January 23, 2019
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 as well as a year’s worth of monthly nonprofit marketing ideas.
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.
Nonprofit Marketing Ideas Month-by-Month:
- January – Kick off the New Year with an upbeat newsletter about goals and projects. Send it by email and by U.S. mail, according to donors’ preferences. Include a donation card and business-reply envelope.
- February – Take advantage of the month of love by letting donors know how much they mean to your cause. Send them a heartfelt Valentine.
- March – Alexander Graham Bell made the world’s first telephone call on March 10, 1876. In recognition of this world-changing event, enlist staff to pick up the phone and call top donors to thank them.
- April – It’s National Volunteer Month. In a letter, a postcard, a Facebook post or a YouTube video, spotlight your top volunteers.
- May – It’s time for another newsletter. Stories can be short and sweet, but be sure to share news that shows how donations are used to advance your organization’s cause.
- June – Tell a story about one way your organization has made a difference in a life or lives. Send it by letter and post it on social media.
- July – July 4th is America’s birthday. Speaking of birthdays, don’t miss an opportunity to reach out to donors on their birthdays each year.
- August – Say so long to summer. Invite donors to a picnic. Post pictures from the day on Facebook and use them in an upcoming newsletter.
- September – September signals the start of school. As children troop back to the classroom, learn more about your supporters. Post an online survey or call donors at random and ask them a few pertinent questions.
- October – Giving Tuesday is in sight (next month), be sure to promote donations and remind supporters of the day to give.
- November – Send your end-of-the-year holiday time appeal. In a letter, relay a heartwarming story about your group’s good works. Include a gift card and a business reply envelope.
- December – Design a striking card that wishes your donors a happy holiday season and thanks them for their support.