Maximize Your Nonprofit Marketing Reach: 4 Data-Driven Tips

Gabrielle Perham • Dec 08, 2022

Marketing is the foundation of success for any nonprofit. From soliciting donations to promoting upcoming events, nonprofit marketing allows your organization to drive attention and support toward your cause. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to collect actionable insights from your marketing campaigns. Data-driven marketing leverages metrics to improve your outreach efforts and more accurately appeal to your target audiences.

Let’s explore how collecting and interpreting data can extend your nonprofit’s marketing reach. With these tech-powered marketing strategies, you can deliver a personalized experience to supporters, increase engagement, and enact greater change.

1. Segment donors

A CRM is critical to unlocking important information about your donors – such as their average gift amount and communication preferences. If you want to maximize your outreach efforts, use a CRM to segment your donor data. 

Donor segmentation is the act of grouping donors based on shared characteristics and tailoring your communication strategy accordingly. Rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach to nonprofit promotion, segmentation allows you to make informed decisions that appeal to each donor.

Common donor segments include:

  • New Donors: New donors require specialized communications that inspire their continued involvement. After their first donation, send a personalized follow-up email with upcoming events and fundraising campaigns.
  • Major Donors: Major gifts can represent a significant portion of your fundraising revenue. Focus your marketing efforts on encouraging these high-level donors to maintain their current giving level. 
  • Lapsed Donors: Nonprofits naturally lose donors over time, but you shouldn’t give up on soliciting their support. Express your appreciation for their past involvement – send out a survey to find out why they stopped giving and assess how you can encourage them to give again. 

You can also segment donors based on their age, geographic location, or employment status, depending on your specific marketing needs. For example, while promoting an upcoming event, you might send in-person invitations to supporters within your community and choose to send a virtual invite link via email to those living outside of the area. This level of personalization helps to more effectively engage supporters in your mission. 

Free Email Marketing Guide for Nonprofits

Use this guide to expand your reach and increase fundraising dollars by understanding the metrics that are the most important for your organization.

2. Leverage multi-channel nonprofit marketing

After segmenting donors into well-defined groups, it’s time to appeal to their interests and solicit their support. A multi-channel nonprofit marketing strategy extends your marketing reach and increases your chances of reaching your target audiences. 

Most nonprofits optimize their marketing efforts across these communication channels to increase visibility and engagement: 

  • Website: Your nonprofit’s website should be central to your marketing efforts. Create dedicated pages for your fundraising campaigns, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events. Then, link back to these resources throughout your other marketing channels.
  • Direct mail: Direct mail has a significantly higher return on investment than trending digital methods. However, since direct mail comes with additional costs, consider reserving your physical solicitations for high-value and recurring donors. 
  • Social media: Although social media is ideal for mass appeals, it’s important to tailor your messaging to each platform to appeal to those specific users. For instance, Instagram is best for images, Twitter for quick updates, and Facebook for long-form written content. 
  • Email: Email marketing is an inexpensive and easy way to engage with supporters. Ensure that your promotional emails don’t fall into the dreaded trash folder by choosing an eye-catching subject line and employing a clear call to action.

Around 73% of companies believe that collecting accurate data is the most important factor in measuring the effectiveness of a multichannel marketing campaign, which leads us to our next data-driven nonprofit marketing strategy.

3. Collect actionable metrics 

When interpreted correctly, marketing metrics can be used to improve campaigns and drive a higher ROI for your nonprofit. According to NPOInfo’s guide to nonprofit data collection, you should begin by collecting the following metrics to determine which marketing strategies are working well and which ones need improvement:

  • Conversion rate: Conversion rate refers to the percentage of individuals who take a desired action based on your marketing materials – such as donating, registering for an event, or signing a petition. If your conversion rate is low, ensure your calls to action stand out and include strong language that inspires immediate action, such as “Donate to End Hunger Today.”
  • Email click-through rate: Click-through rate (CTR) measures the number of people who open your email and click a link to another important site. A high CTR indicates that your emails are relevant to recipients. To improve the relevance of your content, segment contacts based on their shared characteristics and tailor messages accordingly. 
  • Social media engagement: Social media engagement metrics include the number of likes, shares, comments, and views that your posts receive. Take note of which posts perform best among your target audiences on certain platforms and replicate that approach going forward. For instance, if donors interact most with short-form video content on your brand’s Instagram, then roll out a series of videos on that platform. 
  • Website session duration: A “session” lasts from the moment a user lands on your site until they exit the page or become inactive. All user sessions are compiled into a final average duration metric that reveals how engaged supporters are while using your site. A higher session duration typically means your content is relevant and targeted to the right audience. 

Attach actionable key performance indicators (KPIs) to each metric to ensure you’re staying on track with your marketing objectives. For instance, if your goal is to increase social media engagement, a KPI could be to increase the click-through rate of social media ads by 30%. By identifying goals and associating them with key metrics, your organization’s marketing team can measure the progress of your marketing efforts over time. 

Free Content Calendar Template

Use this template to plan and create content that will resonate with your donors, tell your story, and unify your fundraising and marketing efforts.

4. Implement a data hygiene process

As you collect marketing data, it’s important to implement a process for cleaning and enhancing the metrics. AccuData defines data hygiene as the process of making sure your metrics are error-free by removing duplicate entries and updating missing or inaccurate information. When your metrics are accurate, you can more easily interpret their meaning, measure the validity of your research, and ensure you’re on track to achieving your KPIs.

Work with your organization’s marketing team to narrow down your nonprofit marketing goals and determine how data can empower your efforts. Leveraging a combination of these data-driven strategies can help your nonprofit sustain support and succeed in an increasingly competitive landscape.

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About the author:

Gabrielle Perham, MBA
Director of Marketing, AccuData Integrated Marketing

Gabrielle is the Director of Marketing for AccuData Integrated Marketing. She joined the organization in 2017 and possesses more than 15 years of experience in strategic marketing, branding, communications, and digital marketing. She earned a B.S. in Marketing and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management from the University of Tampa.