A Guide To Marketing Your Charity On A Budget
You don’t need limitless cash to execute a successful marketing campaign. Charities across the world create and manage effective strategies to achieve their marketing goals — and you could do the same.
Read our step-by-step guide on designing and running a charity marketing campaign to find out how you can effectively raise donations and increase people’s awareness of your organisation.
One of your objectives is to save as much cash as possible during this campaign, and the first step is to ensure you have a clear marketing goal. Do you have a fundraising target? Want to attract more regular donors? Need to improve your organisation’s authority? Anything is achievable — granted that you make your objectives precise, realistic and measurable.
Who are your target audience? What are their likes, dislikes, motivations, and hobbies? The more you know your audience, the more successful your campaign will be. Plus, it’s important to be aware of social and economic factors that might affect people donating to your organisation.
Of course, you want to attract the attention of as many people as possible — but every marketing campaign has a target audience. To find out more about yours, why not research your current donors to find out their interests, likes and motivations to help you create a marketing strategy that they’ll want to engage with? You can do this f
or free by using your website’s analytics and metrics, checking out social media accounts, or via a postal survey.
Your main message is the part of your campaign that people associate with your organisation. If people try to sum up your campaign, they can do so with your key message. So, get together with whoever is helping you with your camping and draft ideas.
Make this relevant to your charity by creating a narrative, or story. An example of this is when US organisation, charity: water, dedicated a section of its website to real-life stories of people the charity has helped using vivid images and poignant videos.
How has your work improved lives? Interview people your charity has been associated with, take photos and even do a ‘day-in-the-life-of’ detailing a colleague or recent beneficiary of your charity. Pictures and insightful case studies make excellent pamphlets and leaflets that you can post around your local area.
Show the people why they need to get on board with your campaign, don’t just tell them.
Punchy, emotive and powerful with a strong key message is the only way to go when designing a charity campaign. Think about phrases such as: ‘Likes don’t save lives’ from UNICEF Sweden or ‘Help is a four-legged word’ from Canine Companions. If you’re designing flyers, pull-up banners and posters, you need a phrase that is going to leap off the paper.
How about combining video and imagery with your persuasive copy? Images are nothing without strong, enticing and informative copy to support them. But whether in a brochure or online, make sure you maintain a chatty, familiar and light-hearted persona through your content to engage with your audience.
Making Your Campaign Known
Social media is free and fast, which makes it an excellent platform for distributing marketing material to a large number of people. In 2014, the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) launched a video marketing campaign to raise awareness and hallmark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Despite only running for two weeks, the campaign was covered hundreds of times in the media and achieved more than 14,000 social media shares.
Then again, print marketing offers great return-on-investment and is a handy tool to have at your disposal if you want to offer a personal touch to your campaign. Nearly 80% of charitable donations come from direct mail, according to a report by the Institute of Fundraising, and many design and print agencies often work with non-profit organisations. The same report detailed that print inspires loyalty, with more than half of the people surveyed stating that they find print the most credible marketing channel and a quarter keeping printed products for future reference.
Looking for extra funding? There are plenty of options available to organisations. The public provide about 35% of voluntary sector income, according to Company Giving, while government-introduced measures — such as Gift Aid (charities can claim back tax from donations) and Payroll Giving (employees donate automatically from their monthly wage) — are also incentives to donate more. Almost 30% of lottery ticket sales are donated to charitable organisations, and many corporations opt to give money to a good cause for both altruistic reasons and the fact that it boosts staff morale at work. The thousands of trusts throughout the UK donate billions of pounds to charities and there, but if you want to contact local government, the level of budget and support differs depending on where your organisation is based.
There are multiple ways to design and launch a successful marketing campaign as a charity. But keep this guide in mind to make sure you don’t overspend.