Advertising Strategies and Lessons


Effective Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns And The Strategies That Make Them Work

January 29, 2019 Ray Schneeberger

A good marketing strategy is just as important for a nonprofit as it is for any business. Connecting with your audience – whether your intention is a donation drive or creating awareness – must be done with a multichannel and innovative vision. Every campaign should illustrate an understanding of the group you’re trying to reach, while appealing to their compassion and, often, their desire to give.

The Alzheimer Society Incorporates Their Sustaining Donor Program Into An Impactful Campaign That Includes An Emotional Commercial Spot

The Alzheimer Society of Ontario released an evocative and touching commercial in fall 2018 that features a father and daughter. Healthy and young at first, the spot goes on to show the daughter as a grown woman and her father ill with Alzheimer’s and hospitalized. The organization was moved to release TV spots for the first time as a strategy to drive donors toward a monthly giving program that will supplement Alzheimer’s research funding. Adding in an additional marketing element – in this case, commercials – can be an effective way for marketers to increase their nonprofit’s visibility and scale donations.

A Multichannel Approach And A Monthly Donor Community Helps Nonprofit The Adventure Project Tell Their Story

The Adventure Project is a nonprofit that creates jobs in developing countries while working to solve the systemic issues causing poverty. In an effort to bring awareness to their work and need for continued funding, The Adventure Project invites people to join their “collective” by enrolling in the sustaining donor program. Various members of this giving community are featured on The Adventure Project website, creating a sense of shared purpose. The Adventure Project also uses promotional hashtags and well-produced PSAs for each initiative they tackle, and they sell gifts in their online store to support members of communities they are helping. Buy trendy charcoal soap on this side of the world, and a family in Kenya receives a new stove that is safer and more environmentally friendly, bringing to life their shop tagline “shop local. give global.” By maximizing each aspect of their fundraising and awareness efforts, The Adventure Project is capitalizing on every opportunity to scale their charitable projects.

A Dedicated Social Media Campaign And Alignment With World Down Syndrome Day Drove Engagement For CoorDown

CoorDown first gained worldwide exposure in 2014 with a well-executed marketing strategy built around a very touching commercial called Dear Future Mom. The spot was launched on World Down Syndrome Day with the hashtag #dearfuturemom and has been viewed 7.6 million times. Since then, CoorDown has created other effective marketing campaigns, highlighting the lives of people with Down syndrome, including a funny public service announcement (PSA) in 2017 tackling the term “special needs” and featuring celebrities Lauren Potter and John McGinley. The spot generated 5.7 million Facebook views and was presented at the World Down Syndrome Day Conference in 2017 and accompanied by the hashtag #notspecialneeds. The humanity, humor and consistent approach of CoorDown’s marketing efforts create viral campaigns that drive interest in their charity and create inclusive social advocacy for their cause.

A Strategic Partnership With NBCUniversal Helped The Arbor Day Foundation’s #ShareATree Campaign

As a part of their #ShareATree and hurricane tree recovery initiatives, The Arbor Day Foundation partnered with NBCUniversal, who committed to donating 25,000 trees to the people and areas impacted by hurricanes in 2017. Unlike construction, landscaping isn’t covered by insurance, so The Arbor Day Foundation’s goal was to restore the landscaping of those communities ravaged by hurricanes, replanting the trees that were lost. NBCUniversal bundled their support of #ShareATree with the ninth annual NBCUniversal Green Is Universal holiday campaign. This lent The Arbor Day Foundation an additional boost with a social media campaign encouraging users to select trees from and post their choice to their profiles using the #ShareATree hashtag.

Content Marketing, Donor Opportunities And An Effective PSA Raise Awareness About PTSD Treatments For War Veterans

By overlaying everyday sounds on top of battle scenes, a moving PSA for the David Lynch Foundation captures how difficult life can be for veterans suffering from PTSD. Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW) is a part of the eccentric director’s foundation, which encourages meditation as a means for coping with PTSD. To further their work with veterans, OWW also sponsors a scholarship program and has a sustained giving opportunity for donors that provides funding for improved veteran’s services.

A targeted approach that includes content marketing drives donors and veterans the information they need. The direct and stirring commercial serves as another marketing strategy of OWW, raising awareness for a serious problem impacting veterans nationwide.

Whether through impactful social campaigns that move the viewer to donate or multichannel efforts that reach people on social, nonprofits can scale awareness and revenue for their causes by implementing effective marketing strategies.

Reimagining Your Nonprofit Marketing Win? 

Contact Digital Media Solutions today.

About the Author

Ray Schneeberger

Ray Schneeberger is the Vice President of Sales at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. In this role, Ray oversees business development for the company’s Subscription Marketing team. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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