When you run a non-profit, you work just as hard and put just as much energy in as any other business — only with a fraction of the budget. So it’s essential that you learn how to do more with less.
Luckily, there is this wonderful tool called the Internet that levels the playing field and allows non-profits to reach a vastly broader audience than they ever could using traditional media.
The first place to start is with your website. This is your number one resource. If you have no time or energy for any other promotional activities, make sure you at least have a robust and well-built website. Websites today can be very inexpensive to build and maintain if you choose the right solution (we, of course, recommend this one). In our increasingly digital world, your website is most likely the way that almost everyone will first interact with your organization. It’s your storefront, your billboard, and your communications center.
In addition to all of the usual website items — like your story, contact information, and ways to get involved — your website should also feature a blog for maximum effectiveness. This will not only keep your members or volunteers informed, it can contain valuable keywords that will bring more search traffic than your static website could. Also, it gives you fresh content for search engines to index and for you to share on your social networks.
Speaking of social networks, this channel is your other best friend, aside from your website. Non-profits like the ASPCA leverage social media in incredibly effective ways to get people to care about their cause. And there’s no more effective way to gain exposure — especially for the price tag (which is often $0). People will always share things that they are passionate about, so social media is a great way to get the word out and drive traffic to your blog and website. For some specific best practices to try on social channels, check out this great list from Social Media Examiner.
Of course, there are always offline promotional activates most non-profits can benefit from. Things like benefit concerts, pledge drives, and other public relations efforts to get coverage from the press can be very effective. Sending regular press releases to journalists you’ve identified as good targets can get you way more space in a newspaper or magazine than you could ever afford to buy in advertising space.
What strategies have you found more effective in promotion your non-profit organization? Tell us about it in the comments below!