Nonprofit Marketing Ideas You’ll Love

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February is the month of love, an emotion expressed very publicly on Valentines Day.

woman planting a tree - a nonprofit marketing idea

We send loved one’s cards with sweet sentiments, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, bouquets of red roses. But expressions of love shouldn’t be limited to one month, let alone one day of the year. This should be a part of every day. And, as fundraisers, we miss an opportunity when we don’t remind donors that there are many ways to show love to those around us. Through your marketing messages, you can remind donors of the options your nonprofit provides that allow them to honor a loved one and support a worthy cause. Along the way, we will provide you with a few nonprofit marketing ideas to connect the dots.

A one-time honorary gift is always appreciated.

A gift to a favorite charity is a perfect way to honor an individual who has everything or who champions particular causes. If you want your charity to capitalize on these gifts, make it easy for donors to find links for making a gift on your home page and ensure that the online giving process is simple.

You can market these one-time gifts in several ways. Your current donors are a great audience. Like all of us, they look for new and meaningful ways to thank or recognize others, anything from a stockbroker who would like to honor loyal clients at the holidays to a dog owner who wants to wish his pet sitter ‘Happy birthday’ with a donation to their local humane society.

Nonprofit marketing ideas: Design an attractive card that your supporters could use to let friends, clients, and family know that a donation has been made in their honor. Use something connected to your cause — a photo of a family at a dinner made possible by your food bank, as an example. Be sure to include a description of your organization, its mission and its website on the back. You could prepare a print version and an online version of the card and message.

Remember loved ones with memorial gifts

These days, many families ask that their loved ones be remembered with memorial gifts in lieu of flower arrangements, which means nonprofits need to have a thorough system in place for these very personal gifts. It is essential to communicate with care and compassion both to the family that has lost a loved one and the friends and family who are remembering them with a gift to your organization. Your communication strategy must go beyond self-addressed donation envelopes to be handed out at the memorial service. First, make sure that each donor gets a thank-you note and assurance that the family will soon be notified of their gift. If you receive multiple donations on behalf of a family, be sure to keep them informed. Update them periodically and provide them with a list (including addresses) of those who have made gifts. In every message to these audiences, remind of the organization’s mission. While you don’t want to hard-sell these donors and families, you also don’t want to miss an opportunity to gain a new supporter.

Here’s a look at how a hospital in the northeast handled memorial gifts.

Nonprofit marketing ideas: A few months down the road, to maintain the connection between the family as well as those who donated in their loved one’s honor, send a letter that details what Your organization was able to do with the gifts given in their loved one’s honor. It will help further solidify the relationship.

Plant a tree, buy a goat, fill a backpack

Invite your donors to show their love for family or friends by making a more tangible donation that helps fulfill your mission. The National Arbor Foundation makes it easy to plant a tree; Heifer International is famous for supplying people in third-world nations with a cow or a goat that will help them feed their family. This type of donation is particularly fun for children; instead of presents, a 10-year-old might opt to take donations toward a cow that he and his friends could then follow as it makes its way to another country. Those kinds of charitable giving ideas for children add more meaning to gift-giving.

Nonprofit marketing ideas: Go to the 10-year-old’s birthday party and interview him and his guests. Take pictures. Run a story about their generosity in your newsletter or post it to social media. Or, turn the interview into a video for social media and your website.

And while we’re on the subject…do the same for your donors. Show them your love and thankfulness for their support.

If you want a bit more guidance or need fundraising marketing materials, contact us. We would love to work with you on your nonprofit fundraising.


Julie Thomas

Business Development

January 23, 2019

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