Connect with us

Charity Marketing: how to save money and create a successful campaign


Charity Marketing: how to save money and create a successful campaign

Without a large budget, you might be wondering how you’ll ever create and run an effective marketing campaign. Non-profit organisations face the same issues as commercial companies when it comes to marketing, but with typically less capital to support them.

Regardless of why you wish to launch a new marketing campaign for your charity, this guide is packed with money-saving tips to help you design and launch a successful campaign with limited funds.

Marketing aims and message

Establishing a clear goal and determining your target audience are key parts of planning a marketing campaign — especially if you want to avoid wasting money due to not having a strong strategy. Decide what you want to achieve and let that goal guide everything else you do — just make your objectives precise, measurable and realistic. Not only will this make your campaign easier to manage, but it’ll also prevent unnecessary spending.

Your aims might be:

  • Improving awareness of your organisation.
  • Hitting a fundraising target.
  • Advertising an upcoming fundraiser.
  • Attracting more regular donors.

As for your marketing message, this is how your audience engages with your campaign and how you want them to perceive your organisation. It involves the content you use, the images you show, your tone of voice online, the design of any leaflets you send out, and anything else that affects how people react to your marketing material.

Personal stories work wonders for charitable organisations, as they can individualise your charity and encourage people to want to help. For example; US organisation, charity: water, dedicates a section of its website to real-life stories of people the charity has helped, and is renowned for its vivid images and poignant videos. Try collecting case studies of how your work has improved lives by:

  • Carrying out video interviews.
  • Creating a ‘day-in-the-life-of’ detailing a colleague or recent beneficiary of your charity and placing it online or as a photo-story for a series of roll-up banners.
  • Taking pictures and posting them online.

Showing people what your charity can do is far more effective than just writing about it.

Who is your audience?

Your audience will make or break your campaign’s success — no matter how much money you spend. Are there any economic factors that might affect people donating to your organisation? If so, bear these in mind, and remember: no matter what issues you discover, knowing what they are is a critical step to overcoming them without having to start over — which is costly.

Target audience research is vital, but luckily, there are many ways to do this for free. Start by researching current donors on Facebook and Twitter to find out their interests, likes and motivations to help you create a marketing strategy that they’ll want to engage with. You can find out more for free by using your website’s analytics and metrics or via an email survey.

Quality campaign content?

Using a smartphone can save you hundreds in hiring professional photographers and getting images and videos edited and developed. However, strong and emotive copy that encourages engagement is an essential companion to digital imagery and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Your tone will play an influential role in your campaign’s success. Regardless of the subject, your language should be chatty, friendly and hopeful. Create content that is punchy and powerful with a strong key message — such as: ‘Likes don’t save lives’ from UNICEF Sweden or ‘Help is a four-legged word’ from Canine Companions. Taglines like these jump off print marketing products like posters and flyers. If you pair with a striking image, you massively increase your chances of marketing success.

Effectively spreading the word about your campaign?

Print and digital media are both handy at getting your campaign content to the public without breaking the bank. Use your organisation’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to boost your campaign and encourage people to share your posts, photos and Tweets for free. Social networks are typically successful at promoting charitable organisations. In 2014, the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) launched a video marketing campaign to raise awareness and hallmark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The campaign was covered hundreds of times in the media and achieved more than 14,000 social media shares.

What about your audience members who don’t spend lots of time online? If you want to reach people with something tangible that they can take their time reading and hold on to afterwards, try print marketing. Nearly 80% of charitable donations come from direct mail, according to a report by the Institute of Fundraising. The same report detailed that print inspires loyalty, with more than half of the people surveyed stating that they find print the most credible marketing channel and a quarter keeping printed products for future reference.

Don’t think that print marketing is going to cost you lots of cash. Since print is such a popular marketing channel for charities, many design and print agencies work closely and often with non-profit organisations. So, don’t hold back from getting in touch and negotiating a deal.

Extra funding

If you’d feel safer with a bit of extra funding, why not contact:

  • The public: according to Company Giving, funds from the general public account for a third of voluntary sector income.
  • Corporations: businesses are often pleased to donate to charities to boost staff morale.
  • Governmental organisations: although, the level of funding changes depending on where your organisation is based.
  • Lottery: around 28% of lottery ticket sales are given to charitable organisations.
  • UK trusts: these donate billions of pounds to charities.

It’s clearly achievable to set up and launch an effective campaign on a budget, as long as you stay on target and carry out plenty of research to avoid pitfalls!



I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

More in Business

To Top
Read previous post:
Creating the perfect working environment for your small business

Having a small business can be incredibly gratifying. Handling a workforce and having total control over your day-to-day activities allows...