Community-giving campaigns are an excellent way to engage local supporters in fundraising efforts. Whether you’re working with a nonprofit, school, university, or church, you may turn to a local giving campaign to harness the support of your neighbors and fellow community members.
But just like any giving campaign, the success of your community-based fundraising efforts depends on your ability to get the word out. To do so, you’ll need to incorporate a few localized marketing practices to sufficiently get the word out about your campaign.
To optimize your marketing efforts, we recommend following a strategy that takes advantage of new trends as well as tried-and-true strategies. Here are six localized marketing tips to help promote your community-giving fundraiser:
- Use geo-proximity targeting.
- Reach out to local businesses.
- Give IP targeting a try.
- Optimize local SEO efforts.
- Promote your community ties on social media.
- Get in touch with local media outlets.
While you can incorporate some of these strategies without the help of a data specialist, many of these data-driven marketing strategies require more advanced data targeting skills. If your organization doesn’t have a data whiz on staff, look into your options for investing in a data marketing provider that can provide the specialized knowledge required to optimize your local marketing strategies.
With that, let’s dive in!
1. Use geo-proximity targeting.
Geo-proximity targeting, or hyperlocal marketing, is an advertising tactic that involves identifying and marketing to those who live in a specific geographic area. This is what your community-giving campaign is all about— reaching those in your local community and rallying them to support your cause.
You can use data marketing techniques to identify those in your local community that you’d like to target with your geo-proximity marketing campaign. Here are the steps to gathering and analyzing location data:
- Assess your data sources. This involves analyzing the in-house data your organization has collected over the years from past fundraising efforts, surveys, and other community outreach activities. Over time, you may have developed a comprehensive database of current and past supporters including their phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses. You can supplement this information by investing in a data append from a third-party data firm. With a data append, you’ll be able to round out your supporter data by adding any missing attributes or addresses.
- Segment your supporters by geographic location. When you create a group that only includes supporters who live in your local area, you can craft specific fundraising appeals that will connect with them.
After you’ve created a segment of local supporters, you can reach out to them using the communication channels of your choice. You may choose to pursue an email marketing campaign, a targeted social media campaign that uses paid advertising, or a direct mail campaign.
You can also further segment your local supporters by creating smaller groups based on demographics or lifestyle characteristics. You can refine your marketing message even further by appealing to each subset of your local audience.
2. Reach out to local businesses.
In any community, local businesses typically carry a lot of sway. Business leaders are often influential in many aspects of the community, from serving as board members of local nonprofits and chambers of commerce to being involved in the school system. This means partnering with a local business can introduce your mission and fundraiser to a wider audience than marketing by yourself.
When you partner with a business, ask if they’ll promote your fundraiser with flyers or social media posts. They could even create a donation day where a portion of their sales goes directly to your campaign.
Be sure to also emphasize the benefits each business will receive from partnering with your charitable cause. As Double the Donation’s guide to corporate responsibility states, consumers are more likely to work with or patronize businesses that prioritize social responsibility. Let local business owners know that by helping out with your fundraising efforts, they may receive a positive image boost and more customer engagement.
3. Give IP targeting a try
IP targeting is a digital marketing tactic that involves identifying a desired target market, in this case, potential supporters, and delivering relevant ads to their households using their IP addresses. Think of IP targeting as “direct mail delivered digitally” because this technology uses addressable geofencing to identify and target households, the same way you use direct mail. An IP address is a unique identifier assigned to each home or business WiFi network.
IP targeting enables you to send ads to all of the home and personal devices connected to a certain WiFi network. In the context of your local giving campaign, you’d want to target the IP addresses of your prospective supporters within a certain geographic area, such as a local neighborhood. You’ll want to use the same demographic and propensity data that you would use in a targeted direct mail campaign so that you send ads only to those who are most likely to have an affinity for your cause.
You can create ads that point recipients to your online giving page or fundraising campaign page and use IP targeting to deliver those ads directly to your intended audience.
AccuData’s IP targeting guide offers a few best practices for conducting this marketing strategy, including:
- Use A/B testing to determine the best appeals to use. A/B testing is the process of running two campaigns with slight variations to determine which was most effective at converting your target audience members into donors. For instance, you can create different ads that are geared toward male and female supporters, or supporters in different generations. Based on the success of these ads, you can adjust your overall campaign efforts accordingly.
- Deploy compelling ad copy. At the end of the day, the success of any online marketing campaign will depend on the quality of the ad copy. It doesn’t matter how many community members you reach if your messages are ineffective. Compelling copy is concise and conversational. Marketing professionals also recommend taking a story-telling approach to writing copy and including true stories and testimonials from your supporters.
IP targeting is a more advanced marketing technique, so you’ll probably want to partner with an IP targeting expert to help carry out this effort. These specialists can launch your marketing campaign and keep it on track.
4. Optimize local SEO efforts
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website and digital marketing strategies to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Localizing your SEO efforts is the process of designing your website content so that it’s relevant to locally popular keywords. Local keywords are words or phrases that people in your community frequently include in search engine queries. You can use tools such as Google Trends to determine what keywords are most popular in your area.
For instance, let’s say you’re working for an animal rescue. Using Google Trends, you might determine that people in your community frequently search terms like “volunteer opportunities near me” or “animal shelters in [your city name].” With this information, you know you should include these keywords in a prominent place on your website pages to drive traffic to your site.
For qualifying nonprofits, you could receive a boost to help stimulate your local SEO efforts. With the Google Grant for nonprofits, your organization can receive $10,000 a month to spend on Google Ads. You can use these funds to bid on keywords that are relevant to your organization. These ads appear at the top of search engine results pages, meaning you’ll capture users’ attention right away when they search for relevant keywords.
By pursuing a Google ad campaign, you can increase the likelihood that local supporters will see your website at the top of search results and click to learn more.
5. Promote your community ties on social media
Social media is an effective medium to engage supporters more casually and organically. Your organization is an integral part of the community, so show off your local ties on social media! Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to engage with followers and promote your connections to the community.
For instance, ask a recognizable community member, such as the high school football coach or mayor, to film a short social media video promoting your fundraiser. You can boost your organization’s reputation and broadcast the importance of your fundraiser by partnering with these locally influential figures.
In addition, use your social media to highlight how your fundraising efforts directly impact the local community. Use statistics and anecdotes to tell a story about your organization’s mission and its intrinsic ties to the surrounding area.
If you work with a school, talk about how your fundraiser will allow the school to buy 50 new laptops that students can take home with them to complete their homework. If you’re working with a local Habitat for Humanity branch, discuss how generous donations can lead to more houses being built to benefit those who live in the community.
Overall, remind your audience members that supporting your cause means directly helping their friends and neighbors.
6. Get in touch with local media outlets
Even with the emergence of new digital communication channels, many people still read the local newspaper and turn on their local TV station each morning. Local news can be an effective outlet to spread awareness of your community-giving campaign because this medium is specifically designed to promote happenings within the community.
Reach out to your town’s TV stations, newspapers, blogs, and radio stations to see if they’ll promote your fundraising efforts. Be sure to write copy that accurately and succinctly describes the purpose of your fundraiser and what your organization will do with the donations.
For instance, let’s say you’re ramping up your marketing efforts ahead of your GivingTuesday campaign. Before you send out requests to local news outlets, sit down with your team to craft a compelling marketing message that can be altered to work for any medium. This may include a press release for the local newspaper and TV station, a script for a radio ad, or a digital flyer to send to local bloggers.
Once you’ve come up with the perfect message that you believe will inspire the community to get involved in your Giving Day event or campaign, send it out to as many local news outlets as you can think of to spread the word. This ensures that you’re reaching your target audience no matter what news platform they prefer.
The help of your local supporters is critical to reaching your community-giving campaign’s fundraising goal. These strategies will put you on the right track toward better connecting with your target audience. Remember, a data marketing professional can help provide specialized advice and fill any gaps your team may have in its digital marketing strategy. Good luck!