Most solo marketers at nonprofits or businesses struggle because they are just one person expected to know how to do it all, then they also have to do it all. The same can be said for small teams of 2–5 individuals. Many struggle to simplify their marketing.
Trust us, you’re not alone.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t have enough time in the day to execute all of the things you need within the world of marketing and fundraising? Maybe you’re responsible for social media, email, direct mail, monthly newsletters and your donor database, but that’s just the half of it.
It’s a recurring problem for nonprofits, typically for teams that don’t have an extensive background in marketing. After all, you didn’t get into the world of philanthropy to deal with Twitter, Facebook, HubSpot or TikTok.
It’s essential, especially if you’re someone wearing too many hats, that you have a marketing framework to work from that will simplify everything that you need to accomplish in order to connect your current audience, reach new donors and attract new volunteers.
At Firespring, we work to implement an overview, or a framework, to allow you to simplify your marketing, work at a much more efficient pace and increase your effectiveness. Our goal with this framework is that all businesses and nonprofits increase revenue and eliminate brand confusion.
The framework that you should build for your team is as follows:
A one-liner is a single statement you can use to help people realize why they need to get involved with your organization. With a clear and memorable one-liner, people will quickly understand what you do and realize why they need you. The whole goal for the one-liner is to clarify your message, rather than overcomplicate matters.
The formula for a one-liner is easy and you can implement it ASAP. It’s just three parts:
1. The Problem (What is the main pain point you solve for your audience?)
2. The Solution (The way you solve the problem!)
3. The Result (Show how your customer will feel and what they get after you solve their problem!)
By identifying this one-liner, you will be able to view all of your marketing and fundraising efforts through this lens. When it comes to an email marketing campaign, a social media post or even a quarterly newsletter, make sure that everything you post touches on the problem you exist to solve, how you solve it and the better life that occurs after engaging with your organization.
This one-liner will allow for your brand to be portable and memorable for your employees, your board, your donors and volunteers. Once your one-liner is written and it’s implemented, your organization will begin to transform.
Here’s how you can incorporate it:
- Have your entire team memorize it.
- Make it your email signature.
- Include it in your bios on social media.
- Have it on your website.
- Put it on business cards.
- Use it as the hook on your ads.
- Make wall decals of it for your office.
Your Target Audience
When it comes to your marketing and fundraising framework, you must know where your audience is in their journey with your brand. Every individual that interacts with your organization does so at a different point in their journey. Someone who signed up for your newsletter yesterday needs unique content in comparison to your top advocates who have donated to your cause for the last decade.
By knowing this information, it will allow you to create the necessary content for each portion of the journey, nurturing them from the interest stage to the advocacy stage. Defining your personas or brand scripts seems intimidating, but frankly, you already know this information. Now, you just need to compile it by segmenting your audience. Doing so will result in a clearer understanding of your audience, greater confidence in your marketing decisions and show you the plan for how to reach your advocates.
You have your one-liner and you defined your target audience. But, now what? You still have to know when to reach out to your audience, what platform you need to do so on and what type of messaging will do the trick.
This represents one of the most difficult challenges that nonprofits face within marketing and fundraising—in part because it’s a topic that has been overcomplicated for years. As a nonprofit, you do not need to have a profile on every single social media platform. Honestly, you don’t need more than one if you don’t have the time for it.
But, rather than muddle this matter, just take an honest look at your audience and gauge what social media platforms they use and how they enjoy receiving content. You can learn this information by simply conducting a survey of your audience and asking them what platforms they are on, and how they like hearing from your organization. You’ll likely find that you do not need to have all of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, direct mail, TikTok, podcasts, YouTube and TikTok to be successful.
Rather, Firespring recommends using three different channels for touch points. One social media channel, which is the one used most by your audience (likely Facebook), is all you need. Then, you want to utilize email fundraising, as your email list includes individuals who have shown interest in your mission and represent qualified leads. Lastly, direct mail offers you a more tangible way to connect with your audience and brings a human-to-human connection that is less available right now due to the pandemic.
Your Call to Action
Lastly, and arguably the most important aspect of your framework, is understanding the call to action that you have for all of your touch points. Humans, for the most part, will not act if they are not called to do so. It’s your job, as their guide, to bring them to the next phase of their journey with you.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can ask for a donation at every single contact. But, it does mean that you should know what you are wanting out of each social post, each email, each newsletter or direct mailer. If it’s to donate, then call that out. If it’s to spread the word and help recruit volunteers, you need to ask. If it’s to join the mailing list or sign a petition, you must tell your audience what you want them to do next.
If you do not, they will scan your content and move on. One of the biggest mistakes that I see nonprofits make is not asking their current donors and volunteers to get more involved! These individuals are already willing to donate their hard-earned money or precious time to your cause. So, asking them to fill out a survey, share a social post, sign a petition or give referrals isn’t nearly as difficult.
If your marketing and fundraising materials feature your one-liner, are addressed to the right audience on the right platforms and have a strong call to action, your life will become much simpler in a matter of weeks.
Simplify Your Marketing
Though this can all seem overwhelming, Firespring is here to help you implement this framework and allow you to increase your revenue and eliminate brand confusion. Sign up today for our free storytelling strategy session and you will come away with a one-liner for your organization and three immediate action steps you can start using it right away.