It’s no secret that investing in marketing can make connecting with customers and prospects more effective. When budgets, resources and personnel are limited, finding tools that can get you more bang for your buck is key. This is especially true for nonprofits whose missions and objectives rely upon outreach, but whose budgets and time availability can be restricting. The good news is that many of the small business marketing tools available today have cost-effective (or even free) options, including some specifically for nonprofits.
Find out if your nonprofit is eligible for Google Ad Grants.
You know that there are people out there actively looking for the products or services your nonprofit offers, and you know you need to reach them. But how do you bridge the gap on a limited budget?
Eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations can apply to receive Google Ad Grants, which provide $10,000 in Google AdWords advertising for free every month. If you are approved to use Google Ad Grants, there are some restrictions to keep in mind. These restrictions include maximum cost-per-click, ad placement limitations, and the allowance of text-only ads.
Restrictions aside, the opportunity to receive $10,000 in free advertising on the top search engine in the U.S. is certainly not one to pass up. Dedicating some time up front to educating yourself and your team about Google AdWords can pay off immensely in the long run. You can find out if your nonprofit is eligible for Google Ad Grants and start getting the word out.
Get the word out with simpler email marketing for nonprofits.
There are few things as frustrating as trying to design a marketing email from scratch in a program that is not design-friendly. Text and images refuse to play nice together and you often end up with a jumbled mess that’s far from the masterpiece you envisioned.
If this sounds all too familiar, it may be time to look into a simpler email option such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. These email marketing tools offer convenient drag-and-drop design options without the headaches. You can walk step-by-step through all the elements you need, from your email list to creative, attention-grabbing subject lines.
Pricing for these tools depends upon a few factors, namely the size of your contact list. If your nonprofit is just getting started, you may be able to get off the ground with MailChimp’s free package, good for up to 2,000 email addresses. Beyond that, you can find discounts available through MailChimp for nonprofits and Constant Contact for nonprofits.
Create beautiful images for free.
You may want to consider finding a graphic designer for special projects like invitations or your annual report, pieces that need to make an impact on potential donors or corporate sponsors. When it comes to everyday images for social media posts or emails, anyone can feel like a graphic designer with tools like Canva, Picfont, and Pixlr. These tools offer free options that enable you to create beautiful and fun imagery without the costs of editing software.
Take the hassle out of social media management for nonprofits.
As a nonprofit, social media is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing mix. Social media is like word-of-mouth with rocket boosters. Maintaining a presence on networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram is an extremely effective way of reaching many people at once. And for those who support your cause, it’s easy for them to share your message with their network of friends and contacts.
Having this immense outreach at your fingertips is empowering, but sometimes managing it all can be overwhelming. That’s where a social media management tool comes into play. There are many tool options to choose from, most of which offer similar functions. Some tools set themselves apart with features like digital libraries that will store your social media graphics, bulk uploading so you can write and upload many social media posts at once, and calendars to keep your posts organized. More robust tools may even offer built-in social analytics so you can monitor your reach and engagement and app integrations so you can manage multiple tasks in one place.
For nonprofits on a budget, the biggest differentiator may be pricing. A few tools out there offer free packages, though functionality is often limited. If a free trial is available, make sure to take advantage before committing to any one tool. Not sure where to start? Look for a helpful comparison of tools for social media management for nonprofits like this one from ClickZ.
See what’s working (and what’s not working) with Google Analytics.
Your nonprofit organization’s website is likely the hub for many of your outreach efforts. Perhaps your search campaigns through Google Ad Grants are sending visitors to your About Us page while your social media posts are driving people to your events calendar. How do you ensure that your time and budget are being put to good use?
Google Analytics is a powerful (and free!) tool that can help you visualize the impacts of your outreach and marketing efforts. There are seemingly endless ways to explore your website data to discover how people are engaging with your website. Are visitors reaching your donations page but leaving before they take action, i.e. “bounce?” You can visualize this with Analytics and begin developing more enticing calls to action to achieve your desired results (and even set goals). It’s a free tool that shouldn’t be overlooked by nonprofits or businesses of any size and industry.
Manage your team’s to-do list.
With so many great marketing tools for nonprofits at your disposal, one of your first questions might be, “Who is going to manage all of this?” Hitting your deadlines, especially when it comes to creating materials for fundraising events or writing great social media content, requires a schedule. Project management software can be the key to keeping everyone on track. Tools like Teamwork Projects let you assign tasks and milestones to members of your team, all of which are illustrated on a shared calendar. Like with social media management tools, there are many project management software options to choose from, so be sure to test out a few before selecting one.
As a nonprofit, you likely have a network of advocates who will speak on your behalf to anyone who will listen. These people are incredibly valuable in your mission to gain more exposure and spread knowledge about your nonprofit. However, reaching the largest number of people in the most effective way possible requires more than word of mouth alone. Marketing tools can help you get the word out to networks of people who want to support and engage with your nonprofit. Take these tools for a test drive and find the right mix to help you achieve your organization’s goals.