Friday Five 001: Your Biggest Nonprofit Marketing Challenges SOLVED

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Strategy  |  2 comments

3 min to read ✭ Join us as we tackle some of your biggest nonprofit marketing challenges! In Episode 001, we cover nonprofit storytelling, analytics, and ad budget management.

Each Friday, we will be answering your most pressing questions from our Digital Marketing for Nonprofits Facebook group. If we don’t cover a challenge that you or your nonprofit colleagues are facing, drop us a comment below or tweet us @CommunityBoost and we’ll add it to the queue. 

Let’s dive in! 


Nonprofit Marketing Challenges

Your biggest Marketing Challenge: “Reaching out to possible funders, without overwhelming our audiences and social media. Having the board pressing for more posts requesting for donations.” – Girls in STEM., Denver Chapter

Our Solution: Social media is all about brand. Social platforms favor pulling on heartstrings and sharing your organization’s journey over constantly making a donation ask – you have to earn the right to make a donation ask. At times, this may be hard for board members to clearly see and we understand how that can be frustrating or even worrisome.

One thing that you should do is audit the ratio of non-ask social media posts vs. donation ask social media posts. If that ratio is over 5-10% in favor of donation asks, then it might be time to reevaluate your strategy a bit. Make sure your organization is not approaching social media from strictly a platform to raise donations, but instead, look at it as a way to document your donor journey and give your supporters a look at exactly what the money they donate or could be donating does for your organization and how it impacts communities directly. Understanding how to represent your organization’s journey is one of the most, if not the most, important thing about the way social media is consumed by people.


Your biggest Marketing Challenge: “How to measure the success of digital campaigns and use analytics to productively develop future campaigns.” – Wilson, Church Army

Our Solution: Two words: Google Analytics. Utilizing Google Analytics is something that will without a doubt help you in your understanding of how people are interacting with not only your digital campaigns, but your organization as a whole. It’s a free tool to use, as well as there are free e-courses and certifications to look into through the Google platform itself. Knowing how to use analytics productively has its roots in understanding the platform fully. Become a true practitioner and take the time to learn the ins and outs of Google Analytics.

In terms of measuring the success of your digital campaigns, it’s often in perspective where many people miss the mark. Flipping your perspective can help you tackle this challenge through a lens more geared towards actionable steps. We recommend reverse engineering and working backwards from your overall conversion goals. Really hone in on asking yourself: what action caused my overall goal? instead of focusing on: what possible results will an action yield?

Why are you running this campaign? What is your ultimate campaign goal? And what KPIs (key performance indicators) will have led to that goal? Whatever it takes to achieve this goal is what you should use to measure the success of your campaigns.


Your biggest Marketing Challenge: “Finding the time to create and post.” – E3 Africa

Our Solution: Often, the challenge of “finding the time” to post stems from overthinking. Change your mindset from having to make time to post and instead approach your social media efforts from a place of imperfection. You don’t have to craft the perfect post each time you want to stay active. Document your organization’s day-to-day and show your supporters and followers a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. Utilizing features like Instagram Stories, IGTV, Facebook Live, Facebook Stories, and other quick and timely features gives leeway to not having a perfectly crafted post.

And when a more creative post is required, utilize social media planners like Hootsuite or IconaSquare to schedule ahead of time those posts you do want to be a little more thought out. By all means be intentional with each thing you post on social media, but don’t let the fear of being perfect keep you back from posting at all.


Your biggest Marketing Challenge: “It seems like there’s so many great causes out there, and people don’t like being reminded that child abuse and neglect happens. They’d rather focus on issues that they can claim ownership of, like being a cancer survivor, etc.” – Ally, Children’s Hope Residential Services

Our Solution: More often than not, the challenge of standing out amongst other causes is a storytelling issue. Make sure your nonprofit is properly telling the story of the children you are actively helping and pull on heartstrings. Make sure not to stop reminding people that child abuse and neglect happens, because the more of the story they see, the more emotionally invested they will feel.

One tactic you can do is find the hero story within your organization. Whether it is a child’s success story or the donor who plays an active role in changing lives, find the hero in your nonprofit’s journey. Some stories and experiences are understandably sensitive and often confidential, so take an angle of highlighting the donor experience. Your supporters are heroes, so document their journey. How exactly does each dollar given to your organization help a child? What role do your donors play in your nonprofit’s ultimate mission? What even inspires your key supporters to give? Focus on that.


Your biggest Marketing Challenge: “Knowing how much of our limited ad budget to use on Facebook and Instagram vs. placement in magazines, newspapers, news sites, etc.” – Meredith, Alzheimer’s Association

Our Solution: Take an analytical approach to understanding your donors. Work backwards to see where their attention is at in order to better understand how to allocate your marketing budget accordingly.

Tip: it’s much easier to hyper-target an audience through channels like Facebook and Instagram, where you can actually choose what type of people see your organization’s ads. Create lookalikes based off the audience that currently supports your nonprofit, which will target running ads to people who are similar to your supporters (in terms of demographics, interests, vocations, etc.) but who are not currently supporters. It’s an amazing way to channel more traffic and ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck. 

Cameron Ripley


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