Marketing + Web

Nonprofit Marketing 101: Four Free and Easy Ways to Market on a Budget

March 19, 2019

Nonprofits are born out of passion and vision. But the passion and vision that drive you to serve can become clouded by a daily grind of operational details. When you have a lot on your plate, you need work tasks to be efficient and easy to implement. So in the spirit of “easy” – we created a marketing “easy button” that will deliver a quick wins and the satisfaction that comes with implementing something new that has a high confidence of working.

No one tip will become an all-encompassing solution for your marketing needs. But if you are short on money and time and need to start doing something fast–here are four ways to boost your marketing on a budget.

1. Tell A Compelling Story

A compelling story has a powerful effect on our brains. In fact, our brains are hardwired for a mirroring response to an emotional stimulus. Our brains make connections that retain information better when the info comes in the form of a story rather than standalone facts. Stories are branded into our brains when more neurons are engaged and we remember stories much better than we remember stats and facts.

You’re not trying to recreate Moby Dick here, but you do want to have a simple and clear story about your nonprofit ready to share and easy to repeat across multiple platforms. The internet is full of ideas on how to do this, Donald Miller is a pro and a great place to begin learning how to do this well.

2. Start a Blog

Now that you have your compelling brand story written and ready to deliver, you need a centralized place for your stories to live. Ideally you already have a strong website (if not, we can help you with that!) but not all websites are running a blog. With content marketing on the rise, and keyword rich content dominating search results, blogs can provide endless opportunities for onramps to your website.

If you have blogging technology but aren’t using it, make this the thing you do today: turn it on and learn how to use it. If your website runs on WordPress, and you’re not already blogging, adding a blog is very easy to do. But before you start posting, do go at it all willy-nilly. Have a content strategy and write at least a month’s worth of posts before you post anything. It’s better to get a head-start on content than dig out of a hole. 

3. Engage Social Media

This may be the most important point on the list. In the off-chance you’re still not convinced, not only is social media here to stay, social media is totally revolutionizing the way brand do business. As a society, we have put cameras with internet access into the hands of even the youngest consumers and now they are telling the stories for us. Social media users are consumers who are telling stories and making themselves the stars.

Whether you’re running a nonprofit or a business, you must have a consistent, targeted strategy for engaging your audience where they’re spending the majority of their time: online. The big social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram even have built in storytelling technology that makes it easier than ever to leverage their platform and start a movement.

And don’t forget, social media engagement can make a significant impact on your fundraising efforts.

4. Use Google Ad Grants

While very important to any marketing strategy, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is not something you would expect to find in an article about free and easy marketing—unless you’re a nonprofit. Google has a program for 501(c)3 organizations that allows them to apply for up to $10,000 in advertising dollars. There are requirements to be met (and kept) and you do need to apply and be approved before Google shows you the money. But depending on the mission and goals of your nonprofit, Google Ad Grants may be just what you need to get over a slump.

You can quickly check on your eligibility but know that Google is going to want to see a strong website with substantial content if they are going to give you free advertising. This is why we listed this tip last on the list. If you have built a strong base of quality content and social engagement, it may earn you thousands in free advertising.

Of all of these tips, there is one that is free and easy and you can do right away with little effort: schedule a call with us. Give us thirty minutes and we can assess your needs and suggest priorities that will strengthen your marketing and amplify your message. We love helping passionate people make a difference in our world. It would be an honor to work with your organization. Give us a call and let’s see how we can help you accomplish your goals.

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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