Digital fundraising: 5 things your non-profit needs to do for big returns on shoestring budgets

Use your Google Grant effectively!

You get $10,000 per month of free Google Adwords budget when you are approved. Don’t be tempted to compete with every other charity out there on the same keywords like “donate” as you will waste your money. What should you do, then? First, decide which less popular keywords and phrases are relevant and more unique to your non-profit. Then create a landing page on your website for each of these keywords, or phrases. Next, create some ads in Adwords using the keywords or phrases, linking directly to the landing page that is rich with information related to that keyword or phrase. From there – convert your new visitor to something more valuable: try to get their email address at least so you can keep communicating with them.

Photo of person holding their hands out with a note saying Make A Change.
Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash

Take your new email sign-ups on a warm-up journey

When someone has just signed up, send them an automatic thank you email. Then a day later, send them an automated email that explains a need that your organisation is addressing (no asking for money). Then a week later, send them an automated email about how your organisation responds to that need (no asking for money). Then a week after that, send them an automated email asking for them to make a one-off donation to help your organisation tackle that issue. If that works, then put them on another journey that explains the importance of regular monthly donations – after a few emails, ask them to sign up for a monthly gift. Importantly, don’t be afraid to ask your committed donors for donations when you need to – if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Spend your social media advertising budget wisely

Before you go ahead and hand over $200 (or whatever you can afford) to Mark Zuckerberg to promote that link you just posted, think of another two ways you could share that same link creatively (a better photo, or a video?). Then create three different ads and spend $50 total budget to see which one gets better results for your objective. Then you can spend the rest of your budget on the winner – that way you’re not wasting all your money on an under-performing post. You will also start to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t pay for social media account followers

Focus instead on paying to get your engaging content seen by relevant target audiences, and converting them into email sign-ups and/or donors. If they like your Facebook page or Instagram account as well, that’s great – but since organic reach is going to continue to decline it shouldn’t be your main goal.

Use remarketing to keep your organisation front-of-mind

When someone comes to your website but doesn’t donate, you don’t want them to forget about you. Try remarketing with an affiliate network so that they will continue to see your banner ads while they are browsing the internet. Even if it doesn’t result in a conversion, your brand awareness will certainly be boosted, and this is a very good thing for long-term results.

Author: Sean Brokenshire

If you want to collaborate with an expert in this field, contact Sean Brokenshire below to talk about your organisation's needs.

Hi, I'm Sean Brokenshire.

I have been working professionally in the fields of digital marketing and multimedia production since 2004. For the past ten years, until recently, I've worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Australia playing a key role in their digital marketing and communications. Now I'm freelancing - let's do something great together!

Let's do something great together!

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