Resources Home

4 Essential Nonprofit Marketing Tools Most Fundraisers Don’t Know About

Published by Nathan Hill

Nonprofit marketing often lags several years behind the for-profit industry. But shouldn’t the world’s greatest causes be marketed and communicated with the greatest amount of innovation and sophistication?

We do ourselves and the world a dis-service if we become content with our marketing being 7 years behind the curve. That being said, innovative and effective nonprofit marketing doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Before I tell you about 4 essential nonprofit marketing tools, let me make this caveat. Tools and technology are never going to help you grow unless you have the right message. Your marketing strategy and your message should drive the need for new tools, not the other way around.

Now, let’s look at 4 essential nonprofit marketing tools that you can use to deliver your message to the right people at the right time.

An Effective Landing Page That You Can Optimize

If you’re trying to acquire new leads, the most essential tool you need to have is an effective landing page. And when I say “effective,” I mean a landing page that you can easily test and optimize.

I’ve learned from experience how difficult it can be to get a new landing page up and running, especially if it has a form on it. Most marketers have to talk to a developer on their team, or worse, head over to the IT department and put in a request.  And an IT request might be 3 months until it’s completed.

If you work at a smaller organization, you might not have a developer to lean on at all.

We need a way to build beautiful and effective landing pages without using a developer or a design. Unbounce makes that possible.

Unbounce allows marketers without any prior development experience or coding knowledge to design, build, and publish landing pages. It integrates with most email platforms and CRMs (including MailChimp, Hubspot, Salesforce, etc.) so that all your new leads can go straight into your welcome series.

Nonprofit Marketing Tools - Unbounce


Best of all, Unbounce lets you create variations of your page so that you can easily test your copy or design and discover what works to acquire more leads.

An Exit-Intent Offer to Improve Your Conversion Rates

In a perfect world, we could create a landing page with a 100% conversion rate. But realistically, not everyone who comes to your new landing page is going to register for your webinar, sign up for your course, or subscribe to your email list.

But just because someone doesn’t register for your webinar doesn’t mean they won’t download an eBook. This is where exit-intent offers come in.

When a visitor shows signs of exiting – moving towards the back button or the “X” – we can display a secondary offer that they may be more inclined to take. Here’s an example of an exit-intent offer we tested with one or our nonprofit partners:

Nonprofit Marketing Tools - Exit Intent Offer

So then, how can you set up an exit-intent offer on your landing page or website? If you’ve already decided to use Unbounce for your landing pages, you’re in luck. Unbounce lets you create these offers as well; they just call them “Convertables.”

Another tool you can use for exit-intent offers is called Sumo. They offer tons of different conversion and lead acquisition tools for your site, and they work on just about any website.

A Personalized Direct Mail Offer to Create Multi-Channel Donors

We all know that donors who engage with us in both offline and online channels tend to give more often and at higher levels. So most fundraisers try to get their offline donors to give their next gift online by simply including a URL in their direct mail appeal.

Sometimes that strategy works, but rarely do you see any substantial change in a donor’s behavior.

Recently, we tested going the opposite direction. We wanted to engage our online donors with an offline channel. So we sent them a hyper-personalized post card with a call-to-action that drove them online to watch a video.

Nonprofit Marketing Tools - Enthusem Post Cards

By nurturing these donors through multiple channels, we saw that they were 204% more likely to donate the next time we asked them to give.

So how can you apply this strategy with your donors? We use a tool called Enthusem. There’s a little bit of cost to maintain an account, and you obviously pay for the cost of the cards themselves. But when you see 204% increases in donations, they more than pay for themselves.

An Automated Thank You Call to Your Donors

Nonprofit Marketing Tools - Phone Call

Some of our most recent research on mid-level donors reveals that 92% of organizations don’t call their mid-level donors to say “Thank you” for their gift.

This seems strange to me as other research from Penelope Burke shows that donors who receive a thank you will give 40% more the next time they donate.

Now, I understand that it can take a lot of time and effort to set up a call center, or to take time out of your schedule to make thank you calls yourself. And I’d imagine that’s the reason the majority of organizations don’t do it.

That’s where SlyBroadcast comes in. SlyBroadcast will let you leave a voicemail message for your donor without actually ringing their phone. You simply record your voicemail message, enter all the phone numbers of the donors you’d like to leave a message for, and schedule the time you’d like the voicemail to be left.

Best of all, it can all be automated with Zapier. (If you’re not already using Zapier to tie all your tools and data together, you might check it out.)

Now, nothing this good is ever without cost. But in this case, the price couldn’t be better. At its most expensive, you can leave a voicemail for 10 cents. And if you’re working with a larger list, you can get it for as little as 4 cents per voicemail.

With such minimal cost and the potential for a 40% higher second gift, SlyBroadcast is a perfect tool to say “Thank You” and scale personal relationships with your donors.

Nonprofit Marketing is Not About the Tools, It’s About the Message

No one has ever grown their fundraising or their impact by simply purchasing a new tool. New marketing tools and technology are only going to be as effective as the message that you communicate through them.

Why Should I Give to You? - Nonprofit Value PropositionBefore you go out and pay for a new landing page builder or voicemail calling platform, make sure you’ve taken the time to refine the value proposition of your offer. If you’re trying to get people to sign up for your email list, consider this question: “Why should I sign up for your email list, rather than some other organization’s, or not at all?”

You can learn more about how to refine your value proposition in our nonprofit value proposition study, Why Should I Give to You?

Are there tools you use in your own nonprofit marketing that others should know about? Post your favorites in the comments below and let us know.


Published by Nathan Hill

Nathan Hill is Vice President, NextAfter Institute.