Non-profits have a unique challenge when it comes to online marketing. While most non-profits don’t sell much in the way of goods or services, there is still a need to encourage contributions such as volunteerism or donations.
For Seattle non-profits and those located elsewhere, online marketing can play a pivotal role in building an engaged community that works together for a common cause.
Engage Through Social Media
The fastest way to reach people who share your passion is through social media. Unlike business or consumer marketing, people are usually eager to engage with non-profits and charities that mesh with their own beliefs and value systems.
Having active social media properties that cover local activities as well as national news and events is only the first step. Depending on the type of non-profit, it may also be worthwhile to create or join groups that advocate for your cause.
Keeping the lines of communication open can help your non-profit to judge what is most important to your supporters, and what areas of your mission have the greatest need for further engagement.
Tell Stories That Matter
The biggest drivers of engagement for non-profits are the stories of the people who have been helped. They provide an ongoing narrative of the positive impact the non-profit has within the community.
You can tell these stories through social media, email, your blog, or any other medium – wherever people are most receptive to listening and taking action. Take the time to come up with a general structure for your stories so that your audience knows what to expect and how to take action.
Show Volunteer & Donation Impact
People want to feel that their contributions matter. One of the simplest ways to do that is to tie volunteer actions to the outcomes that matter most. Statistics for non-profits can be humanized in a way that lets volunteers and contributors take ownership of the way your non-profit helps others.
- Tie a monetary donation to an outcome. Ex: $10 buys school supplies for an entire class for one school ear.
- Tie hours volunteered to an outcome. Ex: Our stellar volunteers contributed 450,000 man hours and built over 600 homes for needy families.
- Tie events to an outcome. Ex: Our silent auction this weekend raised over $56,000 for the new literacy project
Make Your Community Feel Special
Recognizing particular volunteers or donors can lead to greater engagement by honoring people who have made the most impact. This in turn can inspire others to increase their contributions and lead to virtuous cycle of increased support for your non-profit.
However, true community support moves beyond recognizing one or two individuals each year. Making your volunteers and contributors feel special as a group can be as simple as a thoughtful message for donors or a monthly “we appreciate all you do” message.
The key to building an engaged community is to make people feel like they have a voice, and that what they do for your non-profit matters. The more ways you have to highlight and applaud the actions of your community, the more ways you have to make them feel their participation matters.
BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN REACHING YOUR COMMUNITY
A website redesign and solid community engagement strategy can put your Seattle non-profit on the path to greater effectiveness. Schedule an evaluation of your current website and let us help you take your community impact to the next level.