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How Nonprofits Can Increase Revenue by Advertising Online

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How Nonprofits Can Increase Revenue by Advertising Online

Nonprofits are now embracing digital advertising to support their mission, promote events, and increase revenue. The internet has become an important tool in helping organizations connect with new people and receive donations they otherwise wouldn’t get using traditional means. Find out here how your nonprofit can increase revenue by advertising online.

Unlike for-profit companies, nonprofit causes or organizations don’t sell products or services. Instead, they work to support meaningful initiatives to help the environment, marginalized communities, etc. Some beginner nonprofits fail to immediately see the benefits of investing in online advertising and marketing to support their growth.

It’s often said that content marketing is the best solution to help nonprofits spread the word about their cause online. Although content marketing is important, it’s not enough to raise brand awareness and even boost revenue.

A well-rounded online advertising strategy is essential to helping nonprofits achieve their mission, connect with the public, and gain more funding.

A report published by TheNonProfitTimes found that nonprofit organizations spent approximately $5.8 billion on their advertising and promotional efforts in 2020. The year before, nonprofits spent $5.7 billion, showing incremental growth compared to for-profit businesses.

The gradual growth was attributed to the digital shift, but it can also show nonprofit organizations' need for more confidence or hesitation.

If you’re still unsure whether advertising online can help your nonprofit prosper, continue reading this piece to dispel any doubts. Here, we’ll explore the biggest benefits and how nonprofits can increase their revenue by advertising online.

Find the leading nonprofit advertising agencies on The Manifest. Match with the perfect partner and leave a lasting mark on your cause.

Advantages of Nonprofit Advertising

Nonprofit advertising, otherwise referred to as charity advertising, is paid promotional efforts that primarily aim to help nonprofits market and highlight their causes. It can be an ad about their services, a campaign for their fundraising efforts, or promotional posts about their upcoming events.

In the past, nonprofit advertising relied on traditional methods such as print ads and radio. The recent digital shift has seen a huge development in nonprofit advertising campaigns through search ads and paid ads on social platforms.

These are the biggest gains from nonprofit advertising:

Spread Awareness

Advertising online has the power to give your nonprofit a bigger platform. Unlike traditional means, it can connect you to audiences you’ve never seen before.

There’s no limitation to where and who you can reach as your online presence grows, helping your cause gain more visibility. 

Attracts Support

As your nonprofit reaches more audiences, more people who resonate with your cause can show their support.

Support can come in a variety of ways — more donors, more volunteers, or more advocates. Advertising online can help you touch more people and attract them to your efforts.

If you have a fundraising campaign, include a donation form or the registration details to encourage people to participate. If you have an outreach program coming up, include a bespoke call-to-action to inspire people to participate. Advertising online helps you break barriers.

Establishes Credibility

Being seen more and having stronger support can help your nonprofit establish credibility. As you execute more campaigns and share compelling stories for your cause, the more you build a reputable standing among your stakeholders.

Credibility can also come in the form of better search engine rank. More interested donors and supporters can immediately see your nonprofit if you invest more in online advertising. Great results on search engines give your target audience confidence in your objectives and cause.

Drive Donations

Once you achieve all those three benefits, this last benefit follows. A nonprofit with good credibility and a strong following has the potential to drive more donations.

It’s not easy to secure funding for a nonprofit organization. Oftentimes, they rely on donations to sustain their efforts, and advertising online helps your nonprofit remain relevant. The more consistent you appear on your target audience’s screens, the more likely they will remember and stay committed to your cause.

In recent years, online donations have seen a significant increase, recording a growth of 42% from 2019 to 2021. The figure shows how digital marketing and advertising crucially help drive fundraising efforts.

How Nonprofits Can Increase Revenue by Advertising Online

Sustainable nonprofit revenue generation is important to continue helping those in need. Securing grants and relying on conventional sources won’t cut it anymore. Advertising online is key to opening more funding opportunities.

Here’s how nonprofits can increase revenue by advertising online: 

Have a Clear Goal

The first and foremost step is to clearly understand your mission. Defining your objective is essential to forming the foundation of your strategies and efforts.

Well-defined goals can help your team form an effective strategy or enhance your current efforts. Once your objective is clear, you can brainstorm with your team without worrying about getting sidetracked.

When defining your ad and marketing goals, consider the SMART goal rule — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Do they fit into those criteria? Are they realistic for your team? Before moving to the next stage, ensure you’re positive about your goals.

SMART Goals  
Source: Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Find out more about SMART strategies here: “How SMART Digital Marketing Strategies Elevate Lead Generation

Understand the Audience and Stakeholders

After you’ve set your SMART goals, the next step is to study and understand your target audience. An effective online advertising campaign knows how to get attention and connect with its target audience.

Analyze your objective to see what type of audience you’re targeting and how many groups you are targeting. Separate them through personas, tags, or lists — whatever works for your team. Once you identify your key audiences and stakeholders, the better you can target them with your strategy.

If you fail to follow the first and second steps, it will be hard to proceed because they are the basic building blocks needed for a successful nonprofit ad campaign.

Formulate a Powerful Message

The message you share through your ad campaign should ultimately pique your target audience's interest; it will be the difference between a new supporter and turning them off.

Once you have a clear grasp of your objective and stakeholders, you can formulate a powerful message that resonates deeply.

You can strengthen your ad message by connecting it to your audience’s daily lives. Even if your cause responds to global or large-scale issues, tell stories about small-scale impact that might help viewers imagine themselves as members of the community you're supporting, thus moving them more.

Additionally, you may craft different messages for varying audiences. Your message for new donors should naturally be different for volunteers or customers. However, all of these messages should highlight the same purpose and tone. 

Plan a Bespoke Strategy

Now that you have your goal, target audience, and message set, the next step is to meticulously plan and create your bespoke nonprofit marketing and advertising strategy.

Don’t jump into this step without accomplishing the first three because planning without a comprehensive understanding of the three above.

Advertising tactics are channels like content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. When choosing which tactics and strategies you should use for your nonprofit, consider the following:

  • Will this reach my target audience?
  • Does this strategy or tactic tie into my goal?
  • How much will I need to spend to execute this plan?
  • What advertising and marketing tools will you need?
  • How many team members will I need when implementing this strategy?
  • How long will I continue to execute this tactic?
  • Who will be responsible for carrying out this strategy?

Nonprofit Advertising Budget  
Source: DoubletheDonation

Read here: “How to Make An Advertising Budget [With Template]

Execute the Campaigns

It’s time to put your strategy and tactics into action. The effectiveness of your plans will depend on your team’s ability to execute them.

Everything must be prepared before you start this stage. Project leaders should be identified, team members must be aware of their responsibilities, and materials should be ready.

Expect it to be busy so having detailed to-do lists or task boards can help you keep everything in check. Team meetings and appointments should be organized through a calendar, deadlines should be coordinated, and communication must always be transparent.

Measure the Results 

After execution, results still won’t appear instantaneously. Patience is key when analyzing and measuring the success of your nonprofit online advertising campaigns.

Usually, it takes around 3 to 6 months — in some cases, it’s even 9 to 12 months — to see the results of any advertising campaign. Don’t be worried if you don’t immediately see an uptick in donations or support.

Assign someone from your team to conduct routine reporting to keep close track of key performance indicators (KPIs) such as video views, shares, conversion rates, and click-through rates. You can use metrics measuring tools such as HubSpot, Google Analytics, Moz Pro, and the built-in tools on your chosen social media platforms. The results can help you in your long-term plans and allow you to adjust your strategy. 

Nonprofits Can See 2000% ROI From Digital Advertising Efforts

You don’t need to break the bank to help your nonprofit generate better revenue through advertising online. A report published by Feathr found that nonprofit organizations that spent a couple of hundred dollars on online advertising see a 2,000% return on investment (ROI).

As emphasized, traditional adverting methods aren’t the only way to attract potential donors to your nonprofit. Advertising online is cost-effective, measurable, and practical.

If you’re running on a limited budget, it can be the game-changer you need to empower people for your cause.

Clear your doubts about the importance of nonprofit advertising because the benefits and ROI are invaluable. Partner with the top nonprofit advertising and marketing agencies on The Manifest to make sure you get the best results.

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