Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Awareness on a Budget

Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Awareness on a Budget

In an increasingly digital era, there are endless opportunities to share your nonprofit’s cause with the world. Boosting awareness not only motivates donors to give but also draws attention to the issues your organization works to address.

The good news: Your organization doesn’t need a bottomless budget or a large marketing team to do this. From social media to your nonprofit’s website, there are plenty of cost-effective and free marketing tools available to spread the word about your mission. All you need is a dedicated strategy to reach the right audience.

Let’s explore a few cost-effective ways to boost awareness on a budget.

1. Launch a shopping fundraiser

What better way to draw attention to your nonprofit than by putting your cause right in front of potential supporters? The number of online shoppers is steadily increasing, meaning a large portion of your target audience is likely to be found in online stores.

A shopping fundraiser is a campaign in which a portion of supporters’ online purchases are contributed to your nonprofit. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Partner with a service that provides online shopping fundraising tools, like an app or browser extension.
  2. Promote the opportunity through shareable content so existing supporters can get their friends and family involved.
  3. Encourage shoppers to make purchases through the app, browser, or online mall.
  4. Receive a portion of the sales as a contribution from the retailer based on a pre-negotiated rate set by your online shopping fundraising service.

The unique advantage of shopping fundraisers is that everyone shops. This strategy not only allows your nonprofit to raise funds passively but also helps you stay top of mind for supporters using your app and browser extension. Plus, online shopping is accessible to nearly everyone with a computer and internet access, helping you engage a broad audience.

2. Start blogging

Content marketing involves sharing valuable creative content online, such as articles or videos. Blogging is an especially effective content marketing medium because it allows your nonprofit to educate and attract an audience beyond your existing supporter base—and it’s completely free!

To start a blog on your nonprofit’s website, plan articles focused on issues relevant to your mission. For example, an animal shelter might publish blog content about the rate of dog homelessness in the community or tips for caring for your dog on a low budget.

Then, use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure your blog content appears on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) for relevant keywords. This involves:

  • Providing valuable insights. Well-researched and thought-provoking content not only ranks higher but will also increase reader engagement. Share your original, professional insights to create unique blog content that only your nonprofit can offer.
  • Targeting specific keywords. Brainstorm and research keywords to determine what terms potential supporters are entering into Google. Then, build content around these topics that address the audience’s interests and compel them to support your cause.
  • Linking to credible resources. Citing reputable sources, whether they’re your own reports or from another organization, boosts your content’s credibility. Add links to web pages that your content viewers would benefit from exploring.

Content marketing doesn’t have to be just written blogs. Experiment with other content formats, like video or podcasts, to engage all types of audiences, and try posting them on various channels in addition to your website, like social media.

3. Apply for the Google Ad Grant

Once you’ve developed valuable content for your website, you can make doubly sure large audiences see it with the Google Ad Grant. Getting Attention defines Google Ad Grants as “a free version of Google Ads” for nonprofits that apply and qualify for the grant. These nonprofits receive $10,000 in free monthly advertising credits.

With these ad credits, your nonprofit will bid on keywords related to your cause. Then, your ads will display at the top of the SERP when someone searches for a keyword you’ve bid on and won.

Get started with the following steps:

  1. Apply: This involves enrolling in Google for Nonprofits and submitting your website to Google’s team for review.
  2. Maintain eligibility: Comply with Google’s rules, which range from following keyword guidelines to the structure of your account.
  3. Measure campaign performance: Track the performance of your ads over time to ensure they appear in front of a large audience and result in the desired action.

While the Google Ad Grant is a budget-friendly way to boost awareness, it requires a strategy to produce the desired results. To grow your audience and drive support through your website, you’ll likely need to adjust your ads over time to stay relevant.

Managing your ads is a full-time job, so the best way to make the most of your ad credits is to enlist the help of a Google Grant agency. An expert’s guidance can help you create effective ads that reach your target audience and compel visitors to take action.

4. Post consistently on social media

Social media sites are popular nonprofit marketing platforms. On some social media sites, content can show up in the feeds of users who don’t even follow you, meaning there’s great potential to grow your audience on platforms like Instagram.

By posting regularly, you can cultivate an engaged audience who shares your content with their own networks of followers. To maintain a consistent schedule, create a calendar that outlines when you’ll post, what you’ll post, and on what channel.

For example, the posting calendar for an animal shelter may look something like this:

  • Monday
    • Platform: Instagram
    • Content: Infographic showing the number of dog intakes that occurred over the weekend.
    • Caption: Over the weekend, we welcomed 50 new furry friends into our shelter! To alleviate overcrowding and ensure we have enough resources and space, we need to reduce our animal population to 300. Swipe to see how you can help by adopting, fostering, or donating!
  • Tuesday
    • Platform: Facebook
    • Content: A picture of a newly adopted dog and his family accompanied by the story of his adoption.
    • Caption: Meet Bella and her new forever family! Bella found her perfect match after a full year at our facility. Visit our website to learn more about her journey to her new home.
  • Wednesday
    • Platform: X (formerly Twitter)
    • Content: A quick tweet recruiting help from potential volunteers.
    • Caption: Our shelter needs your help! We need volunteers to help walk and feed dogs this weekend. If you love animals and want to make a difference, visit our website to sign up!

If you don’t have enough data to determine which social media channels your target audience uses or what content would compel them to get involved, it’s time to do some research! You can start with social media appending, which NPOInfo defines as “the process of updating outdated social media information and pulling new details for contacts in your CRM.”

This allows you to find your current supporters’ social media profiles. Use this data to identify which platforms your audience already uses and reach out to them when starting new accounts.

Wrapping Up

With a strategic approach, your nonprofit can reinvigorate its marketing efforts to garner increased support, generate more revenue, and make a bigger impact than ever before. When you leverage cost-effective ways to boost awareness, you may even have wiggle room in your budget to delegate the marketing process to an experienced professional. Determine which approach is right for your nonprofit and develop a plan to reach more potential supporters.

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