Check out these nonprofit marketing ideas to help expand your organization's reach.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas: Promote Your Cause Effectively

Nonprofit marketing is the key to growing your organization, gaining support, and having people show up to your events. Without marketing, there’s no way for people to know about your nonprofit and all the great work you’re doing.

It can be difficult to come up with effective marketing strategies for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve been in the marketing world for a while and feel like your marketing plan could use a refresh. Perhaps you’re constrained by your organization’s small marketing budget. Or maybe you’re completely new to the nonprofit marketing space and have no idea where to start.

Whatever your position is, we’re here to offer a comprehensive list of nonprofit marketing ideas to choose from to help you successfully promote your organization’s work. Take a look at the categories we’ll go over:

Here at Getting Attention, we specialize in teaching nonprofits about the Google Ad Grant program. Google Ad Grants are one surefire nonprofit marketing idea that comes at no cost to your organization. We believe that when paired with other nonprofit marketing ideas, the Google Grants program can skyrocket your promotional efforts and build the support your mission deserves.

Schedule a free consultation with Getting Attention to learn about how Google Grants is an effective nonprofit marketing idea.

We have many nonprofit marketing ideas to cover, so let’s get started!

These are the basics of nonprofit marketing.

What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Nonprofit marketing is the process of strategizing and planning ideas that will help your organization spread its reach and mission, obtain donations, and recruit supporters like volunteers, board members, and event attendees.

You’ve developed an organization that stands for a good cause. However, what you can do in service of your mission is limited by how much others know about your nonprofit. You certainly can’t take on something as big as ending the climate crisis or saving endangered animals without the help of others. That’s where effective nonprofit marketing ideas come in.

While nonprofit marketing is necessary for all organizations, it’s not always easy. You must be organized and focused on the goals you have for your nonprofit. Once you figure out the nonprofit marketing tactics that work for your nonprofit, they can help your organization by:

  • Spreading awareness of your mission. At the heart of your organization is your mission or cause. Nonprofit marketing can let people know what your organization is working so hard to achieve.
  • Securing donations. The more you can share your organization and its mission with others, the more potential donations you can receive.
  • Building relationships with donors. Of course, any monetary contributions your organization can obtain are useful, but recurring donations allow for a more stable income. If you can communicate with your donors effectively, they’ll be more likely to continue supporting your organization.
  • Gaining other supporters. Donors are just one group who can help out your organization. Don’t forget about volunteers, board members, and event attendees. Effective nonprofit marketing ideas can help you reach all kinds of people who are willing to assist you in achieving your mission.
  • Showcasing your services. Your nonprofit has a mission, but how do you specifically carry it out? Knowing exactly what your organization provides will inspire people to contribute to your nonprofit, and a comprehensive marketing plan can help highlight your services.Effective nonprofit marketing ideas can help your organization achieve these objectives.

Now that you know just how useful the right nonprofit marketing ideas can be, we’ll go over some strategies for how to use them effectively. We’ve split these ideas into different categories based on the overall outcome they will have for your organization.

Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas for developing your organization's mission.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Developing Your Organization’s Mission

Without a clear focus, it will be difficult to promote and operate your organization. That’s why developing your organization’s mission is so important. It provides the basis for your nonprofit’s values that likely govern what your organization does, how your employees approach their work, and how others see your organization.

Here’s how to get started with crafting your nonprofit’s mission:

There are many different nonprofit marketing ideas that can help you develop your nonprofit's mission.

  • Create an original nonprofit taglineIt’s important to be able to sum up your mission in a short phrase or sentence. That way, people interested in your work can quickly get a sense of what it’s all about.
  • Come up with design, personality, and attitude guidelines. Cohesiveness is key. Not only do you want your marketing materials to match your mission, but the way your employees act should as well. Be clear with how you want your employees to represent your organization so that everyone knows your standards.
  • Change up your look. If your organization has been around for a while, it might be worth thinking about changing your logo or branding. Doing so can freshen up your online presence and show people that you’re committed to modernizing your organization.
  • Provide information about your nonprofit’s goals and progress. Being transparent about what your organization is trying to achieve and the results you’ve gotten so far will help people to get a sense of where their help could fit in. It’s also just good practice for your nonprofit to be honest and forthcoming about its operations.
  • Exude confidence. If you want people to become a part of your organization, then you need to first believe in your work yourself. List your organization’s strengths so that people can see all the ways you excel as a nonprofit. In turn, people will be more willing to support your organization since it gives off a robust and self-assured image.
  • Incorporate storytelling. It’s the classic dilemma: showing people the work your organization has done is way better than just telling them the services you provide. Gather stories and quotes from those your organization helps so that people can develop a personal connection to your organization. Seeing the impact your organization has on real people will help others understand exactly what they could contribute to.
  • Develop a stable marketing plan or strategy. Staying organized for any task requires making a plan, and marketing is no different. A comprehensive nonprofit marketing plan will map out what you want to achieve in the near and distant future to give your efforts some direction.

Once you have a good understanding of your organization’s mission, it’s time to get online and spread the word.

Here are several nonprofit marketing ideas for using technology effectively.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Using Technology Effectively

In today’s media age, productive technology use is the key to marketing success. Using technology effectively can amplify your organization’s outreach even further and spread your mission to more people. Try out these tech-savvy nonprofit marketing ideas:

Website

It’s important to have a strong nonprofit website to showcase your organization and cause. Here are some website nonprofit marketing ideas:

  • Make a website. A well-designed website for your organization is the perfect place to start. It’s the most widely recognized online marketing tool that people of all ages can comfortably use on any device. Ensure that yours is easy to use and features all the up-to-date information that potential donors, volunteers, employees, supporters, and clients need to decide if they would like to be involved with your organization.
  • Create a blog. Content marketing is a great way to share what’s going on within your organization and provide relevant information about your industry. Writing lots of blog content will show that you’re a reputable source for industry and nonprofit-related topics. Also, people searching for topics you feature in your blog could stumble upon your organization’s website and become interested in supporting your cause.
  • Write engaging copy. Informing people about your cause will warrant a lot of writing. To make your copy easy to follow, break it up with graphics and try to be as concise as possible. It can also help your copywriters if you indicate what you’re envisioning for your brand’s voice and tone.
  • Work on your content’s SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is what ensures your content gets found on Google and other search engines. Do some keyword research to find what relevant terms people are searching for and incorporate them into your website and blog.Here's a checklist of nonprofit marketing ideas for your organization's website.

While these ideas are an effective way to strengthen your site, there are plenty of other nonprofit marketing strategies out there.

Social Media

Social media is the perfect way to engage with your younger supporters. Check out these nonprofit marketing ideas for social media:

  • Build out your social media accounts. Social media is always changing, but it’s important to stay on top of the trends and new platforms. As of right now, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat are the places to be. Lean into trends and adapt them to your organization for a fun yet relevant social media presence. If you have room in your budget, it might be beneficial to hire an intern to run your social media accounts so that your content stays fresh.
  • Make videos. Videos often allow you to portray and elicit emotion in a way that images can’t. If you have the resources to do so, try creating a short video related to your mission and post it on YouTube, your website, and your social media channels.
  • Establish a connected online presence. None of your online marketing tools should exist in a vacuum. Connect your website, blog, and social media accounts together to provide a cohesive user experience. For example, provide the link to your website in the bio of your social media accounts and feature your social media accounts on the homepage of your website. Making it easy to jump from platform to platform will ensure that users can find the one that best suits their preferences for interacting with your organization.Here's a checklist of nonprofit marketing ideas for your organization's social media.

After you have developed your nonprofit’s website and social media accounts, remember to follow all general digital marketing best practices.

General Online Nonprofit Marketing Ideas

Finally, take a look at these general nonprofit marketing ideas to improve your organization’s online presence:

  • Utilize multiple marketing channels. Marketing comes in all different forms, and it’s important to leverage as many of them as you can. Combine emails, phone calls, direct mail, social media posts, and website updates for the most comprehensive marketing strategy. You’ll want to try different avenues so you have the biggest chance to capture your audience’s attention.
  • Include calls to action. To inspire action, tell people how they can help create change. Maybe you include a button in one of your blog posts linking to your donation page. Perhaps you add an event registration link to your email newsletter. Making it easy for people to take the actions you want them to makes it more likely that they’ll respond accordingly.
  • Take advantage of virtual events. The boom of video chatting platforms in the workplace has opened up doors for virtual events. Now, you can plan an event that reaches hundreds or thousands of people all around the world. Host a panel or share some updates about your organization with your supporters for an engaging online experience.Here are some general nonprofit marketing ideas.

Smart technology use can push your mission forward and help you gain support. However, it can get expensive to create so much content across different platforms, so it’s important to know how to budget your marketing plan.

Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas for keeping your costs down.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Keeping Costs Down

Nonprofits are typically on tight budgets, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t market their causes effectively. They just need to be smart about how they use their funds. Here are some ways you can promote your organization while keeping costs low:

  • Create a marketing budget. What better way to stay on a budget than by creating one in the first place? It’s important to allocate your resources where they will be most useful and stay aware of how much money your organization has available to spend.
  • Print strategically. These days, there’s less and less of a need to print things, so think about what truly needs to be printed. Additionally, try to print double-sided pages whenever possible and implement batch printing.
  • Unbrand direct mail. There’s no need to send branded envelopes if it’ll overwhelm your budget. Besides, all the important stuff is inside, right? Just make it clear that the letter came from someone at your organization, so recipients won’t think it’s junk mail and toss it.
  • Add a “Donate Now” button to your Facebook page. If your nonprofit qualifies, Facebook will add the button to your page for free. It’s an easy way for supporters to donate and requires no work from your team to upkeep.
  • Team up with a local business. If what’s holding your organization back is funds, seek out someone who can offset your marketing costs. Local businesses are often happy to pair up with nonprofits as a way to give back to their community. See if you can find a local business that will donate food or supplies for your event or keep a donation bucket in their store.
  • Use AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a program available through Amazon where the company will donate 0.5% of people’s eligible purchases to a nonprofit that they choose. There are over one million organizations to choose from, and making sure yours is one of them is an easy and free way to collect some extra cash. Let your supporters and employees know to select your organization on the AmazonSmile website to start earning from their purchases.Try these ideas for how to keep your nonprofit's marketing costs low.

Keeping costs down where you can will ensure that you can set aside the funds you need for bigger marketing projects and more expensive resources.

Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas for advertising your organization.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Advertising Your Nonprofit

There are so many different nonprofit marketing ideas for advertising your organization’s services and making sure they’re put in front of the right audiences. This is great news because it means your organization can pick and choose the tactics that fit your nonprofit best. Check out some nonprofit marketing ideas for advertising your organization:

Online

Marketing your nonprofit online will allow you to reach a larger audience. Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas for spreading the word online:

  • Use Google Ad Grants. The Google Ad Grant program provides eligible organizations with $10,000 per month in Google Ad spending at no cost. You just have to apply, create your ads, and you’re good to go! However, you must maintain your account and follow all program requirements. If you need help with your Google Ad Grants account, schedule a free consultation with us. We’ll help you apply for the program, target the right keywords, and create highly effective ads for your cause!
  • Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising is when individuals raise money for a nonprofit by reaching out to friends and family. People can set up a donation page, but social media has made peer-to-peer fundraising even easier by building in fundraising options on apps like Instagram and Facebook. For birthdays, holidays, memorials, or no occasion at all, individuals who are passionate about your organization can raise money for your cause.
  • Analyze your data. These days, every action you take online can produce some valuable data points. Track and review data such as clickthrough rate and time spent on each page to see if you can find any patterns and improve your marketing efforts. This nonprofit marketing idea can be especially useful when planning your advertising budget so that you can see where money needs to be allocated.

While it’s important to advertise your nonprofit online, there are still helpful ways to expand your organization’s reach using offline methods.

Offline

Combine your online marketing efforts with these offline nonprofit marketing ideas:

  • Sell branded merchandise. Turn your supporters into walking advertisements for your organization! If you get creative with your merchandise and make it something your supporters will love, then others will be interested in what they’re wearing and research your nonprofit.
  • Find brand ambassadors. Choosing a leader in your nonprofit to be the face of the organization can help with brand recognition and familiarize people with your nonprofit. Additionally, recruiting supporters or influencers to be brand ambassadors for your nonprofit is a great way to spread the word about your organization. Yes, they can post on social media, but they can also help you host in-person events and implement your other nonprofit marketing ideas.
  • Give people a personalized experience. Whether that’s sending a letter to a donor thanking them for their support or reaching out to a supporter to deepen your relationship with them, customize the experience. People respond better when they know you took the time to give them something special and meant for them only.
  • Emulate larger organizations. It never hurts to see what other more established nonprofits are doing and try to reproduce it with your own resources. Check out their blogs and scroll through their social media pages for tips and an idea of the progression of their organization.There are so many ways you can incorporate advertising into your nonprofit marketing plan, both online and offline.

Mixing up your advertising methods is a great way to reach many different people. It also allows you to learn more about your audience and which marketing efforts they respond to best.

These nonprofit marketing ideas can help you foster relationships with partners and donors.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Fostering Stakeholder Relationships

All of your supporters are important, but developing relationships with partners and donors will strengthen your organization’s network and broaden your reach. Take a look at some of our marketing ideas for nonprofits looking to recruit more partners and donors:

Developing relationships with partners and donors is not only a large part of your nonprofit marketing plan but also of your organization's reputation and credibility.

Welcoming Partners and Donors

From the very beginning, you’ll want your new supporters to feel welcome in your organization’s community. Try out these nonprofit marketing ideas for new partners and donors:

  • Send a welcome package. What better way to welcome partners and donors than with a welcome package? Include tons of information about your organization and partner or donor program. Additionally, you’ll want to give them some fun branded merchandise such as a t-shirt, pen, or mug. Doing so can get people excited about working with you and show how much you appreciate them from the very start.
  • Take them out for a meal. Having lunch or coffee with a partner or donor is a great way to develop a relationship with them. You can show them that you care about getting to know them face-to-face and can tell them a little more about your organization. This is also a great opportunity to get any feedback from your partners or donors about their work with you so far.
  • Remind them of matching gift opportunitiesIf a donor’s employer is willing to match their donation, you could receive double the funding for your organization. It’s best for donors to use software that will inform them of matching gift opportunities beforehand, but it doesn’t hurt to them let know after they have made their donation to see if their employer can help.

Once you develop relationships with your partners and donors, it’s important to keep them strong.

Maintaining the Relationship

Keeping your relationships with your supporters is an essential part of your nonprofit’s success. Take a look at these nonprofit marketing ideas to help you maintain stakeholder relationships:

  • Be strategic with the timing of your messages. It’s important to build a regular email rapport with your partners and donors, whether that be by reaching out to them individually to chat or sending an email newsletter. However, make sure you look into the best time to send these messages. This may depend on the age, career, lifestyle, and time zone of your partners and donors.
  • Reach out to lapsed donors. Just because a donor hasn’t contributed in a while doesn’t mean that they’ve lost interest in your organization. Sometimes, donors are just busy or don’t have your organization on their minds. Sending them a gift or explaining how your donor program has changed can help to re-engage lapsed donors.
  • Keep up with donors. Stewardship is an important part of maintaining relationships with donors. Build trust by following up with supporters and showing them that you are using their money responsibly.
  • Respond well to partner or donor feedback. These people are contributing to your organization, so it’s important to remember that when they give you constructive feedback. Listen to their concerns and try to make things right. Your supporters will appreciate your patience and willingness to help them out.

Forming relationships with supporters is one thing, but keeping them requires effective communication. Apply these nonprofit marketing ideas to your outreach to make sure you’re doing everything you can to create lasting connections with your supporters.

Once you have their support, it's important to keep up your communication with partners, donors, and other supporters using effective nonprofit marketing ideas.

Nonprofit Marketing Ideas For Communicating with Supporters

After you develop relationships with your supporters, you need to figure out how to keep them around. As we’ve mentioned, the best way to ensure that your supporters continue their support is by effectively communicating with them. These are some best practices for communicating with your nonprofit’s supporters:

Communication Style

The way you communicate with your supporters is inherently tied to their perception of your organization. Use these nonprofit marketing ideas to develop a good communication style with your supporters:

  • Be responsive. An easy way to keep your communication style professional is to respond quickly. Responding efficiently to people’s messages shows them you respect their time.
  • Keep a positive attitude. You want your supporters to have a positive experience with your organization, which starts with you and your staff. Approach your communications with optimism despite any challenges your nonprofit encounters.
  • Use a donor database. Keeping track of your supporters’ information and past interactions with your organization can help you make more informed decisions regarding your communication with them. For example, if you have multiple phone numbers listed for the same donor, choosing the preferred one can ensure a quicker response.
  • Implement segmentation. Dividing your supporters into appropriate categories can enable you to send more personalized messages to each group. An easy way to segment your supporters is by type of support: donors, partners, clients, brand ambassadors, board members, and so on. You could also segment supporters by how long they have been involved with your organization or by how frequently they interact with your nonprofit.Here are some nonprofit marketing ideas for improving your organization's communication style.

Improving your organization’s communication style will help you keep great relationships with your stakeholders.

Getting Supporters Involved

While it’s important for your organization to keep your supporters informed, you’ll also want to hear from them about what they think of your nonprofit. Get your supporters involved with these nonprofit marketing ideas:

  • Send out surveys. Receiving feedback from your supporters can help improve areas of your organization that need work. Additionally, the act of asking for feedback shows supporters that you care about their input and are committed to improving your nonprofit.
  • Encourage interactions on social media. If you’re using social media effectively, you can really get to know your supporters and encourage them to interact with your organization in unique ways. For example, you can create polls, ask questions in your captions, and interview supporters so you can feature them in a post or newsletter.
  • Ask your supporters about their experience working with your organization. The best way to promote your organization is by sharing quotes from real people who believe in your nonprofit. Asking your supporters to offer a quote about their experience allows them to reflect on what they enjoy about your organization and share that with others.Check out these nonprofit marketing ideas for getting your supporters involved.

Fine-tuning your communication with supporters can help to maintain your relationships with them and remind them of why they prioritize contributing to your cause. These ideas offer a solid start, but be sure to consistently brainstorm new ways to maintain open lines of communication with your community.

Take a look at these resources for more nonprofit marketing ideas.

Conclusion & Additional Resources

Developing and implementing a marketing strategy can be a lot for a nonprofit to take on, but these nonprofit marketing ideas will give you a solid foundation on which to build. From solidifying your organization’s mission to fostering relationships with your supporters, there are so many ways to promote your nonprofit and make it stand out to prospects.

While we were able to give you a quick glimpse into several marketing ideas for nonprofits, you might want some more information about them. Below we’ve highlighted some resources about ideas that we mentioned:

Donor engagement strategies to drive nonprofit support

8 Donor Engagement Strategies to Drive Nonprofit Support

Nonprofits often rely on generous donors to help fund their mission programming, general overhead costs, and more. But an organization can’t expect to sit back and watch the revenue roll in without first establishing efforts in place to identify, build relationships with, and solicit donations from its supporters⁠—which is where donor engagement strategies come in.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through eight fantastic methods that have been known to drive nonprofit support by elevating engagement levels among contributors. These include:

  1. Matching gifts
  2. Google Ad Grants
  3. Peer-to-peer giving
  4. Volunteerism opportunities
  5. Donor appreciation
  6. Segmentation and personalization
  7. Unique fundraising ideas
  8. Powerful storytelling

By incorporating these tactics into your nonprofit donor engagement strategy, you can better connect with your supporters, who will be increasingly interested in supporting your fundraising initiatives over time.

1. Matching gifts

Matching gifts are an extremely popular type of corporate philanthropy, and they’re one that places individual donors at the heart of their employers’ giving strategies. Thus, they’re not only a corporate giving opportunity, but they simultaneously function as a top donor engagement strategy for your organization.

Here’s how these workplace giving programs typically work:

  1. An individual donor gives to your nonprofit.
  2. The donor is encouraged to look into their matching gift eligibility through their employer (typically by providing access to a matching gift database or directing them to contact the company directly).
  3. The donor, upon determining that their employer offers to match gifts, completes a quick online submission form to request their corporate donation match.
  4. The employer reviews the submission and verifies that the initial donation adheres to pre-determined matching criteria.
  5. A corporate matching donation is provided by the donor’s employer, ultimately leaving your organization with two gifts for the price of one.

Highlighting matching gift opportunities can be one of the most effective ways to engage your donors⁠—and there’s a ton of research to back this up. In fact, research shows that 84% of donors are more likely to donate if a match is offered, with 1 in 3 donors indicating they’d give a larger gift if matching is being applied.

Not to mention, following up with matching gift donors after their initial contribution provides nonprofits with an additional touch point with which to ensure their mission remains at the top of the donor’s mind for longer.

2. Google Ad Grants

If your nonprofit isn’t already leveraging Google Ad Grants in your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with existing and prospective donors alike. Here’s what this looks like for organizations looking to increase awareness and support for their missions:

  1. Google offers up to $10,000 in free advertising credits to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations per month.
  2. Your nonprofit leverages this in-kind advertising space to promote your cause and its fundraising efforts to supporters by targeting specific keywords.
  3. A (potential or existing) supporter conducts a Google search for a search term related to your nonprofit.
  4. Your nonprofit’s website shows up in the top spots on Google’s search engine results page.
  5. The supporter clicks through to your nonprofit’s site and decides to get involved with your cause, such as by making a donation.

Google Ad Grants are essential for increasing donor engagement on two key fronts⁠—attracting new supporters to your cause and providing additional engagement opportunities for existing supporters. By utilizing the free ad space made available by the number 1 search engine, your organization can easily put your cause in front of tons of new and recurring donors, opening up even more chances for building on those relationships.

3. Peer-to-peer giving

Peer-to-peer campaigns are a popular form of nonprofit fundraising for many reasons. Organizations hosting the campaigns are able to reach new donors (via existing supporters who take on a fundraising role for your nonprofit) while offering one of the most engaging ways for existing supporters to participate.

Supporters, equipped with customizable donation pages from the organization’s peer-to-peer platform, then reach out to their own networks of friends, family members, and more to solicit donations for a cause they care about. First-time donors are more likely to contribute when asked by a peer, rather than directly by your organization. That means this strategy enables your team to get in touch with new supporters you may not have won over on your own.

All the funding goes to your organization’s mission, and you’re left with a ton of donors who are highly engaged with the cause. From there, you can work to continue building your connection with new and existing individuals through additional donor engagement ideas. Who knows⁠—some of your brand new donors may be willing to take on a fundraising role of their own for your next peer giving campaign!

4. Volunteerism opportunities

Even your most dedicated donors don’t want their only communications with your team to be additional requests for funding. That’s why it’s an excellent idea to offer unique opportunities for involvement with your organization and its mission as a key way to further engage your donors.

And one of the best ways to do so is by encouraging donors to participate through volunteer opportunities! This can be an excellent way for donors to see your cause in a new light. Plus, getting a behind-the-scenes look through volunteerism can help inspire increased giving as well.

Not to mention, you can even monetize this engagement strategy by highlighting the potential for volunteer grants. Many donors (especially those previously determined to be eligible for matching gifts) will work for companies that provide financial support to the nonprofits their employees volunteer with. Encourage them to look into any volunteer grant programming offered by their employers to help stretch their contributions even further.

5. Donor appreciation

You probably know that it’s important to say thank you to your donors for their gifts. But do you know how important it is?

Two of the most common reasons why donors stop giving to nonprofit organizations they’ve supported in the past are 1) that they were never thanked for their gift and 2) that they were not informed about how the funding was being used. Both of these ideas together can lead a donor to believe that the nonprofit in question didn’t really need their donation in the first place⁠—and ultimately, a lack of donor engagement.

Luckily, effectively communicating appreciation for your donors can assist in solving all of the above problems. You’ll want to thank each individual donor for supporting your nonprofit with their hard-earned dollars. Not only is it the polite thing to do, but it also helps close the loop and reiterate to the donor that their contribution was received and processed successfully. Plus, you can use it as an opportunity to emphasize your nonprofit’s cause and the specific way that the donor’s gift is able to help move your mission forward.

Bottom line? Appreciated donors are more likely to become and stay highly engaged with your organization.

6. Segmentation and personalization

Unfortunately, a donation appeal that begins with “Dear donor” or “to whom this may concern” and ends with a generic request of $5, $10, $25, or $50 is not likely to produce great results. That’s because it won’t elicit the emotional connections that are required for effective fundraising nowadays.

Why not? An effective ask needs to incorporate strategic segmentation and personalization⁠—two things that, when done well, can go particularly far in terms of donor engagement for your organization. It’s what makes a donation request feel like an intimate appeal to an essential partner in your organization’s mission (which, as you know, is what your donors are).

In order to drive engagement, all messaging should be segmented. Donors should be grouped by specific characteristics with other similar individuals to receive targeted information relevant to that slice of your network. This might be in relation to donation level (small, mid-size, or major donors), geographic region, communication preferences, and more.

Further, your communications should also be personalized to each individual. That may include addressing the recipient by name, referring to a donation recently received, or anything else that shows that the message was crafted just for them.

The more you segment and personalize your fundraising efforts, the more your asks will stand out to the individual, the more engaged they will be with your cause, and the more likely they are to partake in your intended response.

7. Unique fundraising ideas

Dedicated fundraising campaigns can be some of the best ways to connect with your organization’s donors and solicit generous gifts at the same time. However, if you go for the same old, same old “been there, done that” fundraising ideas, you’re likely to face more donor burnout than donor engagement.

That’s why choosing unique, exciting, and refreshing fundraisers is such an essential part of donor engagement! And that’s not saying you have to drop your tried-and-true fundraising ideas, either. Just try sprucing them up to make them stand out, and your audience will be more than happy to participate.

For example, do you host an annual charity auction event that does well each year? Consider adding a shiny, new theme⁠—or, even better, a virtual bidding component! Not to mention, similar ideas can be used to optimize your event-a-thons, galas, and more. And don’t forget to incorporate workplace giving opportunities alongside your favorite new fundraising ideas whenever possible!

8. Powerful storytelling

Finally, the story you tell about your nonprofit and its mission-related efforts is essential for securing, engaging, and retaining donor support.

In order to bring your strategic storytelling practices to the next level and inspire more supporters to get involved, it’s important to incorporate essential elements. This should include a group or person in need of aid (your organization’s beneficiaries), a compelling hero (your nonprofit team and the donors who support your work), and a key solution (what your organization does to make a difference). From there, you’ll also want to include supporting data, an emotional narrative, sensory details, and relevant imagery when possible.

The idea is that donors feel connected to the story and desire to play a role in the solution⁠—thus, supporting (or continuing to support) your organization in its work!


Final Thoughts on These Top Donor Engagement Strategies

Your donor base forms an essential component of your overall nonprofit organization, and their engagement with your cause is critical for continuous mission success. A highly engaged donor is more likely to contribute to your cause time and time again⁠—so you don’t want to settle for base-level efforts.

Luckily, utilizing donor engagement strategies like workplace giving promotions, strategic fundraising, cost-effective marketing, and more can make a huge difference. That means it’s time to begin incorporating these ideas into your nonprofit strategy and make sure you equip your team with the tools required to do so effectively!

Want to learn more about getting donors engaged with your nonprofit organization? Browse these additional Getting Attention resources to learn more:

Matching gifts despite economic downturns and how corporate funding remains steady

Matching Gifts Remain Steady (If Not Growing) Despite Economic Downturns

Effective fundraising can be difficult in the best of times, and strenuous economic circumstances can throw a wrench in any organization’s well-laid-out plans. That said, matching gift programs remain a top source of funding for many nonprofits, and matching gifts despite economic downturns is entirely possible.

In order to best craft a matching gift strategy for your organization, it’s essential to both look at past examples and cite probable trends for the future.

Which is why, in this guide, we’ll share valuable insights into the following:

The good news is this ⁠— research shows that matching gift opportunities remain steady and are likely to continue doing so. At the same time, it’s important to equip your team with the knowledge surrounding matching gift programs, their current status in the nonprofit sector, and what you can do to set your mission up for success.

Let’s begin.

What We’ve Learned From Previous Economic Downturns

Since the conclusion of the Great Depression in 1939, the U.S. has fallen into thirteen economic recessions. In the most recent circumstances, we’ve seen the effects that difficult national (and even global) financial crises have had on one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy⁠—matching gifts.

Luckily, the evident impact has been largely positive, which is a benefit to the companies, their employees, and nonprofit causes around the world.

Matching Gifts in the Great Recession

The Great Recession, which occurred from December of 2007 to June of 2009, was one of the first to take place while matching gift programs were a commonplace type of philanthropy. And while many were concerned about companies taking away the giving opportunities, this didn’t tend to be the case.

In the words of Aron Cramer, president and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility, “This recession is wiping away a lot of things, but so far, corporate responsibility seems to be a survivor.” Looking back on the happenings, we’re glad to report that corporate giving continued to thrive throughout the downturns.

Here’s what a few well-known companies had to say (and do) concerning corporate giving in the 2008 recession:

General Electric is an example of a company continuously matching gifts despite economic downturns.General Electric — According to its 2008 annual report, the GE Foundation re-allocated an additional $20 million to increase its support for organizations providing communities with basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. In fact, General Electric’s overall philanthropic giving grew by 13.6% as compared to the previous year⁠—despite a stock price decrease of 55%.

In the words of GE’s Chairman and CEO at the time, Jeffrey Immelt, “When we come out of this fog, this notion that companies need to stand for something – they need to be accountable for more than just the money they earn – is going to be profound.”

Starbucks is an example of a company continuously matching gifts despite economic downturns.Starbucks ⁠— In December of 2008, Howard Schultz, at-the-time CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, published a contributor piece in the Huffington Post outlining his passionate belief in the participation of corporate social responsibility. Amidst the economic downturn of the time, Schultz proclaimed that it was not the time to cut giving and other social contributions.

In his own words, the Starbucks CEO stated, “With that mindset comes the false belief that investments in people and training can wait; that corporate social responsibility can be put on the back burner.” And the idea is reflected in Starbucks’ matching gift data, as well! Not only did the company retain its matching gift program despite overall financial hardship, but it saw a 28.6% increase in matching gift totals from year over year (source: 2007 and 2008 Global Impact Reports).

Matching Gifts + COVID-19

The next recession seen by the U.S. took place between February and April of 2020 and was the direct effect of the coronavirus pandemic during the same time period. And again, many were pleasantly surprised at the charitable responses taken by tons of businesses, small and large.

Check out these companies’ matching gift responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn:

AbbVie is an example of a company continuously matching gifts despite economic downturns.AbbVie ⁠— In order to aid in COVID-19 relief efforts, global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie opted to significantly increase its charitable contributions to nonprofit causes amidst the pandemic outbreak. In late March of 2020, the company announced a $35 million donation above and beyond its existing nonprofit funding⁠. This was in addition to an expanding matching gift program for its employees, offering to match team member donations at a 2:1 rate, rather than its typical dollar-for-dollar approach.

According to chairman and chief executive officer, Richard A. Gonzalez, “AbbVie is making this donation to nonprofit partners that will have an immediate and significant positive impact in communities that have been hit hardest by this unprecedented crisis. Our 30,000 AbbVie team members around the world are proud to be able to help make a difference in the fight against this virus.”

General Mills is an example of a company continuously matching gifts despite economic downturns.General Mills ⁠— General Mills, Inc. similarly chose to increase its employee matching gift program in response to COVID-19 as a way to further motivate its employees to give back to their communities. In March of 2020, the company increased its maximum matching gift amount per employee by 50%. Not to mention, when you consider General Mills’ already-established 2:1 match ratio, the company set its employees up to continue making a significant difference, resulting in over four times their initial donations’ impact.

Mary Jane Melendez, president of the General Mills Foundation, reported the following: “As a company, we have the values, insights, and partners to positively impact the lives of millions of people worldwide during this unprecedented time as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will help expand food access and lend added support for many of our communities around the world.”

And it didn’t end there, either! Double the Donation compiled a list of even more key companies that chose to expand their matching gift initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic⁠. This includes Apple (introduced a two-to-one ratio as opposed to their traditional dollar-for-dollar match), Google (significantly increased their matching gift cap to $20,000 per employee), Honda, Microsoft, and more.

What We Can Expect for the Future of Matching Gifts

As the U.S. economy trends downward, many are once again beginning to question the future of matching gift fundraising opportunities. Will companies cancel these programs as their own profits are in danger? Or will they up their giving efforts as their communities’ needs continue to grow?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to look directly into the future and figure out what companies will end up choosing. However, a look at the past, and an analysis of current matching gift trends, can help us craft our hypotheses.

And that being said, here’s what we can expect to occur in terms of matching gifts despite economic downturns:

Companies with existing programs will continue to match employee gifts.

First things first, most companies that already match employee donations are likely to continue doing so. A matching gift program is typically an ongoing initiative rather than something that is often canceled and re-instated at a later, more promising point in time. Most companies see matching gifts as what they are⁠—long-term, positive investments⁠—and will not opt to negate their offering, even despite a nearing or existing recession.

Not to mention, the vast majority of companies will have already established their matching gift budgets for the time being. Plus, cutting corporate philanthropy programming in order to increase business profits would be a pretty poor public relations strategy⁠. This is especially true in a time when corporate social responsibility is being increasingly demanded from businesses across the globe.

More companies will begin offering employee donation-matching initiatives.

In a recent survey, 39% of companies reported plans to expand their workplace giving programs (such as matching employee gifts) in the next two years. Regardless of challenging economic conditions, the demand for charitable-minded companies is increasing.

Employees want to work for companies that support the greater good⁠—often through nonprofit causes⁠. Not to mention, consumers want to spend their dollars in the same way by supporting businesses that care about giving back.

This is particularly crucial in a time such as now, which is being referred to as the “Great Resignation.” Individuals are leaving their existing companies in droves in order to find employment that better suits their wants and needs. For many, that means locating opportunities with companies that prioritize social responsibility and philanthropy⁠—especially to the nonprofits that they themselves support.

Thus, more and more businesses are looking for new ways to demonstrate their participation in corporate social responsibility. One of the easiest and most impactful ways to do so is with employee gift-matching, which is why employers are launching new programs every day⁠. And we expect that they’ll continue to do so!

Some employers will expand their matching gift program thresholds.

Considering how many companies opted to increase their matching gift programs during the recessions of 2008 and 2020, it can be expected that some will choose to do the same now.

Economic difficulty and community needs tend to share a positive correlation⁠—when one increases, the other follows suit. As a result, corporations see a growing demand for nonprofit services and feel compelled to do even more.

And as a bonus for nonprofits, these expanding programs tend to see particularly high levels of employee participation as well. When team members see their employers giving or offering more to charitable causes, they can be increasingly inspired to contribute their own dollars as well.


Next Steps for Elevating Your Nonprofit’s Gift-Matching

What can you do to help your organization make the most of available corporate donation-matching dollars? The #1 step you can take is ensuring your donors are aware of the opportunities in the first place.

In fact, studies show that over 26 million individuals are currently employed by companies with matching gift programs. But more than 78% of this group has never been informed about them! And, despite being eligible to participate, these individuals will be unable to secure matching gifts from their employers on your behalf if they don’t know about the programs.

So keep an eye out for companies with matching gift programs as they’re constantly changing, and new programs are being added every day. Then, be sure to educate your donors about the vast opportunities at hand⁠—and how they can get involved.

Interested in learning more about matching gifts (despite economic downturns and beyond)? Check out these other information-packed resources:

  • 14 Important Questions to Ask About Matching Gifts. You probably have some questions about matching gifts and how your organization can make the most of these programs for your cause. Read up on these frequently asked questions and answers to find out everything you need to know!
  • The Ultimate Guide to Securing Corporate Sponsorships. Matching gifts aren’t the only corporate giving program these companies are offering, either. Browse this comprehensive guide to determine the best ways to secure corporate sponsorship opportunities for your cause.
  • Matching Gift Best Practices: Raise More for Your Nonprofit. Do more with matching gifts! These tried-and-true matching gift fundraising best practices will show you how to inform your audience about the programs, simplify the participation process for donors, and much more.

How donor data research can improve donor retention

How Donor Data Research Can Improve Donor Retention

You’ve likely heard the saying that it’s cheaper to retain a donor than it is to find a new one. It’s why maintaining high levels of retention is so crucial for many organizations. Luckily, donor data research can help!

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about donor data⁠ and how it can impact your overall retention rates. This will include:

By collecting detailed information about your supporters, you can develop beyond-surface-level relationships and better target your appeals to each individual. In the end, you’ll see more donors continuing to support your efforts, in the long run, providing your organization with healthy and effective fundraising efforts.

Ready to find out how this works and what you can do to leverage donor data research in your retention strategy? Let’s begin with the basics.

Types of Donor Data to Prioritize

There’s a ton of information available out there about each and every person. In order to optimize your donor relationship strategy, you need to know which types of data will be of use to you.

We recommend prioritizing the following:

Contact information

An individual’s contact information is arguably the most essential element of their donor profile. It’s what you need to get in touch with the donor after their initial contribution, thank them for their support, and begin developing a relationship. In the end, it’s also what you’ll use to send follow-up donation requests, thus paving the way for donor retention capabilities.

Ideally, this donor data should include as many of the following details as possible:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Mailing address

If you have multiple ways to get in contact with a donor, it can also help to collect information pertaining to their preferred communication methods. This might incorporate text messaging, phone calls, email correspondence, direct mailings, and more.

Nonprofit involvement

Next, it’s important to have a solid understanding of an individual’s historical nonprofit involvement⁠—both with your organization and others. Thus, ideal data on an individual’s nonprofit involvement should include:

For example, you’ll want to engage with a long-time repeating donor much differently than you would a first-time contributor to your cause. Luckily, this information should be one of the easiest to collect and leverage⁠—particularly when it comes to giving history in regards to your own organization⁠—using your nonprofit’s CRM or donor management system.

Employment details

Did you know that your donors’ employment information is one of the most crucial pieces of data you can access? Not only can this information help roughly identify your supporters’ wealth status (more on that below), but it can also open up significant opportunities for matching gifts, volunteer grants, and more. Plus, understanding employment status can even help uncover invaluable business connections and open doors for potential corporate sponsorships as well.

So what exactly do you need to know? The company an individual works for is likely the simplest data point to find. From there, however, additional information such as employment type (full-time, part-time, seasonal or temporary, retired, etc.), job title, and tenure at the business can provide further insights into a donor’s employment.

Matching gift eligibility

A donor’s matching gift status is most often directly related to their employment. But an individual’s eligibility for such a program is such a key component that it should be considered its own donor data point altogether.

Once you know where your donors work (and typically, their employment type), you’ll be more likely to determine whether they qualify for workplace giving programs. From there, you’ll be able to easily and efficiently communicate that eligibility to each individual.

As a result, this data point can function as an additional engagement opportunity (or more likely, multiple). Not to mention, studies report donors being increasingly likely to give if they know that their gift can be matched! And when you follow up with match-eligible donors after they give as well, you can keep your organization at top of mind for longer, remind them about the impact of potential matches, and ultimately drive more corporate revenue toward your cause.

Wealth data

Understanding a supporter’s wealth level is an essential part of determining ideal donation request amounts and, thus, optimizing your donor relations strategy. In order to craft a solid estimate for an individual’s ability to give, consider the following types of wealth marker information:

  • Real estate ownership
  • Stock ownership
  • Political giving
  • Business affiliations
  • Salary estimations

Some of these data points can be reflective of your knowledge of their employment status, while others are new pieces of information to consider. Together, they enable you to recognize and identify prospective major donors and target them as effectively as possible within communications.

Bonus! Hobbies and interests

An individual’s choice in hobbies and interests can tell you a lot about who they are as a person⁠—rather than just a wallet. Though it may not be as “essential” as the other data points listed, having this information in your donor profiles is never a bad idea.

For example, let’s say you’re having a face-to-face conversation with a major donor. Knowing about their hobbies and interests, such as favorite sports (and sports teams), pastimes, animals, foods, and more, can help identify opportunities for genuine connections and similarities and begin building a rapport in the relationship.

How Nonprofits Can Collect Donor Data Insights

Now that you know what kinds of data points are of interest to your fundraising team, how exactly will you go about collecting that information?

Here are a few key methods you might use:

Online donation forms

Did you know that your organization’s online donation forms can provide a wealth of invaluable information about your donors? And if so, are you doing as much as you can with the donor data you collect?

As a donor completes their gift by utilizing your nonprofit’s online donation tool, they’re likely prompted to enter a range of details⁠—from their name and contact info to the way they got involved with your organization.

Matching gift software

Matching gift software (such as Double the Donation) is a specific type of fundraising technology that typically integrates with an organization’s online donation form, CRM, and more. And it’s one of the simplest and most impactful ways to collect information about donors’ employment⁠—including current company and matching gift program eligibility.

There are a few ways that this software typically works! For one, a matching gift database search tool can be embedded directly into the organization’s online donation page and/or confirmation screen. Donors are prompted to enter their company’s name in the auto-completing search tool, which then provides them with detailed information about the company’s available matching gift program criteria and next steps. Not to mention, the company name entered in the search tool is automatically associated with the individual’s donor profile for the organization to come back to.

For individuals who choose not to interact with the matching gift tools during the online giving experience, matching gift software may identify additional match-eligible supporters through corporate email domain screening, automated email follow-ups, and more.

Data append services

Have you already utilized multiple of the above methods for collecting donor data and realized you still have a number of holes in your donor profiles? That’s when you may want to consider data append services to help fill in the gaps!

Data appends are typically conducted by third-party agencies that have access to tons of publicly and privately held data sources on millions of individuals. All you need to do is supply the service provider with the information that you do have (let’s say, for example, a donor’s first and last name and email address).

The appends service then scans that information against the rest of the data and provides additional details about each individual (such as the previously mentioned individual’s place of employment, mailing address, birth date, and more).

Asking directly

One of the most straightforward ways that an organization can collect information about its donors is by going directly to the source⁠—the donors themselves. This is often a significantly overlooked method, but the results can be great. So if you’re looking for additional donor data, consider just asking for it!

Common ways for doing so include sending out a brief online survey in which donors can provide a range of requested information or offering donors access to a customizable online donor profile for your organization. In either case, individuals can share details about themselves, which your organization can use to get better acquainted with its audience.

The Impact of Donor Data Research on Retention

Once you’ve collected a plethora of information about your donors, that information can very well be used to adjust your supporter relations strategy. Consequently, you’ll typically see significantly improved retention levels in no time.

But why is that? And how will it work?

These are some of the specific, tangible benefits of donor data research that simultaneously result in nonprofit supporters sticking around for the long haul.

Personalization in communications

Personalized communications are more likely to grab recipients’ attention. This typically results in higher open rates, conversion rates, and more.

In order to personalize your organization’s messaging, however, you must have donor data to incorporate. At the very least, you need to know⁠—and use⁠—your donors’ names! Other helpful data points can include recent donation history (amount and campaign), events attended, and personal connections to your organization’s mission.

Take a look at these examples:

“Dear Brenda, Thank you so much for your recent donation of $200 to our cat rescue organization. Your generous support continues to make our mission possible⁠—and we’ve loved getting to know you at our recent gala, too!”

“Dear donor, thank you for your donation! Your generous support continues to make our mission possible⁠.”

Increased personalization makes donors feel more intimately connected to your organization as a key component of your mission. When this occurs, they’ll be more likely to continue supporting your cause with additional gifts for years to come.

Targeted donation request amounts

Specific donation asks are often used by organizations to help encourage donors to make larger gifts⁠—both within online donation forms and with face-to-face major donation requests. However, you can’t just choose a set range of dollar amounts and use it as a universal suggestion for all donors.

Why? If your suggested amounts are all beyond a prospect’s giving ability, they’re likely to feel discouraged from giving and perhaps never complete their intended gift. At the same time, if you request small or mid-size “typical” donation amounts from a potential major donor, you’re likely to leave significant funding on the table.

That’s where targeted donation asks come in! By understanding your supporters—complete with a solid foundation of donor data research⁠—you can craft ideal gift requests for each individual. The donor will be more likely to contribute to your cause, and you’re likely to maximize the donation amount as it’s curated for every person.

Workplace giving opportunities

Workplace giving programs⁠—such as matching gifts and volunteer grants⁠—can offer a significant form of funding for nonprofit organizations. But they can also increase donor engagement, encourage on-the-fence individuals to contribute, and keep supporters coming back time and time again.

In fact, 84% of donors even report that they’re more likely to donate if they know a match is being offered, and mentioning matching gifts in your fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in response rate.

All of that is to say that they’re great ways for nonprofits to boost donor retention. And your donor data research sets you up for continuous success in that field by identifying eligible donors to follow up with.


Main Takeaway for Donor Data Research and Retention

The more you know about your donors, the better you can craft relationships with them. And the stronger your donor relationships, the more likely they are to continue supporting your cause time and time again.

Ready to learn more about donor data management and what you can do with the information for your cause? Check out these additional resources:

Here's everything you need to know about Google G Suite for nonprofits.

Google G Suite for Nonprofits: Everything You Need to Know

Organizing your work and connecting you with your fellow employees are tasks any business software should accomplish. However, none delivers better value and usability than Google’s business software, Google G Suite (otherwise known as Google Workspace).

Like businesses, nonprofits can benefit from all that Google G Suite has to offer. The wide variety of apps suits any need a nonprofit could have and makes communication and daily tasks quicker and easier. All you have to do is understand G Suite’s features and configure them to match your organization’s needs.

To help you out, we’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about Google G Suite for nonprofits. Here are the questions we’ll answer:

Here at Getting Attention, we help nonprofits navigate the Google Ad Grant program. Spending so much time utilizing and optimizing the tools that Google provides, we know how to use Google G Suite effectively. We are happy to share our knowledge with nonprofits so that they can access all that Google’s applications have to offer.

 

Follow along to learn more about Google G Suite and how it could benefit your nonprofit.Schedule a free consultation with Getting Attention to learn about additional tools Google provides nonprofits.

These are the basics of Google G Suite.

What is G Suite?

G Suite is a host of integrated apps that work together to make your organization run smoothly. For example, you can create a Calendar invite that goes directly to the invitees’ Gmail inboxes. Within the Calendar event itself, you can start a new Google Doc to take meeting notes or add a Meet link for virtual meetings.

These apps work together seamlessly to allow employees to focus more on their work and less on logistics. Additionally, all files, emails, and appointments within G Suite are highly secured, so you don’t have to worry about hosting sensitive information on the platform.

There are many useful features of Google G Suite for nonprofits.

What Features Does G Suite Include?

Together, the apps of G Suite provide many beneficial features for nonprofits. To help you understand how these tools will fit into your organization’s operations, take a look at the features G Suite has to offer:

Organization

Google Drive is the home base for any type of file your nonprofit creates, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Folders within Google Drive allow you to organize these files into categories based on projects, campaigns, teams, partnerships, and more. You can also share these files with others and assign different levels of access to different members of your organization such as viewing or editing capabilities.

Collaboration

One of the unique benefits of G Suite is the ability to seamlessly work on the same files as others at the same exact time. You can even see the icons of who is currently viewing or editing a certain file at the top right of the screen. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can work with your team from anywhere on any device. In particular, Google Meet fosters collaboration by allowing you to meet with others virtually while viewing files within the Drive together.

Communication

Effective communication is key, and G Suite provides many tools for streamlining internal and external outreach, including Gmail, Slides, and Forms. Gmail is the ultimate email service that allows you to easily sort your emails into different categories. Additionally, Slides makes it easy for you to present your ideas to others and foster a dialogue about your presentation topic. Lastly, Forms allows you to easily create questionnaires in order to gather feedback or important information from external stakeholders or teams across your organization.

Integration

As mentioned before, all of the G Suite apps work beautifully together so that you can accomplish your goals. Another example of such integration is when writing to someone on Gmail, you can easily attach files from Drive.

Storage

Different G Suite plans provide different storage options, but they all allow for at least 30 GB of storage per user. This expansive amount of storage means that you won’t have to worry about storing too much on Drive and can create as many files as your organization needs.

Onboarding

G Suite’s tools make onboarding and training new employees a breeze. You can create training files and folders in Drive to organize new information for your recruits. Additionally, you can use Meet to train new employees in different time zones or locations or Sites to create your organization’s own training website.

Marketing

There may not be a specific marketing app within G Suite, but using G Suite’s apps can allow for seamless marketing campaign creation. From brainstorming ideas on Meet to creating a website for your nonprofit using Sites, G Suite can assist your team in the marketing campaign process from start to finish. Google G Suite provides many invaluable features for nonprofits.

Considering all of the amazing features G Suite has to offer, you might be wondering about how much it costs. We’ll go over that in the next section.

Here's a guide to Google G Suite for Nonprofits' pricing.

Is Google G Suite for Nonprofits Free?

Well, yes and no. The cost of Google G Suite depends on which plan your nonprofit chooses. The basic plan is completely free, but you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans to gain access to get more cloud storage, increase the number of users, improve your video meeting quality, and more. Here’s a quick overview of each plan and how much it costs:

Check out the different Google G Suite for Nonprofits plans your organization can leverage

Google Workspace for Nonprofits

  • Cost: $0/user/month
  • Benefits:
    • Up to 2,000 users
    • Video meetings with up to 100 participants
    • 30 GB of cloud storage per user
    • Email address for each user at your nonprofit’s domain
    • Security and management controls
    • Standard support

Business Standard for Nonprofits

  • Cost: $3/user/month
  • Benefits:
    • Up to 2,000 users
    • Video meetings with up to 150 participants and recordings saved in Drive
    • 2 TB of cloud storage per user
    • Email address for each user at your nonprofit’s domain
    • Security and management controls
    • Standard support

Business Plus for Nonprofits

  • Cost: $5.04/user/month
  • Benefits:
    • Up to 2,000 users
    • Video meetings with up to 250 participants, recordings saved in Drive, and attendance tracking
    • 5 TB of cloud storage per user
    • Email address for each user at your nonprofit’s domain
    • Enhanced security and management controls with Google Vault
    • Standard support

Enterprise for Nonprofits

 

  • Cost: 70%+ off standard pricing – need to contact sales
  • Benefits:
    • Unlimited number of users
    • Video meetings with up to 250 participants, recordings saved in Drive, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, and in-domain live streaming
    • Unlimited storage
    • Email address for each user at your nonprofit’s domain
    • Advanced security and management controls with Google Vault, DLP, data regions, and enterprise endpoint management
    • Enhanced support

Google certainly provides a lot of G Suite options for nonprofits to leverage at discounted prices. Whichever plan you choose, your nonprofit’s communication and its overall operations are sure to flourish when you put thought behind how you’ll implement the different features.

Set up your Google G Suite account in these easy steps.

How Can I Set Up Google G Suite for My Nonprofit?

Ready to dive right into G Suite? G Suite offers a ton of great benefits for nonprofits at affordable prices. However, before you start using the software, you must put in the work to get it set up correctly.

There are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow to set up G Suite:

  1. Create a Google for Nonprofits account. If you’re familiar with other Google resources for nonprofits like the Google Ad Grant program, then you may already have a Google for Nonprofits account. If not, then no problem! You can request one here. As long as your organization meets the eligibility requirements and registers with TechSoup, you should have no problem getting approved.
  2. Migrate users over to their new accounts. Once Google approves your Google for Nonprofits account, members of your organization will need to switch from their previous accounts to their new ones. Users can do this manually or by using Google’s migration services.
  3. Arrange teams. When all users have shifted over to their nonprofit accounts, you can split them into teams and give them different levels of access to different resources.
  4. Complete training. To help out new users with the platform, Google provides training through the Google Workspace Learning Center, which includes tips and tricks for how to use G Suite.

Here’s how to set up Google G Suite for your nonprofit.

Congrats! You’re now ready to start using your Google G Suite for Nonprofits account and start accessing all of the wonderful benefits it provides.

Here's a recap of the amazing benefits of Google G Suite for nonprofits.Why Should I Use Google G Suite for My Nonprofit?

If it’s not clear by now, G Suite is the ultimate platform for nonprofits to organize their work and communicate with their employees and communities. It’s not hard to see why it’s the dominant platform that nonprofits turn to when managing their work.

To summarize its benefits, here are some of the top reasons why you should use Google G Suite for your nonprofit:

  • Many helpful apps to run every aspect of your organization
  • Plenty of storage to securely maintain any documents you need
  • Efficient communication and collaboration both internally and externally
  • Organization and integration between apps
  • Easy accessibility from anywhere at any time, great for nonprofit teams that are on the go

There are several benefits of using Google G Suite for Nonprofits.

No matter how big or small your organization is, Google G Suite provides resources that are invaluable to the cohesion and success of your team.

Read on for some additional Google resources.

Conclusion & Additional Resources

Now, you should be backed by plenty of helpful information about how to use Google G Suite for nonprofits. Whether your organization already uses Google resources or is thinking about switching over from another platform, G Suite for nonprofits is a great choice for your organization.

Since Google created the features and pricing with nonprofits in mind, your organization is sure to find G Suite’s tools and accessibility extremely helpful and relevant to your everyday operations.

As we mentioned before, the Google for Nonprofits program has a variety of resources in addition to Google G Suite. If you’re interested in other Google for Nonprofits resources like the Google Ad Grant program, check out some of these articles for more information:

If you want help managing other Google resources like Google Ad Grants, you may benefit from using a Google Ad Grants agency.

nonprofit graphic design steps feature

5 Steps to Create a Great Nonprofit Graphic Design Strategy

A solid marketing strategy is essential for any nonprofit to make an impact. Nonprofit marketing can help with raising awareness about your organization’s mission, promoting your services in the community, and attracting volunteers and donors, among other keys to success.

You can take your nonprofit’s marketing to the next level by adding a graphic design strategy. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and graphic design can elevate almost any kind of nonprofit marketing material. It makes your message more inviting, engaging, and memorable for your supporters.

In this article, we’ll cover these 5 steps to a great nonprofit graphic design strategy:

  1. Establish Your Nonprofit’s Brand
  2. Choose Graphic Design Tools to Get Started
  3. Tell Stories Through Your Graphic Design
  4. Keep Your Nonprofit’s Audience in Mind
  5. Stay Open to New Graphic Design Ideas

Graphic design has high rewards for nonprofits, but it can be a challenging process, especially when you’re starting out. If you encounter any questions or difficulties, consider partnering with a graphic design service that can help you with many types of graphic designs and stages of the process.

1. Establish Your Nonprofit’s Brand

Every organization needs a brand, including nonprofits. While you may not be selling a product or service to customers like most brands do, you’re still selling somethingyour impact. When potential supporters come across your marketing materials, they’re deciding if they want to “buy” into your mission by donating or participating.

Your nonprofit’s brand needs to be recognizable to supporters immediately. That way, anyone who comes across your marketing materials will immediately associate them with you.

elements of nonprofit graphic design branding

When you create your nonprofit’s brand strategy, several elements will overlap with your graphic design strategy:

  • Logo. A well-designed logo will be the most noticeable part of your brand for your supporters. Create a logo for your nonprofit that expresses your organization’s “personality,” isn’t overly complicated, and resonates with your audience.
  • Fonts. Using the same fonts across all your communications ties them together in your supporters’ minds. Choosing two brand typefacesone for titles or headings and one for body text—will add visual variety. But don’t use more than three fonts in order to avoid a cluttered look.
  • Color scheme. Your color scheme is one area of your brand where you have a lot of creative freedom. While many brands pick one or two main colors and a few additional shades, you can use any number of colors as long as you keep them consistent. Color psychology also applies to branding—choose colors based on how you want your audience to perceive your brand.
  • Images. Whenever you include photos or graphics in your marketing materials, make sure they reflect your organization’s mission and your supporters’ values.
  • Tone. Every way that you communicate with your supporters, in writing and through graphic design, should reflect your nonprofit’s identity. Is your organization trustworthy? Optimistic? Passionate? Let those traits come through in your words and images.

In order to keep your brand consistent across all your marketing materials, create a nonprofit brand guide including all the elements above, as well as information about the communication platforms you use and the audience for each one. Also, you may need to test and tweak your brand over time in order to make it reflect your nonprofit and appeal to your audience.

2. Choose Graphic Design Tools to Get Started

Once you’ve established a brand for your nonprofit, you can start designing! But you’ll need to have the right set of graphic design tools that will help your work, not hinder it. These tools should be easy to use and have little to no cost associated with them.

Having one of each of these tools is an absolute must for nonprofit graphic design:

  • A beginner graphic creator, where you can use templates to design flyers, infographics, social media posts, and even short videos. Canva and VistaCreate are both easy to use and have free options as well as paid premium versions.
  • An online source for stock images, like Pexels or Pixabay. These sites provide free or low-cost stock photos that you can use in your marketing materials without risking copyright lawsuits.
  • An intuitive website builder that you can use to create and update your organization’s website without having to hire a web developer to code the site from scratch. WordPress is one of the most popular website builders across all sectors, while Morweb provides web support specifically for nonprofits.
  • Presentation software, since slideshows make your meetings and events much more engaging and easier to follow. Prezi has a fun structure you can experiment with, and Google Slides’ sharing feature allows multiple people across your organization to work on a slide deck at the same time.

If you have difficulty using any of these tools or are ready to take your nonprofit graphic design to the next level, outsourcing to a subscription-based design service like Kwala will especially be helpful for you.

3. Tell Stories Through Your Graphic Design

No matter what graphic design tools you’re using, everything you create should point back to your nonprofit’s mission. Using graphic design to tell stories is a great way to highlight your organization’s community impact and function.

Storytelling is the way to go in order to get your message to stick in your supporters’ minds. People remember stories considerably more than statistics—it’s scientifically proven. Stories also get your supporters emotionally involved in your mission, inspiring them to take action.

You don’t have to—and shouldn’t—limit your storytelling efforts to words alone. Graphic design can add to verbal stories or become a story in itself. To incorporate graphic design into your nonprofit’s storytelling on different platforms, start with these ideas:

  • Create a carousel of images celebrating a successful event on your website.
  • Feature those who’ve benefitted from your services in social media posts with images and descriptive captions.
  • Design header images for marketing emails to detail your mission statement creatively before diving into the specifics of the message.
  • Add charts and graphs in your brand colors to your presentations to show successes and areas of improvement backed up by data.

Wherever you use stories in your designs, make sure they reflect both your organization’s overall goals and the intent of that particular piece of communication.

4. Keep Your Nonprofit’s Audience in Mind

Even if your nonprofit tells elaborate stories through your graphic designs, they’ll only be effective if you understand your audience. Remember that your goal is to make your nonprofit stick in your supporters’ minds. So, you’ll need to shape your designs to reflect their needs, wants, and interests.

But, of course, not every supporter of your nonprofit has the same needs, wants, or interests. Trying to make designs that consistently reflect your organization but also appeal to a diverse audience can quickly become complicated. To make the process easier, keep these considerations in mind:

nonprofit audience: demographics + engagement = segmentation

Demographics

Gathering demographic data on your supporters is the first step to understanding your audience. If you know which groups of the population you’re dealing with, you can tailor your design strategy to their interests.

These are some common demographic factors that will be helpful to know about your nonprofit’s audience:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Family status
  • Wealth

These factors all influence how your audience thinks and what they value, which in turn shape their unique motivations for engaging with your nonprofit. To use age demographics as an example, younger generations may want to see social media graphics or digital flyers about creating positive change in society, while older generations might prefer charts incorporated into presentations related to tax-deductible giving. But any of these analytical points will produce valuable data when you conduct research and actively ask donors for the information you want to learn..

Past Engagement

Demographics are good general metrics to start with in understanding your audience, but statistics on past engagement will tell you more about the way your individual supporters interact with your nonprofit. Remember that supporters can get involved in any number of ways. These considerations will be most useful from a design-strategy standpoint:

  • Type—how they mainly interact with your nonprofit (monetary gifts, in-kind gifts, volunteering, etc.).
  • Recency—when they made their last contribution or attended their last event.
  • Frequency—how often they donate or volunteer.
  • Amount—how much money they give each time, or how much total time they’ve spent volunteering and attending events.
  • Motivationwhy they’re involved with your organization (for example, a personal connection to your cause or confidence that you’re making a positive impact in the community).

Besides helping you understand the behaviors and motives of your audience, engagement analytics can help you to prioritize certain groups within your audience. While attracting new supporters might be helpful in some cases when you want to take your organization in a new direction, retention is more cost effective for day-to-day operations. So, you’ll decide which set of engagement data is most important to your graphic design strategy based on your nonprofit’s current goals.

Supporter Segmentation

When you combine demographic data with analytics on past engagement, you can start the process of supporter segmentation. A supporter segment is a group of people who interact with your nonprofit and share a profile characteristics. Examples of segments may include long-term major donors (who are likely older, wealthy, and educated) or volunteers acquired through social media (who may be younger and have fewer means to donate at this point).

Once you’ve established some segments, you can use your understanding of who you’re targeting in each of your marketing campaigns to adapt your graphic design choices. This way, audience members will be more likely to respond to calls to action and engage with your organization over time.

5. Stay Open to New Graphic Design Ideas

Especially when you’re starting out in nonprofit graphic design, you’ll need to be flexible with your ideas and process. Flexibility doesn’t make planning any less important—you should still outline each of your design ideas in detail and make sure they work with your overall marketing strategy. But don’t be surprised if you end up going in a different direction based on initial reactions to your concepts, new data on your audience, or limitations related to time or tools.

In these early stages, asking for help from graphic design experts is always a good idea. Designers can give you many types of advice, whether you don’t know where to start, get stuck while creating a design, or just want someone else’s opinion on your work.

Graphic design experts can also do the heavy lifting for you. You give them an overview of your strategy and tell them about your plans for certain designs, and they’ll come back with examples of content.

Kwala is a subscription-based graphic design service that can help your nonprofit create a full range of custom designs. The subscription model means that you’ll pay a set rate for each month instead of paying by the project or by work hours. This way, you get more value through unlimited designs and revisions. If you’re not a heavy user or just want to try out Kwala’s services, you can also ask for a quote on a one-off task before committing to a subscription.

Kwala examples of great nonprofit graphic design

The Bottom Line

Creating great graphic designs for your nonprofit will go a long way in attracting, engaging, and retaining supporters. Follow these steps to get started with adding graphic design to your nonprofit’s marketing strategy. Also, remember that you can reach out for risk-free, high-reward help from a design service like Kwala at any time.

Virtual event marketing for associations is critical for the success of your events and to drive member engagement.

Virtual Event Marketing: 6 Tips for Associations

Virtual events have become a standard part of associations’ calendars. Unlike in-person events, they cost less, require less planning, help associations reach a larger audience, and allow attendees to tune in from the comfort of their homes.

But just like any event, their success depends on good marketing. If you’re planning your first virtual event or want a refresher on virtual event marketing for associations, this guide’s for you.

You’ll learn:

  • The importance of virtual event marketing for associations
  • Promoting a virtual association event: 6 best practices

The importance of virtual event marketing for associations

Your event planning is for nothing without marketing.

Virtual event marketing creates awareness for your event by grabbing attendees’ attention and ensuring they know about the event in the first place. Virtual events can be attended by anyone, from anywhere so you don’t have to be as limited in where you market or where your audience lives.

Your marketing should also get attendees excited about the event and generate pre-event engagement. This is super important considering that nearly half of marketers use it as a primary indicator for event success. Engagement helps you achieve your event goals like fundraising targets. It also makes sure that you’re getting a positive return on what you’re investing in, whether that be staff, logistical costs, sponsorships, or your virtual event software.

Promoting a virtual association event: 6 best practices

With virtual events becoming increasingly popular, standing out from the crowd can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be as long as you keep the following six tips and best practices in mind when promoting your virtual association event.

1. Use dedicated event management software

There are many moving parts to planning a successful event besides marketing like ticketing, registration, payments, email communication, and managing your contacts. It’s always helpful to centralize them in one place because it makes planning and promoting your event easier.

With the right event management software, you’ll be able to find what you need in one place. Look for virtual event software that helps you:

  • Organize, promote, and host your event from one place.
  • Simplify registration and event delivery with custom and automated registration, a simplified event lobby, and an integration with Zoom.
  • Create a virtual exhibit hall so sponsors can engage with attendees to drive revenue.
  • Easily transition from registration to hosting a single one-off webinar or multi-session event.

2. Study your performance from past events

Studying past performance helps with future planning. Review marketing data from previous events you’ve hosted to learn what did and didn’t work. Then, adapt as needed.

For instance, compare registrations versus actual attendance or review fundraising targets versus actual figures. If you’re underperforming, think of why and what improvements you can make. Maybe the promotion period was too short. In that case, create resources well in advance.

You can also assess how your technology performed on the day in terms of speeds, session delivery, and overall user experience. If there were tech issues, think about what you can do to fix them. You may need a new virtual management software or a more reliable internet line.

Finally, don’t be afraid to gather feedback from attendees on your performance through a post-event survey.

3. Consider your audience

An event will usually have multiple audiences, including sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees. Understanding all these audiences helps you an event tailored to them and present your brand in an appealing way.

Your audience influences the content of the conference, the speakers you choose to deliver this content, the messaging for each audience to promote the event, and the channels to deliver that message.

So, think carefully about these audiences to create, promote, and deliver an event they’ll enjoy. Don’t be afraid to sit down with existing members to better understand their hobbies, work, and how they spend their free time. You can also gather data by asking potential attendees questions during the registration process.

4. Create resources in advance

Create your event resources in advance to share with members early. This can help hype up your members for your event and act as a promotion tool.

It also helps simplify your marketing process once it kicks into gear. You’ll have all the resources you need and won’t be scrambling to get them created at the last minute, which can be stressful and lead to sub-par resources and marketing.

Resources may include landing pages, promotional emails, and FAQ pages. Creating a page or handbook covering FAQs is an excellent place to start. Make sure it covers crucial questions about the event, like how to sign up and use the platform to participate.

5. Empower members to get involved

Your existing members are often your strongest advocates. They also have lots of experience and knowledge they can use to promote your virtual event.

So, encourage members to market your event—usually an easy task if you already have substantial member benefits and/or a referral program. Provide them with resources to do this and, if required, train them to confidently promote the message and details about the event.

6. Foster plenty of pre-event engagement

Pre-event engagement (chat rooms, forums, polls, Q&As – all before your event happens) can create excitement around your event. It encourages networking, can build a sense of community, and improves connectivity during the event. Members will be more familiar with you, your association, your goals, and other members.

Just make sure you don’t engage members too late. It won’t give you enough time to benefit from the engagement and members adequate time to review the opportunity and plan for it in their schedules.

Also, be careful of doing it too early. The excitement and enthusiasm around the event may wear off, and you won’t carry in the buzz you want. Plan to engage members 30 days out from the event.

You can foster virtual event engagement before an event by:

  • Running social media contests encouraging members to use specific hashtags.
  • Offering a giveaway where you raffle off an item on the day.
  • Promoting the event in industry publications or member blogs.
  • Incentivizing engagement with tiered registration packages or early bird perks like a discount.

The bottom line on virtual event marketing for associations

Virtual events are a popular option because of their low cost, large reach, easier planning, and convenience, but like any event, their success depends on marketing.

With strong marketing and advertising tactics, you can drive awareness, excitement, and engagement around your event – which helps you achieve your fundraising targets.

Just make sure you promote your virtual association event the right way: study up on nonprofit marketing best practices like using dedicated event software, creating resources in advance, and fostering pre-event engagement. Do that, and the odds of hosting a successful event will be just that much higher!

Learn how to optimize a Google Grant account with this complete guide.

How to Optimize A Google Grant Account: 8 Mistakes & 9 Tips

Whether you’re still debating whether to apply or have already created several ad campaigns, many nonprofit professionals are naturally curious about optimizing a Google Grant account and maximizing their campaigns’ results.

By not understanding Google Grant optimization, many nonprofits miss out on the incredible opportunities the Google Ad Grants program provides every day.

After receiving a Google Ad Grant, the steps taken are just as important as the application process. Managing and maintaining an optimized account is essential to ensure your account is not suspended or revoked. Proper management also helps you maximize your $10,000 budget and the number of conversions made in response to your ads.

At Getting Attention, we specialize in helping nonprofits optimize their Google Grant accounts. To help, we’ve compiled our knowledge of Google Grant optimization into these core topics:

Using the tips we share, you’ll be several steps closer to optimizing your Google Grant account and connecting with more prospects. Let’s get started.

Get a consultation with our team members who know how to optimize a Google Grant account.


Avoid these mistakes to optimize a Google Grant account for your nonprofit.

Avoid These 8 Google Ad Grant Management Mistakes.

Mistakes can happen, especially in the confusing world of Google Grant management.

Whether you’re a seasoned Google Grant user or a beginner, many factors can contribute to the mismanagement of your funds. Confusion or unfamiliarity with Google’s Ad Grant policies can result in an unintentional violation of Google’s guidelines. Conversely, you may not be up to speed on the current, rapidly-evolving Google landscape.

Whatever the reason, management mistakes are bound to happen and can drastically impact your ability to optimize your Google Grant account. What matters is that you are aware of them and strive to avoid them. With that in mind, let’s cover the top management mistakes that you should aim to avoid, and note that a Google Grants expert can drastically simplify this.

Comply with the program's guidelines to optimize a Google Grant account.

Mistake #1) Failing to Follow The Google Ad Grants Management Policy

Several years after its inception, the Google Ad Grant program created a set of compliance policies that nonprofits must follow to maintain their status in the Google Ad Grant program. These policies include guidelines for your account and the ads you run. Following these rules is imperative, as failing to do so can result in suspension or loss of the grant.

Some of these requirements include:

  • Having at least 2 ads per ad group
  • Having at least 2 ad groups per campaign
  • Maintaining a 5% CTR each month
  • Not using single-word or generic keywords
  • Having a minimum keyword quality score of 2
  • Enabling at least 2 sitelink ad extensions

The goal of these rules isn’t to deter nonprofits from using the program. Instead, they’re intended to ensure nonprofits benefit from the program and enhance the search experience for users. Ultimately, following the compliance guidelines is a significant part of optimizing a Google Grant account.

Optimize a Google Grant account by not using broad keywords.

Mistake #2) Using Broad Keywords

Another mistake in Google Grant management is relying on broad or generic keywords. A common misconception is that tracking broad keywords will yield better results. However, short, generic keywords like “fundraising” lack the specificity your ads need to be effective.

For one, using broad keywords is a violation of Google’s Ad Grants policies. The guidelines specifically ban the use of single-word keywords and overly generic keywords, primarily because they won’t connect you with qualified prospects. Not to mention, larger organizations and companies bid on these terms, making it less likely for your ads to be shown over theirs.

Instead, look for more specific long-tail keywords. For instance, you might bid on terms like “animal shelter volunteer opportunities” rather than “volunteer opportunities.” These will connect you with more qualified users, and they’re also typically cheaper to bid on.

While it may be tempting to capitalize on a broad search term, the consequences of violating Google’s guidelines far outweigh the benefits of those keywords.

Dirty keyword data is one Google Ad Grant management mistake you'll want to avoid when optimizing your account.

Mistake #3) Using Dirty Keyword Data

Any nonprofit professional who deals with metrics understands the importance of data hygiene. In terms of Google Grant management, cleaning your keyword data is a process that involves pausing or removing irrelevant or low-quality keywords.

Some nonprofits fail to clean their keyword data. However, cluttered or dirty keyword data can limit the efficiency and accuracy of your ad campaigns and hold you back from making important discoveries. Here are some of the key reasons you’ll need to optimize your keyword data:

  • Keyword traffic may fluctuate over time. Some of the keywords you target will not be relevant year-round. For example, seasonal keywords or those related to specific events do not need to be tracked outside of those time frames.
  • Low-quality keywords can clutter your data. Google assigns a quality score to keywords, calculated based on expected CTR, landing page experience, and ad relevance. Scores below 3 are considered poor quality. Using low-quality keywords is against Google’s policies, and targeting these terms is a waste of your ad budget.

As we’ll explore later, keywords are a vital part of optimizing a Google Grant account. Not to mention, it plays an essential part in your nonprofit’s organic SEO strategy. Meeting Google’s keyword requirements is a great start, so start your account optimization process by using search terms with a quality score of at least 3 and removing irrelevant ones. We’ll explore keyword optimization tips that will help your ads efficiently target supporters later on.

When optimizing a Google Grant account, feature more than one ad per group.

Mistake #4) Featuring Just 1 Ad Per Group

Nonprofits often make the mistake of featuring only one ad in each ad group, resulting in account suspension. Within Google Grants, individual ads are organized into groups that fall under broader campaigns.

Let’s say your nonprofit is running an ad campaign focused on increasing sign-ups for a newsletter. You target relevant keywords, follow all Google Grant policies, and create multiple ad groups, but the ad’s performance falls flat.

Even if you follow every other compliance step, using only one ad per group is not viable for optimizing a Google Grant account. For one, using one ad violates Google Grant guidelines, so your account could be suspended or removed. Plus, single ads also don’t allow nonprofits to analyze performance across different ads. This can result in missing opportunities for growth and learning what works.

Instead, include multiple ads per group. Differentiate your ads by including different ad copy to determine what drives users to click through to your site. Then, a week or so later, look at campaign results and see which ad had a higher click-through rate, more conversions, and higher site engagement. Finally, swap out the losing ad with new copy and refine your ads to drive better results and maximize your Google Grants conversions!

A poor user experience is one mistake that can negatively impact your Google Grant account.

Mistake #5) Providing a Poor User Experience

We have all had poor user experiences, so it’s easy to know firsthand how frustrating they can be. In the context of Google Ad Grants, a poor user experience is most often linked to your ad copy, call to action, and linked landing page being misaligned. It can be confusing for viewers when they click on an ad urging them to join an email list but instead are directed to an online donation page.

This mistake can frustrate potential supporters, deter them from taking the action you want them to, and ultimately impact your ability to optimize your Google Grant account. Your supporters shouldn’t have a hard time doing what you are asking of them, so think critically about the user experience you’re providing with your Google Ads.

A poorly designed website can impact your ability to optimize a Google Grant account.

Mistake #6) Neglecting Your Landing Pages

Your nonprofit’s website plays a crucial role in marketing your mission. It empowers you to store all of your resources, content, and marketing material in one convenient location. Plus, any ads you create using your Google Grant account will direct users straight to your website. In that sense, a neglected website and poorly designed landing pages could do more harm than good.

A poor or irrelevant landing page can negatively impact your keyword quality score. What’s more, higher quality scores often lead to a lower cost-per-click rate, so you’ll receive more traffic for the same price.

Here are a few of the most common landing page issues that nonprofits encounter:

These are the most common landing page mistakes that can prevent an optimized Google Grant account.

  • Keywords featured in your ads are not included on the landing page.
  • The overall website is challenging to navigate.
  • There is a lack of rich, engaging content.
  • The branding is inconsistent and makes the site appear untrustworthy.
  • There are technological issues like broken links.

Issues like these can repel potential supporters by making it hard for them to figure out how to answer your call to action. For example, if users follow your ad and have a bad site experience, the ad does not result in conversions. Your nonprofit also loses a potential supporter to poor website performance.

Not to mention, there are also rules in place regarding website quality. For instance, you’ll need to include a clear description of your organization, have an adequate load speed, and feature unique content. Failure to meet these regulations will heavily impact your ability to optimize a Google Grant account and maximize your website’s performance. Conversely, optimizing your landing pages will keep your quality score up and maximize your chances of reaching and converting qualified users.

Not targeting your ads by location is a Google Ad Grant management mistake you'll want to avoid.

Mistake #7) Forgetting About Geography

Some organizations forget to enable geotargeting for their ads, but this tool is a big help when optimizing your Google Grant account. This feature allows you to limit who your ads are displayed to based on their location, rather than displaying your ads to a broad audience who might not find them relevant. Typically, the location you choose depends on where supporters likely reside or where your nonprofit operates.

Failing to target ads geographically can reduce the effectiveness of Google Grant Ads. Targeting large areas that may or may not contain potential supporters is not the best way to optimize your $10,000 budget. There is no point in targeting people who live in Texas if your organization serves only Oregon. Even when leveraging geotargeting, many nonprofits fail to realize they can select more targeted keywords and develop ad copy that speaks to a specific region.

Overall, selecting a geographically-relevant area to target your ads will boost meaningful conversions and increase local supporters, especially if you target the ad copy to speak to that audience.

Make sure to include seasonal keywords to optimize a Google Grant account.

Mistake #8) Ignoring Seasonal Keyword Adjustments

When optimizing a Google Grant account, many nonprofit professionals aren’t aware that timing is one of the most significant variables that influence conversions. To put it simply, specific times of year lead to increased traffic for specific keywords.

Inexperienced nonprofit marketers might take a set-it-and-forget-it approach and won’t adjust their Google Grant account’s campaigns to include seasonal keywords influenced by weather, holidays, and cause-related events. However, an optimized Google Grant account will include ad campaigns that target seasonal terms related to the organization’s cause.

For example, as the end of the year approaches, you’ll naturally see keywords relating to Giving Tuesday increase in traffic. As another example, there may be a shift in traffic for keywords related to world conservation around Earth Day or after a natural disaster since those events will naturally spark prospects’ curiosity.

Overall, ignoring seasonal behavior in your Google Grant account strategy is a huge missed opportunity. Failing to account for the rise and fall in traffic for different keywords will ultimately lead to less traffic, fewer conversions, and wasted grant money.

As you revisit your keywords throughout the year, we also suggest that you revisit your keywords whenever the season changes. Use it as an opportunity to get rid of any that have a quality score of under 3, so you can keep your keyword strategy fresh and optimized.

Having the appropriate Google Grant account structure is the first step to maximizing your success.

Follow the Appropriate Google Grant Account Structure.

After you apply for Google Ad Grants and are approved for the program, you’ll set up your first ad campaign. Before creating your ads, it’s vital that you understand the structure of your Google Ad Grant account. That way, you can get a feel for how you’ll need to set up your campaigns for the best results.

Your Google Grant account is broken down into the following:

  • Campaigns: These are the largest building blocks of your Google Ads account. They contain multiple ad groups and even more ads. To optimize your Google Ad Grant account, we recommend assigning a theme to each campaign. For instance, if you work for an animal shelter, you might create a ‘Volunteer’ campaign with keywords related to animal shelter volunteer opportunities in your area. You might have another campaign for “Donations,” “Adoptions,” etc. Themes allow for easy organization of your ads within campaigns.
  • Ad Groups: Think of these as clusters of ads within your campaigns. Ad groups are associated with specific keywords that someone might search related to your cause. Note that Google requires you to have at least two ad groups per campaign.
  • Ads: This is the smallest element of your Google Grant account but is arguably the most important. Google requires you to have at least two ads per ad group. Google will automatically rotate between these ads and provide you with performance data. For instance, if ad A performs significantly better than ad B, you’ll know to tweak ad B to improve its performance.

Knowing the proper account structure is a big part of understanding how to optimize a Google Grant account.

One important thing to remember when optimizing your account is not to spread your budget too thin across several ad groups and keywords. Instead, you’ll have more success if you allocate more funds to a core group of services or resources related to your mission.

While this structure is required for your nonprofit’s Google Grant account, following it will provide you with insightful performance data you can then use to produce better ads over time.

Optimize a Google Grant account with effective keywords.

Choose the Right Keywords for Your Google Grant Account.

Another crucial component of optimizing your Google Grant account is the keywords you select for your ad campaigns. While you might know what keywords are related to your cause, choosing the right keywords requires research into monthly traffic, the user’s intent behind searching the term, and other factors.

When someone searches a term or phrase on Google and scans through the results, your ad will stand out more if it’s relevant to what they’re looking for. Relevance directly impacts whether they’ll click through to your site or even read your ad in the first place. That’s why effective keyword research comes in handy.

This graphic depicts how to optimize a Google Grant account with effective keywords.

Choosing Your Google Ad Grant Campaigns’ Keywords

One of the first steps you’ll take when setting up your first campaign is choosing the keywords you want to target. Start by asking yourself which phrases and word combinations you’d type into Google to find your organization’s services and programs. For instance, an organization that raises awareness for Alzheimer’s might target variations like:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s research
  • Donate to Alzheimer’s research
  • Fund Alzheimer’s research
  • Alzheimer’s treatment
  • Alzheimer’s vs. dementia

Instead of blindly guessing what you think people are searching for and will drive conversions, we’ve created a checklist you can follow to come up with educated keyword choices. As you start optimizing your Google Grant account, here are some tips to help you choose the best keywords for your cause:

  • Create a list of keywords that you want to target. Using keywords relevant and specific to your organization is an excellent place to start. Leverage Google Keyword Planner to get helpful metrics regarding different keywords, such as search volume trends, average monthly searches per keyword, and bid estimates. It’ll also provide you with keyword suggestions. You can also leverage Google Trends to explore what people are searching for related to your mission and expand your keyword ideas list.
  • Avoid generic and single-word keywords. Examples of this include “volunteers” and “animal shelter.” Not only does Google ban the use of these keywords, but your nonprofit will probably be outbid for broad search terms like these. Instead, try using long-tail keywords such as “animal shelter volunteer opportunities near me.” Long-tail keywords like this involve multi-word phrases and are more specific than vague, single-word keywords.
  • Target keywords based on time and geography. These keywords could relate to holidays like “Christmas gift drive” or location-specific events like “clothing donation centers in Boston.” Some keywords are seasonal, so focus more attention on them when relevant. When dealing with different locations, try picking out regional differences in your keywords and target them accordingly.
  • Separate branded and nonbranded keywords into separate campaigns. You’ll likely rank organically for branded terms, allowing you to allocate more of your grant money to run ads for nonbranded search terms.
  • Bid lower on upper-funnel keywords and vice versa. Upper funnel keywords are general search queries that someone higher in the search conversion funnel might search. On the other hand, lower-funnel keywords usually are longer, more specific keywords that people who are likely to convert might search.

Note that a healthy Google Grant account will have around 25 keywords per group. However, having enough time to conduct keyword research could help you uncover dozens more valuable keywords. You can easily have ad groups targeting dozens of keywords, but including around 25 keywords per group is a good rule.

Refining Your Google Grant Keyword Strategy

While initially picking effective keywords will set your ads up for success, you’ll need to continuously revisit your campaigns and targeted keywords to optimize your Google Grant account fully.

Here are a few actionable strategies to help clean up your campaigns:

  • Clean up your keyword list regularly. Pause any seasonal terms like “Thanksgiving food donations” when they are not relevant, and remove low-quality keywords that do not serve your account. Keeping your keyword lists free of clutter is a great way to ensure a faster and easier analysis.
  • Avoid keywords with a quality score lower than 3. Google scores keywords on a scale of 1 to 10 based on their quality. Keywords that receive a score of 1 or 2 are considered very low quality and are not permitted for targeting. These keywords must be removed or paused until their score increases.
  • Stay on top of industry trends and search terms. Look at your keyword list if you’re struggling to maximize spending on your Grant account. What keywords could you add? When was the last time you looked at Keyword Planner for new ideas? What are your competitors ranking for?
  • Use negative keywords to exclude your ads from specific search queries. More than likely, there are search terms you don’t want your ads to display for. Add negative keywords to your ad groups to avoid ranking for those terms. You might also leverage a strategy called “traffic sculpting,” in which you add negative keywords to an ad group to avoid competing with your ads in other ad groups.

You should regularly check up on your keywords and adjust your account to ensure you’re making the most of your grant. If you’re struggling to locate valuable keywords or stay on top of monthly maintenance, an expert Google Grant consultant will know how to optimize a Google Grant account, choose the right keywords, and ultimately create effective Google ads.

Knowing how to optimize a Google Grant account means understanding ad construction.

Optimize Your Google Grant Account’s Ads.

It can be easy to get lost in all account optimization needs. But don’t forget the reason behind all of it— the ads!

There are several best practices to keep in mind when creating your Google Grant account ads. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Create compelling ad copy. It should go without saying that your ad copy is one of the most crucial components of your ads. It’s what will drive readers to click through. This is primarily why Google requires you to have multiple ads per ad group — it allows you to see what resonates with people and encourages them to click through. We suggest that you leverage keywords in the ad copy to parrot back similar phrases to what users are searching for, include a specific call to action, and use short sentences to keep your ads scannable.
  • Choose the right landing pages. As we’ll explore later, your landing pages are just as important as your ad copy. It’s where you’ll drive users when they come across your ads and will ultimately determine whether they get involved. To optimize a Google Grant account’s ads, make sure you choose the most relevant landing pages for each ad, whether it’s a digital donation page, volunteer registration form, or email newsletter signup form.
  • Have 3 to 5 ads per group. While Google only requires 2 ads per ad group, we recommend using at least 3. Try to create variety in these ads so that you can experiment with different targeting approaches. The ads within each group will rotate, and Google will prioritize the ads that perform the best.
  • Highlight what’s unique about your nonprofit. Try to stand out in the sea of ads your viewers see each day. Avoid blending in, and instead, say what is interesting about your organization.
  • Don’t immediately optimize ad rotation for your campaigns. No more than one ad from an ad group can show at a time. The “ad rotation” setting allows you to specify how often Google will serve your ads relative to one another. Within your Search and Display campaign settings, you can choose “Optimize” or “Do not optimize” for this setting. If you’re starting a new campaign, we suggest that you don’t optimize your ad rotation. Instead, keep ads rotating indefinitely to see which messaging works best and optimize rotation manually on your end.

Producing high-quality ads can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. So keep these tips in mind to steer your nonprofit’s choices when creating ads.

Tracking your Google Grant account metrics gives you insight into different optimization opportunities.

Track Your Google Grant Account’s Conversions and Other Metrics.

As you initially set up your Google Ads account, you should set up Google Analytics and connect it with your Ad Grant account. The metrics you gather from Google Analytics will help you refine your ads, improve your landing pages, and ultimately optimize your Google Grant account.

For one, Google requires you to track and report on conversions, click-through rate, and similar nonprofit performance metrics. What’s more, tracking performance through Google Analytics will let you know how many people clicked on your ads and what actions they took after clicking an ad, such as browsing your website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a donation.

Conversions

For many nonprofits, conversions are the goal of their ads. Conversions measure how many people take the desired action after seeing your ad, such as making a donation, registering for an event, or signing up to volunteer.

Here are a few best practices for conversion tracking:

  • Track conversions that are meaningful to your organization. While Google analytics offers different options for conversion tracking, focus on those that meet your goals as a nonprofit. For example, you might track registrations for your upcoming annual gala or donations made during your year-end giving campaign.
  • Set up goals in Google Analytics. Setting up goals in Google Analytics can help you see what impacts the conversion performance of your ads. In addition to enhancing conversion performance, Google Grants requires accounts to set up goals.
  • Take note of which ads are best at leading to conversions. Experiment with the style and wording of your ads to analyze which ones yield the most conversions. From there, you can improve future ads to ensure the best performance from your campaigns.

Google requires Google Ad Grants accounts to track their conversions if applicable. To do so, set up an account within Google Analytics by using these account setup instructions.

Click-Through Rate

The Google Ad Grant team uses click-through rate (CTR) to indicate ad quality. Google interprets a high CTR for an ad as the ad being very relevant and valuable to users. While Google Analytics will automatically calculate each ad’s CTR for you, it can be helpful to understand how it’s calculated manually.

Our article on why Google Ad Grants are confusing explains that you can calculate CTR by dividing the number of people who click your ad’s link by the number of impressions the ad receives. For example, if your ad is shown to 100 people, but only 5 people click the link, your CTR will be 5% for that ad.

This CTR formula will help you manage and optimize a Google Grant account.

If you notice that your CTR is lower than you’d like, here are some ways you can boost that metric and directly optimize your Google Grant account:

  • Pause keywords with a low CTR. Take a look at your keywords that receive the most impressions and pause any with a low CTR. While a keyword may be relevant to your mission, you should focus on keywords that yield results for your work.
  • Improve your ads. Do your ads inspire readers to click through to your website to get involved or learn more about your mission? Think critically about your ad copy and whether you’re pointing users to a relevant landing page.
  • Use A/B testing. One of the great things about Google Ads is that you can rotate between multiple ads for the same keywords. This makes it incredibly easy to see which ad copy performs the best, so you can boost your CTR with each rendition of your ads.

Google requires you to have a 5% click-through rate for each ad. Otherwise, your account will be at risk of being temporarily suspended. Note that an optimized Google Grant account will easily meet that minimum threshold.

Optimize a Google Grant account by creating effective bidding strategies.

Use Manual Bidding for Your Google Grant Account.

Google recommends that nonprofits automate their bids with Google Ads to save time managing their accounts. Maximize conversions is a Smart Bidding strategy designed to help you increase conversions and spend more of your budget. Google’s intention behind this strategy is to identify which keywords are most likely to result in a desired action, increase bidding for it, and reduce spending on others.

However, we suggest that you start with manual bidding. That way, you’ll have more control over your budget. 

If you want to go with automated bidding, we suggest that you don’t use the maximize clicks automated bidding strategy, even though it’s Google’s default option. That bidding strategy focuses on clicks rather than conversions (your ultimate goal for your ads). Instead, select the maximize conversions bidding strategy. This will allow you to be more competitive with bidding and effectively spend more of your ad budget.

Use targeting and extensions to optimize a Google Grant account.

Use Targeting and Extensions To Improve Response to Your Ads.

Naturally, you want your ads to reach their intended audience and maximize the likelihood of conversions. To help, Google offers targeting settings and extensions that you work into your marketing plan to improve your ads’ performance and optimize your Google Grant account.

Targeting

Targeting ads based on location, time of day, and device type help you streamline your message to address smaller audiences likely to support your cause. Let’s take a look at these three different ways you can target your ads:

  • Geotargeting. Begin by narrowing down your target audience. Leverage the geotargeting feature to focus on areas that your nonprofit serves. For example, if your nonprofit operates out of New York, ads that appear in Atlanta won’t be very effective. However, if many of your donors reside in another area (say Chicago), you can target users in that area
  • Ad scheduling. Create an Ad Schedule for all of your campaigns —- even those you’re planning on running 24/7. This will help you pinpoint specific times when your ads perform well, so you can adjust your schedule moving forward. To create a schedule, go to one of your campaigns, click on “More” under Settings, hit “Schedule,” select a campaign, choose “All Days,” and save it.
  • Device type. If you’re working with a limited budget, it’s smart to exclude tablets from receiving your ads. Tablets tend to have a lower conversion rate than desktops and mobile devices. To exclude a device from receiving your ads, go to the “Devices” tab, choose a device type, change the bid adjustment to “Decrease” by 100%, and apply the changes.

While on the topic of location-based targeting, if you know your competitors’ IP addresses or physical locations, you can exclude them to prevent unwanted impressions and spending your grant on inadvertent clicks. The same goes for your employees.

You only want your ads to display to those who are likely to convert, so you don’t waste your grant money or negatively impact your ads’ performance. These targeting features will help you connect with likely prospects.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions provide users with more information about a nonprofit’s services, programs, and mission. They help expand the ad listing, ensure it’s as useful as possible to users, and take up more ad space on the search engine results page.

By providing specific information that matches the user’s intent, ad extensions directly impact your ads’ click-through rate.

Some of the most commonly used ad extensions include the following:

  • Sitelinks: Create mini-ads within your ads that link to other pages on your site.
  • Callout Extensions and Structured Snippets: Include additional plain text within your ads to emphasize key points (great for including extra detail that wouldn’t fit in the main ad’s text).
  • Price: Quantify the donation amount or cost of services that a prospect would need to know (e.g., veterinary services, event ticketing price, and so on).
  • Location and Call: Display your organization’s address and phone number. Users will be able to click the number and call you directly.

Here's an example of extensions being used to optimize a Google Grant account.

Ad extensions provide users with more ways to interact with your cause, so use them for your ads. Note that your ad extensions won’t always show up with your ads. Instead, Google will show them when the extension (or combination of extensions) is expected to improve the ad’s performance and when your ad’s position and Ad Rank are high enough to show extensions. Your best bet is to include the most relevant ones for your ads, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be displayed.

Proper website maintenance will help your nonprofit fully optimize a Google Grant account.

Maintain The Website Associated with Your Google Grant Account.

Because your Google Ads will direct visitors to your nonprofit’s website, it’s essential to make it easy to use and valuable to users. While first and foremost a rule of the Google Ad Grants program, maintaining a sufficient website will directly impact the performance of your ads and determine whether users become supporters.

Let’s start by looking at the basic compliance requirements before jumping into tips that will help optimize a Google Grant account further.

Compliance Rules

Like with most other aspects of the Google Ad Grants program, there are specific rules you should follow when running your website. An insufficient, unprotected, or otherwise useless website can lead to temporary suspension of your Google Grant account.

Here are the basic rules you’ll need to follow to ensure your website adheres to Google’s basic eligibility guidelines:

  • Your nonprofit must own the domain. Your nonprofit must own the rights to landing pages linked in your ads. If this landing page is a donation-hosting service, it must belong to one of these pre-approved sites.
  • Your nonprofit must add any additional domains to your account. If you plan to link to other owned domains with Google Grant ads, add them to your account first. This way, Google is aware that your nonprofit owns these domains.
  • Your organization must maintain the account. Any domains used must be high-quality web pages. Valuable web pages have several important factors that we’ll cover in the next section.
  • Your organization should avoid any commercial activity that does not align with your mission. Commercial activity like selling products, services, or consultations can’t be the sole purpose of your website. Limited commercial activity is allowed, provided it aligns with your mission. Acceptable forms of commercial activity include selling a product as a fundraising tool for a specific purpose.

Following these basic compliance regulations will help keep your Google Grant account compliant. However, there’s much more your nonprofit should do to optimize your Google Grant account fully.

Optimizing Your Site

Beyond those guidelines required by Google, you also want to ensure your web pages are valuable for the end-user. Otherwise, they may quickly exit your site if they can’t find what they’re looking for:

Here are a few optimization tips that will help you enhance your nonprofit’s website:

  • Include high search volume keywords on relevant pages. Search volume is used to measure how many searches specific keywords received. Those with a high volume are searched often. According to this SEO for nonprofits guide, you’ll want to feature these keywords on your important web pages to boost their SEO performance.
  • Use only one focus per page. Avoid including multiple concepts on one page of your website. For example, there should be two separate pages for your nonprofit’s services and your volunteer opportunities.
  • Feature content that is interesting and engaging. Highlight the most exciting aspects of your organization on its website. Interesting content makes users more inclined to stick around and explore other pages on the site.
  • Demonstrate clear calls to action. Showcase clear calls to action throughout your website. Whether you want users to donate or sign up to volunteer at an event, make the request loud and clear with buttons that stand out and use straightforward language. Additionally, ensure that any calls to action align with the ad the page is linked to.
  • Make the website accessible for different devices. Your website should be both desktop and mobile-friendly. Especially considering that mobile users make up 33% of online donations, you want users to be able to navigate your website no matter how they access it. You never know when someone may click an ad, and having a webpage that doesn’t function on a cell phone could be a turn-off.

These tips can be helpful as you begin your journey to maintaining a functional, updated website. Make sure to follow Google’s guidelines along with our top tips for a marketable website.

If you're struggling to understand how to optimize a Google Grant account, outsource the work to a professional.

Let A Google Grants Professional Optimize Your Google Grant Account.

Working with a professional agency can take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to optimizing a Google Grant account. Professionals provide tailored services that help you set up and actively manage your Google Ad Grants account as efficiently as possible.

Here at Getting Attention, we strive to help nonprofits make the most of their grant money every month. We make the process simple and easy to understand from completing your application to tracking your data. Our services include:

  • Google Grant Applications: The Google Grant application process can be intimidating. The experts at Getting Attention are here to help guide you through the process and make sure your account is accepted on the first try.
  • Google Grant Hygiene: Data is crucial for optimizing your Google Grant account. Getting Attention is fully equipped to help you clean up your data and make analysis more efficient. Whether you need to remove irrelevant keywords or outdated information, our experts are ready to step in.
  • Google Grant Account Reactivation: With so many compliance rules, suspension can happen, and our team is the best resource for getting your account back up and running.
  • Keyword Research: If you’re feeling lost when choosing keywords, let our agency handle the research for you. We fully understand how to ensure that your account tracks the most relevant and effective keywords to extend your ads’ reach.

Experts know how to optimize a Google Grant account and do so through these common services.

Our goal is to optimize Google Grant accounts so that nonprofits like yours can reinvest focus into their worthwhile missions. To learn more, contact our team to request a free consultation today. Plus, we’re happy to discuss our expertise in other areas. That way, you’re receiving the most comprehensive support possible.

Get a consultation with our team members who know how to optimize a Google Grant account.

These training resources will help you learn how to optimize a Google Grant account.

Look into Google Ad Grants Training.

Even if you outsource work to a professional Google Grants manager, it never hurts to look into training. Google has plenty of free training resources that can help you optimize your Google Grant account and maximize ad performance. Not to mention, third-party sites also provide resources and advice based on their experience.

Here are some great resources that will help you get more out of your Google Grant account:

There are plenty of resources available that you can leverage — it’s just a matter of finding them. If you have any unanswered questions about managing your Google Grant account, our team of professionals is here to help. Reach out and request a free consultation where we can discuss your needs.


This optimization checklist outlines the steps needed to optimize a Google Grant account.

Google Grant Optimization Checklist

Now that you’ve learned some helpful tips for optimization, it’s time to put them to use. So we’ve created a checklist to help narrow down the essentials to successful account optimization.

This checklist covers each step needed to optimize a Google Grant account.

Use our checklist below to make sure you don’t overlook anything when optimizing your Google Grant account:

Account Structure

  • Center campaigns around themes
  • Include 3-5 ad groups per campaign
  • Have 3-5 ads per ad group

Keywords

  • Include approximately 25 keywords per ad group
  • Choose keywords relevant to your mission
  • No generic or single-word keywords
  • Target keywords based on time and geography
  • Separate branded and nonbranded keywords into different campaigns
  • No keywords with quality scores below 3
  • Use negative keywords to avoid ranking for those terms

Conversions

  • Track conversions in Google Analytics
  • Set up conversion goals in Google Analytics
  • Track conversions that are meaningful to your organization
  • Adjust ads based on which ones increase conversions

Ads

  • Use keywords in the ad copy
  • Include specific calls to action in the ad copy
  • Highlight your mission
  • Manually rotate your ads for new campaigns

Metrics

  • Track meaningful conversions for your nonprofit
  • Use A/B testing to determine what drives conversions and clicks
  • Have at least 1 conversion per month
  • Maintain a 5% CTR each month

Bidding

  • Use manual bidding when possible
  • If you set up automated bidding, select the Maximize Conversions option

Targeting

  • Narrow down your target audience with geotargeting
  • Pinpoint specific times when ads perform well with ad scheduling
  • Adjust which devices your ads can be viewed on
  • Link to other pages within your ads by using sitelinks
  • Include additional plain text with callout extensions and structured snippets
  • Include the cost of services with the price extension
  • Display your address and phone number with the location and call extensions
  • Capture leads with the lead form extension

Website Maintenance

  • Ensure you own your nonprofit’s domain
  • Include one focus per page
  • No commercial activity that’s related to your mission
  • Include ad keywords on your landing pages
  • Create clear calls to action
  • Ensure the site is mobile accessible

Partnering with a Google Ad Grants agency

  • Google Grant applications
  • Account hygiene
  • Keyword research
  • Account reactivation

Training Resources

Getting accepted into the Google Ad Grants program is an exciting moment. Keeping up with the ins and outs of account management can be a challenge, but this streamlined checklist should help. Download a PDF version of this checklist for quick access in the future.

Let's wrap up this article with final thoughts on how to optimize a Google Grant account.

Final Thoughts on Optimizing A Google Grant Account

Optimizing a Google Grant account isn’t a one-and-done sort of deal. Rather, someone will need to actively manage your account, watch keyword data, refine your ads, and more. Otherwise, your account will underperform and may even be temporarily deactivated if it goes against Google’s regulations.

To start making the most of your account, implement the tips covered in this ultimate guide. If you’re seeking more assistance with optimizing your Google Ad Grant account, reach out to the team at Getting Attention to set up a free consultation today. We’re happy to discuss your needs so that you can get more out of the program each month.

In the meantime, explore the following additional resources to continue learning about Google Ad Grants:

Reach out to Getting Attention to learn how to optimize a Google Grant account for your nonprofit.

With recent changes to Form 990 and donor disclosure requirements, what's required of your nonprofit?

Form 990 Schedule B & Donor Disclosures: What’s Required?

The nonprofit regulatory landscape is constantly changing. New requirements can appear over time, and others might disappear, leaving your nonprofit the task of figuring out exactly what’s required in order to stay compliant all while securing funding, engaging donors, and running programs.

Recent developments regarding the Form 990 Schedule B, major donor disclosures, and how it all relates to state-level nonprofit compliance are a perfect example.

You’re already familiar with IRS Form 990—a simple report that gives the IRS a birds-eye view of your organization’s financial activities over the past fiscal year. But what’s the Form 990 Schedule B? Is it required for your nonprofit? If you’ve provided a complete Schedule B to state charity offices when renewing your registrations in the past, a recent Supreme Court ruling has likely changed what’s required of your nonprofit.

It sounds like a lot to take in, but we’ve got you covered. This quick guide will explain everything you need to know about this important development in the nonprofit compliance world.

Understanding the Form 990 Schedule B

The Form 990 Schedule B is an additional document that your nonprofit may have been required to complete and return alongside your main Form 990 (or an EZ variant) in the past.

Schedule B requires you to disclose donors who contributed more than $5,000 or an amount larger than 2% of your total donation revenue in the past fiscal year. In other words, it asks nonprofits to disclose the names and contact information of their mid-level and major donors.

The purpose of collecting this information is that it aids with fraud detection at the federal level. This is why several states have historically also required Schedule B as part of their charitable solicitation registration processes for nonprofits. However, these requirements have quickly changed following a 2021 Supreme Court ruling.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta (2021)

The Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2021 Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta case has effectively eliminated the use of Form 990 Schedule B in state-level charity registrations.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the Thomas More Law Center challenged the state of California’s requirement that nonprofits submit a completed Schedule B and disclose their major donors on the grounds that doing so violates donors’ first amendment rights to free speech and assembly. They argued that it was an unnecessary collection of personally identifiable information. California defended its collection of Schedule B information as a means of fraud detection and consumer protection.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, finding a lack of compelling evidence that donor disclosures drive greater fraud detection results at the state level. The Court’s majority opinion stated that subpoenas and audits remain effective and are potentially more efficient options for state investigations than broad data collection through Schedules B.

The decision struck down California’s regulation requiring nonprofits to submit a Schedule B as part of their charitable solicitation registration with the state’s Attorney General’s office.

What it Means for Your Nonprofit

So what does this mean for your nonprofit and its compliance requirements? There are two key takeaways:

  • As of the time of writing (April 2022), nonprofits are no longer required to provide Form 990 Schedules B as part of their registration or renewals process with states that previously required them. These states include New York, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii, all of which have either removed Schedule B requirements or stated that they will not enforce these requirements since the 2021 ruling.
  • Importantly, you are still required to file a Schedule B alongside your Form 990 at the federal level if you have received large gifts that fall under its guidelines. The IRS requires this information for fraud detection purposes, but all personally identifiable information is redacted from the publicly available documents that are published.

These changes only affect nonprofits that were already operating and registered in the states listed above, but they do underscore the need for constant compliance and effective recordkeeping.

Even as states remove requirements for donor disclosures, it’s important to remember that they still have a public duty to prevent charity fraud and protect consumers, which is the entire purpose of the solicitation registration process in the first place. Thorough records on all donations you receive in a secure, organized CRM will be your best bet for maintaining transparency and protecting your mission should an investigation ever occur.

More broadly, these changes reflect the continued importance of staying aware of changing nonprofit requirements.

The landscape is constantly shifting, so understanding your requirements at the federal level, state level, and where they intersect and change over time is essential. And as nonprofits increasingly grow into the world of digital marketing and explore new revenue streams, unfamiliar compliance and privacy requirements will only become more important.

By filing the necessary documentation, renewing registrations, hiring registered agents as needed, and more, you’ll safeguard your mission for years to come. The help of attorneys and nonprofit compliance experts is also invaluable whether you’re navigating a new situation or simply want to take a proactive approach to compliance—an approach that’s highly recommended considering the relative speed at which regulatory changes can occur.


Franklin Asongwe, Labyrinth

Author: Franklin Asongwe, Marketing Director, Labyrinth Inc.

Franklin Asongwe is the Marketing Director of Labyrinth, Inc. — the leading provider of state fundraising registration support and other nonprofit compliance services. He’s passionate about helping nonprofits better understand the complex compliance landscape so that they can keep pursuing their missions safely and sustainably.

The Ultimate Guide to Securing Corporate Sponsorships

The Ultimate Guide to Securing Corporate Sponsorships

As a nonprofit organization, you’re probably always on the lookout for new ways to secure revenue for your cause, and better ways to improve upon existing efforts. One of the most underutilized sources of nonprofit funding is corporate giving⁠—and within that subcategory, corporate sponsorships can be a great way to go.

But what exactly are the opportunities available, and how can your team go about securing corporate sponsorships to help fund your mission? This guide will provide you with everything you need to know by exploring the following key topics:

Partnering with for-profit businesses can often be one of the most lucrative and impactful fundraising strategies for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and causes. And don’t forget⁠—participating companies benefit greatly as well.

Let’s begin our exploration of corporate sponsorships for nonprofits with the basics.

What Are Corporate Sponsorships?

Corporate sponsorships are an extremely popular form of corporate giving program in which companies provide funding or resources to nonprofit partners. This often takes place in the context of a particular fundraising event, campaign, or project.

For organizations looking to diversify their funding sources by exploring new streams of revenue, sponsorships can be a great place to start. And there are different types of corporate sponsorships available, too⁠! These include:

  • Financial — A business provides a monetary contribution to a nonprofit organization.
  • In-kind — A business provides donated goods or services to a nonprofit organization (these are typically, but not always, related to the businesses’ industry).
  • Media⁠ — A business contributes by funding the promotion of a nonprofit’s upcoming event through paid advertising channels.

Regardless of the kind of sponsorship agreement between an organization and a corporate partner, the common denominator is that the nonprofit receives some sort of support from a (typically for-profit) business.

Who Benefits From Corporate Sponsorships?

Many nonprofit fundraisers refer to corporate sponsorships as mutually beneficial relationships, which might also be considered a win-win situation. The bottom line is that both parties benefit significantly from participating in the partnership.

Let’s take a look at key advantages seen by the two primary stakeholders in a corporate sponsorship relationship:

  • Companies: Companies that sponsor nonprofits typically aren’t doing so just for the sake of altruism⁠—though that can be a major component of the motivation. But these businesses also receive elevated brand reputations and public relations boosts, increased levels of corporate social responsibility, higher levels of employee engagement, tax benefits, and more.
  • Nonprofits: As a nonprofit, you might (understandably) be a bit more focused on this side of the partnership benefits. Luckily, they’re plentiful! Organizations receive increased funding for their causes through corporate donations, along with unique co-marketing opportunities from working alongside their corporate partner!

In some forms of corporate giving, there are even more beneficiaries to the partnerships⁠—for example, the companies’ employees or the nonprofits’ donors. Sometimes those are even the same people! Employees are able to feel an increased sense of pride in the businesses they work for when their employers take part in charity and other philanthropic opportunities. And donors are often provided with new ways to support their favorite organizations⁠—such as through an upcoming event sponsored by a local business.

The Four Stages of Securing Corporate Sponsorships

You understand the advantages of corporate sponsorship participation, and you’re ready to dive in. But where exactly should you start? We’ve broken the process down into four simple steps!

1. Identifying Potential Corporate Sponsors

Before you can secure corporate sponsors for your cause, you’ll need a starting point. Who are your organization’s ideal sponsors? Are these companies within a certain industry, location, or value set?

Your priorities in locating the perfect sponsor can vary based on your mission, the need you’re raising funds for, and more. Here are four components to consider as you craft a list of potential corporate sponsorships:

  • Popular companies with generous philanthropic initiatives ⁠— Take a look at lists of particularly charitable businesses, and see if there are any that catch your eye. There are tons of free compilations online (like this one from Double the Donation) that can help narrow down your search!
  • Local businesses in your community ⁠— Local businesses often love giving back to the communities in which they’ve established their own roots. Be sure to reach out to the mom-and-pop restaurants, salons, boutiques, agencies, and shops in your neighborhood for potential sponsorship opportunities.
  • Companies you already have connections to ⁠— Do a lot of your donors, volunteers, or board members work for philanthropically-minded companies? Has a particular business supported one of your organization’s fundraising efforts in the past? These kinds of existing connections can be some of the most effective ways to get your foot in the door with potential sponsors.
  • Companies whose missions align with your own ⁠— When it comes to selecting and securing corporate sponsorships, mission matters. If you run an animal rescue, you might want to reach out to pet supply retailers. If you work with a nature conservancy, you might target environmentally friendly businesses that build sustainability into their practices. When your values overlap as such, these companies will be more inclined to support your cause.

It’s always good to start out with a lengthy list of prospective corporate sponsors. After all, some will say “no,” and others you might not even hear back from. And that should be expected! But when you provide your solicitation team with a wide array of possibilities, it can make rejections a bit less discouraging.

2. Cultivating Business Relationships

Like with any donation request, it’s important to have an existing relationship with potential contributors before jumping into the actual solicitation of funding.

So, what can you do to begin developing corporate partnerships? Consider:

  • Asking a member of a prospective sponsor’s team to sit down and chat with someone from your organization, and discuss missions, values, and priorities.
  • Inviting a member of a prospective sponsor’s team to visit your organization’s facility for a behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Providing a prospective sponsor with fundraising impact materials such as your annual report, Form 990, and more.
  • Taking an interest in a prospective sponsor’s business, strategies, and goals.

Not only are you likely to win more corporate sponsors this way, but it also helps establish a sense of familiarity with each party, and makes the sponsorship feel relational rather than solely transactional.

3. Creating a Value Proposition

Your organization’s (or specific campaign’s) value proposition is essentially the answer to the business asking, “what’s in it for me?” In order to truly be a mutually beneficial relationship, the value has to go both ways.

One of the most common types of value propositions is that of co-marketing efforts and improved brand reputation. Here’s an example:

Let’s say that Linda’s Flower Mart provides funding to help establish a fundraising event for a local nonprofit in their community, Midtown Youth Center. Now, Midtown Youth Center will continue to promote its upcoming fundraiser through all of its marketing and communication channels. They want a significant turnout, after all, to collect as much additional donor revenue as possible to help bankroll their programming.

But don’t forget the value-add for the flower mart, either! Linda’s company’s logo is featured in all marketing materials for the event as a key sponsor, ensuring a wider audience is exposed to her company and will consider her services for future flower needs. The day after the fundraising event, Linda meets a new group of eager customers who report that they love shopping at local businesses that continue to give back to their own communities.

As you begin crafting your organization’s value proposition for upcoming sponsorship asks, remember that this is one of your most essential selling points. You’ll want to provide participating businesses with ample advantages so that they, too, see a return on their investment in your organization.

Bonus tip! Keep in mind that the benefit to the corporation should not outweigh the benefit to the organization. If it does, the IRS may classify income as “unrelated business income” (taxable) as opposed to a “charitable contribution” (tax-free).

4. Making Your Corporate Sponsorship Ask

Now it’s time to make the actual corporate sponsorship request—and this can be the most nerve-wracking step in the process for many fundraisers. However, it’s also the most important; you won’t have sponsors if you never ask!

As you get to this point, consider the following best practices:

  • Conduct several practice runs of sponsorship request conversations before you meet with the businesses in question.
  • Have your corporate sponsorship ask conversations in person when possible. This makes the meeting more personal and helps put a face to your organization.
  • Use volunteers to make the actual sponsorship ask! These individuals are not being paid to say good things about your organization, and that can make a difference for people and businesses considering contributing. However, you’ll want to support and prepare your volunteers well for the scenario.
  • Offer various sponsorship tiers that align with different-sized budgets. Many businesses will be interested in supporting your efforts, but might not be able to swing the hefty price tag of a top sponsorship package.
  • Emphasize your value proposition. This is the tangible benefit offered to businesses considering a partnership and should be a main focus of your conversations.

By incorporating these tips into your corporate sponsorship strategy, you’ll likely be able to secure a good number of top partnerships. But remember, it’s also essential that your team knows how and when to take no as an answer. Some companies simply won’t be able to contribute at the time being⁠—but if you leave your conversation on a positive note, they’ll be more likely to consider partnering with your organization in the future.

How to Secure More Corporate Sponsorships: FAQ

Still have questions about securing corporate sponsorships for your nonprofits? Here are answers to some common questions organizations have throughout the process.

What should I do after securing a corporate sponsorship?

Let’s say you’ve come to an agreement with a corporate partner that has agreed to sponsor your organization’s upcoming event. You might be asking yourself, “well, what now?”

After securing corporate sponsorships, it’s time to solidify your relationship with the company. Share resources about your organization’s work, additional engagement opportunities, mission success stories, and more. Before the event takes place, make sure both teams are on the same page with what exactly the sponsorship entails, including logistics surrounding funding transfers.

Once the event concludes, you’ll want to continue developing your partnership with the company. Maintaining a personal relationship with those who helped you pull off your sponsored event after it’s over is essential for showing your appreciation for the company’s support. And as an added bonus, they’ll likely be more inclined to partner with your team on future endeavors!

How should we acknowledge corporate sponsors?

The ways in which your organization acknowledges its sponsors will greatly depend on your nonprofit itself, the event or campaign being sponsored, and the company you’re partnering with. For example, if you’re hosting a community event, you might acknowledge a sponsor by providing them with a tent or other area to promote their business.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that some forms of public acknowledgment may be specifically laid out in the sponsorship agreement between your organization and the company you’re partnering with. This might include social media promotion, website inclusions, space in tangible marketing materials, event announcements, and more. However, it’s always nice to go above and beyond the required acknowledgment elements to communicate your appreciation to your corporate sponsors.

What are other top corporate fundraising opportunities?

Corporate sponsorships are by no means the only form of corporate fundraising worth looking into. If your team is interested in additional corporate giving programs (and particularly those that are easy to get connected with), we recommend the following:

  • Matching gifts
  • Volunteer grants
  • Employee donation stipends
  • Payroll deductions
  • Community grants

Not to mention, various forms of corporate giving opportunities often overlap! For example, studies show that 85% of the top matching gift companies also offer volunteer grant programs for their employees. And if a company has shown particular interest in philanthropy before (such as through any of the above-mentioned initiatives), they might be increasingly inclined to participate in a corporate sponsorship with your cause.


Additional Corporate Sponsorship Resources

Now that you have a solid foundation of knowledge concerning corporate philanthropy, the benefits to everyone involved, how to locate opportunities and propose partnerships, and more, you’re ready to get started. But your efforts in securing corporate sponsorships on behalf of your organization are just beginning!

Interested in learning more about the significant impact that corporate sponsorships can bring to nonprofits like yours? Explore other top corporate fundraising resources here:

  • 14 Important Questions to Ask About Matching Gifts. Matching gifts are one of the most popular forms of corporate philanthropy, and corporate matching and sponsorships go hand in hand. Dive into the importance of matching gifts and how to increase your organization’s revenue through this source.
  • Corporate Philanthropy: The Ultimate Guide to Giving. Looking for additional corporate giving opportunities to make the most of for your cause? Check out Double the Donation’s complete resource of tips, tricks, tools, and more to ensure your team is prepared to leverage this fantastic source of revenue.
  • Is Cause Marketing Right for Your Nonprofit? Cause marketing is one of the most impactful drivers of corporate sponsorships. Creating a plan for this strategy is essential for partnering with companies that best align with your organization’s values and receiving significant benefits in return.