Spread Your Mission Further Through Expert Nonprofit Advertising [Tips + Examples]

Brand Strategy & Identity
Team Slam
Helping you win online

Let’s get real for a second: nonprofits have it hard. Your mission is likely up against a massive, almost insurmountable issue like poverty or disease, your primary form of revenue is asking people to just give you their money, and your budget and resources aren’t on par with major Fortune 500 companies. Oh, and you aren’t competing with the 2 million other nonprofits in the country; no, your nonprofit advertising has to compete with everyone

So, what are you to do? Give up? Of course not! That’s why you got into the nonprofit field in the first place—you don’t back down from a challenge. And, good news: we’re here to help you make that challenge easier.

At Slam Media Lab, we specialize in nonprofit advertising and marketing online, creating and optimizing websites to boost your digital presence, rank high on Google search, and leave you with a site you love. Our award-winning nonprofit marketing agency provides your nonprofit expert web design services, including: 

We work with startups, nonprofits, universities, and Fortune 500 companies who all have a mission in mind, in order to launch and refresh their brand, or retain and reconnect with their audience. All in all, to slam dunk those advertising targets!

Ready to get started? Contact us today, and let’s slam your nonprofit advertising together! 

In this article, we’re diving headfirst into all things nonprofit advertising. We cover: 

  1. How online advertising affects nonprofits
  2. Why your nonprofit can benefit from nonprofit advertising
  3. Tips to crush your nonprofit advertising
  4. All the work Slam has done with nonprofits
  5. How we can help your nonprofit boost its digital presence

Get ready to unlock the secrets to nonprofit advertising, learn how it’s changing the game, and discover everything Slam has to offer your organization. Because online advertising isn’t just for big corporations—it’s a slam dunk for nonprofits, too! 

Nonprofit Advertising: What it Means for Your Organization

Just like major corporations, advertising for nonprofits is all about the different strategies organizations can use to connect with their target audience and forward their mission. But, unlike Fortune 500s, nonprofits need to get a bit more creative, not just with their marketing campaigns but with their resource allocation for outreach as well. 

Local animal shelters and food drives don’t often have a full digital outreach team, so they need to take advantage of things like SEO (we’ll dive into that in a bit) and web presence to really make their website shine. 

In this section, we’ll let you in on everything you need to know about how digital marketing impacts your nonprofit, including:

  • The impact of digitalization on nonprofit advertising
  • Why your nonprofit needs a digital presence
  • The technical details you need to know

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty tactics, let’s take a quick look at how digitalization has shaken things up for nonprofits. 

A screenshot of Elemental Excelsior's website, featuring a bright pink background and an image of diverse students posing for the camera, some on bicycles and others standing nearby.
Slam worked with Elemental Excelerator to boost site speed, optimize for search, and crush nonprofit advertising.

The Impact of Digitalization on Nonprofits

Believe it or not, nonprofit advertising used to be about canvassing door to door, leaving flyers under windshield wipers, and hoping three ghosts would convince a wealthy miser to give away all his money. 

Times, of course, have changed, and the internet has rewritten the rules for nonprofit outreach. How? Let’s check it out:

  1. Your reach is international. It isn’t just UNICEF that can land donors across the globe. All nonprofits can now go worldwide, sharing their mission through social media and search engine rankings on a massive scale. 
  2. You’re able to appeal to your audience more easily. Digital marketing and advertising serves up loads of data and analytics (more on that in a second). Your nonprofit can discover where your message is landing most effectively, and tailor your strategy to that data.
  3. Your nonprofit can reach more people faster. We didn’t mean to knock flyers and handouts in the intro; we still love a creative print campaign. But, with email blasts, up-to-the-minute site updates, and viral marketing, your team can reach a lot more people lightning quick.
  4. You can slam your fundraising. A well-organized website, some smart ecommerce integrations, a couple of clicks, and—boom!—you just reached your fundraising goal.
  5. You can appeal to volunteers better. Online platforms and social media open up a whole world of potential volunteers. Plus, they’re the perfect way to stay in touch and keep everyone engaged in the project.

Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Digital Presence

Okay, so those are some pretty good reasons for any nonprofit to develop their online presence. But, why does your nonprofit need one? Let’s check it out: 

  • You get to tell your story. Think of another nonprofit you either love or dislike. Was that opinion formed through their website or social media? Have the same influence over the way people get to know your organization through your digital presence.
  • Your nonprofit can reach everyone. With a solid online presence, your supporters can connect with your cause 24/7, no matter where they are in the world. And, through an optimized, ADA-compliant website, you can open your nonprofit’s accessibility to those who may not have had a chance to hear or read about it before.
  • You have the power through up-to-date analytics. Having a digital presence lets you in on all the data you need to know about your audience. This helps you fine-tune your nonprofit advertising strategies and improve your outreach.
  • Your nonprofit’s credibility might depend on it. Let’s face it: people are hesitant to give their money away for fear of being scammed, especially online. Having a great website with tons of interactions with your audience is crucial to building credibility in a competitive field.
Ready to slam your nonprofit’s social media? Join our TikTok for Nonprofits course today!

The Technical Side of Nonprofit Advertising

If you want to know how well your nonprofit organization’s advertising is doing, you’re going to want to measure and analyze. Keeping close watch on your website, social media, and email marketing metrics can detail where your nonprofit website is having its biggest impact, as well as where improvements can be made. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors, and break down the technical pieces that impact each metric. 

Website Analytics

If you’ve ever been curious about how often people visit your website, where in the world your visitors hail from, and what exact pages and links are getting the most action, you need to tap into your website analytics. First step: set up your Google Search Console. This will allow you to track all the primary metrics, including:

  • Traffic: It's like counting foot traffic in a store, but online. Keep an eye on how many people stroll through your digital doors.
  • Conversion Rate: A huge deal when advertising a nonprofit organization. It's all about the percentage of visitors who do the good stuff, like donating or reaching out to join as a volunteer.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Are your buttons and links getting attention? CTR tells you how effective your Calls To Action are. Time to fine-tune those invites!
  • Dwell Time: How captivating are your pages? Keep tabs on how long folks hang around (a pretty good indicator of how relevant your content is). 

Social Media Metrics

Much like tracking your website data, social media platforms—especially TikTok and Instagram—give you the power to analyze and maximize your social media presence. Take control of your digital reputation with these key social media metrics: 

  • Conversion Tracking: If your social media game is bringing in the wins (think event sign-ups or donations), keep score! Track those conversions and celebrate the victories.
  • Follower Growth: The social media version of a fan club. Track how your followers multiply over time. 
  • Engagement Rate: Keep tabs on likes, shares, comments—the more you engage with others, the more people will share your mission on socials. 
  • Reach and Impressions: Ever wonder how far your posts travel? Dive into the numbers to see how far your posts travel.
  • Clicks: Time to play detective. Figure out which links are getting the most love. Clicks tell you what's catching people's attention.

Email Marketing Analytics

Sending out monthly, weekly, or even daily email blasts? Discover how impactful your digital flyers are, by tracking metrics like: 

  • Open Rate: This one’s obvious; see how many people opened your email.
  • Conversion Rate: Track the folks who not only read but took action, clicking on links to donate or learn more. 
  • Growth Rate: Measure how fast your list is growing and nurture it like a digital green thumb.
  • Unsubscribe Rate: Nobody likes goodbyes, but it's good to know how many folks are stepping off the email train. In advertising for nonprofit agencies, it's important to keep it real and adjust your approach if needed.
Got everything you need for your nonprofit website? Be 100% sure with our Nonprofit Website Template

Unlocking Success: Nonprofit Advertising Case Studies

Navigating digital advertising is no easy feat, especially for nonprofits striving to make a real impact both on and offline. 

And, let's get real: if you're not on that first page of search results, it's like throwing a party and forgetting to send out invitations. No one's showing up. And here's the data-backed truth—75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

What do you need? A little search engine optimization.

Elevating Nonprofit Advertising Through SEO

Search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is the not-so-secret weapon for nonprofits and small businesses to compete with major corporations. Ever search for a recipe and the first result isn’t Delish or Food & Wine? That’s SEO at work

So, what is SEO? 

When you Google or Bing any term, those search engines seek out the most relevant results to return to you. How do they determine relevance? The leading factors include: 

  1. Keywords: Search engines analyze the presence and placement of keywords on a webpage (like how “nonprofit advertising” appears on this one). Pages with matching, prioritized keywords are considered more likely to be relevant.
  2. Content Quality: Google and Bing aren’t just searching for matching words, though. They aim to deliver results that provide valuable information to users, so well-crafted content contributes significantly to relevance. Crafting high-quality, informative, and engaging content is crucial.
  3. Metadata: You know those blue hyperlinks on search engine result pages (SERPs)? Those are meta titles—with meta descriptions underneath—and, if your web pages don’t have them, you could be missing out on users searching for your site.
  4. Backlinks: The number and quality of links from other websites, or backlinks, directed to your page are key in building authority and relevance online. Strong backlinks from reputable sources can enhance your nonprofit website’s authority and relevance.
  5. User Experience, or UX: Page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and overall user experience contribute to relevance. Plus, you want your visitors to enjoy visiting your website, right? 
  6. Localization: This one’s key for nonprofits. Local businesses and information that match the user's location are often prioritized, meaning if someone Googles “nonprofit near me,” you want to make sure your site is optimized for local SEO so they find you. 

Want to see how we put all of this—and more—into action at Slam? Let’s jump into some case studies

Nonprofit Advertising Case Study #1: Peer Health Exchange

A screengrab of Peer Health Exchange's website advertising their social platform, "selfsea."
PHE is sharing invaluable health education with young people across the country, and Slam was pumped to help their cause.

Peer Health Exchange identified a big problem in the U.S.: health education wasn’t reaching young people in ways that made the right impact. Starting in 2003, their nonprofit didn’t have as many resources as they do today, but they still advanced their mission, making vital impact in the lives of students and young people throughout the U.S. 

Today, PHE reaches hundreds of thousands of young people across the country through their outreach and—with some help from Slam—digital presence. 

How did we accomplish this? 

Peer Health Exchange wanted a site that spoke with Gen Z, not at them, so we did the one thing that made the most sense: we ran brand discovery with young people.The result? A website that's mission-driven without losing the fun, with maximalist design, videos by and for young people, and Lottie animations that look good but don’t bog down site speed. 

And we didn't stop there: we worked with PHE on their social media marketing, crafting videos and content for their TikTok and Instagram pages. Their digital following spiked, and their nonprofit advertising has helped their much-needed cause reach hundreds of thousands more young people.

Check out our full PHE Case Study for all the details.

Nonprofit Advertising Case Study #2: LTX Quest

A screenshot of LTX's website, featuring muted background colors, text, and an image of a Latinx community member browsing the web on their phone.
LTX Quest, providing networking opportunities to the Latinx community, tabbed Slam to lead their marketing.

LTX Connect had a vision: provide professional networking opportunities to Latinx professionals in media, entertainment, advocacy, and technology sectors, promoting collaboration over competition. There was just one problem: a global pandemic was shutting down everything. 

Like every great nonprofit, LTX Connect could not be deterred. Their solution: transform their gathering, LTX Quest, into a massive digital conference. That’s where we come in.

Slam worked alongside LTX Connect to welcome over 5,000 attendees for their 2021 conference. Our marketing extended beyond website optimization to include: 

  • Audience Research
  • Social Strategy
  • Editorial Programming & Management
  • Content Creation & Production
  • Email Copywriting
  • Illustration, Motion, and Graphic Design

But, don’t just take our word for it. Hear it directly from our partners at LTX Connect: 

There’s no other person to lead social than Silvia and Kyle. We hosted LTX Quest and reached millions of people organically through Instagram. But what was most impressive is that the strategy helped build deep connections with our community. —Lili Gangas, Co-Founder of LTX Connect

Dive into the LTX Quest case study, and discover how Slam helps nonprofits crush their digital presence! 

Nonprofit Advertising Case Study #3: Fresh Approach

A screenshot of Fresh Approach's website, featuring soft brown backgrounds, images of Fresh Approach patrons, and text detailing their Farmers' Market services.
Fresh Approach was on a mission to make the Bay Area healthier, and Slam was here to help.

Has a nonprofit name ever been more on-brand? Fresh Approach, a community-minded nonprofit bringing nutritious, affordable options to the Bay Area through their farmers’ markets, wanted a…wait for it…fresh approach to their nonprofit advertising. Slam was happy to help.

Our team got to work, incorporating brand strategy and identity, art direction, email design, and more in Fresh Approach’s new look. Our work focused on crafting an identity that was just like their farmers’ markets—inclusive, diverse, and representing everything that California and the Bay Area community have to offer.

See how we centered their mission in our Fresh Approach Case Study

Partner With Slam to Hit All Your Nonprofit Advertising Goals

We won’t sugarcoat it: nonprofit advertising takes a lot of work. From market research to website best practices to content strategy and development, you might need a team that just isn’t in the in-house budget. Don’t worry; Slam is here to be that team for you. Contact us today, and let’s get started! 

Slam Media Lab’s certified Webflow experts are here to help crush all your nonprofit advertising and marketing goals. Rank on SERPs, outpace the competition, and run a website you’ll love for years to come! Book an appointment with one of our team members, and discover all the ways we’ll elevate your mission to a whole new level.

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