Marketing helps play a key role in the success of your upcoming Giving Event. Since your event is time sensitive it’s important to make sure you come up with a solid plan to effectively promote your event with your network. There are a lot of groups you will need to connect with to help set your giving day up for success –  from recruiting nonprofits, rallying supporters, and running general promotions on the event, to reaching out to donors and soliciting sponsorships.

This post will help guide you through the planning process by first considering your marketing goals. We’ll also explain the importance of tailoring your message to your audience and provide five different marketing outlets with examples for you to consider when building your outreach strategy.

Step 1: Consider Your Goals

For a successful marketing strategy for your Giving Event it’s important to first consider your overall marketing goals. Two questions to ask yourself as you prepare your strategy – 1) who is the target audience(s) and 2) what are you trying to accomplish with your marketing outreach to that audience? 

Some examples might include reaching new nonprofits, general advertising of your event to the community, reminding previous donors to save the date, connecting with new donors, or sponsorship outreach. Once you have your goals in mind you will be able to create a targeted marketing campaign to help set you up for success.

Step 2: Tailor Your Messaging

For each goal, you will need to consider which type of marketing (or outlet) will work best to help get you the outcome you are looking for. Plan to tailor your messaging so it is specific to each target audience.

While some marketing outlets might overlap goals or audiences, it may not always be the case. For example, direct mailing a postcard might be a great way to build general event/brand awareness and could even help you attract new donors, but it may not be the best way to entice your sponsors – a group that would require a more detailed breakdown of information.


Step 3: Mix Your Outlets

A strong marketing strategy will incorporate a few different outlets of communication. There is no one-size fits all in marketing. Consider incorporating a mix of outlets into your strategy, from print advertising, to in-person events and more. Mix and match the five outlets below to help you build a strong marketing campaign and reach a wide audience. 


1 – News Releases to Local Media 

Great for: Raising overall event/brand awareness, reaching a diverse audience at once

Press releases are great to help you market your giving event and attract publicity from local media, newspapers, radio stations, or even podcasters and bloggers. They provide the opportunity to create your own write-up about your event. What do you want to say? What should people know? Why is this event important? This is a great way to make sure the community knows your event is coming up and provide your perspective on its impact. Some news stations might even pick up the piece and offer to do a full story. 

Consider a press release ahead of your event when early giving launches to gain coverage while the giving window is open, and a follow up release post campaign to announce results, showcase sponsors and build brand and event awareness for the following year. 

You can find more information on press releases and tips on writing one here.


2 – Direct Mail 

Greate for: Overall event/brand awareness, reaching new nonprofits, connecting with potential new donors, reconnecting with current donors and supporters

Direct mail is a great way to physically get your event name and brand in front of your community. For donors in particular who are overwhelmed with email, sending a postcard with event details will create a tangible piece of content that feels much more personal (and likely to stand out). Consider sending a postcard as a ‘save the date’ to get in front of potential donors in the community. You can add a QR code to your postcard or pamphlet making it even easier for the recipient to view your web page with full details.

A direct mail campaign can complement your nonprofit recruitment campaign well. With high levels of turnover in nonprofits, last year’s contacts (and email addresses) for participating organizations might not still be active. Or your contacts might include the communications or development person responsible for running the campaign, but not the Executive Director that is the real decision maker in an organization. Consider adding a post-card mailing to the full database of eligible nonprofits in your community every other year to ensure existing (or new) nonprofits in your area are aware of your event. Check out this article to learn more about direct mail marketing. 


3 – Print Advertising

Great for: Attracting new donors, raising overall event awareness, getting your event in front of businesses, nonprofits, and the general public 

Some examples of print advertising include advertisements in magazines or newspapers, feature articles written about your event, printing and posting flyers to bulletin boards, or billboards and other large printed signage around the community.

When considering where to advertise in print media, you will want to start by researching your local publications. Which newspapers or magazines are read by each of your target audiences you are looking to connect with? Specific magazines and newspapers may resonate more with different audiences. Ask for the demographic data from the publication to help you better understand the audience you will be talking to. Knowing your audience will help you create the strongest chance for successful messaging.

QR codes are also seeing a continued increase in popularity. Adding a QR code to your printed materials creates an actionable next step for your recipient. They can scan the code and be directed to your event homepage, or another page that contains the details you want to share. Create a free QR code here. If you are interested in tracking the usage data from your QR code, there are plenty of providers to choose from online. We chat more about QR codes in this blog post


4 – In-person Events

Great for: Connecting with the community, building new donor relationships and overall awareness of your event/brand, cultivating sponsorship leads, partnering with local businesses 

In-person events are a fun way to make connections with your community. They offer you the opportunity to spend time talking to people one-on-one, and word-of-mouth marketing is still a highly successful marketing strategy.

Set up a table at a festival or a highly-trafficked grocery store. You can get creative with what an in-person event looks like for you. In-person events help build brand awareness and cultivate potential sponsorship and participation leads. These are great opportunities for a volunteer to post up and spread the word about how others can get involved.

Looking to invite sponsors to join your event? Get creative and host a mixer for local businesses to attend and hear more about the sponsorship packages you offer.

Pass out free save-the-dates, stickers, and other information for a fun take-away.


5 – Peer-to-Peer Advertising

Great for: Boosting overall marketing efforts while supporting your participants

Peer-to-peer advertising means creating materials participating organizations can use to market the upcoming giving event. Just like peer-to-peer fundraising helps nonprofits reach more donors, a P2P advertising strategy helps you cast a wider marketing net in your community. By creating event marketing materials (re-useable yard signs, posters, save the date postcards, etc.) and then sharing them with your participating nonprofits you help create a mutually beneficial marketing strategy. Nonprofits already juggle a lot as they work to promote and prepare their campaigns. If they can pick up pre-made materials it saves them time and stress.

Two great examples of events utilizing this advertising strategy are NTX Giving Day and Give Local Piedmont. Both giving events provide marketing materials free of charge for their participating nonprofits. Give Local Piedmont includes a list of pickup locations in their nonprofit toolkit. Branded magnets, postcards, posters and yard signs are all available at the locations for organizations to pick up and use. As a bonus, the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation also has volunteers who can bring materials to nonprofits or mail them.

NTX Giving Day partners with a printing service to help make creating marketing materials easier for participating organizations. The printer offers different options for branded assets from yard signs to postcards and more.

You can take peer-to-peer advertising digital as well. Create a free graphics kit or event assets for organizations to use in digital marketing. If you have the budget (or a sponsor!) create merchandise to pass out. Hats, shirts or totes help commemorate the event and spread public awareness.



Interested in hosting a Giving Event on Mightycause, or talking to our team of experts to grow your campaign? Learn more and contact us here!

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