November 3, 2023

The Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Agency for Your Non-Profit Organization

Let’s face it—non-profit budgets are slim.

Why should you hire a marketing agency anyway? The intern does a pretty good job at social media, and no one’s ever complained about the email template you’ve been using since the early 2000s. Canva is FREE after all! (Well, at least, for now it is).

Hiring a marketing agency for your non-profit organization helps fuel your operations, just like a for-profit organization. Except in your case, more margin means more mission.

This is easy to say, but creating the margin is a little harder to do.

The margin-to-mission connection is what you know so well—the cause so close to your heart that you’ve dedicated your livelihood to it. The marketing-to-margin connection, on the other hand, is our focus.

You’re a people person. We get it—we are too. We’ll explain how hiring a marketing agency helps create more margin by investing in a marketing strategy that impacts each person your non-profit comes into contact with.

1. Reaching and Converting Donors

Your donors are the lifeblood of your non-profit. Your inbound marketing strategy can be used to attract, retain, and grow relationships with new and existing donors.

How to Attract New Donors

As you know, relying on word of mouth alone is likely not stirring up as much buzz about your organization’s mission as you’d hoped. But there are solutions to help attract donors to your cause.

Google Ad Grant: Google gives away up to $10,000 per month in ad budget to each non-profit that qualifies for its Google Ad Grant program. These search ads can be used to attract donors searching for outlets that affect positive change for the causes they’re passionate about.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If you’re a local non-profit, you’re likely sharing search engine results page space with national—or even international—like-minded organizations. Stand out in the search results by hiring a marketing agency to perform an SEO audit on your site and strategically weave the keywords your future donors are searching for into your site.

Proactive Campaign Planning: Oftentimes, the sheer number of roles each team member plays makes finding time for proactive planning challenging. You likely know that planning for special days, such as Giving Tuesday or mission-specific awareness days, early is best for your non-profit. A credible agency will hear all your best ideas and use them to inform your campaign strategy a quarter ahead of time.

How to Retain Your Donors

Investing in donor retention is generally more cost-effective than investing in attracting new donors. These people have already proved their willingness to back your cause! Do you have a plan in place to invest in your relationships with your current donors?

Email Marketing: Sending reinforcement emails to thank donors for their continued support is a great way to encourage and express your gratitude for your non-profit’s support system.

An agency will set you up on an email platform that allows you to use custom emails that address your donors by name and gives you the option to send from one of your team member’s email to help establish a relational tone. Collaborate with your agency to use newsletters as a loyalty-building instrument, and share uplifting stories of real ways their funds are being used to affect change.

2. Connecting with Those You Serve

The people group your organization focuses on serving could be difficult to reach for any number of reasons. Whether they’re children in foster care or women impacted by sex trafficking, it can be challenging to find your people online.

How to Reach the Audience Your Non-Profit Serves

An agency can assist you in ensuring that your message reaches the right audience through a unique blend of marketing practices.

Facebook Ads: Facebook ads are a strong option for non-buyer-intent targeting. Instead of targeting ads based on search terms, Facebook targets based on a variety of factors, such as:

This can help you reach people who aren’t necessarily searching for your brand and might not know they could benefit from your services but fall under your target audience.

Personas: Personas are wildly important! An agency can develop fictional profiles based on your target audience and use them to brainstorm ways to address and resolve the unique pain points that the people you serve experience. These can be used to inform content direction, campaign planning, and more.

3. Multiply Your Team

Anyone with non-profit experience can tell you about the number of hats they wear to serve their organization’s mission. Investing in a relationship with a marketing agency gives your team space to breathe and time to focus on what they do best.

How to Grow Your Team

You can think of hiring an agency like hiring another team member—or in our case, adding 25 people to your roster.

Specialization: This is perhaps the strongest benefit of hiring a marketing agency. Consider the value of adding a proficient development team, expert marketing team, skilled design team, and clever copywriting team to your already rockstar team, as opposed to bringing on one—albeit very talented—individual.

How to Measure Your Marketing Results

While there’s tremendous value in using social and email content to build trust, have you ever wondered just how effective your current social media and email marketing efforts are at converting passionate supporters into loyal donors?

Conversion Tracking: A marketing agency that stays on top of the latest in data analytics may advise you to utilize UTM links to track where your website traffic comes from—social, email, Google ads, you name it. They’ll also stay up to date on Google’s latest updates, so you don’t have to.

How to Strengthen Your Non-Profit Messaging

You’ve probably got the “how” of your mission down. But could your team of visionaries use a hand explaining your “why”?

Professional Copywriting: You may find that balancing the emotional appeal that the nature of your work necessitates with requests for donations is a challenging tension to manage. Our intentional copywriting team writes with truth and purpose.

One example of this is stating facts and then making an emotional appeal. For example, “The Gospel is meant to be shared, and billions still need to hear it for the first time.” The goal of writing copy for almost any successful non-profit is to come across as: “We have a big heart, but we steward our finances well too.”

Another way we do this is by focusing on what donors are getting when they give, not on what they’re “giving up.” Put the emphasis where it belongs—your non-profit’s mission. It’s a joy to give generously! Oftentimes, excessive use of backpedaling phrases such as “Please consider” adds unnecessary weight to a simple ask that vetted message recipients want to be a part of! We choose words that make it known to donors that they’re part of your mission… because they are!

Fuel Your Mission with PHOS Creative

If you’re a decisionmaker for a non-profit, which at this point I’m assuming you are, you’re a person with serious vision.

At PHOS, our vision—to reach and restore the lives of women and children who have been impacted by extreme poverty and sex trafficking—sets the direction for every major decision we make. It defines who we are as an organization and where we’re going.

We understand what it means to be mission-driven, and we’d love to hear about yours—and then make sure it gets heard by the right people again and again!

Amanda Smith

As an Inbound Marketing Executive, Amanda uses her love for creative copy and financial analytics to craft solutions that convert needle-pushing results for her clients. Applying her marketing and economics education from the University of Florida, she empowers each PHOS partner she works with to forward their mission through effective campaign strategy and implementation.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Amanda looking for any opportunity to visit one of Florida’s springs or craft a new Spotify playlist.