Are You Making The #1 Nonprofit Marketing Mistake?

Are You Making The #1 Nonprofit Marketing Mistake?

At times, nonprofit marketing can be painfully slow and confusing.

Why aren’t more people reading our emails? Why aren’t our social media posts getting any engagement? Why aren’t our donor letters raising as much as we did last year?

If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, you might be falling prey to the #1 most-common nonprofit marketing mistake.

Understanding Nonprofit Marketing Strategy

Before we talk about the #1 mistake, it’s important to understand the difference between nonprofit marketing goals, strategies, and tactics. This is usually where nonprofits get hung up in the first place without even realizing it.

Marketing Goals: What you aim to achieve (e.g., increase digital donor engagement).

Marketing Strategies: How you aim to achieve your goal (e.g., content marketing).

Marketing Tactics: Ways you will achieve your goal (e.g., blog, newsletter, social media)

It’s easy to accidentally work backward by cherry-picking tactics, crossing your fingers, and hoping they work. Or, in many cases, keep using the same tactics your organization always has, hoping they produce different results this year. Without a clear marketing goal and strategy, there’s no way to know if your tactics will work or be able to measure and monitor them correctly.

The Power of Segmentation

Let’s review: Step 1 - Define your marketing goals, strategies, and tactics.

Once you’ve got a clear roadmap, it can be a little bit easier to see the #1 marketing mistake nonprofit’s detour into: Thinking you’re speaking to everyone when you’re talking to no one.

If you’re not using donor personas or segmentation in your messaging, there’s a good chance that you’re probably making this mistake.

Think about it: If a non-donor and donor get the same communication, someone will not feel heard. For example, “Thanks to you,” only works for donors. Or, “Did you know that we…?” might be relevant for non-donors but not your donors. It’s important to separate out your target audiences so that messages are relevant and move people to make an impact for your cause.

So, Step 2 - Reach the right people at the right time with the right message with the power of segmentation.

How to Segment

Let’s say you want to increase digital donor engagement (goal) with content marketing (strategy) by sending more targeted text messages (tactic).

Based on your goal, you're looking to increase donor engagement, not non-donor.

So, define “donor.”

Do you have different levels in your organization? If not, you can easily create them based on average gift sizes.

For a small nonprofit small donors might be ‘has donated $50 or less’, mid-sized donors might be ‘has donated $100 or less’, and major donors might be ‘has donated $250 or more.’

Now, for your next text message, tweak its message to be more relevant to each donor-sized segment.

For small donors, the call-to-action might be to make a one-time donation. For mid-sized donors, the call-to-action might be to become a monthly donor. For major donors, the call-to-action might be creating a peer-to-peer campaign. Here, you can see how each donor level has an increasingly bigger ‘ask’ because they’ve already proven higher levels of interest and commitment in your organization.

Segmented audiences become even more effective when you can add more details, such as motivation for giving, gender, age, and so on.

Nonprofit Marketing Made Easy with ZGIVE

Need help with nonprofit marketing problems? Our team at ZGIVE would love to lend you a hand. We offer marketing consulting services for nonprofits that can help you get your message across to more potential donors. Give us a call at 800-940-2392 or email us at questions@zgive.com for more information,