I have been very lucky to be part of this incredible process of nonprofit outreach. Working at Squeedeal has exposed me to many different organizations that are dealing with changing people’s lives and supporting them on a regular basis.
While those that are more established have staff that can mange different organs of this body, most of the organizations that I meet are run by single person or a small team of a few individuals.
It means that you have to take care of everything- from establishing the organization, create a website, marketing strategy, raising money, make sure that your impact is fulfilling the vision, being an accountant, a lawyer, running events, and that’s just the start.
One thing that can always take the organization to the next step is the marketing side of things. Many of the leaders of these organizations come from the field of social service, government or even from the technology side, but there are not a lot of marketers out there that started a nonprofit.
Also, marketing can be very-very expensive! So I decided to create a blog series of tips that hopefully will not just help but inspire you to explore new horizons to what you can do and achieve for your organization
Brand Awareness Vs. Lead Generation
For our first blog, we will start by dividing marketing into two segments or strategic type of thinking (or goals): Brand Awareness and Lead Generation.
We will focus now on the first one, which is basically how to get your name and vision out there. To let people know about the problem(s) you are trying to solve and your existence. Whether if it’s online or in the ‘field’, this should always be combined with how to find your organization or contact you. If you got their attention for a few seconds (or more), you don’t want them to move away to something else because they don’t know how to connect with you.
Brand Awareness Ideas
Brand Awareness can be achieved in many different ways. I have put together a list of some basic ideas. You can implement them into your marketing strategy or use them as a foundation for other types of campaigns, or even combined a couple into one campaign. The skies are the limit!
-Sponsor a local meetup and ask to have a short speaking spot at the beginning.
You can use the Meetup app or just do it for free on EventBright/Facebook. You can start with just a support group, bring outside lectures or create a volunteer meetup. The most important thing is be consistent with it. Because the second you stop doing it, people will not come back again. They just tend to forget about it.
-You can print stickers or other promotional material and give them away to any person you meet (but make sure that the person you give it to will help with spreading the word about you- both the product/service you pride, as well as who you are). Also, T-shirts and even your business cards can help with promoting your brand. Try to make them stand out by being more appealing (cool t-shirts that people would like to wear on a daily basis) and sophisticated (business cards that will make a person remember you).
-You can connect with a known brand (like a consumers goods company) and see if they could create a donation program for you, or if you can sell their merchandise as a special branded line that will have your logo on it. At Ross Dress for Less for example, the cashier will ask if you want to donate to a specific charity. This is both brand awareness and also donation generation. There is a good chance that it’s not costing that nonprofit too much or even nothing.
-You can connect to organizations like Activate Good that helps with finding volunteers for your cause.
-You can check with your local officials if there are any places in your area that they are looking to renovate. You could bring a young artists that will create a painting on a wall and will add your logo into it.
-Reach out to as many media outlets as you can – from local news channels, national channels, newspapers, blogs, podcasts, radio and other websites and see if you can tell your story and mission to a broad range of audience.
-Start participating in relevant groups on facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. If you support breast cancer, join these groups and connect with other participants. Post on a regular basis, answer questions and support others. If you run an organization that supports them, they will also see you as an expert and when they will start to reach out and ask for your opinion/consultation, it means that you have a made big impact on that participant in that group.
-Social media contest like upload a photo of your dog for a dog rescue/shelter house nonprofit- a great way to promote your brand by having something that is fun. Can always be combined with donation generation.
These are all some basic ideas for brand awareness. There are so many other ways you can reach out to more people. Search online groups and pages for more ideas, they keep coming up with new ones. The important part is to keep working on it. Eventually that will lead into donation generation. It might be quick, but could also take time, so never stop doing it!
If you have more ideas, or campaigns that you have successfully executed in the past, please share in the comments. Thanks!