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Dear Jamie: How Do I Invest on a Tiny Budget?

Last week, when I put a call out for peoples' questions about nonprofit marketing and audience growth I got TONS of responses.  We got so many that I'm excited to say we are starting a new “Dear Jaime” series of blog posts and emails. We hope that sharing these ideas will spark healthy conversation for all of us to advance our missions.

This inaugural edition starts with a big, nasty question that requires more than a simple answer. 

Dear Jamie - 

What are some best practice recommendations for allocating a tight budget when it comes to online advertising and growing my audience?

– Cost-Sensitive in California

We decided to start with this question, because it's hands-down the one we get most often. Every single nonprofit is pressed to make its marketing program a smash hit under the dark shadow of a tight budget.

There are three, nearly universal strategies that we suggest to anyone building their audience and getting people to act. We call these the Three Best Pieces of Low Hanging Fruit, and we think every nonprofit should pick these before investing in more costly activities.

  • Make the Most of Your Google Ad Grant
    You can get nearly half a million dollars of free advertising to spend on AdWords. Lots of organizations get grants but few spend them fully and effectively. This blog post will tell you what the Ad Grant is and how to use it right.

  • Convert Social Media Fans to Your Email File
    Shockingly, only 10 - 20% of your email subscribers are following you on Facebook (and only about 4% of your Twitter followers).  So, chances are, if you drive someone from a social medium to your email file, they will be completely new email subscribers. This guide will tell you EXACTLY how to do this.

  • Reactivate Those Lapsed Subscribers and Donors 
    Your email file probably has a lot of dead weight on it.  These folks loved you once; but, they haven't donated/taken action in a dog's age. Now, it's up to you to rekindle the fire. Consider developing a reactivation campaign, where you take one of your best performing appeals and repurpose it with a clear call to action to wake these folks up!

Is there any low hanging fruit that we missed? How has your experience been with any of these strategies? Need help getting them off the ground? 

We're always an email away if you want to talk shop.

Is there any Low Hanging Fruit that we missed? How has your experience been with any of these strategies? Need help getting them off the ground? 

Let us know in the comments below!

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