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!

Check out this guide to explore the six steps your nonprofit must follow to find the right nonprofit marketing consultant.

6 Steps to Hire an Excellent Nonprofit Marketing Consultant

Nonprofit marketing raises mission awareness, ensures you develop strong relationships with supporters, promotes your organization’s services, and so much more! For example, did you know that 25% of donors ages 18 to 29 want social media communications from nonprofit organizations? However, it’s not enough to draft a couple of emails and post a few generic social media posts. That’s why organizational leaders often turn to nonprofit marketing consultants for professional help.

There are many different types of marketing consultants out there, each with their own specialty and qualifications that make them valuable to partner with. A great nonprofit marketing consultant will work closely with your fundraising team to ensure that the steps in your marketing plan further your goals.

This guide will walk through:

At Getting Attention, we understand that marketing is a complex topic, and implementing your strategy can quickly become a full-time job. We’re dedicated to helping nonprofits forge long-lasting partnerships with the right nonprofit marketing consultant for them. Let’s get started.

Reach out to Getting Attention to match with a nonprofit marketing consultant who specializes in Google Ad Grants.

Nonprofit Marketing Consultant: 4 FAQs

Hiring a consultant can be a big investment for your nonprofit, so ensure you have completed your research and know the answers to essential questions, such as:

What is a nonprofit marketing consultant?

A consultant is a professional who provides targeted advice to organizational leaders. They typically specialize in a few areas of expertise, so their clients can strengthen their organizations’ weaknesses.

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

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

When should you hire a nonprofit marketing consultant?

Researching and partnering with a consultant can take time and require a significant investment of your nonprofit’s resources. Before diving into this process, take the time to consider if hiring a nonprofit marketing consultant is the right course of action for your organization at this time.

Nonprofit organizations hire marketing consultants for all sorts of reasons, including general support for their promotional efforts. However, there are also a few situations where it makes sense to seek out a marketing consultant’s unique expertise, such as:

This graphic depicts four occasions when your organization should consider hiring a nonprofit marketing consultant.

  • Before an upcoming major campaign. A fundraising campaign is a major undertaking, and if a campaign falls short of its goal, it can negatively impact your nonprofit’s credibility. If it’s your nonprofit’s first time launching a major fundraising campaign, or if you think you’ll need extra help, try looking into nonprofit marketing consultants with fundraising and campaign planning expertise.
  • To assist in big technology upgrades. It’s great when your nonprofit is ready to upgrade its technology, but it can also be accompanied by a work slowdown as employees get accustomed to your new software. With a consultant who specializes in nonprofit technology, you can speed up your onboarding process by getting professional assistance for managing your workflows.
  • When launching or revamping your fundraising strategies. If you’re looking to make a major change in your approach to fundraising, a consultant can provide the professional insight you need. Bringing in a consultant can help you get a fresh perspective on your old approach to fundraising, allowing you to create new strategies that capitalize on your previous methods’ strengths and avoid their pitfalls.
  • To apply for nonprofit marketing grants. Applying for a grant is often a long process that requires your team to carefully put together the strongest application possible. Bringing in a nonprofit marketing consultant who specializes in the grants you’re applying for can give your team new guidance and ensure you stick to all of your grant’s deadlines. For example, you’d want a Google Ad Grant consulting agency to manage your application for the Google Ad Grants program since they understand all the eligibility requirements.

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

How can marketing consultants help your nonprofit efforts?

What exactly do marketing consultants do? First and foremost, they should have a deep understanding of your organization and audience, along with the specific goals you’re trying to accomplish. Then, they’ll develop a marketing plan that compiles all of that knowledge and lays out strategies that will propel your nonprofit toward those goals.

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

  • Copywriting. Compelling copy can be the determining factor in whether someone engages further with your nonprofit. Most nonprofits need a lot of copy for a variety of tasks, including their fundraising letters, thank-you messages, social media posts, event invitations, grant applications, and more.
  • Content management. Content management includes all the tasks that need to be completed after your content is created, such as posting or sending it, managing a messaging calendar, and tracking engagement rates. Your marketing consultant can help you refine your content management strategy and make adjustments based on the results you’re currently seeing.
  • Print and web design. Effective marketing appeals are rarely just unformatted text. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a graphic designer on staff, a nonprofit marketing consultant can leverage powerful graphic design to transform your content into something that will stand out and drive donations.
  • Grant application. Finding nonprofit grants and applying for them will require your team to take on responsibilities that go beyond their normal fundraising efforts. Hiring a consultant with expertise in grant writing and management can help you create a smooth, timely grant application process.
  • Google Ad Grant maintenance. Google Ad Grants provide nonprofits with $10,000 of Google Ads, for free. But making the most of these funds, tracking results, and ensuring your nonprofit maintains compliance can require the expertise of a marketing consultant. Check out the video below to learn more about the benefits of Google Ad Grant maintenance:

Because there are so many consultant specializations that fall under the umbrella of marketing, determine which services your nonprofit will need so you can narrow down your search for the perfect consultant.

What are common nonprofit marketing consultant services?

Here are the common services of nonprofit marketing consultants.

The great thing about the expansive online space is that your nonprofit has a variety of marketing channels at its disposal. Each platform has its unique quirks, which is why there are nonprofit marketing consultants who specialize in one or several of these platforms.

As you develop your marketing strategy, consider how you can use the following platforms and if a professional can help bring your strategy to the next level:

  • Website. Your website is the face of your organization, and a nonprofit marketing consultant who specializes in website design can help you create a digital hub to store all of your content and make the best possible first impression on new donors.
  • Google Ad Grant. Google Ad Grants is a unique marketing opportunity that allows you to amplify your nonprofit’s most important pages for cause-related keywords using free advertising credits. A Google Ad Grants consultant can get your nonprofit on the right track toward qualifying for a grant and help make the most of the funding you receive.
  • SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help more supporters find your content organically through Google searches. Launching an SEO strategy isn’t something your nonprofit can just do overnight, however. Partner with an SEO nonprofit marketing consultant to learn how to leverage your current content and what new content you should be creating to start ranking on search engines.
  • Email marketing. Take advantage of donors’ affinity for email communications from nonprofits. In 2023, the average nonprofit email open rate is over 28%, much higher than the average open rate across all industries (roughly 21%). Consultants who specialize in communication and online messaging can help you refine your email marketing strategy to craft more eye-catching, effective emails, whether they’re fundraising appeals or your monthly newsletter.
  • Social media. Social media has been a necessity for nonprofits looking to gain a wide audience online. However, keeping multiple accounts on different platforms active can be a challenge. By partnering with a digital marketing consultant, you’ll get expert advice on which platforms to use and how to make your content as effective as possible on them.
  • Direct mail. Even with the rising popularity of digital marketing, direct mail isn’t dead. In fact, the sheer prominence of online-only marketing has caused direct mail appeals to stand out even more for some donors. If you’re interested in a multi-channel approach that incorporates physical mail appeals, try partnering with a direct mailing consultant.
  • Campaign marketing. Campaigns are always extensive undertakings that require a significant amount of your staff’s time and your nonprofit’s resources. A campaign marketing consultant can help you plan and promote the most effective campaign possible with the resources your organization has.

This isn’t an exhaustive list—there are tons of different specialties that a consultant can help your nonprofit improve.

Steps To Finding The Best Nonprofit Marketing Consultant

To find the consultant who best aligns with your nonprofit’s goals and can take your marketing strategy to the next level, follow these six steps:

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

1. Review your nonprofit marketing needs with an audit.

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

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

  • A SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to help organizations identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Reviewing marketing trends: Identify any relevant marketing trends like changes to the standard social media marketing mix, leveraging user-generated content, and video marketing your nonprofit would like to adopt.
  • Gathering current marketing assets: Take stock of which materials you have already and what you’ll need.
  • Data analysis: Look at your past marketing data. What strategies have worked in the past? Were there any strategies that missed its mark? Which areas will need the most improvement to help you reach your goals?

From there, you can create an action plan. Divide your needs into “immediate” and “long-term.” Then, you can easily pinpoint your highest-priority needs and select a consultant who is equipped to help you meet them.

2. Meet with your board members and other key stakeholders.

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

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

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

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

3. Compile a list of prospects that meet your needs.

Once you understand your current marketing needs and what you want from the partnership, compile a list of possible consultants.

Here are some of the common ways to find potential nonprofit marketing consultant partners:

  • Ask for recommendations from colleagues at similar nonprofit organizations.
  • Take a look at online lists or directories of top nonprofit technology consulting firms.
  • Consider what is most important to you. If you prefer to meet in person, then look for a local agency. If you know that you need consulting in a specialized area like website development, review the agency’s specialties to see if they align with your goals.

As you look through your list of consultants, consider their experience and client history. Ideally, you should select a marketing professional that often works with nonprofits with a similar size, mission, and needs to yours.

4. Create an RFP (Request for Proposal)

Here are the 6 core components of a request for proposal that your nonprofit can use to source a nonprofit marketing consultant.

RFPs are used to request information from potential partners and communicate your nonprofit’s needs, mission, and relevant goals that the prospective consultant might need. Requesting a proposal is the most direct and straightforward way to determine if a consultant is right for you.

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

  • An overview of your organization, any relevant history, your mission, and a brief description of your donor base.
  • A description of your nonprofit marketing needs.
  • The guidelines of the partnership, like the general budget and timeframe.
  • Expected outcomes for the partnership.
  • A list of tangible deliverables.
  • Requests for additional information or background history.

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

5. Reach out to top candidates

It can be difficult to narrow down your search, especially if you receive several qualified proposals. Reach out to your team and nonprofit leadership, and ask them to rank their favorite choices. Compare these lists to spot trends or favorite candidates.

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

6. Ask for references and follow up

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

Review the consultants’ proposals like you would job applications. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or case studies from past clients. It’s crucial to have an accurate understanding of each consultant’s past experiences to see if the relationship will work for both parties.

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

Reach out to Getting Attention to find your own Google Ad Grants marketing consultant.

4 Nonprofit Marketing Best Practices

After kicking off your partnership with a nonprofit marketing consultant, you can start familiarizing them with your organization, its mission, and your short- and long-term goals. As your relationship with the consultant progresses, it’s essential to make sure they are following nonprofit marketing best practices.

Here are a few of the most important best practices your nonprofit consultant should adhere to:

  • Follow a strict budget. Nonprofits are required to be transparent about their finances, meaning that you will need to track each dollar spent or earned by your organization. It’s best to create a marketing budget for your nonprofit to properly allocate organizational funds, and your marketing consultant should make it a top priority to stick to that budget.
  • Tell compelling stories. The work nonprofits do can have profound impacts on the lives of their beneficiaries, and sharing those impacts with your supporters can motivate them to make a gift. Studies show that 74% of donors are more likely to make a larger donation when faced with a compelling reason to give to a campaign. Ask your marketing consultant how you can weave emotional nonprofit storytelling into your campaigns.
  • Stay up-to-date with trends. Marketing trends are always changing, especially as social media continues to evolve. Have conversations with your consultant about the latest marketing trends to see if they have their finger on the pulse of nonprofit marketing (and request their recommendations for your organization!).
  • Align marketing with organizational goals. If you work with a nonprofit consultant for many months or years, it’s almost inevitable that your nonprofit’s goals will change over that period. Additionally, you may make adjustments to your core mission, values, or programming. Your consultant should remain committed to understanding your organization and its supporters throughout its evolution.

Check in with your marketing consultant periodically to ensure that the work they are doing for your nonprofit aligns with these best practices as well as any more specific stipulations your organization has for them.

Top Nonprofit Marketing Consultants

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite marketing consultants for nonprofits divided by specialty. You’re bound to find the best partner for your unique needs:

Getting Attention — Best for Google Grant Management

At Getting Attention, the Google Ad Grant is our core marketing specialty. If you’re unfamiliar with the program, Google offers eligible organizations to amplify their most important landing webpages for the keywords their supporters are searching online. Using Google Ads and leveraging the Google Grant program is one of the most valuable ways to jumpstart your marketing efforts and promote your digital content!

Explore the details of Google Ad Grant requirements in our comprehensive guide to learn how your nonprofit can maximize this valuable opportunity.

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

These are five of the key features and services that Getting Attention’s nonprofit marketing professionals can offer your nonprofit.

Standout Consultant Services

  • Standout Consultant Services

    • Google Grant Application: Our professional consultants are here to walk you through every step of the Google Grant application process. We’ll check your eligibility and fill out the application for you, making sure you get approved in no time!
    • Google Grant Hygiene: Both in your Google Grant and overall marketing strategy, data is important. You don’t want unclean or duplicate data bogging down your fundraising efforts. We’ll help you keep your data clean and organized.
    • Google Grant Reactivation: Maintaining your Google Ad Grant account isn’t as easy as one might think. Google will suspend your account if it doesn’t comply with certain guidelines. Our professionals can get your account back up and running in case you are suspended.
    • Keyword Research: Targeting the right keywords is vital if you want to take your digital marketing to the next level and show success in your Google Ads. That’s why keyword research is one of our main skills!
    • Google Grant Management: Not only can our Getting Attention professionals track data and research keywords, but we can also make sure your campaigns remain compliant with all of Google’s official guidelines.

Kwala — Best for Nonprofit Graphic Design

Kwala is a graphic design agency that specializes in mission-driven marketing. They understand the unique needs of nonprofits and know how to make your cause stand out through powerful marketing materials. Not to mention, they offer unlimited requests and revisions, meaning they’ll keep designing until your materials are perfect.

From improving your social media presence to transforming your direct marketing appeals, Kwala offers everything you need to build brand awareness and connect with supporters.

Standout Consultant Services

  • Digital Marketing Materials: Kwala’s team of designers recognizes the need for a strong digital presence in today’s world. That’s why they offer web design services such as site design, web ads, and social media graphics.
  • Physical Marketing Materials: Kwala won’t let your in-person efforts fall by the wayside. They offer design services such as fundraising flyers, business cards, brochures, and postcards.
  • Logo Design: Your logo is the centerpiece of your marketing. Kwala can design a timeless logo that supporters will associate with your cause for years to come.
  • Product designs: If you want to ramp up your product designs, Kwala can help you create t-shirt graphics, hat designs, and more.

This custom t-shirt is an example of what your nonprofit can achieve when you partner with a nonprofit marketing consultant and graphic designer.

DNL OmniMedia — Best for Strategy Development

DNL OmniMedia is a full-service nonprofit marketing consulting firm and is dedicated to helping fundraisers carry out an effective campaign and reach supporters. Their extensive suite of services can help large and enterprise-level nonprofits achieve a variety of goals, no matter how complex or time-consuming.

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

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

Kanopi — Best for Nonprofit Website Support

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

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

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

Meyer Partners — Best for Direct Mail Marketing

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

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

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

The Fundraising Coach — Best Nonprofit Marketing Consultant for Training

Marc A. Pitman, AKA The Fundraising Coach, trains nonprofit professionals to improve their fundraising abilities. If your nonprofit is interested in improving your staff and leadership’s skills when it comes to asking for donations, sharing your nonprofit’s story, and overall fundraising abilities, The Fundraising Coach can provide training that will have lasting value beyond just one or two campaigns.

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

  • Fundraising 101 training
  • Coaching for executive staff members and leadership
  • Access to training resources such as online courses

Big Duck — Best Nonprofit Marketing Consultant for Brand Promotion

What is your nonprofit’s brand voice? If you need help defining it, Big Duck’s consulting services might be right for your nonprofit. Big Duck helps nonprofits launch campaigns that represent their mission by first working to refine with brand voice.

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

  • Brand strategy development
  • Campaign planning
  • Internal process management

Donorly — Best Nonprofit Consultant for Fundraising

Fundraising encompasses a variety of skills and responsibilities. Donorly understands that and aims to help nonprofits improve their fundraising through a variety of methods, from capital campaigns to streamlining internal workflows.

Standout Nonprofit Marketing Consulting Services:

  • Temporary staffing support
  • Multi-step fundraising assessment and rehaul process
  • Capital campaign support

Additional Resources

Your nonprofit’s marketing strategy is a critical component of your overall success, so turning to a professional consultant might be your best bet. Make sure you do your research and reach out to agencies that align with your mission and audience. That way, you’ll find a reliable coach who can help you transform your promotional efforts.

If you want to continue learning more about nonprofit marketing and how to optimize your strategy, check out these additional resources:

Contact us at Getting Attention to start working with a nonprofit marketing consultant.


This guide discusses ways to get funding for a nonprofit organization.

6 Foolproof Ways to Get More Funding for Your Nonprofit

In a perfect world, all the money a nonprofit raises would go toward its cause. However, nonprofits incur expenses like any organization, so some, like marketing costs, will inevitably go toward overhead. To maximize your budget and allocate as much money as you can toward your mission, take the time to develop the perfect fundraising techniques.

In this guide, we’ll cover tips, tricks, and ideas that can help you achieve your fundraising goals:

Are you looking for ways to raise money for your mission-driven organization? There are many viable options available for you to choose from. Read on to see what’s out there.To make the most of your existing resources, reach out to our team at Getting Attention to learn how to get marketing funding for your nonprofit.

How to Get Funding for Your Nonprofit Organization: 6 Sources

When choosing your nonprofit’s funding sources, consider the size, mission, and other defining characteristics of your nonprofit. Create a ratio with your goals in mind—for example, you might obtain 50% from grants, 20% from a membership program, and the remaining 30% from an annual event. Remember to prioritize revenue diversification to avoid relying too heavily on one income source.

Below, we’ve organized these sources into six main categories:

This graphic depicts the six main funding sources your nonprofit will need to explore in order to get funding.

1) Individual donations

According to the Giving USA Annual Report, the largest portion of charitable donations came from individual donors in 2022. Individuals contributed a total of $319.04 billion, making up 64% of total giving in America.

Here are four types of individual donations your nonprofit could pursue as part of your funding model:

  1. Major donations: These consist of large, one-time donations from a wealthy individual.  Over the last five years, gifts of over $1,000 have grown to make up 85% of the average nonprofit’s revenue.  If you need help identifying prospective major donors, consider using prospect research wealth screening tools to assess your donors’ affinity and capacity to give.
  2. Mid-sized donations: While smaller in size, nonprofits typically receive mid-sized donations more often. They can be made on a one-time or recurring basis (monthly, annually, etc). Because they are consistent and reliable, recurring gifts add financial stability to an organization’s funding model.
  3. Fees for products/services: Organizations like hospitals and other public health clinics often charge for provided goods and services to offset costs. To account for lower-income individuals, consider incorporating a sliding scale for your fees based on annual income.
  4. Alumni: If you serve a large community with a high turnover rate (think universities, hospitals, etc), then consider reaching out to your alumni network. They’ve benefited from your services in the past, and chances are, they would love to help you continue supporting your mission.

Remember to focus on obtaining a mixture of these different fundraising avenues to diversify your revenue, offer multiple ways for supporters to give to your cause, and improve your financial stability.

2) Corporate philanthropy

Corporate philanthropy refers to the ways that corporations give back to nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations.

Here are some of the most common ways corporations contribute to nonprofits:

  • Matching gifts: Corporate matching gifts are a form of corporate philanthropy in which corporations match the donations of their employees (i.e., you get double the money of a typical donation amount). You’ll need to spread awareness of these opportunities to your supporters to receive the matched gift.
  • Volunteer grants: If an employee at a corporation volunteers with a specific nonprofit often, their employer could offer a grant based on their volunteer hours. Of all Fortune 500 companies, 40% offer a program like this—spread awareness about these opportunities to take advantage of them.
  • Pro bono services: In lieu of monetary donations, many corporate professionals will offer their services and expertise to mission-driven organizations free of charge. If you ever need a doctor, lawyer, or any other kind of specialist, be on the lookout for professionals who could potentially help you for free.

Remember that your nonprofit can also request and accept in-kind gifts from corporations. Similar to pro bono services, these gifts are items that an organization donates to your organization for free—think new computers or canned goods for your food pantry.

3) Events

Events are a great way to both spread the word about your nonprofit and raise money for your cause. They give you the opportunity to engage face-to-face with current supporters, as well as reach new audiences by way of an exciting activity.

Some fun event ideas could include:

  • Hosting a concert.
  • Throwing a gala.
  • Running an online charity auction.
  • Coordinating a 5K race.
  • Setting up a day of volunteering events.
  • Putting on a fun carnival or festival.

Remember to thoroughly market your event through social media, Google Ads, direct mail, and event flyers to ensure people are aware of it.

4) Online fundraising

It’s no secret we live in a digital world, and nonprofit fundraising is no exception. Taking advantage of online fundraising can help you extend your nonprofit’s reach beyond your local area, and it makes the giving experience much more convenient.

Consider one of these three online fundraising tactics:

  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding refers to the collection of many small donations from a large public group of people. Platforms like GoFundMe are prime examples of crowdfunding efforts.
  • Monthly giving program: Nonprofit websites easily facilitate the setup of recurring donations. Add a section to your site where people can easily register to give a certain amount per month, year, or another set time frame.
  • Social media fundraising: With Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more, fundraising is as simple as drafting and uploading a post. Prioritize posting engaging video content as studies show that viewers will retain an average of 95% of a message conveyed in video form compared to only 10% in text form.

On the whole, online fundraising tactics are a great way to reach a lot of people without spending a lot of cash.


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5) Offline outreach

While online funding strategies are increasingly popular, don’t forget to use traditional outreach methods for a more personal touch.

Here are three offline fundraising ideas your nonprofit should consider:

  • Direct mail: Send mail to current and potential donors to inform them about your nonprofit, thank current donors for their contributions, or even solicit donations. Make sure to link mail to your digital marketing efforts by including QR codes or URLs to your website or donation form.
  • Out-of-home (OOH) advertising: This outreach method refers to any advertising experienced outside the home, like fundraising flyers, posters, billboards, and other signage. While renting space on a billboard can be costly, you could curb costs by asking local businesses to display your flyers.
  • Phone calls: Nonprofits can call people directly to ask for donations. Whether in the form of cold calling or reaching out to people your organization has interacted with, this is a viable way to raise money for your cause.

Offline methods are a great way to build more personal relationships with your donors. And, they help you establish multiple touchpoints with donors so you have more opportunities to make an impression on them.

6) Grants

grant consists of funds given to a nonprofit organization based on its industry, mission, size, and other eligibility considerations. 

Grants come in all shapes and sizes, but there are three main categories:

  • Unrestricted funds: Organizations can use the money wherever it will make the biggest difference.
  • Capital support: This grant is designated for a specific campaign, such as a construction project or another big program.
  • Restricted funds: This is the most common type of grant and is limited to a particular purpose.

To find nonprofit grants, look for the following two grant sources: government grants and private grants.

Government grants come from federal, state, and local governments. The federal government spends over $500 billion annually on grants to state and local governments, making them the third largest portion of the U.S. government’s budget.

These grants are rewarded to a variety of industries, including:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Natural resources and the environment
  • Community development

Private foundation/business grants come from private entities such as companies, foundations, and even individuals. A prime private grant example is the Google Ad Grants program. The Google Ad Grant is an advertising grant that gives eligible nonprofits $10,000 a month in ad credits to boost their organization to the top of Google’s search results.

To receive the Google Ad Grant, your nonprofit must submit an application and remain active on its account. For help applying, reach out to Getting Attention.

4 Quick Tips for Funding Your Nonprofit Organization

We’ve covered a lot of ground when it comes to nonprofit marketing—but don’t walk away without some quick helpful hints. As a final piece of guidance, here are four tips for creating your organization’s funding model:

Once you know the basics behind how to get funding for a nonprofit, use these tips to level up your efforts.

  • Plan ahead. It’s much better to be proactive than reactive. You need to have reliable funding sources lined up well before you actually need them. Consider your nonprofit’s needs, do your research, and lay the groundwork before diving in.
  • Assess where you’re at. Ask questions about your current funding model: What’s working, and what’s not? Is each funding source reflective of your mission and values? Use the answers to make decisions on which fundraising methods to use.
  • Get creative. Avoid missing opportunities by thinking outside the box. Get together with your team and brainstorm unconventional ways your nonprofit funding model could stand out.
  • Be analytical. Balance your creativity by keeping in mind which methods give you the best return on investment. Focus your time and energy on what will be most reliable, profitable, and feasible.

Last, don’t be afraid to get started. After all of your careful planning, you’ll have a good idea of the best course of action to take—and remember that you can always adjust as you go.

Additional Resources

You know how important securing funding for your nonprofit is. These funds fuel your organization’s efforts to move you closer to achieving your mission. To make the most of your available resources while spreading awareness of your organization, consider reaching out to our consultants at Getting Attention for more information about the Google Ad Grants program.

For more useful information on everything nonprofit funding, read more from our library of nonprofit marketing resources:

To do more with your nonprofit's hard-earned funding, sign up for a free consultation with Getting Attention.

Optimize your nonprofit budget with the help of the following five tips.

How to Optimize Your Nonprofit Budget: A Guide & 5 Best Tips

A nonprofit budget is an important financial document that helps organizations allocate expenses and predict revenue. Your budget is crucial in helping your nonprofit plan for the future, stay fiscally responsible, and reach its campaign goals.

This comprehensive guide will walk through the value of a budget and explain how it relates to the actions outlined in your marketing plan. We’ll cover the following points:

These tips will guide you through budgeting basics, and recommend new ways to stay on top of your finances, like supplementing your marketing budget with the Google Ad Grant. Let’s get started by defining what a nonprofit budget is and why it’s important.

Get a consultation to learn how you can add free marketing dollars to your nonprofit budget.

What Is a Nonprofit Budget?

A nonprofit budget is a financial document used to plan how an organization will spend its money. It encompasses both your expenses and expected revenue for a set period of time.

A regularly updated and realistic budget helps you know exactly how much money is coming in and out of your organization, allowing you to manage your resources more effectively.

Why Is It Important to Create a Nonprofit Budget?

Your organization likely already has a sense of how much money it spends each year. However, rough estimates are unhelpful when it comes to balancing your finances, and documenting your nonprofit’s expenses concretely has numerous benefits.

A nonprofit budget allows you to:Check out how setting a nonprofit budget can help your organization.

  • Allocate resources effectively. When you have a better understanding of your revenue and expenses, you can allocate resources more effectively. For example, if you no longer qualify for a grant you’ve received in the past, you can take a look at your expenses to determine what to cut to make up for the funding.
  • Plan projects ahead of time. A budget enables you to plan ahead. With a clear picture of how much money is dedicated to each of your nonprofit’s program areas, you can plan specific initiatives for the year to come.
  • Set better goals. The best goals are SMART goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When you align your goals with your budget, you ensure they’re achievable based on your current resources.
  • Communicate more efficiently with stakeholders. Let’s say you want to introduce a new project to your board members. Showing your board that you have already budgeted for the costs of your new initiative increases the chance that they’ll support it.
  • Predict future expenses. Monitoring your revenue and expenses throughout the year helps you better predict your financial situation for future years.
  • Avoid mistakes. It’s difficult to make financial mistakes when you have a clear, regularly updated document with your organization’s revenue and expenses.

Creating and sticking to a nonprofit budget will put your organization in a healthier financial position. As a result, you can spend less time worrying about your nonprofit’s expenses and more time helping your beneficiaries.

What Makes a Good Nonprofit Budget?

Financial planning is vital to an organization’s success and sustainability. The Better Business Bureau recommends that nonprofits spend under 35% of their funding on fundraising efforts and spend at least 65% on programs.

To meet these guidelines, your team must devise a budget that outlines projected expenses and revenue. A budget for a nonprofit organization should be:

  • Accurate: Information should be based on logic and strategy. Have your accounting team double-check each line item to ensure your records are accurate and reliable.
  • Transparent: Nonprofits must disclose certain financial information to the public per request. Earn the trust of supporters and prospective donors by building a budget that communicates your financial history, goals, and programs.

Accuracy and transparency are crucial for your nonprofit’s image. After you calculate your financial statements, pull insights and share them with your staff, volunteers, and board. This will increase engagement within your organization and allow your team to better understand your nonprofit’s financial health.

What Should Be Included in a Nonprofit Budget?

From daily operational costs to monthly donations, there is a wide range of elements that should be included in your nonprofit’s budget. We’ll focus on the primary revenue and expense items.Include these items in your nonprofit budget planning.

Income Sources

Nonprofits rely on a combination of income sources from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Track your diverse revenue streams by accounting for the following types of income:

  • Grants: Nonprofits can apply for grants from corporations like Google, private foundations, and the government. Most grants are restricted funds and must be spent on specific projects outlined by the grantor. In your budget, specify which types of programming each grant will cover.
  • General Donations: Monetary donations from major donors and a wider donor base are the lifeblood of nonprofits. In your budget, look at past years to estimate how much you can expect to raise from general donations.
  • Monthly Giving: Recurring gifts are a reliable source of income. Account for monthly, bi-monthly, and yearly donations.
  • In-Kind Donations: These include non-monetary donations, such as volunteered services or supplies.
  • Corporate Giving:  Corporate gifts can take many forms, such as sponsorships, in-kind donations, and matching gifts. Consider working with a matching gift professional to further boost your donations.

Projected Expenses

Projections are the best way to assess how much you are likely to spend on each campaign or project. Include the following costs in your budget:

  • Administrative: This includes expenses for operations and management, including staff salaries, office space, utilities, insurance, and technology. 
  • Programming: These are the costs needed to carry out your mission-related activities. For example, if a nonprofit is dedicated to feeding the homeless, program expenses would include food and food preparation costs.
  • Fundraising: Activities related to soliciting financial support, which can include marketing activities like online ads, print ads, and event

Now that you have the basic line items for your nonprofit’s budget, let’s focus on budgeting for communications and marketing in particular.

How Much Do Nonprofits Spend on Marketing?

Budgeting for marketing costs is vital. Your marketing budget ensures you have the funds needed to reach your goals and determine whether your plans are realistic.

In the for-profit world, it’s fairly standard to determine a marketing budget by allocating 10-20% of projected gross revenue to marketing and communications. For organizations in the nonprofit sector, try to allocate between 5-15% of your budget to marketing.

Of course, exact totals will vary from organization to organization. According to the 2023 M+R Benchmarks Study, nonprofits spent an average of $0.11 on digital advertising for every dollar of online revenue in 2022. Nonprofit investment in digital advertising increased by 28%, with 56% devoted to digital fundraising, 26% to brand awareness, and 15% to lead generation.

What’s most important is that you establish a detailed marketing and communications budget prior to the start of each fiscal year. Track costs and revenue to analyze your return on investment (ROI) for each fundraiser and campaign. For your annual marketing and communications plan, allocate a specific dollar amount to each strategy (direct mail, email, paid advertising, media relations, etc.), each of which should be broken down further by additional costs that may apply, such as printing, postage, and consulting fees.

The following nonprofit marketing budget template can help your organization stay on track. Simply add each marketing activity, the associated strategy, and how much the activity will cost.

Use this nonprofit marketing plan template to design your budget.

5 Best Nonprofit Budget Tips

A strong nonprofit budget serves as a framework for making decisions and meeting your goals.

Take control of your nonprofit’s finances and start building your budgeting skills with these best practices.

Follow these five tips to create a successful nonprofit budget.

1. Determine a budgeting approach.

No one-size-fits-all budget exists. Adjust your budget approach to communicate financial information in a way that works for your organization. Consider the following strategies when building your nonprofit budget:

Consider the following strategies when building your nonprofit budget

  • Income-Based Approach: As the name suggests, an income-based approach prioritizes income. Determine how much income you can realistically count on and include only reliable revenue in your budget. Don’t include income projections to fill gaps. If your organization doesn’t meet these income targets, it will create a budget deficit.
  • Incremental Approach: The incremental approach builds upon your budget from the previous fiscal year. While this is a quick and easy method to prepare a budget, it’s more difficult to find funding for new campaigns or projects since unspent funds may have been reallocated to another campaign.
  • Zero-Based Approach: The current fiscal year’s budget is prepared from scratch without considering income or expenses from the previous year. Although this method is accurate and efficient, it’s time-consuming. Your organization will have to test several assumptions about where money will come from and how it will be spent.
  • Percentage Approach: Break down your marketing, communications, and fundraising expenses by percentages of the total budget. This approach is favored by those who believe that marketing and communications expenditures should directly reflect a nonprofit’s evolution and the size of its budget. If done correctly, communications spending  will grow as your organization does.
  • Flat Dollar Approach: Some experts in the field consider a flat dollar approach to be more relevant and safer than the percentage approach since your total budget has to cover costs like utilities, rent, taxes, and health insurance. Give special campaigns, marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts a set dollar amount based on past expenditures. This method simplifies projections and gives you a clear baseline budget.

Each approach has its own benefits and limitations. That’s why most nonprofits implement a combination of these strategies.

Now that you have solidified a budget approach, share it with your leadership and staff.

2. Develop a budget with your entire team.

Team-based financial planning is the most effective way to ensure your budget aligns with your organization’s goals. Involve staff and board members in the budgeting process to create a comprehensive strategy that relies on a variety of perspectives.

Consider these steps to running a budget meeting:

These steps will help you create a nonprofit budget with your team more effectively.

  1. Determine a timeline. From preliminary drafts to approvals, the entire budgeting process can take weeks to months. Set deadlines and milestones to track progress against measurable benchmarks.
  2. Agree on goals. Calculate how much revenue is needed to cover your campaign and marketing goals, and make a plan of attack with your team.
  3. Review past data. Examine financial statements from previous years to identify areas of growth and improvement. Then, problem solve! If you notice a slump in revenue, work with your team to revise past financial strategies.
  4. Draft the budget. Find a budget template that works for your team’s organizational skills. Then, build out anticipated costs and expenses according to your finances.
  5. Present findings to your board. Before the start of the fiscal year, hand your budget over to your board for review. They will assess the effectiveness of how resources are allocated, evaluate administrative systems, and measure progress toward goals.
  6. Debrief. Budget planning takes time and energy. After you complete your budget, meet with your team to discuss what went well and what needs to improve before the next fiscal year.

Once you develop your budget, you will have a clear plan for moving forward, shaped by concrete data and strategies.

3. Include non-monetary contributions.

In-kind donations are donated goods, services, and time. If your organization is fortunate enough to attract in-kind donations, record these contributions to abide by legal standards and create plans to thank specific donors.

Consider the following examples of in-kind donations you may record in your budget:

  • Tangible goods: Equipment, office furniture, clothing, food, supplies, etc.
  • Intangible goods: Advertisements, patents, copyrights, etc.
  • Services: Accounting, printing, catering, consulting, photography, security, etc.

In-kind donations should be recorded at fair market value. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) defines fair market value as “the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date.”

To determine the value of your in-kind donation:

  • Calculate what your organization would have paid for donated goods on the open market.
  • Track the hours of professional services donated to your organization.
  • Contact your donors and ask them to price their own in-kind services.

Volunteer hours do not need to be reported in a budget. However, your organization can still acknowledge the impact of volunteers in your audit or in a short narrative included in your budget.

4. Conduct regular checks of your budget.

Set regular team meetings to monitor your budget’s progress. Whether you hold these meetings monthly, quarterly, or annually, ensure that your entire team is involved. This will improve communications and management between departments.

Consider the following topics in your meeting:

  • Assess the “why” behind budgetary issues.
  • Determine which campaigns need more financial attention.
  • Review past finances to determine if your budget is on track.
  • Compare your budgeted revenue and expenses to actual amounts.
  • Inspect balance sheets for discrepancies.
  • Account for any unusual circumstances that may arise.

Monitoring your budget throughout the year is the key to financial success, along with setting aside enough funds for marketing.

5. Apply for a Google Ad Grant.

The average small business using Google Ads spends between $5,000 and $12,000 per month on Google paid search campaigns. That’s $60,000 to $150,000 of marketing expenses per year spent solely on ad clicks. Thankfully, Google created a grant to help nonprofits budget for marketing.

Google Ad Grants provide eligible nonprofits a $10,000 monthly stipend to spend on paid search ads, helping supplement their marketing budgets. While regular Google Ad accounts have to pay per ad click, Google Grant participants can display their advertisements for free. These ads enable your nonprofit to appear on Google when someone searches for topics related to your mission.

The ideal Google Ad Grant candidate has a website that effectively serves its audience and promotes its mission, helping drive more traffic to your website. With the Google Ad Grant program for nonprofits, organizations can:Check out the benefits of the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits.

  • Increase online conversions. Create ads that encourage people to click through to your website and take action.
  • Reach out to new donors. The Google Ad Grants program requires nonprofits to create ad campaigns based on their goals, such as acquiring new donors.
  • Recruit volunteers. Another common campaign goal is to recruit more volunteers. Create ads based on your programs that potential volunteers in your area may be interested in joining.
  • Market multiple ad campaigns. With the Google Ad Grant, you can create multiple ad campaigns that target different aspects of your marketing strategy.
  • Analyze and track performance. The Google Ad Grant integrates with Google Analytics, which lets you track your campaigns and goal progress. That way, you can adjust your campaigns as you go to make sure your ads are effectively increasing conversions.

We recommend setting a daily budget of $329 to run as many campaigns as possible and take full advantage of your grant.

As long as your organization complies with the eligibility requirements, the grant renews monthly. That means your nonprofit will be allocated funding for Google Ads indefinitely.

Our Final Tip: Work With a Team of Google Ad Grant Experts.

It’s no secret that budgeting guels your nonprofit’s ability to make an impact. When you work with a Google Ad Grant professional like Getting Attention to manage your Google Ad Grant, you’ll be able to develop a strong digital marketing strategy that works for your budget. Our team of experts offers free consultations and resources to help your organization create a successful marketing plan.

Our services include Google Grant application, Google Grant hygiene, Google Grant reactivation, keyword research, and Google Grant management. Maintaining your data and keeping it clean can be a pain point for many nonprofits. We’re here to champion your nonprofit digital campaigns.

To continue learning more about nonprofit budgets and how to optimize your strategy, check out these additional resources:

Get a consultation to learn more about how the Google Ad Grant can increase your nonprofit's revenue.

Learn more about how to market the silent auction your nonprofit is hosting.

Marketing Your Nonprofit’s Silent Auction: 5 Strategies

Silent auctions are one of the most popular nonprofit fundraising events, and for good reason. They can be held in person or virtually, appeal to a wide range of supporters, and make great annual fundraisers. Although silent auctions work well on their own, they can also be paired with other events like galas or golf tournaments to increase your organization’s fundraising revenue.

As with any fundraising event, your team will need to develop a marketing plan to spread the word about your silent auction. Effective event promotions will not only get supporters in the door, but also ensure they come excited to bid on your valuable auction items.

In this guide, we’ll walk through five strategies for marketing your silent auction, including how to:

  1. Understand Your Audience
  2. Leverage Multiple Communication Channels
  3. Track and Analyze Marketing Data
  4. Feature Your Auction Items in Your Marketing Materials
  5. Acknowledge Your Event Sponsors

As you implement these strategies, try to make event registration as easy as possible. Create a streamlined online sign-up form and include links to it in all of your communications so supporters can easily register no matter how they discover your auction. Let’s get started!

1. Understand Your Audience

Before marketing your silent auction, it’s useful to know who you’re trying to reach. Understanding your audience allows you to create more targeted messages and leverage the most effective communication channels for promoting your auction.

To drive supporter engagement, try segmenting your audience based on shared characteristics, which could include their:

  • Demographics, such as age, location, education, family status, and employment.
  • Giving history, including their average donation amount, frequency and recency of giving, and lifetime value to your organization.
  • Past engagement besides monetary contributions—consider previous event attendance, volunteer hours, in-kind donations, and communication preferences.

Once you’ve identified these shared characteristics among supporters, decide which segments you want to prioritize in your event marketing and tailor your messages to those segments. For example, if your silent auction is part of a gala, you may focus on major donors and invite each of them individually. However, if you’re trying to engage younger supporters through your auction, posting regular updates on your website and social media will likely be effective.

2. Leverage Multiple Communication Channels

Although segmenting your supporters will let you know which communication methods to prioritize, it’s always most effective to leverage several channels. During your event marketing campaign, promote your silent auction using the following methods:

  • Your nonprofit’s website. Create a calendar of upcoming events at your organization, along with dedicated pages where supporters can learn more about each one.
  • Email marketing. In addition to sending out email blasts dedicated to the auction, feature it in your nonprofit’s regular newsletter if you have one.
  • Social media. Tailor your social media posts to each platform your organization uses. For example, you might first design a graphic and write a brief caption about your event for Facebook, then adapt that information into a short video for TikTok and Instagram Reels.
  • Digital ads. Google has an ad grant program that allows eligible nonprofits to receive a monthly advertising stipend, which you can use to promote your auction in Google search results.
  • Direct mail. While many nonprofits focus on digital event marketing, direct mail can still be useful for reaching certain audiences and supplementing your online efforts.

Leveraging all of these marketing methods creates more opportunities for supporters to learn about and register for your auction, boosting attendance and fundraising revenue.

3. Track and Analyze Marketing Data

Your silent auction marketing efforts will be more effective across the board if they’re data-driven. NPOInfo’s guide to nonprofit data collection suggests leveraging several types of marketing data to improve your outreach, including:

  • Website traffic, particularly the number of people who visit your event information page.
  • Email open rates, which are often affected by timing, frequency, and subject lines.
  • Social media engagement on auction-related posts, including likes, comments, and shares.
  • Click-through rates to your event registration form across all of your digital marketing channels.

Tracking and analyzing this information will allow you to identify what areas of your event marketing campaign are going well and where you could improve by adjusting your strategy. Your data can not only boost your impact in promoting your upcoming silent auction, but also help you develop a more effective marketing plan for future events.

4. Feature Your Auction Items in Your Marketing Materials

According to the auction experts at Winspire, procuring auction items that are high-value, high-quality, and of interest to participants is critical to your event’s success. To get supporters excited to attend the auction and place bids, feature photos and short descriptions of your big-ticket items in your promotional materials, such as:

  • Exclusive tickets to concerts, Broadway shows, or athletic events
  • Popular technology like new smartphones, smart watches, and TVs
  • Vacation packages—travel-related items tend to be best-sellers at auction!

Because silent auctions usually feature a wide range of items, you don’t need to design a full auction catalog as you would for a live auction that includes fewer, higher-value goods. However, you can effectively highlight a few of your most valuable silent auction items by creating a shorter PDF booklet, which you can link to on your website and in marketing emails.

5. Acknowledge Your Event Sponsors

Partnering with for-profit businesses can help your nonprofit offset costs for many fundraising events. Auctions particularly benefit from corporate sponsorships because sponsors can provide items for free or at reduced costs in addition to financial support. Your corporate partners can also help spread the word about your auction through word of mouth, and their customers may be interested in attending.

For a sponsorship to succeed, it needs to be mutually beneficial. In exchange for a business’s support, your nonprofit can provide them with free advertising. Include your sponsors’ logos in your marketing materials, on the signs at your event venue, and on the bid sheet for each auction item they contributed. Doing so not only increases brand recognition for the business but also helps you recognize and thank sponsors for making your auction possible.

The key to fundraising event promotion is to spread the word early and often, and silent auctions are no exception. Segmenting your audience and developing a data-driven, multi-channel marketing campaign are general best practices in nonprofit event marketing. Promoting an auction effectively also requires that you pay special attention to the way you feature your auction items and recognize the sponsors who provide them.

Learn more about these direct mail fundraising trends to refresh your next campaign.

3 Impactful Direct Mail Fundraising Trends for Nonprofits

As a nonprofit professional, you know that there are always new nonprofit marketing trends emerging. As the world of technology, social media apps, and influencers continues to evolve, these trends can take flight faster than ever.

While it’s easy to name the three new marketing trends you noticed on TikTok or Instagram this week, trends in more traditional marketing channels might not be at the top of your mind. But, keeping up with new trends and fresh ideas is necessary for every communication channel. By changing up pieces of your direct mail fundraising strategy, you can reduce donor fatigue and burnout.

These trends can help your nonprofit engage its existing donors and boost retention by creating a highly personal touchpoint that reflects donors’ values and preferences—like a passion for sustainability, for example. In this guide, we’ll explore three strategies you can use to put a new spin on your existing direct mail program.

1. Personalization.

One of the hallmarks of direct mail fundraising is its personal nature. Donors tend to feel more connected to your nonprofit when they are greeted by name through a tangible message that arrives in their mailbox. While social media posts and email messages could get lost in the crowded digital shuffle, direct mail gives each recipient something to hang on their fridge as a reminder to donate, volunteer, or attend fundraising events.

As technology and data analytics evolve, more nonprofits can add personalized elements to their direct mail. Here are some simple ways to make your direct mail campaigns more personal:

  • Greet donors by name. Move away from generic greetings and use an individualized approach by using the donor’s name. Because this greeting is one of the first things donors will notice about your direct mail, it sets the tone for a more personal message.
  • Highlight the donor’s impact. Pursuant’s guide to direct mail fundraising highlights the opportunity to personalize your messages by incorporating stories about your nonprofit and its beneficiaries that align with the donor’s interests. Make sure to highlight the specific ways their past and future contributions impact your cause.
  • Consider donor levels. When you segment your donors by their giving level, you can create custom campaigns for each group. Your donors have varying giving capacities, and it’s important to ensure you’re asking for the proper amount from them. This can keep you from leaving funds on the table or requesting an amount that makes donors uncomfortable.

Since pieces of direct mail tend to be direct with minimal copy, your nonprofit can personalize them further by including QR codes for digital resources the donor would be interested in.

For example, you can segment new donors and send them direct mail with codes to an online welcome packet that gives them more information about your organization, programs, and cause. This is an effective way to integrate your direct mail and digital marketing strategies to increase touchpoints with donors.

2. Analyzing data.

With the rapid progress made in the world of tech and data, innovations like artificial intelligence are paving the way for new ways to market and fundraise. Data analytics tools are more commonplace and are widely accessible to nonprofits of all sizes. More and more organizations are able to leverage data analytics to get the most out of their marketing efforts, including their direct mail fundraising campaigns.

Because you need donor data to personalize communications, you might already be familiar with using data analytics to improve your marketing efforts. But, you can also use data to track and boost your direct mail fundraising progress.

Your organization can use data analytics to benefit your campaigns by:

  • Tracking response rates to understand how relevant and engaging your direct mail is to donors.
  • Determining the best times to send direct mail based on past campaign performance.
  • Performing A/B testing to understand which appeals, trends, and strategies generate the most donor engagement.
  • Referencing donors’ past involvement (like attending a volunteer event) and philanthropic interests in messages.
  • Tailoring solicitations to donors based on factors like discretionary income, giving affinity, capacity to give, and more.
  • Prioritizing fundraising and marketing efforts by measuring donors’ predicted lifetime value (their average annual donation total multiplied by the number of years they will contribute).

Leveraging this data can help your nonprofit measure its marketing ROI more accurately. With these concrete numbers, you can better define success, set realistic yet ambitious goals, and identify ways to maximize efficiency.

3. A focus on sustainability.

Across all industries, there has been a shift toward more sustainable practices. People are discussing the importance of sustainability more often, consumers and supporters are holding organizations and businesses accountable, and sustainable practices (like recycling and net-zero energy) are being normalized.

Your nonprofit can participate in this important change in many ways. For example, you might opt to use more sustainable fundraising ideas, like the shoe drive or tree planting day listed in Double the Donation’s list of fundraising ideas. On the other hand, you can also streamline your operations to limit waste, especially for things like print marketing which can contribute to paper waste.

Here are a few ways you can follow this trend toward sustainability:

  • Use recycled materials. Recycled paper is often cheaper than non-recycled, and most people can’t tell the difference. Plus, recycled paper can help limit deforestation and conserve important resources like water and fuel.
  • Reduce waste. With a focus on data, your nonprofit can better target donors who will engage with direct mail and respond by taking action. You can save time, resources, and money on printed goods by sending them out to donors who show interest in engaging with mail.
  • Supplement efforts with digital channels. Your nonprofit doesn’t need to replace its direct mail fundraising efforts with a digital approach, but you can offer digital alternatives to supplement the strategy. Invite donors to subscribe to your digital newsletter, donate online, and view long-form content (like annual reports) on your website rather than via direct mail.

Many organizations switched to using postcard mailers. Postcards are very small and don’t require an envelope, reducing waste while saving your organization money. Making small adjustments like this, along with creative collaboration between your marketing and fundraising teams, can lead to more sustainable practices and extra wiggle room in your budget.

While direct mail fundraising has been around for decades, it’s important to remain up-to-date on trends and maintain a fresh, modern approach. By keeping up with new nonprofit marketing and advertising trends, your organization is more likely to meet donors’ needs and preferences, compete with what’s in their mailbox, and motivate them to take action in support of your cause.

In this post, we’ll cover some do’s and don’ts of planning legendary charity events.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Planning a Legendary Charity Event

Whether your nonprofit is preparing to host its annual gala or a one-off virtual game night, you likely have specific goals you want to reach, such as raising a certain amount of money, securing a particular number of new sponsors, or increasing your average attendance rate.

These goals are important, especially when you consider the investment of time, energy, and money that your nonprofit has to make for big events to happen. But what about leaving a lasting impression on your attendees, and providing them with a memorable experience that they’ll be talking about for years to come? In other words, how can you take your charity events to the next level, and make them legendary?

The answer lies in careful event planning. With the right approach to planning your nonprofit’s next event, you can ensure that you’ll meet all of your goals, and put together an occasion that your supporters won’t soon forget. To fine-tune your event planning strategy to this end, follow these do’s and don’ts:

As you review these do’s and don’ts and consider how you can take your events to new heights, remember that you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. An experienced charity event planning and production company can help you manage the many moving parts of your event, and give you the time and headspace needed to focus on making your attendee experience a legendary one.

Do pick an event idea that will wow your audience.

One great way to freshen up your event planning strategy is to pick a unique event idea you’ve never done before. As you consider the many different types of events there are to choose from, consider what you know about your nonprofit’s audience and select an idea that will resonate with them.

Here are some of the top fundraising ideas from Best Fundraising Ideas for you to consider:

  • Paint and Sip: This is a relaxing fundraiser that involves getting your supporters together to enjoy drinks and an evening of painting. Consider asking a local artist or art teacher to lead a painting class, and to offer tips and techniques to participants.
  • Car Show: Invite classic car owners to assemble for a car show. Your supporters can browse the collection of cars, enter giveaways, and purchase food from food trucks. For certain demographics, this idea can prove to be incredibly successful.
  • Talent Show: Tap into your community’s talents by hosting a talent show. Set up your show in an interesting venue, and recruit some of your board members or notable community members to act as judges. Make sure to offer an exciting prize for the winning act, like a trophy or gift basket.
  • Night at the Museum: If your organization runs a museum or can partner with one, try hosting an all-night event where attendees can explore the museum exhibits after hours. Allow attendees to hear from museum experts, admire the works around them,  and enjoy good food with great company.

Of course, sometimes you’ll need to stick with event ideas you’ve been using for years. For example, you may have an annual winter ball or gala that is an established tradition in your community. To generate more interest, and to ensure your team is approaching the planning stage in a different way, you can always put a fresh twist on an already-established event.

For example, don’t overlook opportunities to transform your event into a virtual occasion. According to CharityBids’ guide to virtual charity events, these events allow for a flexible experience, help your organization save money, empower you to try new methods of raising money, and can even give you the chance to tap into exclusive experiences like celebrity appearances.

Don’t put off assembling an event planning committee.

To effectively plan and execute your event, you’ll need to create a planning committee made up of individuals who are committed to their responsibilities and to making your event the best it can be.

Here are the roles you’ll need to fill, along with their responsibilities:

  • Committee Chair: The chair will be in charge of communicating with your nonprofit’s leadership about the event, and ensuring the team is adhering to the budget. They’ll also ensure that all other individuals on the committee feel supported in completing their duties ahead of the event.
  • Event Designer: The event designer or planner, will handle all of the event details, including the venue, catering, decor, and entertainment. They’ll also be responsible for securing any necessary liquor or games of chance licenses for the big day.
  • Sponsorships Coordinator: A sponsorships coordinator is tasked with creating and maintaining relationships with event sponsors like local businesses or restaurants. One of the most important things they’ll do is ensure that your sponsors receive the benefits your organization promises them in return for sponsoring your event.
  • Communications Manager: This individual will lead the charge of marketing your event. They’ll guide the rest of your team in how to get the word out to the public and will inform the media about it if necessary.
  • Volunteer Coordinator: The volunteer coordinator will be responsible for recruiting volunteers for the event, training them in their roles, and managing the volunteer team  during the event.

If your event will involve an auction, you may also need to recruit an auction item procurement specialist. They’ll be responsible for identifying auction items, managing relationships with the donors of the items, and gathering the items ahead of the big event. This is a big job, so in some instances, you may need a whole team of procurement specialists.

Do recruit volunteers.

Most often, nonprofits are most concerned about engaging donors during their events, but volunteers are a critical part of the event equation, too. Not only can your event run more smoothly with more hands to help, but your organization can also strengthen relationships with its volunteers by offering them fulfilling opportunities to get involved with the event.

As you recruit volunteers for your event, take what you know about your existing volunteers into consideration, and try to match them with roles that will resonate with their interests and skill sets. For example, if you know one volunteer has great graphic design skills, you might ask them to help you create virtual event invitations.

For volunteers who are signing up to work for your organization for the first time, take the time before and during the event to get to know them, chat about your mission, and ensure they’re comfortable performing their duties. Their experience volunteering during the event will play a big role in whether they return for another volunteer opportunity in the future!

Don’t neglect your follow-up activities.

Once your event is over, it can be tempting to move on to planning your next campaign or project. But if you really want to make a great impression on your event attendees, you’ll ensure that you perform follow-up tasks before you do.

As you plan your event, consider how you’ll reach out to your event attendees, volunteers, and sponsors to thank them for their time and contributions after the event is over. Doing so will help you have a plan in place to get started right after your event ends! Here are some popular options:

  • Traditional thank-you letters
  • Social media shout-outs and/or messages
  • Thank-you videos
  • Small gifts (like your nonprofit’s branded merchandise)

You should also let the larger community know how your event went. For example, you might post about your event on your blog, share pictures from the event on social media, or give an event recap in the next edition of your newsletter. This will show your community how your events are tied to your larger cause, and can encourage more people to attend your next event!

When it comes to nonprofit events, there’s no need to settle for good or great. You can make your next event legendary by approaching the planning process with care. Use these do’s and don’ts to make sure your next event will be one for the books!

This article is a step-by-step guide to understanding marketing grants for nonprofits.

Marketing Grants for Nonprofits [A 2023 Step-by-Step Guide]

Click here to get started with Google’s marketing grant for nonprofits.

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

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

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

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

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

What are marketing grants for nonprofits?

A nonprofit grant is a fund awarded to an eligible organization that does not need to be repaid. Marketing grants are often rewarded based on nonprofit values or industry criteria. These grants come from various sources:

This image explains the different types of marketing grants for nonprofits.


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

Nonprofit grants can be further divided by their funding project, such as:

  • Unrestricted funds — Cover day-to-day operating costs and support the general work of an organization.
  • Capital support — Supports specific capital campaigns like construction or renovation projects.
  • Restricted funds — Support a particular purpose, project, or program. This is the most common type of grant funding.

Marketing grants can elevate your nonprofit’s efforts significantly. They can assist with carrying out charitable initiatives, support donor outreach, and spread awareness. 

Any marketing or promotion you do for your online giving page, exciting fundraising events, and other initiatives can be taken to the next level with the right marketing grant. Plus, all donor communication and retention efforts can be elevated with enhanced marketing communications. For example, you can use a grant to send out targeted email newsletters to new members.

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

Where to find marketing grants for nonprofits?

It’s important to remember that the process for finding and applying for marketing grants will differ depending on your mission, your funding project, and the grant you choose. That’s why before you start your search for the best marketing grant for your nonprofit, make sure you define your mission and conduct the necessary research.

You already know what your mission is, but it’s important that you’re able to effectively communicate it to anyone, especially if you’re trying to get a grant from them. They need to resonate with your mission as much as you do, as well as entirely understand what your goals are and how a grant will help you reach them.

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

  • — A database to search, review, and apply for nonprofit grants.
  • — Another database to find and apply for nonprofit grants.
  • — A website under the Office of Management and Budget to help nonprofits find federal grant-making agencies.
  • Guidestar — An online database that connects nonprofits with grant opportunities (and vice versa). Create a profile for your nonprofit to start applying for grants, while also helping grant-makers discover your cause.
  • — A website that advertises upcoming grant opportunities per U.S. state.
  • — A website that makes the machine-readable IRS 990 dataset available for nonprofit professionals.

Along with dedicated grant databases, you can also do a simple online search. To narrow down results, research popular keywords related to your mission to find a relevant grant.

For example, let’s say you run a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing clean water. If you search keywords like “sustainability” or “environment,” you might find grants like the Georgia Power Waters for Georgia Grant that align with your eligibility.

How to apply for nonprofit marketing grants?

As previously mentioned, each grant application process will differ according to the grant. To give you a general overview of the application process, most grants require you to perform these steps:

 This image defines the steps needed to apply for marketing grants for nonprofits.

  1. Review grant guidelines  Pay special attention to due dates, eligibility requirements, and proposal instructions. Ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria.
  2. Gather necessary documentation — Have all necessary documents including your tax-exempt status, financial statements, 501(c)(3) determination letter, and all other supporting materials on hand.
  3. Write a project proposal — Communicate your cause and why it’s worth funding through a formal request to a funder. Be specific and refer to data to persuade funders of your ability to amplify your impact. Consider including recent projects that speak to your organization’s efficiency and credibility.
  4. Review and submit the application — Once you have filled out all necessary fields, review your application to ensure that it’s accurate and compelling. If you’re applying to more than one grant at a time, make sure that you keep track of all your applications and follow up if necessary.

By being prepared for these above steps, your nonprofit will be able to effectively apply for grants. Keep in mind that some grants, including the Google Ad Grant, require you to optimize your existing website for the best marketing results. That might mean you need to scope additional time to audit your materials and make improvements based on grant requirements.

What are the top marketing grants?

There are tons of grants that you can explore, so bunkering down to sift through databases might seem a little daunting. Refer to this list of nonprofit marketing grants to get your search started.

Google Ad Grants

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

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

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

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

The Google Grant isn’t your traditional grant where the funding organization has only a limited amount of money to allocate. In fact, any nonprofit that meets Google’s eligibility requirements and complies with the ongoing guidelines can apply for this grant! Check out this video for eligibility tips:

Because Google offers such a large sum to nonprofits, the program has stiff application and eligibility requirements. These include keeping your website up-to-date, maintaining account hygiene, and optimizing your campaign pages.
These activities all fall under the umbrella of Google Ad Grant management. Many nonprofits outsource their grant management to a dedicated Google Ad Grant agency. Depending on your budget and goals, your organization can choose to tackle grant management in-house or join forces with an expert partner.

Click here for expert help setting up your Google Ad marketing grant.

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

The Carnegie Corporation is a grant-awarding institution that aims to invest in nonprofits that want to make a meaningful change in the world. The majority of the organizations that grants are given to are usually contacted by the Carnegie Corporation themselves. Available grants span from education grants to peacebuilding grants to equality grants.

The Coca-Cola Foundation 

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

The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants since 1984 to support community initiatives around the world.​ In fact, Coca-Cola is committed to giving back 1% of its prior year’s operating income annually. The company supports over 350 separate programs and projects related to climate, safe water access, economic empowerment, and more.

Walmart Foundation

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

Ford Foundation 

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

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

Amazon Web Services 

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

Amazon Web Services’ IMAGINE Grant is dedicated to empowering nonprofit organizations to leverage technology to advance their goals. AWS has two grant programs that nonprofits can apply to, both aiming to help fundraisers move their research and marketing to the cloud so that they can innovate quickly and at a lower cost. Award packages can range from $30,000 to $150,000 in unrestricted financial support.

Bank of America

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

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

Additional Resources

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

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


Click here to start your nonprofit marketing grant journey with Getting Attention.

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

How to Grow Your Nonprofit’s Credibility Through Compliance

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

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

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

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

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

1. Securing tax-exempt status

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

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

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

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

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

2. Defining bylaws

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Registering for charitable solicitations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Greg McRay

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

Check out these 13 matching gift operational stats from Top Nonprofits.

13 Matching Gift Operational Stats: Top Nonprofits’ Insights

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

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

Let’s dive in!

Request a demo of 360MatchPro to start earning more matching gift revenue.

General Matching Gift Stats

Before we get started with the Top Nonprofits report, let’s review some general matching gift stats:Check out these statistics that illustrate the impact of matching gifts.

  • It’s estimated that $4-$7 billion in matching gift funds goes unclaimed per year. This alarming number is likely due to the fact that many donors and organizations alike don’t know enough about matching gifts and how to determine matching gift eligibility. Therefore, nonprofits miss out on tons of potential funding.
  • 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs. More and more employers are starting to realize the extensive benefits that matching gifts provide for all parties involved. Companies and donors get to feel good about the impact they’re making. Meanwhile, nonprofits get more donation revenue that they can put toward serving their mission.
  • Over 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs. So many current and potential donors are eligible to have their donations matched. However, matching gift opportunities are not always advertised to donors, leaving nonprofits with a fraction of the donations they could raise.
  • An estimated $2-$3 billion is donated through matching gift programs annually. This money can be a game-changer for nonprofits who are strapped for cash or are looking to expand their services. More donation revenue means nonprofits can help more beneficiaries.
  • 84% of donors say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered. Not only are matching gifts a way to increase donation revenue, but they are also effective at getting people to donate in the first place.
  • 1 in 3 donors indicate they’d give a larger gift if matching is applied to their donation. Think about the exponential potential for giving that this stat points to. If matching gift-eligible donors contribute more to your organization, then so do their employers. That’s why promoting matching gift opportunities is crucial to increasing donation revenue.

These statistics illustrate how underutilized matching gifts are but also just how vital they can be to nonprofits’ success. Promoting matching gifts to your supporters can help double or even triple the donation revenue your cause receives.


Matching Gift Operational Stats from Top Nonprofits

Now that you understand some of the basic statistics regarding matching gifts, let’s dive into the matching gift operational stats compiled by Top Nonprofits.

1. 100% of the P2P Top 30 organizations employ some sort of matching gift promotion.

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

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

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

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

Check out the positive correlation between matching gift strategies and overall revenue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. 93.3% of top nonprofits have a matching gift page on their website.

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

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

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

7. 53.3% mention matching gifts within their donation forms.

Mentioning matching gifts within an organization’s donation forms is an excellent opportunity to collect donor employment data. When the form provides context into the why behind employment data inquiries (i.e., to uncover matching gift opportunities), donors are typically happy to oblige.

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

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

8. 83.3% highlight matching gifts on their confirmation screens.

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

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

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

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

9. 16.7% do not include matching gifts on their donation forms or their confirmation screens.

Not including this information ultimately means that the fundraisers do not have an easy way to collect employment information during the giving process, nor do they offer instant next steps after an individual submits their gift.

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

This graph illustrates an opportunity for nonprofits to further promote matching gifts during the donation process.

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

10. 86.6% enlist follow-up emails to remind donors about matching gift opportunities.

Once the donation process itself is complete, most organizations took the time (or, more likely, triggered automation) to follow up with donors regarding matching gifts. These typically fell into one of two categories:

  • Mentions of matching gifts within a more general confirmation or acknowledgment email
  • Dedicated, separate email focused on matching gift opportunities and how to get involved.

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

11. 10% highlight matching gifts in confirmation emails and separate follow-up messages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. 73.3% of the Top 30 organizations use Double the Donation’s tools.

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

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

The following chart from the report helps visualize the findings:

This graph shows matching gift software usage by vendor.

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

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

Check out the full matching gift research report.

Wrapping Up

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

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

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

 Get a demo of 360MatchPro to make the matching gift process easier for donors.