Top 5 Marketing Channels to Promote Your Virtual Fundraising Event

by Cameron Ripley  |   |  Strategy Fundraising  |  0 comments

3 min to read ✭ In this post, you’ll learn the top five marketing channels you can use to promote your virtual fundraiser. 

So you’re using this time to explore virtual fundraising or to take a live event into a virtual one. Here are some tips. Most virtual fundraising campaigns don’t fail because of the creative. They fail because they don’t get enough traction. They fail because they didn’t drive enough donors. So let’s break down the top five marketing channels you can use for virtual fundraising and to promote your event online.


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1. Email Marketing


Email marketing is still the most cost-effective channel as a nonprofit marketer. It’s Old Faithful. When it comes to getting results, subject lines still rule for open rates, and a clear call to action is what drives the click-through rate. You need to test text-only emails. So what do we mean by that? An email that’s text only, coming from your executive director, inviting someone to an event can work; as opposed to a design template with no personalization. Try new things in email. A/B test your sends. Segmentation is critical, especially during times like this. And again, most organizations are just not sending enough. Send more emails.

2. Social Media Marketing


This is a great organic traffic channel that really just takes time to do it well. Volume over perfection. Most nonprofits are not posting enough on social. No one really remembers what anyone posted yesterday, so just keep posting. Be creative and document the journey. Definitely go live. That can work really well. Just get content out before, during, and after to let everyone know about it. Social media is a great way to celebrate the wins of the campaign along the way. The goal is to have users tag you and reshare your content, and that happens when you build community and you build a brand on social. 


3. Facebook and Instagram Ads


Arguably the most scalable channel that can really drive new donor acquisition and also really push event registrations. We’re often seeing anywhere from 3-10x for our return on ad spend. Never before have we had a channel that allows such hyper-targeting with compelling creative as nonprofit marketers. When you’re pushing a virtual event we really recommend breaking down the budget to have 50% go into your own audience. They’re not your donors, you don’t own them. They need to know about your event. It’s incredibly effective. The next part of your budget, tier two is 25% and goes into remarketing or friends of followers—people hitting your event page, but that haven’t converted yet. Stay top of mind for them. Then for tier three, that additional 25%, use it for expansion. Target lookalike audiences, go after new interest audiences, and continue to push the needle with Facebook and Instagram ads.


4. Google Ad Grants


The Ad Grant is a tremendous opportunity to utilize $10,000 per month in free Google search ads. So many web sessions start with Google search, it’s a critical touchpoint with over 5.6 billion searches every day. So reverse engineer how your audience is searching in Google that might be relevant to your event or your campaign and use the Ad Grant to be on the first page of Google when it matters most. This can send hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors to your site every single month.


5. Peer-to-Peer Empowerment


Identify and mobilize your core supporters. Send them a text, send them an email, or give them a call. Encourage them to share on social and to really promote the campaign to their own audience. You can empower them with templates to make their life easier, and consider building a core supporter Facebook group. You have to pre-wire key donors. When it comes to fundraising, especially virtually, you need to try and drive upwards of 30% of your goal in the first 48 hours, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your network.  

Cameron Ripley

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