How Nonprofits Can Advertise A Fundraising Campaign: Tips For Success

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How Nonprofits Can Advertise A Fundraising Campaign: Tips For Success

For a long time, carrying out an advertising campaign broadly meant paying for flyers, posters, etc., or for space on television, newspaper or on the radio. But now, new web tools make it possible to rethink in depth the ways of communicating with a desired audience and thus to put your organization or cause forward.

In this guide, discover everything you need to know to plan your communication 3.0 campaign.  

An advertising campaign, what is it?

An advertising campaign is the sum of the actions carried out by an organization to achieve a commercial objective – such as the promotion of a fundraising campaign or spread awareness or to enhance its brand image.

In general, an advertising campaign will have a single objective and will be consistent in terms of message and visuals. In the age of the web, an advertising campaign can use many communication channels: from social networks to emailing via Google ads. 

How to plan your advertising campaign 

Let’s now see the different steps that will allow you to set up an effective advertising campaign. 

1 – Define your goals

To start, ask yourself what goals you want to achieve. 

An advertising campaign can serve many functions, such as:

Promote a new product/service.

Improve your branding (brand image).

Communicate about an upcoming event.

Retain existing donors.

And much more…

Some advertising campaigns can obviously seek to achieve several objectives, but you have to be careful not to mix everything up. If, for example, you send an email with a promotion, an invitation to an event, plus the presentation of a new product, you risk creating confusion among your contacts and will have difficulty measuring the impact of the E-mail. 

Limit the objectives that you set for yourself in order to be able to plan your campaign more simply and above all, in order to simplify its evaluation and analysis. We therefore advise you to always have a main conversion objective and, at most, a secondary objective.

For example, you can send an emailing campaign with the main objective of clicking on a CTA that will lead to a new event page (with the final objective of the campaign being to solicit donations). A secondary goal could then be branding – writing informative emails that will make you more likable in the minds of your customers, for example.

To go further – discover everything you need to know to prepare your business strategy and define your objectives.

2 – Do a market study

Before planning your advertising campaign, you need to understand the industry in which you operate. Market research is an analysis aimed at understanding supply and demand in a specific market. It makes it possible to assess the feasibility of a project and to determine the measures to be implemented in order for this project to be crowned with success. 

To conduct market research, you need to ask yourself the following three questions:

Are people receptive to the kind of message you are sharing?

What are the existing campaigns for this type of event? How big is the competition?

Is there still room for your organization in this market?

Market research is often carried out in two stages: first through a quantitative study (aiming to analyze a large amount of data) then through a qualitative study seeking to understand the desires and needs of consumers.

You can also complete your market study with a SWOT analysis ( Strengths, Weaknesses , Opportunities , Threats), i.e. a study that allows you to synthesize the strengths and weaknesses of your organization in relation to its capabilities. internal and to the competitive environment in which it operates.

To go further – discover everything you need to know to carry out a complete market study before launching your advertising campaign:

3 – Choose your communication channels

Depending on your objectives, you must now opt for the appropriate communication channels.

Today there are many channels that you can integrate into your marketing mix – or into your communication strategy. If the traditional channels (advertising on television for example) remain interesting for companies with very large budgets, SMEs will rather turn to web tools. 

Here are some examples for the main digital marketing channels: 

Emailing. A classic of web marketing, emailing allows you to send newsletters (with new campaigns for example), but also to create complex lead nurturing paths . This is one of the best ways to distribute your advertising campaign at low cost while being able to offer personalized offers to your prospects.

Social networks. Used by the majority of consumers, social networks are particularly effective for advertising campaigns whose objective is branding. They allow you to make your brand visible and to interact directly with potential customers. That said, they are not very effective for direct selling and should be combined with another channel like email. 

Search Engine Ads. Search engine advertising allows you to pay to place ads in search engine results – for example at the top of Google results. It is a strategy that requires a certain budget, but makes it easy to make your products visible in a short time. 

Affiliate marketing. It is a marketing technique that allows an advertiser to promote their products on another website (known as an affiliate) in exchange for a commission paid for generating sales or leads. Affiliate marketing is a very good way to introduce your offer to a new audience, since you benefit from the visibility of a third-party brand. 

Depending on your budget, the objectives of your advertising campaign and the audience with which you want to communicate, you will therefore have to choose the appropriate channels and integrate them into your marketing strategy. 

4 – Prepare your message according to your target audience

It is important to tailor your message to the intended audience.

Once your objectives and your channels have been determined, you will need to write the message of your advertising campaign. 

Opt for a short message simply explaining the content of your campaign. You can take inspiration from slogans/messages used by your competitors for similar campaigns.

It is important to respect your tone of voice and adapt the message to your audience. If you’re communicating with a B2B audience , for example, it’s probably better to opt for a serious and professional tone, where you can afford to adopt a more playful tone with a B2C audience.

In order to properly identify your audience, we advise you to create buyer personas – that is, typical customer profiles. 

To go further – find out how to create buyer personas to better understand your target audience.

5 – Organize your teams

Now it’s time to coordinate your workforce. 

A successful advertising campaign also involves managing the work of your collaborators well. The more employees you have, the more difficult this task can be. We also advise you to create a communication plan for your campaign. 

This will allow you to plan the stages of your advertising campaign in detail: to define managers for each communication channel and even to have a more precise idea of ​​your budget and how to use it. 

Google Ads as a tool for a successful advertising campaign

Schedule your Google Ads to sell right away. Unlike SEO ( search engine optimization ), a marketing technique that takes time to bear fruit, SEA (search engine advertising) allows you to be immediately visible on Google.

In Google Ads you can create ads and pay as soon as a user clicks on them. The price you pay will depend on the competition and the position you want to achieve in the search results.

Although potentially expensive, this marketing strategy allows you to quickly place your ads at the top of Google results and simply distribute your advertising campaign.

Discover Google Ads with us. Contact us to understand more and plan your next advertising campaign. 

While most fundraising campaigns are different from one another, there are common best practices you can use across all campaign types to set yourself up for success. Keeping in tune with new techniques for reaching you donors will help you increase the return on your nonprofit marketing investment. Whether it’s adopting an entirely new medium, these tips mentioned above will help you achieve your fundraising goals. 

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