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Marketing Tips for the NonProfit: Your Website

Have you heard the expression, “Build it and they will come.”? A great line in a movie but not so much for a nonprofit.

As a nonprofit, part of the fundraising formula, volunteer recruitment strategy, and engaging program participants is to create messaging to explain the ‘why’ of your work and motivate the community to learn more about that work.

When someone comes across your website – your digital front door – there should be the following things:

  • Call to action – is it abundantly clear what you would like the visitor to do? Do you want them to donate? Purchase tickets for your annual event? Sign up for your e-newsletter?  Pick one and rotate out your CTAs on a quarterly basis.  For example, for the fourth quarter, focus on a ‘donate now’ call to action.
  • Who are you – you have about 15 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention.  What your nonprofit does in the community must be very clear.  Be sure to put your tagline or power words at the top of the screen. Your goal is to have a very low bounce rate, which is the rate people are leaving your website quickly.
  • The why – another thing that must stand out on your website is why your work is important. Be sure to create a message that emphasizes a sense of urgency to do the call to action you are using on the site.

When it comes to the tone of your messaging, you can use one of two approaches: fear-based or positive encouragement.  Determine who your audience is to figure out which tone will work best for them. The goal in this marketing is to build curiosity to learn more and get involved.

It all begins with a plan. 

As with successful effort, planning is key. This also applies to your marketing efforts.  There are several parts to the process:

  • What are your goals?
  • Who are you trying to connect with?
  • What are your main messages?
  • Which approaches will you use?
  • How effective was it?

Goals can range from what kind of content you want to publish to how frequently you want to send out a communication. Knowing your audience is very important.  As a nonprofit, you will have several and your e-newsletter should be segmented based on each type:

  • Program participants
  • Volunteers
  • Donors

By crafting messaging that is aligned with your mission but also the audience you are speaking to, keeps everything clear and organized. 

Keep in mind that you do not need to pursue all of the marketing opportunities that are available but instead, be strategic in your selection and consider where your audience most likely spends time when it comes to social media.

In closing, as important as all of these steps are, if you do not evaluate the impact of the effort, you will not know if it was time well spent and worthy of repeat activity.  Assess if your goals have been accomplished and celebrate a job well done!


Posted in Marketiing.