May 30, 2019

Content Marketing for Nonprofits: How to Inspire More Donors and Volunteers to Action

May 30, 2019

Content Marketing for Nonprofits: How to Inspire More Donors and Volunteers to Action

Digital, Content Marketing, Not-for-Profits

Your mission and core beliefs alone won’t be enough to rally more sponsors and build stronger advocacy. With the strength of NFPs being donations and volunteers, how can you appeal to people’s emotions and intellect? With limited resources, what’s the best way to get your audience to care for your cause and give back?

Insight: Not-for-profit organisations have great reasons for existing and meaningful stories to tell. It’s essential for marketers to leverage this to get results.

Data: In a survey, only 26% of respondents think their company effectively uses content marketing and only 1% reported their efforts are successful. (Content Marketing Institute)

Key Action Point: Encourage people to care about your cause and donate by leverage content marketing. Read on to find out how.

Nonprofits are in a great position to leverage content to motivate people to support their cause: They possess a unique mission that people can relate to and value statements that support the cause. More importantly, they have real stories that people care about.

Even with these two elements to their advantage, nonprofit marketers still aren’t seeing positive outcomes when it comes to content marketing.

Why? Because most of the time, stakeholders mistake it as a one-off solution to their financial, human resource, or governance problems. It shouldn’t be the case. In the volatile and complex digital age, content marketing should be one of your core strategies.

Here are some statistics to further build the case for content marketing for nonprofit organisations:

According to the latest Australian Charities Report (2017)

  • $9.9 billion worth of donations and bequests were made to registered charities in 2017 — that’s a $600 million decrease from 2016
  • Grants and donations within Australia decreased by approximately $200 million compared to figures recorded in the Charities Report 2016
  • 49% of charities are operated solely by volunteers
  • 400,000 more people volunteered for a registered charity

Moreover, here are some interesting data from M+R Benchmarks (2019) and KodaCapital (2018):

  • For every 1,000 fundraising messages sent, nonprofits raised $45
  • They landed more messages in more inboxes and lists have grown by 5%.
  • Email is responsible for 13% of online donation
  • Despite the fact the email fundraising is crucial, it’s become more challenging: researchers have seen an 8% decrease in email revenue.
  • 33% of Australian taxpayers make a donation to charity and claim a deduction
  • The average Australian volunteer gives up 2.5 hours per week on average
  • 78% of Australians dislike being asked for money over the phone but 24% still give when asked


How Content Marketing Helps Nonprofits

Communications is tagged as an underutilised strategy in the NFP sector, according to an Independent Sector survey. The survey participants claim that there’s “much to gain by focusing on effective messaging and marketing strategies.”

As NFPs, you are in the business of telling stories, and you need a strategic approach like content marketing to better tell those stories, reach the right audience, and empower more donors and volunteers to take action.

Marketers can use content marketing to build awareness, create interest and keep people interested, raise engagement, and secure support.


Getting Started with Content Marketing

  • Don’t simply leave content marketing to marketers. The entire organisation plays a significant role; their experience and their insights are valuable in shaping the content marketing strategy.
  • Define your purpose or mission. Understanding why you are creating content in the first place makes it easier to stay on track with your content efforts. It enables you to focus on what’s essential in creating your content. Don’t create content for content’s sake. Every piece of content you put out there should support your goal.
  • Research benchmarks, and define your KPIs. This allows you to know when you’re successful with your efforts.
  • Define your buyer personas. Who are your ideal donors? Who are your ideal volunteers? Having buyer personas allows you to understand what goes on in your audiences’ mind, and it ultimately makes every marketing and sales effort more cost-effective.


Content Marketing Techniques for Nonprofits

Here are ideas to raise awareness and increase charitable giving for your nonprofit organisation.


Engage Your Followers on Social Media

Marketing Sherpa reveals that 95% of adults aged 18–34 tend to follow brands on social media. This is why nonprofits need to have an effective and active social media campaign in place that’s backed by strategy.

So get the most value out of your video or written content by distributing it where you know your audiences are. With the right strategy in place, social media presents a great opportunity to reach and engage with your target audience.

Not only are you able to use this platform to share blog articles and videos, you can also post interactive content (e.g. polls, surveys, and live Q&A sessions) and creative contests. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your audience and at the same time gain valuable insights into your current follower base.


Engage with Interested People through Email

Email marketing is the most cost-effective way to drive donors and volunteers to action. In fact, it has proven to deliver as much as 4400% ROI and $44 for every $1 spent.

There are many reasons why email is such an essential component in promoting your cause. For one, it’s easy to raise funds through targeted fundraising. You can also frequently engage with your target audience using personalised messaging, ensuring that they would feel valued and appreciated.


Stir the Emotions with Video Content

Many marketers are seeing the benefits of leveraging video to communicate with potential supporters. It’s a great way to bring their organisations to life, show impact, tell their story, and share their cause.

Videos have the power to captivate people and engage them with your message.  Google’s research revealed that “online video is the most influential source of driving donations.“ In fact, 57% of people who watch a video for a nonprofit go on to make a donation.

A clear call to action at the end of each video can drive interested viewers to your Donations landing page or your blog to learn more about your cause.


Use the Blog to Tell Stories

Blogging is the most cost-effective way to share your story, spread awareness, and inspire people to get involved. Hope Consulting’s summary report shows that individuals, advisors, and foundations would research more information on a nonprofit’s impact before making a decision to donate.

With the right strategy and resource in place, your blog can be a source of inspiration and motivate followers to give to your cause. From event promotion to milestones, to beneficiaries’ stories, to donors’ stories, to volunteer profiles, and more — there are many creative ways you can use the blog to serve your purpose.


Conclusion: You Have a Story to Tell

When used strategically, content marketing can be a powerful tool for your organisation. It helps boost your communications, move people with your story, and inspire them to take action. Your great cause should not go unnoticed. A lot of people are counting on your good work to live the life they deserve. Contact us to harness the good power of content marketing today.




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