How Non-Profits Can Use Smart Marketing to Boost Revenue During the Pandemic

According to a recent *survey, 83% of non-profit organizations have experienced a reduction in revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that’s not surprising given that many people as well as corporations have tightened their budgets during these uncertain economic times. Unfortunately, donations and charitable contributions are typically the first line items to be cut.

But none of this is news to those who work in the nonprofit world. They are experiencing the trickle-down of this economic downturn first hand. These organizations have been feeling the strain since March 2020 and are now facing an even bleaker holiday season with the second wave of COVID-19 already ravaging most of the country. This is the time of year most non-profits experience the largest amount of donations due to holiday generosity. They are often also the beneficiaries of end-of-year tax-deductible contributions. However, the reliable September-December spike in charitable giving has been severely restrained. 

Four Proven Ways to Enhance Donations and Leads During a Downturn

However, there is some good news. By taking advantage of this downtime and using it to strategize and plan for the inevitable economic recovery, non-profit growth strategies can make up for their losses and then some in 2021.  

When it comes to engaging donors, what these organizations have always done, won’t work forever. Not in today’s world. As society emerges from the pandemic, it will be forever changed. The way we do business, accomplish daily taken-for-granted tasks, and even spend our money, has undergone a radical shift. Like working from home virtually, some of these adjustments may be here to stay. 

Now is the time for non-profits to rethink their marketing altogether and focus on modern smart marketing, not necessarily more.

  1. Resist turning on the firehouse. During an economic slow down is not the time to panic and start overwhelming contacts and donors with the spaghetti method—throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. Nor is it the time for marketing by gut or off of a hunch. Times like these—and at all times, frankly—require a thoughtful and intentional, data-driven approach. Every dollar counts and can’t be wasted on tired old marketing tactics that aren’t effective or measurable. By using CRM software, marketing automation tools, and a sophisticated content management system (CMS), non-profits can get the most bang for their buck. By using modern marketing technology managed by experts who know how to maximize these tools, non-profit organizations can see ROI like never before. 

  1. Make it easy for people to give. One of the easiest ways to increase a website bounce rate or non-conversion from a call-to-action is to make things hard to find on a website. The average person’s attention span while browsing the web is just 15 seconds, but some studies suggest it may only be eight. Consumers like to get in and get out as quickly as possible and don’t have the patience to hunt for information. Make it as easy as possible for your donors to contribute or interact with your organization. With a smart and functional website design, impactful copywriting, and a stellar user experience, you can increase your donations. Even the speed of the website matters. Slow load times are one of the leading reasons for website abandonment.

  2. For-profits are scaling back their budgets and that means…potentially fewer companies competing for digital advertising and keywords. But whether this is the case or not, digital advertising is always a good idea. Run, don’t walk to take advantage of PPC, display ads, and social media advertising. Non-profits can precisely target their ideal donors rather than hoping they catch their attention from a billboard or print ad. Some 501(c)(3)s may also qualify for Google Ad Grants. Qualifying organizations can apply for a $10,000/month advertising credit-based grant. Find out if your organization qualifies here

  3. Step up your social media engagement. With more people spending time at home and in-person gatherings severely limited, consumers are looking for virtual options to engage with the brands and organizations they love. Non-profit marketing strategies can encourage virtual volunteering, online fundraisers, or social media takeovers from well-known spokespersons. By utilizing all the amazing tools social media channels offer, they can keep their organization and cause top of mind and interrupt the user scroll—to their benefit. For many charitable organizations, the need they are serving is now greater than ever. Non-profits can give their community of donors a chance to help the causes they are passionate about and engage with them even if they can’t do it in person. 

From building dynamic websites to setting up and managing complex CRM systems, to implementing marketing automation, social media, and digital advertising, The Old State has a team of experts ready to support the world of non-profits. To schedule a free consultation, contact us!

*Impact of COVID-19 on mid-sized non-profits.