Nonprofits like all businesses need to market themselves to succeed.  However, most nonprofits are faced with the challenge of limited financial and human capital resources.  Yet, nonprofits still need to market so they recruit volunteers, raise donations, and garner support for their mission.   Here are 5 ways to market your nonprofit for free.

Google Ad Words For Nonprofits

When it comes to free digital marketing tools, one of the most effective ones is Google Ad Grants.  Google Ad Grants provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month to promote their nonprofit – that is $120,000 a year in free advertising!  Although Google launched Ad Grants in 2003, it is still unknown to many nonprofits.  So far, over 100,000 nonprofits from 51 countries have already benefited but 100,000+ more nonprofits could benefit from Google Ads Grants but haven’t applied yet.

With Google Ad Grants, you could share your mission with global audiences, recruit volunteers, and raise money.  Google Ad Grants show your search ads to people who are searching on Google for nonprofits like yours.  This helps you capture demand and drive awareness with people who were previously unaware of your cause.  You can show your ads to people around the world or restrict the ads to your local community.  Once your ads are live, you can use Google Analytics to understand how your ads are performing.  This helps you understand what messages are driving people to donate, volunteer, and follow your nonprofit on social media.  You can leverage these insights into your other marketing materials. For example, if one of your Google Ads performs really well in driving donations, you could leverage that same message in your other marketing channels.

Here is more information on the Google Ad Words program.

Free Social Media For Nonprofits

Social media is a popular marketing channel for nonprofits.  Not only is it free, but it also provides a way for your nonprofit to directly engage with your audience.  You can use social media to share news about your nonprofit, recruit volunteers, recognize supporters, and fundraise.

Facebook offers several free tools to make it easier for your nonprofit and its supporters to raise money on Facebook.  These tools have raised over $3B for charities.   If your nonprofit uses Facebook’s payment platform to process donations, then there are no fees involved –  100% of the donations go to your nonprofit.  Facebook’s giving tools include the following:

  • Donate button – The donate button is an easy way for supporters to give to your nonprofit without leaving Facebook. You and your supporters can add the donate button to your page, posts, and live video, making it easy for supporters to donate.  Donors can choose to give a one-time or monthly recurring gifts.
  • Page fundraisers – Verified Facebook Pages can create fundraisers for their nonprofit. This allows you to promote your mission and inspire others around a fundraising goal.
  • Fundraiser sticker – The Facebook sticker for Facebook stories allows your nonprofit’s supporters to add a fundraiser sticker to their Facebook stories.
  • Live video donate – You can add a donate button to Live video on Facebook. This is a great opportunity to give your supporters an inside look into your nonprofit and share the impact you’ve made in real-time.

You can learn more about the charitable donation tools that Facebook offers here.

While social media marketing is free, your content may have a hard chance reaching your audience due to changes in the algorithms.  However, you can pay to advertise on these platforms with limited budgets.  Because these social media platforms have granular targeting options, you can create an ad that is targeted to people who are most likely to care about your cause.  Many nonprofits have seen success with ad budgets of $5/day.

A Nonprofit Website For Fundraising

A website is another free/minimal cost marketing strategy that every nonprofit should have.  A website can help you increase your brand awareness and provide critical information about your nonprofit – your mission, how audiences can volunteer, donate to your cause, etc.  Your website will also house key information like links to your social media sites, upcoming events, your blog, and more.

Partnerships with local businesses

There are likely businesses and famous personalities in your local community who share a passion for your mission.  These businesses and personalities can serve as brand advocates for your nonprofit.  For example, many local businesses are willing to host events for local nonprofits at no charge. You could use their venues to host fun events like fundraisers.  This is a win-win for both parties because you get to raise awareness and funds for your nonprofit and the small business will see an increase in sales from the additional people that are coming to their business to support your event.  Similarly, you should seek out partnership with local celebrities like your local weather-person.  Local celebrities typically have large social media followings and could be wiling to craft a quick post about your nonprofit on their social media accounts.

Public Speaking Events for Nonprofits

One of the best ways for people to find out about your nonprofit is through public speaking events.  One way you could participate in a public speaking event is as a guest lecturer at a local college or university.  Many colleges offer courses in nonprofit management and the professors are oftentimes looking for guest lecturers.  Another idea is to attend a local conference.  These conferences take place pretty often and the organizers are looking for conference speakers.  Another idea is to contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask the representative if there are any upcoming opportunities that you could speak at.  Whether you speak at a local event with a limited audience or a multi-day conference with thousands of people, the benefit is the same – more people will learn about your nonprofit.

About Market Me Consulting

Market Me Consulting is a consulting firm that develops marketing, strategy, and fundraising solutions for nonprofits and socially conscious small businesses.  We combine analytics with creativity to build strategies, campaigns, and programs that help our clients achieve their goals.  With over 15 years of experience in driving results for nonprofits, universities, local governments, and small businesses, our team has the skills and experiences to deliver results for our clients.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!