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Quality Over Quantity: How to Find the Right Supporters for Long-Term Growth

Whether it is donations, volunteers, board members, or advocates you are in need of, it's hard to know how to attract more supporters in a competitive environment. Luckily, organizations now have access to more channels than ever to introduce people to their cause. With so many opportunities available, nonprofit organizations must prioritize their efforts. By combining prioritization with the right methodology, nonprofits can not only gain more supporters but also find people who are in it for the long haul.

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Step 1: Clarify Your Mission

Did you know that an average person makes a decision in just 7 seconds? Overwhelmed with constant decision-making and messages every day, the average person dissects information and makes these instant decisions more quickly than ever. While your organization's mission is important and matters deeply, getting the attention of potential supporters requires a quick sales pitch. Your mission should be able to be summarized in a single sentence that explains who you serve, what problem you solve, and how you solve it.

This statement will serve as the cornerstone of your messaging to be used across your outlets. Try this tried-and-true formula for creating a positioning statement:

For (the cause you serve) who (their need or challenge they face), (organization name) is an (organization type) that (problem you solve) by (how you uniquely solve the problem).

Take for example a local organization committed to climate change. How are they fighting it? How are they different from all the other organizations looking to do the same? Using this formula, their positioning statement could look like this:

For Cook County residents who want to help reduce their impact on climate change, Cook Climate Conservancy is an environmental preservation nonprofit organization that reduces yearly pollution in its community by organizing monthly cleanup days and creating and spreading education and awareness about climate change issues.

This positioning statement answers all our key questions when trying to capture immediate attention — who, where, when, how, and why. It's important to accept that your positioning statement will cause some people to decide against supporting you. Cook County will benefit the most from people in its community who will show up every month to volunteer, who spread the mission themselves and bring in more volunteers from their social circles. While this can sound scary, there is much more to be gained in finding the right audience than the biggest one.

Unsure of how to develop the right message? TechSoup's Digital Marketing experts can help.

Step 2: Optimize Your Website

Once your mission is clearly defined, implement it into your website strategy. On average, a first-time website visitor will decide if they want to keep learning more about your organization in the first 15 seconds of landing on your website. Therefore, you should ensure that your website is built for quick, digestible information. In order to optimize your website for attracting more potential supporters, you can

  • Improve the page loading time: Google has found that 53 percent of mobile website visitors will leave if a web page doesn't load within three seconds. Check how quickly your website loads and is functioning by using TechSoup's free Website Wellness Report.
  • Add your clarified mission statement to the home page, visible without needing to scroll (called "above the fold").
  • Make sure your website is easy to navigate. The next step at any stage of a visitor's "journey" through your site should always be clearly visible. Adding call-to-action buttons directly under the header is a good way to direct people to donate, get involved, or learn more.

Is your website in need of more than optimization? TechSoup's website services team specializes in custom website builds designed to attract and convert more supporters for your organization.

Step 3: Attract More Visitors

Once your mission is clear and your website is optimized, you are ready to start attracting the right visitors to your website.

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting the right person, developing the right message, and delivering it at the right time. Working seamlessly with the tactics we've discussed so far, inbound marketing relies on clarified messaging that works to convert audiences based on what we already know about them.

Inbound marketing meets your ideal audience where they are online and nurtures them to get involved through helpful, educational, and actionable content. Here are some tactics to attract more potential supporters:

  • Blog Posts: Write educational and informative posts to reach the audience in the beginning of their journey.
  • SEO: Ensure that audiences can find your organization when Googling related searches.
  • Social Media: Reach your audience where they are most active online.
  • Infographics: Infographics are an eye-catching and memorable way to highlight statistics related to your cause.
  • Videos: Engaging and impactful content shows your mission and impact.
  • Podcasts: Be innovative and use a podcast to show success stories or raise awareness.

Step 4: Nurture and Convert Supporters

You'll also need to consider those visitors who are interested in your mission but aren't ready to commit.

It's normal for visitors to need to interact with your organization more than once before deciding to get involved. In order to build more support from web visitors, it is important to create "low-barrier" forms of entry. These are ways for someone to begin their relationship with your organization without a time-based or financial commitment.

The traffic on your website should have clear and actionable ways to get involved other than donating or volunteering. Implementing forms across your website can be a great way to capture initial interest. One way to drive form submissions is by implementing a newsletter subscription form in the footer of your website so it is a clear final step at the end of every web page. You can also "gate" content by putting it behind a form, such as requiring registration for a free event.

Once a visitor has submitted a form, send them email content that will encourage them to donate or volunteer. This might include educational material, impact stories, or milestone and event announcements. This will help you build the relationship over time and keep you top-of-mind when they are ready to support.

Strategize and Grow

Finding the right people who believe in the work you do, providing the right information to act, and giving clear, actionable ways to get involved is imperative in order to gain sustainable growth for your organization. If you aren't sure how to get started, TechSoup offers comprehensive Marketing Audit and Strategy, as well as a range of digital marketing services. From campaign goals, to target audiences, content strategy, messaging, and more, this project is a road map to driving and growing support and awareness.


Additional Resources

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