This article will discuss how membership marketing trends should inform your strategy.

Top 2023 Nonprofit Marketing Trends to Inform Your Strategy

The world of marketing, especially digital marketing, is constantly adapting to consumer preferences. That means that you cannot afford to structure your nonprofit’s strategy in a vacuum—you’ll need to keep pace with the changing landscape that the diverse world of marketing presents.

As you build your strategy, you’ll need to keep that in mind as you plan to make the most of your available budget, tools, and efforts.  In this guide, we’ll help you do just that by exploring recent nonprofit marketing trends and giving tips on how you can adapt your strategy to stay relevant.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

At Getting Attention, we help nonprofits diversify their marketing strategy with the power of the Google Ad Grant. While this Grant is explored in a trend later, keep in mind that it’s a valuable tool to add to your current strategy. That said, let’s take a closer look at why your nonprofit should stay on top of marketing trends.

Click here to learn how Getting Attention can help your nonprofit get started with the Google Ad Grant

Why Trends Matter for Your Nonprofit Marketing Strategy

It can be tempting to choose your favorite marketing channels and stick to them for all your advertising activities. After all, just because it’s “trendy” to pursue a certain marketing technique doesn’t mean it’s the right move for your organization, does it?

Short answer: yes and no. While there might be consequences to following a trend that does not quite match your nonprofit’s image, there are also consequences for not staying up to date with trends. To offer some perspective, nonprofits who maximize current, relevant trends can experience:

  • Increased relevance and appeal: Following trends shows that your nonprofit is responsive to the preferences, expectations, and behaviors of your target audience.
  • Greater competitive advantage: If your nonprofit takes informed steps to follow trends, you’ll gain a competitive advantage and differentiate yourself from similar organizations that are slower to act.
  • Optimized resource allocation: Keeping track of trends will help you efficiently allocate your existing resources, as you’ll need to consider every possible investment before finalizing your budget.
  • Expanded partnership and collaboration opportunities: Trends can help you identify potential partners, collaborators, and allies who align with your message and can amplify it to your audience.
  • Heightened donor engagement: Trends can indicate changing audience preferences. If you follow them, you’ll have a greater chance of employing techniques that resonate with your donors.

Following relevant trends can have a positive impact on your nonprofit’s health. Let’s take a closer look at which channels to monitor for upcoming trends.

Nonprofit Marketing Channels: An Overview

A 2022 HubSpot survey of over 1,200 marketers found that 80% said marketing has changed more in the last three years than in the last 50. That’s a lot of change, but which channels have been the most affected? The top channels you should keep an eye on are as follows:

This image displays the top marketing channels your nonprofit should prioritize within your current strategy.

We’ll explore each of these in the coming sections in addition to examining how strategies such as personalization and user-generated content impact the effectiveness of each channel.

Top Nonprofit Marketing Trends to Watch

Changes in the Social Media Marketing Mix

Social media marketing has been a dominant marketing channel for a few years now—a whopping 4.9 billion people worldwide identify as active social media users.

However, the preferred channels within social media have gone back and forth between Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and now TikTok. As of 2023, here’s where each social media channel stands as measured by monthly active users:

 These statistics show the monthly active users in millions for social media channels based on recent marketing trends.

Active social media user counts:

  • Facebook: 2.9 million active users
  • YouTube: 2.5 million active users
  • Instagram: 2.0 million active users
  • TikTok: 1 million active users

Although ranking the smallest, TikTok is used by 42% of marketers and ties for 2nd with YouTube and Instagram as a top ROI-generating platform. This means that TikTok’s popularity is projected to rise in the coming years.

Here are ways you can leverage social media marketing:

  • Run a social awareness campaign: Boost awareness of a specific cause relating to your mission by launching a cross-promotional campaign. Consider starting a challenge or partnering with influencers to increase your cause’s online visibility.
  • Stay consistent: Stick to a consistent posting schedule to engage your audience and cultivate a memorable online presence.
  • Understand your audience: 69% of Millennials prefer to use Facebook compared to 37% of Gen Z. Use your audience data to determine which platforms would be most impactful for your nonprofit.

Email Marketing is Swaying

Only a quarter of nonprofit email recipients open their emails. That means that there are inboxes full of unopened communications from your nonprofit. However, before you ditch your email newsletter, think about ways you can make it more engaging for your specific audience.

Here are ways you can increase interest in your emails:

  • Segment your audience: 78% of marketers agree that segmentation, or the division of recipients into smaller groups based on shared criteria, is the most effective strategy. Personalize your mailing list for the best results.
  • Craft compelling subject lines: Make your emails click-worthy with compelling subject lines that grab your audience’s attention.
  • Check your email cadence: You could be sending too many or too few emails, make sure your communications are regular so recipients can expect to hear from you on a regular basis.

User-Generated Content is Making Waves

About 90% of consumers report that user-generated content (UGC) influences their buying decisions more than marketing emails and even search engine results. UGC refers to any form of content created and shared by users based on their experiences with your nonprofit. For example, a new volunteer might post a short “a day in the life of a Humane Society volunteer” describing their daily tasks like walking dogs or organizing pet food.

UGC comes across as more genuine and credible than content posted by your organization. This is because people tend to trust people more than they trust organizations. Therefore, your marketing strategy should look for ways to make UGC the norm.

This means you’ll need to connect with your audience in a way that facilitates two-way communication. Thus incorporating more opportunities for “earned media” to build up credibility.

Here are ways you can encourage UGC:

  • Provide clear instructions: When posting UGC prompts and challenges, provide clear instructions to make it easy for supporters to join in and submit content.
  • Get creative with campaign challenges: Give your supporters a reason to participate by making your challenges fun and engaging like the ice bucket challenge of 2014.
  • Make your content shareable: Wherever possible, incorporate social sharing links on your content for supporters to repost and comment on.

Video Marketing is Now a Must-Have

This image captures relevant statistics that communicate the increasing value of nonprofit video marketing based on recent marketing trends.

Video marketing is becoming the standard as 93% of global Internet users watch digital videos each week and 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service.

Leverage this trend by creating compelling video content. For instance, rather than simply sharing an impact report with your donors, send them a video showing the impact they’ve made on your beneficiaries.

Here are tips to create engaging video content:

  • Create bite-sized updates: Short-form video has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy at 30%. Therefore, look for ways to update your social media with short video content to keep supporters in the know.
  • Provide an engaging hook: Grab supporters’ attention with an engaging hook such as a product teaser or event teaser.
  • Be spontaneous: Post spontaneous on-the-ground content that gives your supporters an inside look into your nonprofit’s operations.

Personalization Still Matters

Message personalization has been around for a while and it’s not going anywhere as 72% of  consumers claim that they respond to marketing messages crafted to their choices. That means you’ll need to keep a pulse on your supporter preferences and tailor your messaging in a way that communicates that you value their contributions.

Here are ways you can personalize your messaging:

  • Customize your landing pages: Separate your website landing pages so each audience segment can quickly find relevant information. For example, a donor might be looking for your recent impact report while volunteers will want to know how they can help.
  • Personalize your donation appeals: Leverage your nonprofit CRM to personalize your donation appeals in a way that recognizes donor giving history and personal investment in your cause.
  • Appreciate your donorsGenuinely recognize your donors’ contributions by sending them heartfelt thank-you messages.

Search Ads Can Revolutionize Your Strategy

Did you know that Google controls 92% of the search engine market share? This means that investing in Google ads can have a significant positive impact on your nonprofit’s revenue generation. Luckily Google has provided a program tailor-made for nonprofits—the Google Ad Grants Program.

Since 2003, the Google Ad Grants program has provided $10 billion in free advertising to more than 115,000 nonprofits across 51 countries. This program can launch your content straight to the top of Google’s search results so that more people find you faster.

The Google Ad Grant offers:

  • Better site engagement: The Google Ad Grant can direct more readers to your site based on the keyword your supporters are already searching for.
  • Increased online engagement: Get more registrations, donations, ticket sales, and email list subscribers with a streamlined Google Ad Grant strategy.
  • Insight into supporter motivation: Google Ad Grants lets you track your campaign performance in real time so you can make meaningful adjustments and draw conclusions about what inspires your audience.

Click here to learn how Getting Attention can help you apply for the Google Ad Grant.

Website SEO Marketing is Essential

Your website is the centerpiece of your marketing strategy. In fact, 60% of marketers say that inbound marketing (SEO, blog content, etc.) is their highest source of qualified leads. It’s no different for nonprofits—your website must be SEO optimized to get the most out of your online presence.

An essential part of optimizing your website is focusing on publishing quality content. When creating content use the EEAT acronym: experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness. Following this framework will get both search engines and supporters on your side.

This image describes the EEAT acronym that nonprofit marketers should use when creating quality website content.

Here are ways you can boost your SEO:

  • Publish quality content: Use the EEAT guidelines to publish quality content that establishes your organization as a credible source.
  • Optimize for technical SEO: Review your website’s navigation, links, and page speed to ensure that it’s crawlable by Google and prioritizes user experience.
  • Check your backlinks: Strategic link-building to other internal posts and trustworthy nonprofit sources will increase can rankings and authority.

AI Isn’t Going Anywhere

Recent research indicates that chatbots and other advanced AI technologies are here to stay. With an ever-evolving market, your nonprofit needs to learn how to leverage these tools to connect with supporters. However, bear in mind that nonprofit connections are distinctly personal and human, so use AI as a tool to refine your communications rather than as a direct replacement.

Slowly incorporate AI into your marketing workflows and assess how it can streamline your tasks. That way, you’ll have more time to research and implement new marketing strategies.

Here are ways you can use AI:

  • Predict future outcomes: Leverage AI to evaluate previous donation habits or campaign performance that can inform your messaging strategy going forward.
  • Automate tasks: Experiment with AI to find ways to automate daily tasks such as content or event scheduling.
  • Take your personalization a step further: Use AI algorithms to analyze donor data and identify new segments, trends, and patterns.

Consider how each of these trends can inform your current marketing strategy as you look for new ways to engage your audience. Track your progress as you adopt each strategy and know that not every microtrend requires immediate action.

How to Select Which Nonprofit Marketing Trends to Follow

The above trends are redefining nonprofit marketing communications and your organization should research and adopt as many as possible to sharpen your strategy.

Of course, In an ideal world, every marketing effort you invest in would produce increased funds, long-term support, and greater general awareness. However, because your resources are limited, you’re going to need to know how to sufficiently allocate them for the best marketing results. Additionally, you’ll want to choose trends that resonate with your audience, expand your supporter base, and/or increase the efficiency of your day-to-day marketing operations.

To know which trends to focus on, ask yourself these five questions:

This image pictures the questions your organization should ask when considering adopting a new marketing trend.

  • Does it align with my mission and values? For example, if one of your values is sustainability, you’ll want to steer clear of participating in any trend that might compromise that value. Instead, look for eco-friendly trends.
  • Is it relevant to my target audience? Consider your audience data like demographics, interests, and preferences to determine if this trend is worth pursuing. For example, if your target audience is recently expanded into younger, Gen Z supporters you might consider using TikTok to increase engagement.
  • How has this trend performed so far? Examine the growth of similar organizations that have adopted the trend. Are they reaching new audiences? Do their supporters seem to respond well to their new efforts? Observe and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Can I integrate it into my existing strategies? Some trends require additional effort to adopt. However, most trends occur on channels you already use. Think about ways you can make small adjustments for greater impact, such as sticking to a regular posting schedule for existing social media accounts.
  • Will this trend provide long-term benefits? Some trends can be repurposed to provide lasting benefits. For example, video can be edited and reused on your nonprofit website, social media, and for events to explain your mission and rally support.

Conclusion + Additional Resources

The development of new technologies results in more ways to connect with your supporters than ever before. That means your organization needs to consistently research and adapt your marketing strategy to stay relevant in an ever-changing environment.

As you adjust your strategy, check out these resources to keep learning:

Click here to get a free Getting Attention consultation.

This guide explores the basics of Facebook Challenges and how nonprofits can leverage them to fundraise.

Facebook Challenges: Social Media Fundraising for Nonprofits

Social media has proven to be an effective fundraising tool for nonprofits. Its popularity maximizes the online visibility of a nonprofit’s cause and reaches wider audiences than possible via other marketing channels. Facebook has taken the power of social media a step further with a peer-to-peer initiative that raises funds and awareness through engaging challenges.

In this guide, we’ll explore the basics of Facebook Challenges for nonprofits and how these organizations can leverage social media to raise funds for their missions:

According to 360 MatchPro’s fundraising statistics, “of those inspired to give via social media, 56% were most impacted by Facebook posts.” Are you ready to unlock the full potential of this platform and garner the support of those social media donors? Let’s begin with some background on Facebook Challenges.

Click this graphic to learn how Getting Attention can draw attention to your nonprofit’s marketing materials, including your Facebook challenges.

What are Facebook Challenges?

Have you ever seen a movie where the main character was dared by his friends to do something outrageous? Think about the impact of that activity on the plot of the movie—did the characters get themselves in a bind because of the dare? Did a chain of events follow that impacted the storyline?

Take that impact and multiply it by the reach of digital platforms like social media. Most times, when someone is dared to do something, they follow through with it. When these challenges are posted for everyone to see, people are even more pressured to participate.

In a Facebook Challenge, nonprofits challenge Facebook users to complete an activity and post their progress or results on social media. The activities are launched to raise awareness and donations for a nonprofit’s cause. Here’s how it works:

This graphic shows the order of events that occur when a Facebook Challenge takes place, detailed in the text below.

  • The nonprofit plans the challenge. You’ll come up with an activity, a fundraising goal, and the other logistics of your Facebook Challenge.
  • The challenge is promoted. After establishing the basics of your challenge, you’ll spread the word about your activity through your marketing channels. Remember to leverage all your social media accounts for promotion purposes, even though the fundraiser will take place on Facebook.
  • Initial participants get involved and invite their friends. Depend on active volunteers, supporters, board members, and employees to get the ball rolling. Request that they invite their friends to help expand the fundraiser’s visibility.
  • Their friends invite other friends, and so on. The challenge will naturally jump from social group to social group, expanding to audiences that have no current affiliation with your organization. You’ll use Facebook’s Fundraising tool to collect donations as the challenge progresses.
  • The nonprofit collects donations and gains new supporters. As supporters complete the activity, make donations, and urge their friends to do the same, your nonprofit will collect donations and likely gain new Facebook followers.

Don’t think of Facebook Challenges as a simple fundraiser or advocacy strategy—these activities can deeply engage donors by urging them to take action (in more ways than one)! Let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll need to do to start a Facebook Challenge.

How to Start a Facebook Challenge

Now that you know the basics of a Facebook Challenge, let’s review the steps to get started:

This graphic shows the five steps nonprofits must follow to start a Facebook Challenge, also covered in the text below.

1. Plan your Facebook Challenge.

First, your nonprofit should prepare for its Facebook Challenge by planning the logistics of the fundraiser. You’ll need to establish:

  • The duration of the challenge: How long will your challenge last? Is it a time-based challenge, such as a challenge to stop eating sugar for 30 days?
  • The challenge activity: What activity are you challenging supporters to do? Will it relate to your nonprofit’s mission in some way, or will it be a random task that simply opens the door for your nonprofit to talk about its cause?
  • Your fundraising goal: How much do you need to raise with this challenge? Share this goal with supporters to further incentivize sharing, participating, and giving.

Remember that your Facebook challenge is one element of your overall marketing strategy. As you plan the activity and duration, think about how the challenge will fit in with the rest of your fundraising initiatives.

After establishing the basics of your challenge, you’ll need to prepare the rest of your team. Staff members and volunteers must be on the same page about your fundraiser and the goal of the challenge, especially when they’re advocating on behalf of your nonprofit.

2. Create Facebook Ads.

Use Facebook’s resources to develop advertisements that will promote your fundraiser and nonprofit. All you’ll need to create Facebook Ads are:

  • Images: Include images of your organization’s logo, your volunteers at work, or your beneficiaries receiving the help they need. Depending on the duration of the challenge, you might even include images of supporters engaging in the challenge activity (with their permission, of course).
  • Ad copy: Provide information about your nonprofit, but remember to keep your focus on the challenge. Think about it like this: If readers were to glance at your message, their main takeaway should be the activity and deadline of the challenge. Use your organization’s brand messaging and tone to further solidify the ad’s legitimacy.

Facebook’s algorithm will combine the images and text to create ads for you. Then, these advertisements will show up on Facebook users’ feeds. Although this is a helpful way to spread the word about your fundraiser, you’ll need to do some marketing of your own, as well. That’s where your nonprofit’s website comes in!

3. Create an event landing page.

Your nonprofit’s website hosts the most important information about all your other fundraisers, so it only makes sense that you’d include information about your Facebook Challenge there, too. It’s a great resource for providing more information about the challenge and its progress.

When creating your landing page, ensure it’s optimized for mobile use. That way, your supporters can switch straight from the Facebook app to their phone browser without missing a beat. You should also include the following information about your challenge:

  • An explanation of the challenge
  • Visualization of your fundraising progress
  • A link to your Facebook page

Not only does this encourage viewers to engage in the challenge but it can draw in larger audiences when your website receives new visitors. Plus, if your nonprofit leverages the Google Ad Grant, you’re already on the right track to promote your website (and challenge)!

The program can be a significant undertaking, so it may be helpful to recruit Getting Attention’s help to manage your Google Ad Grant. That way, you can focus on sharing social media posts while your Google Ads do the work for your website.

Click this graphic to get a free consultation from Getting Attention and learn how we can promote your Facebook Challenges.

4. Start a Facebook group.

Instead of simply providing your supporters with information, invite open communication by establishing a way for them to get in touch with your organization. Create a Facebook group to bring all your participants together—staff members, volunteers, supporters, and people who have never even heard of your cause!

5. Write fundraiser templates.

As your challenge is passed along from Facebook user to Facebook user, it’s likely the message won’t stay quite the same. Unfamiliarity with your message is both an opportunity to educate new audiences and a pitfall that can be overcome with fundraiser templates!

A fundraiser template is a ready-made message that Facebook users can copy and paste to post when they participate in and share your challenge. To effectively spread the word about your cause, the message should include:

  • An eye-catching opener that encourages scrollers to stop and read.
  • Background information about your cause.
  • A compelling request for participation and donations.
  • Testimonials that speak to your nonprofit’s credibility.

Then, let the participation begin! The challenge will soon carry itself after you finish setting it up because the peer-to-peer nature of the fundraiser follows a cycle:

This graphic shows the cycle that Facebook Challenges follow.

  • Users click on the Facebook Ad
  • Supporters participate and donate
  • Participants share the challenge

After the challenge is shared, more Facebook users will click on the ad and participate or donate. Just let the cycle repeat itself for the duration of your Facebook challenge!

Facebook Challenge Ideas for Nonprofits

Some Facebook Challenges relate to the organization’s mission, such as the American Heart Association’s 60 Miles in June in Honor Challenge. Others are a little more random, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, which involved dumping a bucket of ice over someone’s head to support research on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Whether your nonprofit wants to promote an activity related to its cause or simply start a fun challenge that will also raise money and awareness, there’s a Facebook Challenge for everyone! Check out these types of challenges to help your brainstorming.

This graphic lists the best ideas for Facebook challenges, which are also covered in the text below.

Philanthropic challenges

No matter the activity of your challenge, you’ll ultimately want to garner support from a larger audience. Encourage participants to complete a philanthropic challenge in support of your cause, such as:

  • Volunteering: Challenge participants to volunteer either at your nonprofit or a related organization. Measure their contribution in hours volunteered or the number of volunteer activities they attended.
  • Random act of kindness: Encourage participants to commit an act of kindness. The participant can choose their action and do it for a friend or stranger—it’s up to them! They’ll share their experience on social media along with a reminder to donate to help your organization fund its acts of kindness.

These types of challenges allow for some flexibility since there are numerous ways participants could volunteer their time or show kindness to others. Sometimes this flexibility can be nice, but be sure to set reasonable parameters for your challenge so that the activity is recognizable and tied to your fundraising initiative.

Fitness challenges

Physical activity can be quite the challenge—and not just as a fundraising initiative on Facebook! Few activities are quite as taxing as fitness challenges, and your supporters will put their athleticism to the test when they engage in these challenges:

  • Exercise: Activities like walking and running can be easy challenges to encourage supporters to get active! You can get even more creative by hosting a challenge specific to a muscle group. For example, you might host a “chest challenge” in which participants must complete a chest workout every two days.
  • Mental health: Keep in mind that fitness challenges should focus on participants’ overall health, not just physical wellness! Challenge participants to journal every day, meditate, or complete another activity that boosts their mental well-being.

Fitness challenges are typically measured by distance or time. For example, you could challenge supporters to run ten miles or run for ten minutes. The ten-mile race might be a one-time challenge, whereas the time-based activity could be repeated every day, such as by running for ten minutes daily.

Dietary challenges

Much like fitness challenges, dietary challenges are a great way to encourage supporters to improve their lifestyles. You can take several approaches to dietary challenges:

This graphic shows the different ways nonprofits can start a Facebook Challenge related to dietary improvements, detailed in the text below.

  • Omit a food: Participants might remove a food (or food group) from their diet. For example, they may stop drinking soda or reduce their sugar intake overall.
  • Add a food: Who wouldn’t benefit from a few extra vegetables? Challenge your supporters to increase their intake of certain nutrients or nutrient-rich foods.
  • Overall diet changes: Sometimes, your diet could stand to lose some food and gain others. A dietary challenge could be based on a comprehensive list of guidelines that improve diets overall.

Take a creative approach to dietary challenges by allowing supporters to make their own choices. For example, if a Facebook user wants to improve their hydration by drinking more water daily, they might explain their choice and share their progress in a post.

Comedic challenges

Challenges are difficult by nature—make it lighthearted with an activity that’s a little goofy! Comedic challenges can be anything you find entertaining, but some great ideas include:

  • Try not to laugh: Users might record videos of themselves reacting to comedic videos or pictures and trying not to laugh. They can measure this challenge based on the number of videos watched or the amount of time gone without laughing.
  • Wacky clothing: What’s more fun than a funky costume? Challenge supporters to wear a wacky outfit to school, work, social outings, or any other event they go to. They might take a picture of their outfit and share it, then encourage their friends to do the same in honor of your cause.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to comedic Facebook challenges. Think of fun, wacky ways for users to show their support and turn it into a challenge!

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Facebook Challenges can be highly advantageous if your nonprofit plans and executes them correctly! Use your creativity to craft a fun Facebook Challenge that your social media followers won’t be able to resist. For more help brainstorming, ask your supporters for their input. As the ones participating in the activity, they’ll have the best ideas for appealing challenges.

If you’re interested in learning more about promoting your nonprofit organization’s cause, check out the following resources:

Click this graphic to learn how you can promote your Facebook Challenge on Google.

Learn what volunteer grants are, how your nonprofit can benefit, and how to secure them in this guide.

Corporate Volunteer Grants: The Basics & How to Secure Them

As a nonprofit professional, you know that every extra dollar helps get you closer to meeting your goals. Putting a dedicated strategy in place to secure volunteer grants can lead to a boost in funding and volunteers for your nonprofit.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to walk you through everything you need to know about volunteer grants. We’ll cover the following:

If you’re not familiar with volunteer grants or you don’t know how to maximize revenue from this channel, look no further! Let’s dive right in by answering your frequently asked questions!

Click this image to get a free consultation with Getting Attention and find out how Google Ads can help you secure more volunteer grants.

Volunteer Grant FAQs

It can be challenging to understand the nuances of volunteer grants if you’ve never heard of them before. We’ve broken down the basics:

What are volunteer grants?

This image and the text below define volunteer grants as monetary donations companies give to nonprofits where employees volunteer.

Volunteer grants are a type of corporate giving program in which employers provide monetary grants to organizations where their employees volunteer on a regular basis. These programs are also known as Dollars for Doers, Dollar for Hour, matching time, and Grants for Time programs.

For example, if your nonprofit has a dedicated volunteer who devotes 15 hours a week to your organization and their company offers volunteer grants, the company will pay you for those hours. And it doesn’t have to be 15 hours a week! Many companies have different hour requirements that can be met over a specified period of time. 

What are the benefits of volunteer grants?

The main draw of volunteer grants is getting extra funding for your organization at no cost to supporters. Beyond that, volunteer grants have benefits for everyone involved in the process:

  • Individual volunteers get to make an even bigger impact with the hours they give to your nonprofit. They already care about your mission and purpose; now they get to give you twice the support through one avenue.
  • Companies that offer volunteer grants benefit from maintaining a positive public image. This positive reputation also means their consumers and employees will be happier to work with them.
  • Nonprofits benefit by building stronger relationships with both companies and volunteers. Your volunteers know the impact they’re making and will want to keep working with your organization. And company relationships could turn into sponsorships or other regular programs!

Some companies even offer team volunteer grants, where groups of employees from the same company can volunteer together at a nonprofit, and they can get a grant for that, too!

Why do businesses offer volunteer grants?

Nonprofit organizations usually rely on companies their supporters work for to already have corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs like volunteer grants in place. However, by understanding why businesses might offer a volunteer grant program and researching businesses your supporters work at, you or your donors may be able to persuade certain companies to start a new CSR initiative. 

As mentioned, businesses also benefit from volunteer grants thanks to the positive reputation boost working with nonprofits gives them. However, they only gain this benefit if both the business and the nonprofit publicize their connection. While it’s up to businesses how they promote their volunteer grant program to employees, make sure your nonprofit holds up its end of the bargain by letting eligible supporters know about volunteer grants and thanking businesses when they donate to you.

Reports show that employees who work at organizations with volunteer programs are five times more engaged than those who don’t. When pitching a volunteer grant program to businesses, emphasize statistics like this and how they can lead to improved business outcomes, such as increased productivity and retention. 

Additionally, remain open to other types of corporate volunteerism. For example, some businesses arrange organized corporate volunteer groups, which serve as teambuilding activities for their employees while also providing your nonprofit with extra hands to help with your ongoing programs.

Are volunteer grants common?

Yes! We’ve pulled together some key statistics from Double the Donation that demonstrate how common, and important, these programs actually are:

These statistics show how prevalent and impactful volunteer grants are for corporations and nonprofits.

  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies offer volunteer grant programs. There are plenty of other businesses and corporations that offer some sort of volunteer grant program, too.
  • 80% of companies with volunteer grant programs give between $8-$15 per volunteer hour. Those dollars add up! If you have a dedicated group of volunteers, those accumulated hours can offer you a nice sum.
  • The average corporate volunteer participation rate is 33%. About a third of eligible employees currently take advantage of volunteer grants, and nonprofits are working to increase this number by effectively marketing their volunteer programs.

From these statistics, it’s clear that there are plenty of volunteer grants your organization and your supporters can take advantage of. 

How to Get Volunteer Grants for Your Nonprofit

To secure volunteer grants, you first need to understand how the full process works. From your nonprofit’s perspective, it happens in four steps:

This image and the text below explain the volunteer grants process from a nonprofit’s perspective.

  1. An individual volunteers with your nonprofit. This can include performing office-related tasks, volunteering virtually, or any other roles your organization offers.
  2. That individual looks up their eligibility for a volunteer grant from their employer. If they’re eligible, they’ll submit a request to their company for the grant.
  3. The employer looks over the application and confirms eligibility.
  4. Once the company has verified the hours with your nonprofit, your organization gets a check!

Companies’ volunteer grant requirements vary, but there’s generally a minimum number of hours that must be volunteered to qualify for a grant. The company will then either pay by the hour or provide a set amount once a threshold has been met. For example, some companies pay $25 per volunteer hour, while others pay a flat $500 after 40 hours have been contributed.

It’s easy to let this opportunity fall to the wayside when you’ve got dozens of other things on your plate. But most volunteers don’t even know whether they’re eligible or how to check, so it’s crucial to market the opportunity.

Best Practices for Securing Volunteer Grants

How do you get the word out about this mutually beneficial opportunity? Just follow these three best practices:

1. Market volunteer grants to your supporters

You can’t secure volunteer grants if your supporters don’t know what they are or how to request them. That’s why it’s crucial to create a marketing plan that promotes the opportunity across communication channels. 

As you develop your plan, consider implementing these strategies:

  • Create a page on your website that explains the volunteer grant process and how to make a request.
  • Launch a social media campaign that educates donors on volunteer grant basics and encourages them to check their eligibility.
  • Highlight volunteers and companies who contribute volunteer grants in your monthly newsletter.

Once you’ve created some basic volunteer grant marketing materials on your website, you can really expand your reach by leveraging the Google Ad Grant. The Google Ad Grants program provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month in credits to spend on Google search ads. 

Through the Google Ad Grant program, your organization can create ads that show up at the top of Google search results pages for relevant terms, like “volunteer opportunities near me” or “animal shelter volunteering.” Highlight volunteer grants in these ads, and you’ll promote the opportunity to a whole new audience of potentially interested volunteers! 

Having the right promotion is vital to securing volunteer grants. Click through to get more marketing tips in your inbox.

2. Offer a variety of volunteer opportunities

Another key aspect of securing volunteer grants is ensuring you have enough relevant volunteer activities to interest your supporters. Consider creating various ways to get involved, such as numerous different activities or program formats. 

For example, plan group community service projects or create volunteer teams for your events. This will boost the number of volunteers you get from a company, increase the grant money you receive, and build a long-term relationship with the company they came from.

3. Use a volunteer grant database

Help volunteers quickly determine their eligibility by investing in matching gift software that includes a volunteer grant database. With this software, you’ll get easy access to a database of thousands of corporate volunteer grant programs. 

Plus, this software comes with search tools you can embed anywhere on your website, so when volunteers type in the name of their employer, they’ll immediately see their volunteer grant guidelines. Here’s an example of how simple and intuitive these search tools are:

This is an example of Double the Donation’s volunteer grants search tool.

Examples of Top Companies with Volunteer Grant Programs

To give you an idea of how much businesses put toward corporate philanthropy, take a look at some of the top companies with volunteer grant programs.

Verizon’s Volunteer Grant Program

This graphic and the text below give details of Verizon’s volunteer grants program.

Verizon offers a Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP), which awards $750 to an organization after an employee volunteers 50 hours with that organization. Even better, Verizon employees can request up to two of these grants per year.

Microsoft’s Volunteer Grant Program

This image explains that Microsoft offers volunteer grants of $25 per hour with no minimum hours required.

Microsoft has a generous volunteer grant program with no minimum hours required. Microsoft employees can earn $25 per hour they commit to a nonprofit. Last year, almost 30,000 employees took advantage of this program and volunteered over 720,000 hours in total.

ExxonMobil’s Volunteer Grant Program

This image explains that ExxonMobil’s volunteer grants program offers grants of $500 for a minimum of 20 volunteer hours.

ExxonMobil has multiple volunteer grant programs: an individual volunteer grant program where employees can get a $500 grant after volunteering 20 hours with an organization and team volunteer grant opportunities for groups of five or more.

Additional Volunteer Grant Resources

Tapping into volunteer grants doesn’t have to be daunting. The more knowledge you equip your team with, the more successful you’ll be. 

We hope this guide has helped your organization realize all the untapped volunteer grant opportunities you can benefit from! If you want to continue your research, we’ve handpicked some great resources to get you started:

Click through to set up a free consultation with Getting Attention and learn how the Google Ad Grant can help you promote volunteer grants.

This article will cover the basics of using the Google Ad Grant for churches and other religious organizations.

Google Ad Grants for Churches: A Guide to the Basics

Just like other nonprofit organizations, churches and religious groups need the support of their communities. Not only will this allow them to share their devotion to their faith, but it will also help them collect tithes and other charitable gifts to fund their worship and outreach. To garner such support, your church and its need for funding must be adequately advertised.

Businesses and corporations often pay for and leverage Google Ads to spread the word about their products and gain customers. With the Google Ad Grant, nonprofits such as your church or religious group can do the same—for free!

In this article, we’ll cover the following topics to help you get started with Google Ad Grants:

Let’s begin by learning more about what Google Ads are and why your church or religious group should make use of them.

Click through to book a free consultation with Getting Attention for Google Ad Grants for churches.

What are Google Ads?

The Google Ads program is a digital marketing grant for businesses and organizations to advertise their products and services to individuals using the Internet. These organizations pay to use Google Ads for various reasons, including increasing web traffic and product purchases.

There are a few types of Google Ads, including:

  • Display ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Youtube ads

The most common type of Google Ad, and the one relevant for the Google Ad Grant, is the search ad. These ads appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) when an individual makes a relevant Google search.

What is the Google Ad Grant?

The Google Ad Grant allows nonprofit organizations, including churches and religious groups, to use Google Ads for free. By participating in this program, your church will be given $10,000 every month in ad credits to spend on Google Search Ads, increasing your organization’s visibility.

To be eligible for the Google Ad Grant, your church must:

  • Be a registered charitable organization in a participating country.
  • Agree to the Google for Nonprofits Additional Terms of Service.
  • Have a secure and functioning website that follows the website policy.
  • Meet all other program policies.

Before applying, make sure that your church meets these requirements. Carefully read over all the program policies to ensure that your church is compliant or can make the necessary changes to be compliant.

Click through to book a free consultation with Getting Attention for Google Ad Grants for churches.

What are the benefits of using Google Ad Grants for churches?

This image lists some benefits of using Google Ad Grants for churches, detailed in the text below.

Applying for and using the Google Ad Grant brings nonprofit organizations of all types many different benefits, including churches and religious groups. The Google Ad Grant allows churches to:

  • Reach a wider audience. By using the Google Ad Grant for your church, you’ll be able to access search ads on Google’s SERPs. As Google is visited 89.3 billion times every month, making it the most-visited website worldwide, having a link to your religious group’s website on a SERP will greatly increase your outreach.
  • Perform targeted outreach. When strategically constructed, your Google ads will appear on SERPs that your target audience is most likely to view. For example, if your church is based in San Diego, your ads might show up for individuals seeking a new place of worship in that city.
  • Enhance site engagement. Since your ads will appear before your target audience and other interested individuals, they’ll be more likely to click on them. This helps drive web traffic to your church or religious group’s website, resulting in enhanced site engagement.
  • Increase recognition. Even if some Internet users see your ad but don’t click on it, they’ll still be exposed to your church’s information. This means that your ad will garner visibility for your church, resulting in greater awareness of your organization.

As an added bonus, the increase in internet visibility can result in new congregation members. Ultimately, your church will not only reach more people but will also receive more tithes and offerings. Implementing Google Ads into your church’s marketing strategy will bring in more funds that you can use to maintain your church and give back to the community.

How can your church apply for Google Ad Grants?

Applying for the Google Ad Grant is a smooth and short process, especially in comparison to other grants. However, there is still a list of steps that your church or religious organization must complete before you can be approved for the program. Those steps are:

  1. Confirm that your nonprofit is eligible for an account.
  2. Request a Google for Nonprofits account using the email associated with your church or religious group.
  3. Verify your account by answering a few questions or using a TechSoup account.
  4. Wait for your request to be reviewed, which can take a few weeks.
  5. Use your Google for Nonprofits account to activate your Ad Grants account.
  6. Complete a Google Ad Grants eligibility form.
  7. Verify that you completed the form on the Google Ad Grants page.
  8. Accept your invitation to the Google Ad Grants program.
  9. Accept the billing profile provided.

After you complete these steps and are accepted into the Google Ad Grants program, you’ll be able to build ad campaigns that support your mission and grow your congregation. You’ll need to actively manage your church’s account to ensure that you’re driving meaningful impact.

Click through to book a free consultation with Getting Attention for Google Ad Grants for churches.

How can I optimize Google Ad Grants for my church?

1. Work with a Google Ad Grants agency.

This image lists some services Google Ad Grant agencies offer churches and religious groups, detailed in the text below.

Maintaining your church’s Google Ad Grants account can be time-consuming, especially when you consider the research and knowledge you need to ensure that your ads are successful. Fortunately, there are professional Google Ad Grants agencies that are willing to help your organization.

Some common services that Google Ad Grant agencies offer include:

  • Account creation. If your church doesn’t already have a Google Ad Grant account, an agency will create one for you.
  • Keyword research. Google Ad Grant professionals will handle keyword research for your religious group, helping you decide which keywords would be best suited to bring new members and donors to your church.
  • Landing page optimization. To ensure that people find your website and stay on it, a Google Ad Grants agency will optimize your landing pages for keywords and user experience.
  • Account management. Google Ad Grant professionals will consistently check up on your account to ensure that your ads are performing well. They’ll also make adjustments to improve performance.
  • Data and reporting. A Google Ad Grants agency will translate the information in your Google Ad Grants account and present you with detailed reports on the efficacy of your ad campaign.
  • Account reactivation. Should your account fall out of compliance with Google’s policies and regulations for any reason and be deactivated, a professional will help you reactivate it in a timely fashion.

Agencies like Getting Attention bring years of professional experience and knowledge of the details of the Google Ad Grant. By choosing to partner with one, your church won’t have to do the heavy lifting—the professionals will take care of your account and ensure you see the results you desire.

Click through to book a free consultation with Getting Attention for Google Ad Grants for churches.

2. Access the Google Ad Grants Help Community.

It’s likely that if you have questions about using the Google Ad Grant, another organization has had a similar question. Leverage other nonprofits’ experience with the Google Ad Grant through the Help Community, which allows you to see pages with frequently asked questions and featured posts detailing any changes to the program. For example, Google provides a page with tips for Google Ad Grants success that your church or religious group can access for resources and advice.

If you can’t find answers through those pages, create a post of your own! Representatives from other nonprofits will be able to weigh in and share their experience, and Ad Grants certified professionals might also jump in to help.

3. Implement SEO best practices.

To ensure your ads are reaching the right people and sending the right message, you’ll want to implement search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

The first step towards SEO optimization is thorough keyword research. You’ll want to know what search terms your target audience is most likely to use and which of these terms are the most frequently searched. Then, you can incorporate those keywords in:

  • Your church’s Google Ads. This will ensure that these ads are properly targeted towards your audience, and will help increase the amount of clicks you get from it.
  • Your website’s landing pages. Incorporating your keywords into your church’s landing pages will allow these pages to rank higher on the keyword SERPs, resulting in increased organic traffic to your website.

Aside from keyword optimization, user experience is also an important part of search engine optimization. If a potential new church member clicks on your Google Ad but finds that your website loads slowly and is difficult to navigate, chances are that they won’t stay on your page long enough to learn more about your religious group and become a member.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

The Google Ad Grant is a worthwhile program for churches, but to make the most out of the program, consider whether your staff members can effectively manage the grant. Are they able to do the necessary research into SEO, keywords, and your target audience? Do they have experience in website optimization and an understanding of digital marketing?

If the answer to this question is no, don’t be discouraged. Consider partnering with a professional Google Ad Grant agency, which will handle all things related to the program for you.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Google Ad Grant can help your organization, take a look at the following resources:

Click through to book a free consultation with Getting Attention for Google Ad Grants for churches.

Learn how to recruit volunteers by exploring the impactful volunteer recruitment strategies in this guide.

A Smart Guide to Volunteer Recruitment: 16 Proven Strategies

Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes rely on volunteers to continue fulfilling their mission day after day. Whether they’re helping shelter animals find their forever homes or setting up fundraising events, volunteers provide their time and skills to amplify your organization’s impact.

In its latest Value of Volunteer Time report, Independent Sector estimates that each U.S. volunteer’s hour is worth $31.80. To secure such valuable support for your nonprofit, however, you’ll need a clear strategy for how to recruit volunteers.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the fundamentals of volunteer recruitment and provide 16 effective strategies to boost your results:

With the right approach, you’ll be able to recruit dedicated supporters to further your mission. Let’s get started!

Click through to learn how Getting Attention can help boost your volunteer recruitment with $10,000 a month of free advertising from Google.

Volunteer Recruitment: FAQs

Before your organization starts crafting its own volunteer recruitment plan, it’s essential to first understand the basics of the process. Let’s explore a few frequently asked questions to break down how to recruit volunteers for your nonprofit.

What is volunteer recruitment?

Volunteer recruitment is the process of attracting new volunteers to support your nonprofit’s work in a variety of ways, from fundraising to advocating for your causeSince there are so many organizations calling for volunteers in emails, social media posts, and even text messages, it’s critical to figure out how you’ll stand out from the crowd.

The ideal candidates for your nonprofit’s volunteer program are passionate about your mission and committed to making a difference in the lives of those you serve. By optimizing your volunteer recruitment efforts, you’ll be able to build a strong volunteer base to power your organization’s impact.

Why is volunteer recruitment important?

Volunteers are vital to your nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission. Therefore, volunteer recruitment is crucial for acquiring the support that will ensure your long-term success. Most notably, volunteers benefit your organization by:

Volunteer recruitment is essential to your nonprofit’s long-term success for the reasons described below.

  • Keeping it running. By offering their time and skills for free, your committed volunteers provide a significant resource that helps your nonprofit move forward with its mission.
  • Increasing your donation revenue. Volunteers can not only spread the word about your nonprofit’s mission to their personal networks, but they can also become donors themselves due to their dedication to your cause.
  • Saving you money. AmeriCorps found that, between September 2020 and 2021, “volunteers served an estimated 4.1 billion hours with an economic value of $122.9 billion.” Since time is money, free support from volunteers can go a long way toward reducing your nonprofit’s administrative and operational expenses.

Take a look at your nonprofit’s current state and evaluate how volunteers are facilitating or enhancing your results. These insights can guide you in determining how to recruit more volunteers for your organization.

Do I need a volunteer recruitment plan?

A volunteer recruitment plan is critical to securing as much support for your nonprofit as possible. After all, 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while just 18.3% volunteer with two.

Having an organized, evidence-based approach to recruiting volunteers ensures that you catch the attention of potential supporters and inspire them to get involved.

How to Recruit Volunteers: 5 Steps

Fortunately, it only takes five steps to craft a successful volunteer recruitment plan:

Follow these steps to create a volunteer recruitment plan, detailed below.

1. Reevaluate your current volunteer program.

Start by inspecting your current volunteer program. In order to motivate people to join, your program must:

  • Be engaging. Is your volunteer program interactive? Are there opportunities to connect with staff and other volunteers? Your volunteers should be able to get up close and personal with your nonprofit’s work so that they can feel like they’re making a real difference in their community.
  • Emphasize impact. Make sure your volunteers understand exactly how they’re contributing to your nonprofit’s impact. The more they feel like they’re making a positive difference, the more likely they are to stay invested in volunteering.
  • Factor in appreciation. It’s important to have plans in place to make your volunteers feel valued. There are many ways to express your nonprofit’s gratitude, including a thank-you email, e-Card, a social media shoutout, or even a handwritten letter.

While you can evaluate your current volunteer program on your own, consider surveying your existing volunteers as well. They have firsthand experience with your program and may provide a useful outside perspective. Plus, asking your volunteers for feedback demonstrates that you care about their opinions and preferences.

2. Identify your volunteer needs.

After you’ve determined your volunteer program’s strengths and areas for improvement, it’s time to identify the types of volunteers you need most. Use these questions to guide you:

  • What type of organization are we? Many people choose to volunteer for organizations that align with their interests, skills, and passions. Reflecting upon your nonprofit and its mission allows you to appeal to individuals who are most likely to contribute to your cause.
  • What type of volunteer program do we offer? There are various types of nonprofit volunteer programs, including formal, non-formal, and project-based. Defining this upfront ensures that you can focus on attracting supporters who will be interested in your specific type of program.
  • How many people do we need? Do you need one person to volunteer regularly? 10 people to volunteer every week in shifts? 100 volunteers for a specific event? The number of volunteers each organization needs will differ, so determine what suits your nonprofit best.

Identify what sets your volunteer program apart from others, and highlight these differences in your nonprofit communications to attract the most suitable volunteer candidates.

3. Enlist your current volunteers.

Your nonprofit’s most dedicated volunteers can be an excellent volunteer recruitment tool. Encourage them to reach out to like-minded friends and family members about joining your volunteer program. You can even invite them to bring someone along to their next volunteer shift to show them the ropes and spark their interest.

Consider offering benefits such as free branded merchandise or social media shoutouts to further incentivize your current volunteers to spread the word. This will not only bolster your recruitment efforts but also help you retain more supporters in the long run.

4. Create specific job descriptions.

The success of your nonprofit’s volunteer program depends on how well you communicate with volunteers. Therefore, when recruiting volunteers, it’s essential to get specific with the job description you create for each role. This way, you’ll be able to find volunteers with the right skillsets, and those who are interested in volunteering can easily determine whether a role is suitable for them.

Some popular volunteer roles may deal with:

  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Writing
  • Translation
  • Event check-in
  • Event planning
  • Event setup and cleanup
  • Fundraising

Be sure to include the relevant skills for each volunteer role to maximize your recruitment effort and narrow down candidates to the best fit. Potential volunteers will also want to know important details such as the role’s time commitment, duties, and any associated benefits in advance. Use the template below to hit the ground running with well-written volunteer job descriptions for your nonprofit.

Use this volunteer job description to guide your volunteer recruitment efforts.

5. Determine your recruitment strategies.

Once you’ve solidified your volunteer program’s needs and identified the specific roles you’re looking for, you’re ready to start implementing recruitment strategies to secure new support for your nonprofit.

While there are numerous strategies for how to recruit volunteers, the ones you choose to focus on will depend upon your organization’s unique goals and resources. Let’s explore 16 impactful volunteer recruitment strategies to consider.

Sign up for Getting Attention’s newsletter to level up your marketing and recruit more supporters for your cause.

16 Volunteer Recruitment Strategies for Success

Use these volunteer recruitment strategies as a jumping-off point for your nonprofit:

1. Leverage social media.

Social media is a powerful and cost-effective way to reach a broader audience. Get creative with your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages to show potential volunteers how rewarding it is to support your organization.

For instance, you can promote your volunteer program on social media by:

  • Going “behind the scenes.” Share videos or images that offer a glimpse into your nonprofit’s on-the-ground impact to show potential supporters the meaningful work they can participate in as a volunteer.
  • Posting volunteer testimonials. Capture some compelling action shots of your volunteers and ask them to provide a quote about why they love what they do. Then, with their permission, share their picture and quote on social media to inspire others to volunteer.
  • Letting volunteers do an account “takeover.” This allows potential supporters to learn more about a day in the life of one of your volunteers and how important their contributions are to your overall impact.
  • Creating social media ads. By investing in a paid volunteer recruitment ad campaign, you can target more people who are likely to be interested in your nonprofit’s opportunities by focusing on characteristics such as location, interests, and connections.

With 4.76 billion social media users worldwide, sharing your volunteer opportunities on these platforms can not only recruit more support for your nonprofit but increase your brand awareness as well. Be sure to include a link to your volunteer application form on each of your posts to make it easy for inspired users to get involved.

2. Advertise volunteer opportunities online.

By advertising your nonprofit’s volunteer opportunities online, you ensure that potential volunteers can learn about your open positions and explore all the relevant details to start contributing.

The Google Ad Grants program provides an impactful, cost-effective way for nonprofits to advertise their volunteer opportunities. This program awards eligible nonprofits $10,000 a month in ad credits, which they can spend on relevant keywords. Then, they can create text-based ads to promote their content at the top of Google’s search results.

A link to The Nature Conservancy’s volunteer page, for instance, pops up in the search results when a user searches “nature volunteering,” directing those who are interested to learn more about getting involved.

The Nature Conservancy demonstrates how nonprofits can use Google ads to boost their volunteer recruitment efforts.

Your nonprofit can take a similar approach to volunteer recruitment, using this grant to target potential volunteers with advertisements of your open positions or volunteer page.

If you’re interested in getting started with the Google Ad Grant program and maximizing your results, consider partnering with a certified agency, like Getting Attention. We’ll determine your eligibility for the program, handle your application, and craft a winning strategy to help your organization secure more support—so you can focus on generating a greater impact on those you serve.

Click through to learn how Getting Attention can help boost your volunteer recruitment with $10,000 a month of free advertising from Google.

3. Approach recent donors.

Your nonprofit’s donors have already demonstrated an investment in your mission by making a gift to your organization. When you follow up with first-time donors and thank them for their contribution, be sure to let them know about other ways to get involved, such as volunteering. One-time donors who may not have the financial means to donate consistently may prefer giving their time instead.

AmeriCorps notes that, behind teenagers, people between the ages of 45 to 54 have the highest formal volunteering rate. With this in mind, consider segmenting your donor database and reaching out to this group, among others, who would be most likely to participate in a volunteer program.

4. Cultivate corporate partnerships.

Corporate philanthropy is another excellent avenue for volunteer recruitment. By reaching out and nurturing relationships with businesses, you’re opening the door for them to support your nonprofit in a number of ways. For example, they may encourage their employees to volunteer with your organization.

Additionally, businesses may provide support to your organization through volunteer grants. With 40% of Fortune 500 companies offering these programs, this can be a significant opportunity to promote to current and potential volunteers for your nonprofit. Here’s how these programs work:

Promote volunteer grants in your volunteer recruitment efforts to encourage more people to get involved.

When an individual volunteers regularly with your organization, they can check with their employer to see if they’re eligible for a volunteer grant. If they are, they can submit an application and, upon approval, the company contributes a specific donation amount to your nonprofit.

To learn about potential volunteer grants your volunteers may be eligible for, consider appending employer data to store crucial information such as a supporter’s employer and job title. Then, reach out to notify them about this opportunity to increase their impact.

5. Establish a school partnership.

Over one in four college students and teenagers volunteer with nonprofits. Reach out to local middle schools, high schools, and colleges to recruit these young supporters for your organization.

Partnering with schools can be effective for volunteer recruitment since over one in four college students and teenagers volunteer.

Many schools promote volunteering by offering awards to those who reach a certain amount of service hours. Volunteering also allows students to build their resumes for college and job applications, make valuable connections, and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

To spread the word, ask schools to post flyers about your volunteer program, include a pitch for it in their email newsletter, or even set up a time for representatives from your nonprofit to visit classes and encourage students to get involved.

6. Build relationships with other nonprofit clubs and organizations.

There are plenty of community service-driven clubs and organizations with members more than willing to get involved in your work. The key to recruiting more supporters is to find those who are already likely to be passionate about your mission. Reach out to your local Kiwanis Club or Lions Club to see if they’re willing to circulate your volunteer opportunities among their members.

Additionally, consider local churches in your area. Be sure to share your nonprofit’s mission and impact alongside your volunteer needs, so people can understand just how their involvement can make a difference in their community.

7. Reconnect with past volunteers.

Consider reaching out to individuals who have volunteered with your organization in the past and encouraging them to get involved again. If you’ve made improvements to your volunteer program, you can send them an email explaining the program’s new aspects and invite them to return.

You can also send them a survey for feedback. This may provide important insights into what about your program, if anything, leads individuals to stop volunteering. Remember that in order for your volunteer recruitment efforts to pay off, you need to have measures in place to retain your volunteers’ support for the long term.

8. Leverage your staff members and board.

Your nonprofit’s staff and board members may have key connections within the community who would like to get involved with your nonprofit. By leveraging these relationships, you’ll be able to promote volunteering opportunities beyond your existing audience.

You can even create a relationship map that lays out all the connections that your board members have, from business associates to fellow alumni from universities they attended. This resource can be immensely beneficial in informing your volunteer recruitment tactics and donor outreach in the future.

9. Create a volunteer page on your website.

Your nonprofit’s website plays a central role for both your current supporters and those who are interested in learning more about your organization. Make it easy for visitors to discover how they can support your mission by creating a dedicated volunteer page that contains all the relevant details for signing up. Be sure to include:

  • Descriptions of open opportunities
  • A link to your signup form
  • Compelling images of volunteers in action
  • A list of FAQs
  • Contact information for additional questions

Feeding America, for example, has a volunteer page that features a large image of volunteers in action. Front and center on the page, interested supporters can fill in their information to pledge to volunteer and find opportunities in their location.

Take a look at Feeding America’s volunteer page and determine how you can create your own to enhance your volunteer recruitment results.

The easier the volunteer signup process is, the more success you’ll have with recruiting eager volunteers for your nonprofit’s cause.

10. Post on volunteer matching websites.

Get in front of people who are already on the lookout for volunteer opportunities by posting on volunteer matching sites. Some popular sites for volunteer recruitment include:

  • VolunteerMatchVolunteerMatch has connected 18 million volunteers with nonprofits who need their support. This website allows people to refine their search by inputting information such as mission category, skills, and distance, making it easy for those who are passionate about your organization’s cause to find the opportunities you have available.
  • CatchafireThis website has matched volunteers on over 40,000 skills-based projects for nonprofits so far. Your organization can post volunteer job descriptions that require specific expertise, such as accounting or copywriting, and find qualified individuals to support your mission.
  • IdealistBy creating an account on the website, your organization can post volunteer listings for free to reach Idealist’s 1.3 million monthly visitors.
  • Create the Good. By registering for Create the Good, your nonprofit can post volunteer opportunities of all sizes and track volunteer participation in those opportunities.

Be sure that the volunteer job descriptions you post clearly outline the qualifications and expectations related to each position. This increases the chances you’ll find candidates with both the skills and the passion to enhance your nonprofit’s impact.

11. Reach out to local media outlets.

In addition to leveraging social media, Google ads, and volunteer matching websites, broaden your nonprofit’s reach by approaching local media outlets that may be willing to share your volunteer opportunities with their audiences. Consider reaching out to local:

  • Newspapers
  • Bloggers or podcasters
  • TV stations
  • Radio stations

According to the Federal Communications Commission, radio stations are legally required to operate in the “public interest” of their local communities. One way to demonstrate that they’re responding to the needs and interests of their community is to dedicate some airtime to nonprofits, allowing them to share their causes and direct listeners to their websites. This is an effective way to reach people who might not otherwise be exposed to your organization.

Sign up for Getting Attention’s newsletter to level up your marketing and recruit more supporters for your cause.

12. Provide a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Just as your nonprofit’s donors have varying preferences and connections to your cause, your volunteers will have their own strengths and interests. Therefore, be sure to provide a variety of opportunities that will appeal to everyone interested in volunteering with your organization.

While some of your volunteer positions may allow individuals to advance their specialized skills, for instance, you may also offer opportunities where people can develop their teamwork skills by working closely with other volunteers.

13. Prioritize accessibility.

Make your volunteer opportunities inclusive for people of all abilities by ensuring that locations are accessible to those who use mobility equipment and including a field in your volunteer signup form that asks whether the individual may need any accommodations to fulfill their role.

Furthermore, to provide a positive experience for all volunteers, consider factors such as transportation, childcare, and meals in advance. You may arrange for carpools or provide meals for volunteers on longer shifts to ensure that they can support your organization in a way that’s comfortable for them. Virtual volunteering opportunities can be another effective option, especially for supporters outside of your local area.

14. Consider micro-volunteering.

Micro-volunteering refers to offering volunteer opportunities that are more short-term and low-commitment so that even supporters with busy schedules can find ways to contribute to your nonprofit’s impact.

For instance, you can ask supporters to translate a document, sign an online petition, or make thank-you phone calls to donors. This can be a wonderful way to keep even the most time-pressed volunteers engaged with your organization for the long run.

15. Offer incentives to volunteer.

While 66% of volunteers get involved to make a difference in their communities, and 60% volunteer to contribute to a cause they care about, offering incentives can enhance volunteers’ experience with your nonprofit and keep them enthusiastic about supporting your work. Some common incentives to consider in your volunteer recruitment include:

  • Branded merchandise, like t-shirts and hats
  • Free food and drink
  • Gift cards or baskets
  • Social media shoutouts

These incentives can not only inspire more supporters to sign up as volunteers, but they can also serve as impactful volunteer appreciation ideas as well.

16. Recognize volunteers and ask for feedback.

Remember that determining how to recruit volunteers is only the start. Once you’ve found your volunteers, be sure to practice frequent recognition to retain their support for years to come. Send thank-you letters and share the specific impact of volunteers’ support so that they understand the importance of their contributions. These communications should:

  • Be prompt. Follow up with volunteers within a few days after their experience to ensure that they feel valued for their time and effort.
  • Be personalized. Show each supporter that you appreciate them as an individual to build a stronger, longer-lasting relationship with them.
  • Specify impact. Your volunteers want to know that they’re making a difference by contributing to your organization. In your thank-you message, be clear and specific as to how their involvement made an impact on the lives of those you serve.
  • Include images. Add relevant, compelling images or even videos to your thank-you’s to enhance your message and help volunteers visualize their impact.
  • Encourage further action. In addition to appreciating your volunteers, it’s important to keep them invested in your mission by offering them more ways they can get involved in the near future.

Use this volunteer thank-you template as a springboard for creating impactful, personalized messages to your supporters:

Use this thank-you template to cultivate long-term supporters of your cause.

Furthermore, consider sending out surveys to gather direct feedback from volunteers after their involvement. This allows you to gauge their satisfaction with your organization and identify areas of improvement to boost your volunteer recruitment results moving forward.

Wrapping Up

Recruiting high-quality supporters is essential to your nonprofit’s long-term success. By creating a memorable and rewarding experience for all of your volunteers, you’ll be able to build a strong, loyal volunteer base that sustains your organization into the future.

To learn more about promoting your volunteer opportunities and securing more support, explore these additional resources:

Click through to discover how Getting Attention can help your nonprofit boost its volunteer recruitment results with Google Ad Grants.

Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about nonprofit awareness campaigns.

Nonprofit Awareness Campaigns Guide: Steps, Tips, & Examples

Whether you want to bring attention to an urgent need for funding or increase public knowledge about an issue in your community, nonprofit awareness campaigns can quickly bring your cause into the public eye. These campaigns can use traditional channels or be run entirely online and generate major interest in your nonprofit’s mission.

But how do you bring the right kind of attention to your nonprofit? What tools do you need? When should you start?

We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this guide, covering everything you know need to know about launching a successful nonprofit awareness campaign:

If you’re ready to spread the word about a cause that’s close to your heart, let’s dive in!

Click to schedule a consultation with the experts at Getting Attention, who can help you improve your nonprofit awareness campaigns with Google Ads.

Nonprofit Awareness Campaigns FAQ

Before we go through the process of hosting your own nonprofit awareness campaigns, here are some basics you should know.

What are nonprofit awareness campaigns?

Nonprofit awareness campaigns, also known as social awareness campaigns or public awareness campaigns, are marketing initiatives that aim to increase public knowledge of an issue or interest in a cause. These causes are directly related to your nonprofit’s mission, but they typically concern a more specific issue than your organization’s entire purpose. For example, a legal aid organization might focus on spreading the word about a new immigration law for its awareness campaign.

When are the best times to launch nonprofit awareness campaigns?

This depends on your nonprofit. Many organizations find that the best time to host their campaign is in conjunction with an established day of nonprofit fundraising or awareness month, such as GivingTuesday or AAPI Heritage Month. During these months, your audience may be extra interested in your cause, and an awareness campaign can help your nonprofit stand out from other organizations competing for your audience’s attention.

Ultimately, the best time to launch a nonprofit awareness campaign is the time that makes the most sense for your organization and your target audience.

Where do you promote nonprofit awareness campaigns?

Just like any other nonprofit marketing campaign, you should choose a set of communication channels that align with your audience’s preferences to see the most traction. Social awareness campaigns see a lot of success online, but plenty of campaigns combine both digital and in-person elements.

Common places to promote nonprofit awareness campaigns include:

This graphic and the text below list common places to promote nonprofit awareness campaigns.

  • Social media
  • Your website
  • Email
  • Google Ads
  • In-person events
  • Virtual events

Look at the communication preference information in your donor database along with past results of marketing campaigns to determine the right channels for your nonprofit.

What’s the best resource to help nonprofits spread their awareness campaigns?

Since many nonprofits host awareness campaigns, there’s plenty of available support for organizations that want extra help.

One of the best resources available is the Google Ad Grant. As part of their corporate social responsibility program, Google offers grants of $10,000 in free monthly ad credits to nonprofits. This is an invaluable resource for getting your awareness campaign in front of the right audience, as you’ll gain access to users searching for terms relevant to your campaign—meaning they already have an interest in your cause. Plus, they’re proven to be effective. According to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics, search ads like Google Ads have the highest return on investment of any nonprofit advertising method.


On top of that, you can reach out to expert consultants who can help you make the most of your Google Ad Grant. They’ll work with you to discuss your campaign goals and messaging, then help you create ads that really grab your audience’s attention.

Click this image to learn how Getting Attention can help promote your nonprofit awareness campaigns with Google Ads.

Do nonprofit awareness campaigns work?

When run strategically, nonprofit awareness campaigns can result in increased brand awareness, better fundraising performance, and more online visibility for your cause. Just take a look at the data:

The statistics listed in this graphic and the text below demonstrate the effectiveness of nonprofit awareness campaigns.

  • One case study found that an awareness campaign increased online conversations about the nonprofit’s cause by 908%.
  • The most well-known awareness campaign, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, raised enough funds to increase ALS research funding by 187%.
  • Overall, 55% of those who engage with nonprofits on social media take action. This means that running your awareness campaign on social media can generate plenty of conversions toward your cause.

Clearly, social awareness campaigns can be highly successful for nonprofits. But like any campaign, that success can vary depending on the strategies you use.

Tips for a Successful Awareness Campaign Strategy

To craft the most compelling ads and develop an effective awareness campaign strategy, follow these expert tips:

Use storytelling techniques to evoke emotion

Since awareness campaigns are all about generating public interest in a cause or issue, it’s crucial that your messages make an emotional connection with your audience. The best way to do that is by using stories.

Use these nonprofit storytelling techniques as a foundation for your campaign ads:

  • Focus on a central character or group of characters.
  • With their permission, share real stories of your beneficiaries’ experiences.
  • Focus on the stories of beneficiaries and donors rather than your nonprofit’s own story.
  • Include concrete details like names, numbers, and statistics.

As you tell these stories, stay away from trying to evoke negative emotions like fear or guilt in your awareness ads. Uplifting stories are much more likely to prompt genuine empathy and action from viewers than scare tactics.

Provide clear calls to action

Most nonprofit awareness campaigns aren’t only about spreading awareness of an issue—they also encourage supporters to take action immediately to support that cause. Even if the only action you want supporters to take is to share information, you need to let them know that!

Do this by including clear, compelling calls to action (CTAs) in your advertisements and messages. Tell readers exactly what they need to do to help and how to do it. Make it as easy as possible to share a post, donate, or join your mailing list by providing directions and links.

Take a look at the CTA in this Instagram post from Color of Change:

This post from Color of Change is an example of effective calls to action for nonprofit awareness campaigns.

In a large, bold font, Color of Change calls on its supporters to start a petition to improve Black lives in their own communities. They don’t stop at “Start a Petition,” either. By telling supporters to “Start a Petition & Amplify Your Cause,” this post assures supporters that their action will have a clear and powerful impact on Color of Change’s mission.

Don’t be afraid to branch out

Social awareness campaigns are often the perfect times to get creative with your strategy. Don’t feel boxed in by your typical communication channels or your traditional marketing approaches. Some of the best nonprofit awareness campaigns are the ones that take their audience by surprise.

Consider branching out with your strategy by incorporating:

  • Social media challenges
  • New communication channels like TikTok
  • Google search ads
  • Peer-to-peer ambassadors

That being said, keep your audience in mind when choosing ways to get creative. If you know that your target audience doesn’t use TikTok, for example, move in a different direction.

Launching a Nonprofit Social Awareness Campaign: 7 Steps

Now that you know the fundamentals, let’s dive into the process of hosting your own nonprofit awareness campaigns.

This infographic and the sections below list the steps of hosting nonprofit social awareness campaigns.

1. Define your audience & set goals

Determining your audience and setting goals go hand in hand. You’ll want to start by thinking about the purpose of your awareness campaign. Do you want to bring a new issue to the forefront of your supporters’ minds? Or do you aim to generate more widespread awareness of a specific cause your nonprofit currently prioritizes, acquiring new donors in the process?

Once you’ve broadly determined your main goal and who your target audience is, take stock of their interests and communication habits. Then, use this information to guide your campaign’s messaging, communication channels, and your event strategy.

Don’t forget to set key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can measure your progress towards your goals. If your goal is to acquire new donors from younger demographics, for example, you might use the number of new donors under 30 as a KPI. Monitor these metrics throughout your campaign and afterward to see how successful your organization was and find opportunities for improvement.

2. Create a basic timeline

Like we mentioned earlier, many nonprofits choose to align their social awareness campaigns with established national awareness months or days. This helps drive support for your campaign because the public will already be thinking about your cause. However, there are also plenty of successful nonprofit awareness campaigns that run on their own timeline!

Once you’ve considered your options, make the following decisions about the timeline of your campaign:

  • If your campaign will be aligned with a national observance
  • If the campaign will lead up to a single day, like GivingTuesday
  • How long the campaign will last
  • How much planning time your team will need

With these decisions made, you’ll be able to create a basic timeline for your campaign and schedule major dates. As you go through the next steps, you can refer back to this timeline and fill it in with more detail to turn it into a thorough marketing plan.

3. Develop your campaign messaging

To develop a strong and cohesive campaign message, start by reflecting on your mission and the themes of any national month you’re participating in:

  • If you decide to align your campaign with a national month, such as Black History Month or Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ground your messaging in the common themes, subjects, images, and colors associated with the month. Use the associations the public already has with the month in your marketing materials.
  • If your campaign doesn’t align with a specific observance, try to focus on a more specific cause your nonprofit supports rather than your entire mission. Consider issues that are especially urgent or relevant right now, then determine how you’ll talk about them in your campaign.

Choose one overarching message for your campaign that supports your goals, resonates with your audience, and aligns with any existing public associations or opinions. Then, use this message as the foundation for every advertisement you create to maintain consistency.

In the example below, you can see how Wear Orange aligned its nonprofit awareness campaign with National Gun Violence Awareness Month and focused its messaging on how many Americans are affected by gun violence. Keeping their target audience in mind, Wear Orange created graphics in both English and Spanish:

These social media graphics are an example from Wear Orange’s nonprofit awareness campaign.

4. Choose your marketing channels

The communication channels you use to advertise your social awareness campaign will be vital for its success. Use your donor data and additional research to determine which channels your audience is most active on, then choose a combination of digital and traditional channels to focus on. These might include:

  • Your website
  • Google Ads
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok

Keep in mind that each channel has its own unique strengths and weaknesses that you should tailor content to. For example, Facebook supports long text posts, but Instagram prioritizes images and inserts a “Read More” cutoff for posts with more than two lines of text.

5. Design your campaign ads

Once you have your communication channels set in stone, you can begin designing your campaign ads. Refer back to your overall campaign message, then use these tips to design your most important marketing materials:

  • Campaign page: Create a balance of visuals, information, and calls to action on your campaign page. Be sure to provide all the resources your supporters need to take part in the awareness campaign, but don’t forget to tell your story with compelling visuals, too.
  • Social media posts: Design a set of social media graphics and videos that match the strengths of your chosen platforms. Especially powerful posts often include surprising statistics or quick breakdowns of actions supporters can take.
  • Google Ads: With the Google Ad Grant, your nonprofit can reach brand new audiences who are already searching for terms related to your awareness campaign. Design these ads with new audiences in mind, and don’t be afraid to seek the help of Google Ad Grant professionals.

Remember to maintain consistency throughout all of your advertisements in terms of colors, logos, and tone. Aligning all posts with your branding will ensure that your audience can immediately tell that these messages belong to your organization and to the same campaign.

Click through to sign up for the Getting Attention newsletter and get expert tips on creating standout ads for your nonprofit awareness campaigns.

6. Plan any campaign events

Not all nonprofit awareness campaigns include events, but many organizations choose to host them as a way to build community with donors or celebrate the progress of the campaign.

If you do decide to host a campaign event, determine if it should be a kickoff or conclusion event and if your audience would prefer the event to be in person, hybrid, or virtual. Then, start planning logistics. Don’t forget to budget for things like software costs and tech support if you’re hosting an online event, or venue rentals for in-person events.

7. Launch your nonprofit awareness campaign

With all of your planning done, it’s time to launch the campaign! Follow your timeline for sending out messages and posting on social media, and make sure to respond to supporters in real time to keep the momentum going. Once the campaign is over, don’t forget to thank everyone involved—every donor, volunteer, and influencer who helped drive awareness for your nonprofit’s cause.

Top Nonprofit Awareness Campaign Examples

Plenty of nonprofits have been in your shoes and found success. Get inspired by these popular nonprofit awareness campaigns:

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

When you think of social awareness campaigns, the Ice Bucket Challenge is likely the first one that comes to mind. This 2014 online challenge rapidly became an international phenomenon, getting celebrities, families, and people everywhere to dump buckets of ice water on their heads in support of a cure for ALS.

By advertising the unique challenge on Facebook, Twitter, and their website, the ALS Association was able to raise $115 million from 2.5 million donors. Years later, the funds raised as a result of this awareness campaign have led to dramatic progress in ALS research.

This is a screenshot of Jimmy Fallon’s Facebook post about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, one of the most well-known nonprofit awareness campaigns.

What made this nonprofit awareness campaign successful:

  • By using the format of a social media challenge, word of the ALS Association’s cause quickly spread from one supporter to their entire social network.
  • The Ice Bucket Challenge relied on celebrity influencers who provided the ALS Association with access to a much wider audience.
  • The directions for participating in the campaign were straightforward and simple, making it easy for anyone to join.’s Louder Than Ever hosts a variety of campaigns aimed at encouraging young people to take action on relevant causes. Recently, they hosted a Louder Than Ever campaign to raise awareness about issues the LGBTQ+ community is currently facing.

This campaign was hosted fully online, using the DoSomething website as a hub for resources and ways to take action. The campaign invited youth to take small actions like reading a banned book by a queer author or telling their legislators to protect trans youth. After taking these actions, the campaign encouraged participants to talk about what they learned in their own social circles and on social media.

DoSomething’s Louder Than Ever campaign page details how to join their nonprofit awareness campaign.

What made this nonprofit awareness campaign successful:

  • Louder Than Ever took place during Pride Month, a time when national attention was already on the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The campaign page included three different, easy ways to join the movement plus multiple educational resources that supporters could use to learn more.
  • DoSomething provided everything participants needed to take action, from a list of banned books to a crowdsourced guide on how to celebrate Pride.

Wear Orange for Gun Violence Awareness

Every year since 2013, Wear Orange has hosted a national awareness campaign for victims of gun violence. The campaign asks supporters to draw attention to the issue of gun violence with one simple action: wearing orange.

During the first weekend in June, Wear Orange hosts in-person events across the country in collaboration with local nonprofits. They also promote the campaign on social media, providing supporters with multilingual graphics and information to share on their own pages.

In this screenshot, the Wear Orange website explains the nonprofit awareness campaign’s mission of ending gun violence.

What made this nonprofit awareness campaign successful:

  • Wear Orange hosts its annual awareness campaign in June, which is National Gun Violence Awareness Month.
  • The campaign website features a “ways to participate” page, which gives clear, straightforward directions on how to take action.
  • Wear Orange centered its campaign messaging around a single story: the shooting of Hadiya Pendleton and how her friends commemorated her by wearing orange.

Wrapping Up

When done well, nonprofit awareness campaigns can quickly bring your community together to learn about and support your organization’s cause. They can lead to plenty of new donors and turn your existing supporters into true advocates for your nonprofit.

Planning a nonprofit awareness campaign takes work, but you don’t have to do it alone. Consultants like the experts at Getting Attention are here to help you design compelling ads and run an impactful awareness campaign. To learn more, check out these additional resources:

Click this image to get a free Getting Attention consultation and start harnessing the power of Google Ads for your nonprofit awareness campaigns.

These tips will help your association make the most of participant data after your conference.

Get More From Conference Participant Data: 3 Top Tips

As an association leader, you know how critical an annual conference can be to the success of your organization. Your conference might be the event that members look forward to all year as it provides opportunities to network, hear from influential speakers, and engage with exhibitors. Additionally, conferences can help your association build a stronger community and reach prospective members.

While they hold many benefits, organizing a conference is no small feat. They require significant investments of time, money, and effort. That said, your association will need to leverage all of its organizational skills to keep everything running smoothly. Behind every successful event are countless hours spent researching and booking venues, sourcing speakers, promoting and selling tickets, and communicating with exhibitors. So, when the conference ends, you’ll want to make the most of the relationships formed during the event.

Collecting data before and during the conference is the best way to take advantage of attendee participation. In this guide, we’ll explore strategies that will help you gather key pieces of information about attendees so you can personalize communications and improve future events:

As you navigate the event planning and data analysis processes, remember that each of these tasks can be seamlessly completed with association management software (AMS). An AMS will streamline event planning tasks as well as ticket and merchandise sales, and it even offers interactive apps that attendees can use to guide them through the conference. Best of all, you can use your AMS to easily connect and analyze data about members and attendees.

Let’s dive in by exploring the best ways to gather data from your attendees.

Offer multiple ways to engage.

To ensure your association is able to collect useful data from attendees, offer as many ways to engage as possible. This might mean choosing a hybrid conference format so that people can either attend in person or online. Or, you might market the conference through multiple communication channels so they can choose how to engage with promotions.

As Fonteva’s guide to member engagement explains, a strong sense of engagement secures your organization’s relevance, boosts member retention, and encourages community-building. To reap these benefits and ensure attendees are active participants at your conference, consider using these engagement strategies:

  • Organize low-stakes, casual activities. It can be difficult to “break the ice” during conferences, especially when attendees have little downtime between navigating from one session to the next. Leave room in the schedule for a few events designed to foster member-to-member connections. Popular ideas include networking lunches, games, or “unconference” sessions where participants can discuss topics of interest in a more casual setting.
  • Hold interactive workshops. Break up long days of complex presentations with workshops. Allow participants to actively engage with the content or learn a new skill. Not only does this provide a change of pace and opportunities to interact with others, but attendees will become more marketable with new sets of skills and experiences.
  • Set up digital forums. Using your AMS, organize discussion forums for the conference. Consider creating a general forum for the entire conference as well as forums for individual speakers or topics. Provide the forums in a mobile-friendly format. To further motivate attendees to participate, consider offering incentives for contributions from group members.
  • Use live polling and Q&As. Feature these activities during and at the end of presentations to curb meeting fatigue, particularly for virtual attendees. When faced with interactive elements during presentations, listeners will shift into a more active role (rather than being passive observers). To encourage more peer-to-peer interaction, consider asking questions and sending members into breakout sessions to discuss.

Using these strategies, your association can deeply engage attendees and provide more positive experiences. Additionally, you can gather data through these interactions and use it to refine future conferences.

Send out post-conference surveys.

NXUnite’s guide to membership benefits defines them as “perks, services, and access that people receive when they participate in a membership program.” Think of conferences as one of these benefits. You want members to be satisfied with them, particularly if they are paying to attend.

The best way to know whether attendees were satisfied with a conference is to ask them. For organized, honest feedback, send out a post-event survey that asks them what they liked and what could be improved. Make sure to ask for details as needed and for any suggestions they have for the future. Even if they found your conference to be valuable, they might have an interesting topic in mind for next year.

When creating your survey, make sure to include questions about the following areas:

  • Overall experience. Seek out high-level, general feedback by asking attendees to rate their overall experience at the conference on a numbered scale. Then, ask them to highlight the aspects of the conference that stood out positively, as well as any noticeable shortcomings.
  • Sessions and content. Ask your attendees to highlight the sessions they found most engaging, timely, or interesting. Consider asking them to highlight specific speakers they enjoyed, too. When asking about the sessions or speakers they weren’t as engaged by, ask for a detailed response so you’ll know what to improve.
  • Engagement. Get feedback from attendees about the quality of your networking and engagement opportunities. Ask if there were any they found particularly helpful or if they have any ideas about how to enhance them.
  • Logistics. Request that attendees rate the registration process and ease of communication with your association. If the event took place in person, ask them how they felt about the venue and locating sessions and meeting areas in the space. If the event took place online, ask them about their experience navigating links or accessing additional resources.
  • Suggestions. Ask attendees if there are any topics, themes, or activities they would like to see at future conferences. Make sure to ask a very general, open-ended question for any suggestions that don’t fit neatly into one of the previous categories.

Consider creating separate surveys for both staff and volunteers. While these surveys won’t necessarily help you reach more new members or secure additional renewals, they can assist in boosting staff retention and improving your volunteer program.

Use an AMS with data analysis capabilities.

After collecting data from before, during, and after the conference, you’ll need to use your association software’s data analytics tool to get a full picture of the conference. This data will reveal both your strengths and weaknesses, giving you a clear path toward an event that meets and exceeds the expectations of members.

The way associations use data will differ depending on their unique needs and goals. Here are a few specific examples of how conference data might be used to improve communications, future events, and organizational procedures:

  • Using demographic data about a member, you send a personalized message to them promoting events and opportunities taking place in their local area.
  • Before the conference, your association added a question to the registration form asking how registrants found out about the event. Then, you use these responses to understand which communication channels your audience prefers.
  • Responses to your post-event survey show that attendees loved one of your speakers, so you pass the praise along and proactively invite them to next year’s conference.
  • A few attendees recommend scheduling an optional happy hour each evening of the conference for networking purposes. When you implement the happy hour during your next event, participants give higher ratings for the “overall experience” and “engagement” categories.

Because this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using your data, getting started can be overwhelming. It can help to compare feedback and suggestions against your association’s internal goals and assign each one a priority. Additionally, take into account the urgency of each piece of feedback and the number of people who made a similar suggestion or observation.

To ensure your event attracts new prospects and engaged members, make sure to promote the conference ahead of time and offer numerous engagement opportunities. Then, use your AMS to collect and analyze data from participants. Most importantly, make sure that your association uses the data it worked hard to get to actively learn and improve for the future.

This guide explains how digital fundraising platforms can improve nonprofit outreach.

How to Improve Outreach with Digital Fundraising Platforms

Nonprofits must use their resources wisely to get the most value out of the tools in which they invest. Much like you’d multitask by using several internet browser tabs or taking notes while reading, nonprofit leaders can take advantage of the multipurpose value of fundraising software.

Among the various digital tools available to nonprofits, fundraising platforms offer unparalleled opportunities to engage donors and attract potential supporters. In this guide, we’ll explore four strategies for using the capabilities of digital fundraising platforms to improve nonprofit outreach:

Digital tools can power nonprofit missions in ways beyond their intended purposes. Before revamping your marketing approach, consider how your existing tools can garner support for your cause.

Accommodate your supporters

As a nonprofit leader, you’re likely already aware that donor retention is more cost-effective than acquisition. Therefore, your first step in improving outreach should be to accommodate your existing supporters through convenient donation asks.

Digital fundraising platforms offer numerous ways to conveniently reach and impel supporters to take action, such as text-to-give fundraisers. According to Snowball’s text-to-give fundraising guide, mobile giving is a “mutually beneficial” fundraising strategy since donors use the technology daily and can easily make a donation.

Successful outreach accommodates supporters by simplifying communications and donations. Other fundraising platform capabilities that accommodate supporters include:

  • Recurring giving: Provide an option within your donation portal for supporters to sign up for recurring gifts. Donors can choose the frequency of their gifts and the donation will be made automatically, just as they might use an auto-pay feature for monthly bills or subscriptions.
  • Matching gifts: With an autosubmission tool, nonprofits can collect matching gifts from corporations without any additional work from the donor. Supporters simply make a gift and let the fundraising tool double it by collecting a contribution from the donor’s employer.

Aside from offering communication and donation tools, your digital fundraising platform will also collect donor data, which your nonprofit should use to plan its outreach. For example, you might promote recurring gifts to a donor who has a history of donating monthly. Or, use employer data to determine if your supporters would be eligible for a matching gift program. When you use this information to guide your outreach, you’ll send the right message to the right supporter.

Expand your audience

The expansive reach of virtual communication is no mystery—with digital tools, your nonprofit can connect with local, national, and global audiences! Fundraising platforms spread nonprofit messages to larger audiences with capabilities such as:

  • Peer-to-peer tools: Invite supporters to share your fundraising campaign and raise money on your nonprofit’s behalf. Your nonprofit’s message will reach supporters’ friends and family members, who otherwise might not have seen or acted upon a donation request. Digital tools can help your supporters create customized campaign pages and easily collect donations.
  • Storefronts: Use your fundraising platform to create a digital storefront that sells branded merchandise to supporters. Not only will the sales raise money for your organization but you’ll also expand your outreach through brand ambassadorship when your donors wear branded t-shirts, hats, and other merchandise.
  • Crowdfunding capabilities: In a crowdfunding campaign, supporters share your nonprofit’s donation page through social media, digital messaging, and word-of-mouth. Donors’ social circles may be an audience you’ve never reached before, and will likely be more receptive to the fundraising request when it comes from a friend.

To further expand your reach, combine your larger marketing strategies with your fundraising tools. For example, if you plan to engage in social media marketing, launch a peer-to-peer campaign through your fundraising software. You can then use this platform to streamline the social media campaign rather than making individual posts on each channel.

Optimize your website

Your nonprofit’s website serves as the central hub for information about your organization. Here, donors learn about your mission, programs, campaigns, and opportunities to get involved. Before you ask existing or potential supporters to take action, ensure they have updated and reliable resources, such as:

  • Your organization’s background: Explain your nonprofit’s origin, mission, and plan to fulfill its purpose in a visually appealing way to capture the attention of site visitors. Tectonic’s guide to video storytelling recommends using visuals to create a powerful narrative and provide the audience with an immersive experience. Your platform’s campaign page tools can help your storytelling efforts by creating mobile-friendly pages that resonate with supporters.
  • Tools to participate in events: Use your fundraising platform’s tools to simplify the ways a supporter can take action on your website. For example, you might offer mobile bidding for your virtual auction or create an event landing page with an easy-to-use registration form.
  • Details about your cause and projects: Transparency is important when it comes to asking for support, which is why your nonprofit should clearly explain how donors’ contributions are used. Use data from your fundraising software to illustrate the impact of previous campaigns and collect donations for ongoing initiatives.

After using fundraising software to optimize your website, you can further improve your outreach by gaining visibility on Google. Leverage Google Ads to promote your most important pages and attract new supporters to your website.

Offer engaging ways to get involved

While fundraising platforms can boost your digital marketing efforts, the ultimate goal of nonprofit outreach should be to motivate supporters to take action. The right fundraising platform will host concurrent campaigns to give your supporter a myriad of ways to get involved.

For example, your auction platform might also host text-to-give fundraisers. That way, donors who prefer the experience of attending an event can participate in the auction, while supporters who live far away might donate via text message. Outreach that promotes a variety of ways to give will appeal to more supporters and increase engagement.

Getting started with fundraising platforms

Don’t let the powerful capabilities of digital fundraising tools go to waste—evaluate your platform to determine which features you can leverage for improved outreach. If you haven’t chosen a platform yet, use these strategies to guide your search. The right fundraising software will help you drive real results for your mission!

Learn more about how your school team or organization can put on a more successful digital fundraiser.

3 Tips for a Successful Virtual School Fundraiser

As a parent or teacher involved with school clubs or sports teams, fundraising might be something you view as a necessary but difficult part of these activities. Students often need additional funding for extracurriculars. However, traditional fundraising methods can be tiresome, requiring large investments of time and resources only to be met with subpar results.

Instead of spending another year selling items from catalogs to local friends and neighbors, consider switching to digital fundraising. During a digital fundraiser, you’ll simply engage donors by promoting the campaign online. Then, collect donations via a virtual payment portal. This way, you won’t need to collect cash or checks, and it’s possible for supporters to contribute from anywhere. And the best part is that you can take almost any fundraising idea online.

Whether you’re hosting a school-wide fundraiser or raising money for the marching band’s next competition, it’s paramount that your group has fundraising software that makes the process easy. These tools take care of all of the tiny, tedious details for you. For example, you might choose a solution that automatically creates individual fundraising pages for each student and seamlessly sends funds to your account at the end of the campaign. 

In this short guide, we’ll help you get started by covering three tips for a successful digital school fundraiser:

  • Deciding on an idea for your fundraiser
  • Planning out the fundraiser
  • Marketing your digital school fundraiser

While the main parts of the fundraiser, like promotion and donation collection, occur online, don’t forget that you can include in-person components, too. Capping the campaign off with a fun event (or centering the campaign around a final event) is a great way to build excitement and deepen engagement. You’ll likely want to hire a fundraising event planner to coordinate this element of the campaign will to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and you raise the most money possible! 

Let’s dive in by exploring how to get started by choosing an idea that your students (and their families) will love.

Deciding on an idea for your fundraiser

When kicking off any fundraiser, it’s key to choose an idea that resonates with participants, supporters, and the volunteers helping you run the fundraiser. 

First, make sure that the idea you choose is age-appropriate and appeals to participants’ interests—a cheerleading squad of teens might enjoy a 5K race, but a tee-ball team of six-year-olds may not. Additionally, the idea you choose shouldn’t involve extreme amounts of preparation and involvement from your volunteers. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, this 99Pledges guide to school fundraising ideas offers a range of events to kickstart your team’s brainstorming. Some of the most popular ideas include: 

  • A walk-a-thon where participants walk together along a route that your organizers map out ahead of time.
  • A read-a-thon during which students read as much as they can, log the minutes spent reading, and collect donations based on those minutes.
  • A talent show where students perform for an audience. Consider selling tickets to enter, as well as snacks and drinks during the show.
  • A raffle, ideally using prizes given from local businesses as in-kind donations or part of a sponsorship deal.

Next, consider taking a pledge approach to your fundraiser. Pledge campaigns are more engaging for students and will help you reach a wider audience. During these fundraisers, team members collect pledge donations from supporters, typically based on a unit relevant to the campaign idea. For example, if you host a walk-a-thon, supporters would donate a certain amount of money per mile participants walk.

Planning your event

To plan a successful charity event, your school must follow best practices for smart virtual fundraising. 

First, look for a fundraising platform that keeps incoming donations organized and offers a streamlined donation process. Your software should make donating as easy as possible, and it should allow your participants to track their fundraising progress on their pages.

Next, strategize your approach based on past campaign data. Analyze your data to understand who contributed to your school in the past, who participated in events, and how supporters found out about your fundraiser. Then, ask strategic questions to propel your campaign forward:

  • Which communication channels lead to more first-time engagements?
  • What were supporters’ key motivators to donate in the past?
  • How do your donors prefer to give?
  • When are the best times to post on social media, send an email, or communicate via another channel?

Be sure you’re taking advantage of the data your chosen software can collect. Let’s say you’re a coach for the school basketball team. Data from past fundraising campaigns shows that while you mainly promoted your team-wide donation page, supporters tended to donate to individual pages instead. For your upcoming campaign, you plan to urge parents and team members to heavily promote individual pages online.

Marketing your digital school fundraiser

Now that your event has a concrete plan of action, design a marketing timeline to attract support before, during, and after the campaign. Make sure to keep any insights or discoveries you made while analyzing your donor data in mind to create more personalized messages.

Effective marketing sets your school up for success in interacting with your supporters as well as your larger community. It’s an excellent opportunity to tell people about your school’s efforts and mission, and it establishes rapport in your community. And when you advertise digitally, you can reach far beyond the school and the local community to win the support of donors across different regions.

When promoting your fundraiser, consider the following steps:

Have your volunteers help spread the word.

Empower those who are already passionate about your cause to spread the word about your fundraiser. Your volunteer base, likely made up of students’ family members, already has multiple networks they can pull support from, both social and professional. Encourage them to promote the fundraiser not only through word of mouth, but also by reaching connections via social media and other digital communication channels.

If your school is looking for great ambassadors to aid in fundraiser promotion, consider the following groups:

  • School board members: These figures in your community are already dedicated supporters of your school and its efforts. Their promotion will reach large professional networks, particularly those who are involved in education. 
  • Parent volunteers: These parents have a personal connection to your cause—their students. They are accustomed to devoting time and effort to your team or club (think of the practices, games, performances, or competitions they attend), and their social networks include other local families and relatives who have personal connections to the student.

Your school’s ambassadors and volunteers can easily direct their networks straight to the relevant fundraising page, which will help your event tremendously. To empower them to do so, consider incentivizing them with a special gift, like a gift card or a free t-shirt. Appreciation goes a long way for both volunteers and donors.

Use the right platforms to communicate your message.

Once you find volunteers to market your fundraiser, give them the right messaging tactics. Supply them with the right materials and tips for best practices. For example, you might create a social media calendar for parents to help them remember when to post about the fundraiser. It might also be helpful to create templates for the posts to make it as easy as possible. 

Most importantly, make sure your message is clear. You should include a single call-to-action that leads donors directly to the correct web pages for your fundraiser. If you are incorporating an interactive event, the details of when and where it will be held should be included as well. 

Then, consider which channels are most effective for your marketing strategy. Use multiple outlets to spread the word to a wide audience of potential contributors. This can include both digital and print mediums. Just be sure to use the platforms that are most relevant to the segments you’re trying to target.

Popular (and cost-effective) marketing channels can include:

  • Social media posts
  • Digital newsletters
  • Text updates
  • Direct mail
  • Handouts to students
  • Community bulletin boards

Just remember, the most effective digital marketing strategy involves multiple platforms that allow you to establish several touchpoints with supporters near and far. When your promotions appear on more than one of the communication platforms supporters use, they’re more likely to keep the campaign at the top of their minds and donate.

After your campaign, you’ll have one very important job left: thanking your donors. This can be as simple as sending out an email after they donate. To personalize the message, eCardWidget’s guide to donor thank-you emails suggests using an attention-grabbing subject line, greeting them by name, and referencing specific details like the amount they donated.

Build your teamwork skills by choosing a creative fundraising idea. Then, follow digital fundraising best practices (like leveraging the right platform) to plan your event and choose strategies for the campaign. Finally, empower the members of your school community to help market your efforts. Once your campaign wraps up, you’ll have the funds your team needs and strong connections with your new network of supporters.


This image shows two designers discussing web design strategies.

Website Design: 7 Tips to Increase Site Visit Length

With online fundraising and marketing becoming increasingly important for nonprofits, your website is more essential than ever for capturing leads, displaying engaging and relevant mission information, and facilitating donations and volunteer sign-ups. To effectively engage audience members and retain their attention, you need to design your website to increase site visit length. 

According to Contentsquare’s 2023 Digital Experience Benchmark report, the average time on page spent per session is 5.9 minutes for desktop users and 2.7 minutes for mobile users. If your organization’s website falls under these thresholds, it could be time to refresh your user experience to boost engagement on your site. 

In this guide, we’ll walk through seven web design tips to help lengthen and improve your site visits: 

  1. Present your content strategically
  2. Improve your site’s accessibility and readability
  3. Use engaging visuals 
  4. Incorporate interactive elements
  5. Optimize your most important landing pages
  6. Include internal links
  7. Demonstrate credibility

The most effective nonprofit websites make it easy for visitors to engage with content and opportunities that interest them. When visitors enjoy using your website and learning more about your organization, they’ll naturally spend more time on it. 

1. Present your content strategically

Your website is your most important digital marketing tool for helping potential supporters learn about your mission, recent accomplishments, and other information regarding your organization or sector.

As soon as a visitor lands on your website, they’ll expect to see organized, updated content. To exceed visitor expectations, follow these navigation and content guidelines: 

  • Keep your website’s navigation easy to use with a simple design. Place your navigation menu at the top or side of the page. Include links to your most popular landing pages, such as your online donation page, event calendar, and volunteer registration form. 
  • Update your content frequently. If the most recent article on your blog is from 2010, visitors will likely assume that your organization isn’t active anymore and click away. Keep your blog roll fresh with educational articles and recaps of your recent events and projects. 
  • Optimize your homepage. Look at the “above-the-fold” area of your website’s homepage (the first view you get of your website before scrolling) for both mobile and desktop views. Because this is the first thing users see, you should display your most important content there. Make sure to update this content frequently to make your homepage look fresh. 
  • Direct users to important pages using calls-to-action (CTAs). CTAs are buttons or links that encourage visitors to engage more deeply with your organization. For example, you might include homepage CTAs linking to your online donation form or volunteer registration page. Your CTAs should align with visitors’ interests and motivations. 

With fresh, easy-to-find content, visitors will be able to quickly get a sense of your organization’s work and determine whether they’d like to get more involved. 

2. Improve your site’s accessibility and readability

You’ve probably come across an outdated website from time to time where the text is too small, the color contrast is not high enough, or the background image is too busy, compromising the readability of the page. 

Your website should be readable and accessible for everyone, no matter their device or ability. Here are some general tips to follow:

  • Make sure the fonts you use are large enough to be easily read on laptops and mobile devices. However, don’t make the font so large that you force the user to unnecessarily scroll through the page or zoom out. 
  • Break up large paragraphs into easy-to-read sections. Use bulleted lists to highlight the most important information.
  • Ensure that the background color and font color are contrasted enough, with a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.
  • Include alternative text for images and captions for videos. 
  • Proofread your content for spelling and grammar issues and other readability considerations before publishing it. 

These steps not only ensure that your content is more readable but make it easier for screen reader devices to read the text out loud for those with visual impairments, improving your website’s accessibility. The better the words flow, the easier it is for those listening to understand and engage with the content.

In addition to your website’s written content, make sure your forms are equally accessible and easy to read. Kanopi’s accessible forms guide recommends including descriptive form labels and instructions so visitors know exactly what is expected of them. 

3. Use engaging visuals

Large chunks of text can be intimidating and hard to parse through. Including compelling visual content throughout your site is a great way to break up text and make your site more engaging. 

Consider incorporating the following types of visual content into your web design strategy

  • Images 
  • Infographics or charts
  • Videos

High-quality images will have a larger file size, which can slow down your site speed. Therefore, be sure to compress them so that they don’t slow down your page load speed. 

According to Double the Donation’s nonprofit web design guide, “By minimizing page load time, your organization will significantly increase the chances that the donors who click on your website will actually land there and stay long enough to look around.” 

4. Incorporate interactive elements

One key method of increasing site visit length as well as conversions for your nonprofit website is to incorporate interactive or clickable elements. 

Interactive elements capture users’ attention and encourage them to stay on your site. These fun components increase their enjoyment of your site. 

Consider creating engaging site features like: 

  • Image slideshow
  • Poll or quiz
  • Mini game

Users will remember your site and nonprofit mission better with these enjoyable experiences as a core memory.

5. Optimize your most important landing pages

For most websites, your homepage will be the most popular landing page and receive the most site visits. However, nonprofit organizations are unique in that there are a couple of other core landing pages that will be frequently visited and sought after by current and prospective supporters.

For instance, your organization might prioritize pages like your: 

  • Online donation form. Your nonprofit’s online donation page should include a secure payment processor, uniform branding, and a compelling reason to donate. The form should only ask for essential information so it’s easy and fast for donors to complete. 
  • Event calendar or registration page. Supporters should be able to click through your event calendar to find opportunities that appeal to them, review the event’s logistics, and register. 
  • Volunteer registration page. If you offer volunteer opportunities, provide search and filter options so that users can easily find experiences that match their skills and interests. 

Optimizing your most important landing pages is especially essential If your organization has a Google ads strategy. Using your Google ads to direct attention to your most vital landing pages can help boost conversions, turning more site visitors into donors and volunteers. 

6. Include internal links

An easy way to keep people on your site is to simply incorporate more internal links. This means linking to appropriate landing pages to leverage key conversion opportunities as well as linking to blog posts or other written content throughout the site.

Ensure that each article and page on your site has plenty of internal links. This is the best way to get people to visit those pages and can help reduce your bounce rate, which is the rate of how often people enter your site and then leave without exploring further.

Incorporating internal links can also improve your site’s SEO (or search engine optimization), but only if you’re linking to valuable content. Adding internal links just for the sake of it won’t do much, so be sure to link to valuable educational content that’s clearly related to the page’s topic. This can not only encourage visitors to continue engaging with you but also bring up the overall value of your website. 

7. Demonstrate credibility

Building trust among your audience members through your website is essential to gaining their support. Showing credibility is a simple way to establish trust with supporters. 

For instance, adding photos of real people who have been impacted by your organization can make your site appear more trustworthy. 

Here are some other quick ways to show credibility:

  • Link to your social profiles. 
  • Add trust markers like Charity Navigator ratings, awards, certifications, and more. 
  • Make your annual reports and tax information easy to find and navigate. 
  • Include bios and pictures for your staff members. 

To ensure your website is secure and trustworthy, you can turn to a nonprofit web consultant for support. These professionals can ensure that your website is up to security standards and recommend changes to help enhance your credibility. 

Your website is the online face of your nonprofit’s mission. Updating it to improve user engagement is crucial to boosting your online fundraising and developing supporter relationships. These tips will help you retain visitors’ attention longer and give them opportunities to get more involved with your organization. 


As Founder and CEO of Kanopi Studios, Anne helps create clarity around project needs, and turns client conversations into actionable outcomes. She enjoys helping clients identify their problems, and then empowering the Kanopi team to execute great solutions.

Anne is an advocate for open source and co-organizes the Bay Area Drupal Camp. When she’s not contributing to the community or running her thoughtful web agency, she enjoys yoga, meditation, treehouses, dharma, cycling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and hanging with her nephew.