus your nonprofit marketing strategy on who you’re trying to reach. Outline both your current audience and your target audience. From here, narrow down your audience with segments, such as:

  • Type of supporter (e.g., first-time donor, recurring donor, major donor, volunteer, corporate partner, etc.)
  • Preferred communication method
  • Demographics like age group, geographical location, and education level

Every nonprofit marketing campaign should have a target audience in mind. Knowing what demographic group or type of supporter you are trying to reach will inform every step of your nonprofit marketing strategy.

When crafting your nonprofit marketing strategy, create and share inspiring messages.

4. Create and Share A Compelling Message.

Your supporters are bombarded with online ads and organizations constantly trying to get their attention. It’s important that your nonprofit marketing messages stand out from the crowd. To do so, we recommend using the CRAM rule to bring your powerful marketing ideas to fruition and connect with supporters. This stands for:

  • Connected to a cause: Your message should connect your mission to something your audience cares about.
  • Rewarding: Your outreach should be rewarding in some way for the reader.
  • Actionable: Make sure to include a clear call to action, whether that’s donating, volunteering, registering for an event, or something else.
  • Memorable: Your message must be sentimental or have tangible rewards to stick with prospects.

This is also where you’ll think about the language and tone of your message, the specific calls to action you’ll use, and any visual branding elements. From here, choose your nonprofit marketing channels and start sharing your outreach.

Measure the results of your nonprofit marketing strategy.

5. Track Results and Make Adjustments.

Every nonprofit marketing strategy needs a dedicated way to measure performance. Otherwise, how do you know if it worked or whether it needs to be improved in the future? Consider the metrics you want to track and the tools you’ll use.

Here are some examples of KPIs for different channels you might track:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) for Google Ads
  • Email opens for email marketing
  • Video views or likes for video marketing
  • Likes, shares, and comments for social media
  • Page views or time on site for your website
  • Number of downloads for content marketing

Data is the backbone of your nonprofit marketing efforts. Not only is it tracked to ensure that your campaign is performing positively and creating genuine benefits, but it can also be used to improve future campaigns or act as a resource for supporters wanting to learn more about your nonprofit efforts. In the end, tracking the right nonprofit data can be an incredibly valuable asset!

Marketing for nonprofit organizations is easier when you implement best practices.

Nonprofit Marketing Best Practices to Follow

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

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

  • Segment your list. We mentioned this already, but segmenting your marketing audience is critical. After all, people will respond best to communications that are targeted to their needs, goals, and preferences.
  • Use current events. A good way to bolster your nonprofit marketing is to use what is currently going on in the world as a way to create urgency. Is there a story related to your cause in the news? For instance, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many nonprofits took the time to connect their mission to this broader world issue and leverage that public awareness.
  • Proactively follow up with donors and volunteers. For a successful nonprofit marketing campaign, you don’t just send out materials and communications and be done with it. Marketing isn’t just about promoting your nonprofit services; it’s also about building ongoing relationships with supporters. Make sure you have a system in place to check in with current donors or volunteers, as well as follow up with any lapsed supporters to ensure they stay active.
  • Make sure you have accurate contact information. People constantly change their phone numbers, get new email addresses, or move. In other words, their contact information can become quickly out of date. NPOInfo’s guide to data appends explains that you can use appending services to fill in missing or outdated information. That way, you’ll never be out of touch with constituents.

Follow these nonprofit marketing best practices to maximize your results.

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

Let's wrap up this nonprofit marketing guide with some additional resources.

Additional Resources

Marketing your mission plays a key role in your organization’s success. From choosing the right channels to keeping up with the latest trends, crafting a strong nonprofit marketing strategy takes quite a bit of forethought.

However, the advice we shared in this nonprofit marketing guide will help you address everything you need to make your outreach successful. In no time, you’ll create compelling outreach that inspires your supporters to stick around for the long haul.

Whether you choose paid outlets like search ads or organic outlets like email, there’s a lot you can do to stand out. As you start crafting your strategies, check out these resources to keep learning:

Work with Getting Attention to amplify your nonprofit marketing with the Google Ad Grant.

Elevate your small business marketing strategy with these tips.

4 Marketing Tips to Help Your Small Business Stand Out

It can be difficult for small businesses with limited resources and reach to stand out from the competition. That’s why developing a robust marketing plan is essential to building your brand, growing your business, and ensuring that your services are made available to as many customers as possible.

Whether you own a pet store, dance studio, or flower shop, these four tips will help you market your mission and raise meaningful support for your small business.

1. Invest in marketing software

Chances are you already use software to complete transactions, manage payroll, and store customer data. By adding marketing software to your tech stack, you can optimize campaigns, tap into your target markets, and convert more leads into sales.

To ensure a positive return on investment, Gingr recommends a marketing solution that allows you to:

  • Track customer engagement. Invest in a solution that provides built-in tools for tracking and analyzing how customers interact with your deliverables. These insights will help you improve future outreach.
  • Segment customers into unique groups. By categorizing customers into groups based on shared characteristics, such as demographics, level of loyalty, or geographic location, you can be sure you’re sending relevant information to the right people.
  • Use custom templates to streamline outreach. Custom marketing templates allow you to send important updates directly to customers without having to write the copy from scratch.

With software dedicated to supporting your marketing strategy, you can spend less time worrying about outreach and more time building meaningful relationships with your customers.

2.  Get to know your audience

Identifying a target audience helps your small business focus its marketing efforts and dollars on the people who are most likely to invest in your products or services. Employ these strategies to ensure that your marketing materials appeal to the unique needs and interests of your ideal customer:

  • Perform prospect research. Prospecting is the process of using your customer relationship management system (CRM) to identify potential customers who have the financial ability and interest to support your business. If your database is updated and organized, you should be able to quickly scan through it to find important information about your target audience.
  • Create customer personas. Once you have a better understanding of who your target audience is, create customer personas to represent the different types of clients who walk through your door. For instance, if you’re a dog trainer, you might create customer personas for your experienced dog owner audience and your new dog owner audience. Then, you can tailor your communications according to their preferences and interests.

Now that you have a target audience in mind, you can make informed decisions about which marketing channels, messaging, and branding to use to solicit their support.

3. Leverage multichannel marketing

If you want to effectively promote your small business, consider adopting a multichannel approach to marketing. Multichannel marketing uses several different touchpoints to reach your target audience on their preferred platforms and attract the attention of as many supporters as possible.

Your organization’s website should be central to your outreach efforts. Create web pages dedicated to the various aspects of your business, such as an “About Us” page that summarizes your vision and an e-commerce store that offers integrated payment processing. Then, link back to these resources across your other communication channels, which may include:

  • Email: Consider sending out a monthly email newsletter with important updates, information, and reviews on your products and services. Encourage recipients to open your message with a short, eye-catching subject line like “A quick update from our company: What’s new?”
  • Direct mail: Sending event invitations, informational flyers, and customer appreciation letters through the mail can result in high response rates when given a personalized touch. Address supporters by name and include relevant information about their connection to your small business. Then, include a QR code that recipients can scan to access your website, sign up for your email newsletter, or follow your social media accounts.
  • Social media: If you want to expand your social media presence across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok, NXUnite suggests reaching out to industry leaders who already have a large following and asking if they’d be willing to share your content with their own networks.

One channel isn’t enough to market your small business. By maximizing your reach, you’ll remain at the top of your current and potential customers’ minds.

4. Launch a referral program

A referral program encourages current customers to refer their friends, family members, and peers to your business in exchange for a reward. These recommendations serve as an effective and relatively low-cost marketing strategy. That’s because people trust the opinions of family and friends when buying a new product or considering a new service more than they would trust paid advertising. In fact, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.

When designing a referral program, you should:

  • Establish clear rules. Create criteria for entering the referral program and plan for potential contingencies to ensure your referral program is mutually beneficial for your business and customers. For example, you may set a maximum number of referrals per year to conserve the time, money, and resources you spend on rewards.
  • Offer enticing rewards. Your rewards should excite customers and motivate them to promote your brand. Consider providing branded merchandise, discounts, free services, or package add-ons.
  • Market your referral program. Create a memorable slogan or tagline to describe your referral program and encapsulate your brand, such as “Refer a friend to our pet grooming business and earn 10% off your pet’s next haircut.” Then, share it with your customers and encourage them to spread the word to their peers.

If managed properly, a referral program should allow you to engage existing customers while broadening your supporter base.

Work with your entire team to ensure that these marketing strategies align with your larger goals, budget, and vision. Whether you’re looking to market an upcoming event or raise brand awareness in the community, investing in a robust marketing plan will help your small business succeed in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Author: Casey Dorman

Hi, I’m Casey! I’m the Sales Manager at Gingr software.  Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in Colorado with my wife and dog, Dexter.  Our hobbies include hiking, skiing, and visiting local breweries.

Explore the Google Ad Grant Impact Report to learn about the benefits of the program.

Impact Report: The Power of the Google Ad Grant

As a nonprofit professional, you understand the importance of making the most of every dollar you spend on your mission. Nonprofits operate with limited budgets, so professionals in the sector constantly look for ways to maximize impact without overspending.

If you’ve encountered the Google Ad Grant program, you probably recognize that the program’s valuable. Free advertising money is a clear win for any organization. But what are the exact benefits? How can you calculate what the Google Ad Grant is actually worth to your nonprofit?

We’re here to help you answer those questions and more! That way, you can understand the tangible results the grant provides nonprofits. Then, you can communicate that to your organization’s leadership and get everyone on board. Here’s what we’ll cover:

At Getting Attention, we work with nonprofits to maximize the impact of the Google Ad Grant. We’ve seen it produce real results for nonprofits looking to amplify their missions online, and we think it’s a viable option for any organization.

To learn more about why so many organizations rely on Google Ad Grants, continue reading this impact report or chat with our experts.

Work with our professionals to grow the Google Ad Grant's impact on your nonprofit.

The Google Ad Grant provides several benefits that will impact your organization.

Basic Benefits of the Google Ad Grant

Long story short, if your nonprofit has a website filled with valuable content about your mission, the Google Ad Grant can potentially transform your digital presence. Putting some thought behind your Google Ad Grant strategy means you can:

  • Create awareness and buzz for your cause. Strengthen communication with existing supporters and connect with new prospects. You can deliver content to those who are most likely to support your cause, whether they’ve interacted with your team before or are new to your work.
  • Boost site engagement. Through your Google Ads, you’ll direct readers to the pages they’ll find most valuable. For example, an ad targeting “animal shelter volunteering” can promote a volunteer page. This brings attention to your most insightful and helpful pages for individual users, thus improving the user experience.
  • Increase online conversions. The goal of Google Ad Grant is to drive users to take meaningful actions to support your nonprofit. For our data-focused readers, this can be translated to mean “conversions.” Depending on your goals, you can aim to increase donations, volunteer registrations, email list sign-ups, event registrations, or something else.

There’s really no limit to what you can achieve with the Google Ad Grant. With an astounding $10,000 to spend each month, you can make powerful strides in strengthening your online presence.

Google Ads Statistics

“Engagement,” “awareness,” and “buzz” are all arbitrary. What are the real numbers tied to the impact that the Google Ad Grant has on nonprofits?

While results will vary based on organizations, some pretty impressive statistics communicate the impact the grant has on the industry as a whole:

  • Google owns over 92% of the global search engine market, helping nonprofits connect with more prospects than ever before. (source: StatCounter)
  • 98% of searchers click a result on page 1 of Google, making the Google Ad Grant a great way to drive more clicks. (source: Nonprofits Source)
  • Nonprofit spending on digital ads increased by 19% in 2021, with organizations spending around $0.06 for every dollar raised online. (source: M+R Benchmarks)
  • Compared to other platforms, search ads (like Google Ads) have the highest ROI for nonprofits using paid advertising, with an average ROI of $4.78. (source: Double the Donation)
  • Google processes about 3.7 billion search queries every day. (source: Internet Live Stats)
  • For Google Ads, advocacy groups and nonprofits have an average cost per click (CPC) of $1.43. (source: WordStream)
  • View-through revenue (revenue from donors who saw but didn’t click on an ad) accounts for 35% of all giving sourced from digital ads. (source: M+R Benchmarks)

These statistics show the incredible impact of Google Ad Grants.

There’s no shortage of impressive statistics out there! Those are just a few of our favorites that speak to the value of the Google Ad Grant.

Know what factors can impact the Google Ad Grant's ROI for your cause.

Factors that Impact the Google Ad Grant’s ROI

As an in-kind donation, the Google Ad Grant itself doesn’t take money out of your marketing budget. Google technically pays for the ads you create through the program.

At a glance, the Google Ad Grant is technically free, so it might seem like there’s no investment necessary. However, acquiring and retaining the grant takes time, expertise, and therefore money.

So, in terms of your investment, the real question you should ask is how much time or money you spend on grant management, rather than how much Google spends to display your ads.

Grant management costs are typically the only investment costs that you’ll have to worry about. Know that professional management can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,000 per month. Some providers also offer add-on services that cost more but also boost the impact of your Google Ad Grant.

Calculate ROI for the Google Ad Grant by diving your benefits by the cost of management services.

Getting Attention pairs expertise with affordability, keeping your grant management costs low. We charge $500 per month — and there aren’t any hidden add-on fees. We’ll handle every aspect of your Google Grant management, helping you to maximize your ROI at every turn.

Work with our professionals to grow the Google Ad Grant's impact on your nonprofit.

Learn how to calculate ROI so you know the Google Ad Grant's impact on your cause.

Calculating ROI for Your Nonprofit’s Google Ad Grant Account

The struggle with calculating marketing ROI is that it’s hard to attach a dollar amount to your results. It’s one of the most elusive metrics for an organization.

What we’ve come to learn is that ROI varies from organization to organization. It depends on your specific goals for the program and what metrics you’re tracking.

Through Google Analytics, you’ll track conversions (or meaningful actions) for your ads. As a reminder, most organizations track:

  • Monetary goals: online donations, member sales, event registrations
  • Non-monetary goals: volunteer sign-ups, email sign-ups, time spent on site, clicks to call

These actions communicate how much each ad is worth to your organization.

For conversions that produce revenue (like donations), it’s easy to calculate ROI. You simply compare the money you generate from Google Ads with the amount you spend on Google Ad Grant management.

However, non-monetary goals (like volunteer sign-ups) are harder to put a price on. For these, you’ll need to chat with your team about how much each of these conversions is worth to you. You don’t necessarily have to attach a dollar amount, but you can set achievable goals for how many conversions you’d like your ads to produce.

Paid Advertising vs. The Google Ad Grant

When using paid advertising, you’ll pay for each ad yourself. You strive to keep costs down to maximize your ROI. To do this, you might omit competitive (and therefore expensive) keywords and instead focus on less popular queries.

With the Google Ad Grant, you can bid on the most expensive keywords without affecting your ROI.

Whether your Google Ads cost $10 or $10,000, your investment is only what you pay for grant management. Your out-of-pocket costs won’t change. So, if you pay a grant manager $500 per month, you’ll pay the same no matter how much of your grant you spend.

You’ll calculate your ROI based on the real money you spend ($500 in this case) and the results your ads generated (e.g. clicks, conversions, and revenue).

The Bottom Line: The only investment you’ll need to consider is how much you spend on grant management each month. For monetary conversions, you can compare how much you earn with how much you’re spending on grant management. For non-monetary conversions, how much the Google Ad Grant is “worth” fully depends on whether your ads are producing results for your team.

Let's walk through how quickly to expect the impact of Google Ad Grants.

When To Expect Results for Your Google Ads

Applying and getting approved for the Google Ad Grant can take some time. If you’re not already set up with TechSoup or have a Google for Nonprofits account, it can take a month or two to get started.

Once you’re up and running, it takes a bit more time to see results from your campaigns. There’s no set guarantee, but generally, you can expect to see some traction a few weeks after launching a campaign.

Within your first month, you’ll start to see some measurable results. Take a look at your Ad Groups, and you’ll start to see clicks for your campaigns.

If you don’t have any conversions yet, don’t worry! The first few weeks can be slow. This time isn’t wasted time, though. Google needs time to gather information about your campaign. It takes a few weeks for Google to learn who to show your campaigns to in order to produce results. In other words, Google wants to serve your ads to the right audiences.

While it varies on a case-by-case basis, Google Ad Grant campaigns generally take 2-3 months to mature and then up to a year to develop into a strong campaign. In rare cases, Google Ads can deliver results overnight. But again, most campaigns won’t generate a positive ROI until a few months in.

This timeline shows how quickly nonprofits commonly see a positive impact from Google Ad Grants.

Factors That Might Slow Down Results

A few factors might impact how quickly you see results, such as:

  • No experience with Google Ads: It can be tempting to follow Google’s recommended settings. Google’s courses are full of reassuring messages about their smart settings, but leaving a new Google Ad Grants account to do whatever is risky. This is why we recommend working with an experienced professional who can actively monitor your campaigns.
  • Advertising in low-volume niches: Slow-moving campaigns are completely normal for certain niches. If you work on a very specific cause, expect to wait a bit longer to see results.
  • Brand new websites: If you just created your website, you’ll have very little (if any) site performance data. You’ll need a month or two to determine which pages on your site are valuable and which aren’t. In this scenario, work with your Google Ad Grants manager to test several approaches to find out what content generates positive campaign results.
  • Poorly-designed websites: If your campaigns aren’t producing sufficient conversions, your website might be to blame. Bring your website up to code with the program’s website requirements, or rely on a professional to optimize your landing pages for you.

Help from a professional will help you see better results over time. Even from the get-go, a professional manager can help you overcome these challenges instead of waiting for you to learn the nuances of the program.

You can increase the impact of Google Ad Grants by turning to experts.

How To Achieve Results Quickly With the Google Ad Grant

The secret to effective Google Ad Grant management is research, research, research! The program has a lot of requirements, so you’ll need to study how to meet these requirements and explore how similar organizations create winning ad campaigns.  In many cases, perfecting your ads take a lot of trial and error, too.

Instead of devoting a staff member’s time to learning about the program, working with a professional is your best bet. A professional Google Grants manager will already have the necessary background knowledge regarding how the Google Ad Grants interface and the program as a whole works, so you’ll minimize your costs and maximize your ROI this way.

Here at Getting Attention, we strive to help nonprofits make the most of the Google Ad Grant budget. As a full-service Ad Grant consulting firm, we offer these services:

We offer these services to increase the impact of the Google Ad Grant.

  • Eligibility check and Google Ad Grant application
  • Full account setup or existing account audit
  • Ad creation and keyword research
  • Ongoing account maintenance and reporting
  • Landing page relaunch
  • Account reactivation

Best of all, we aim to keep our costs low at $500 per month. With no hidden add-on fees, your nonprofit can maximize your Google Ad Grant results and generate meaningful conversions for your cause.

Explore these additional resources to learn more about the Google Ad Grant's impact.

Additional Resources

The Google Ad Grant is a powerful resource for any nonprofit that wants to increase its online presence. With the right strategy for your organization, it can have an incredible impact on what you’re able to accomplish.

Marketing ROI can be tricky to calculate in some cases, so it’s important to have some idea of what goals your nonprofit is striving to achieve. Then, you can use that to estimate whether the Google Ad Grant is producing sufficient results.

Whether you’re boosting donations or volunteer sign-ups, you can maximize your ROI by investing in professional Google Grant management. Experts have the background experience necessary to overcome common challenges, write compelling ads, and adjust your campaigns based on results. If you’re ready to get started, reach out to our expert Google Grants management team.

In the meantime, remember that the secret to maximizing your Google Ad Grant ROI is research! Explore these resources to learn everything you need to know about the program:

Meet with our team to discuss the Google Ad Grant's impact on nonprofits.