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A Fundraiser’s Guide to Omnichannel Marketing: 3 Tips

By Kristin Priest posted 08-01-2023 11:51

As a nonprofit fundraiser, you’re likely always looking for ways to sharpen and hone your craft. Improving your marketing strategies is a smart place to focus.

With a robust marketing strategy, you can reach more new donors, strengthen relationships with existing supporters, and drive deeper involvement with your organization. An omnichannel approach allows you to establish multiple touchpoints with donors so you can build stronger brand awareness and recognition. 

In this guide, we’ll cover three key tips to implement an omnichannel strategy that will elevate your career as a fundraiser:

  1. Center data in your strategy.
  2. Embrace emerging platforms and tech.
  3. Leverage offline experiences. 
  4. Plan ahead. 

The best way to level up any marketing campaign is to dig deeper into your donor data and personalize messaging according to their preferences and values. By leveraging data in your strategy, you’ll be able to target and appeal to donors’ unique passions and motivations for giving.

1. Center Data in Your Strategy

Data analytics is defined as “the process of collecting data and analyzing it to uncover trends, patterns, and insights that will help guide fundraising strategies.” By leveraging insights from this data, your nonprofit can raise more fundraising revenue, upgrade more supporters to mid-level or major donors, and uncover more major giving prospects. 

Analyze these data points to guide your omnichannel marketing approach:

  • Communication preferences. When you create your content calendar, focus on the platforms your supporters use (e.g., email, direct mail, and phone) as well as when they use them. This ensures you’re reaching your audience members where and when they prefer to be reached.
  • Demographic and psychographic data. These data points include age, income, values, interests, geographic location, and more. Use this information to guide you in tailoring your messages to best appeal to your audience. You wouldn’t speak to a retired 65-year-old with the same tone as a 40-year-old working full-time with two children. Segment your audience based on data points and tailor communications accordingly.
  • Engagement history. Analyze both how your donors interact with your organization (e.g., are they one-time donors or avid volunteers?) as well as the other nonprofits they support to identify ways to deepen their engagement moving forward.

Improving your data analytics skills can have a positive impact on other areas of your career as well. For instance, you might leverage data during performance reviews, either with direct reports or managers, to illustrate the value of your or others’ work.

2. Embrace Emerging Platforms and Tech

Classic communication channels are undoubtedly powerful and effective. Direct mail marketing, for example, is tangible, personal, versatile, and effective for a wide range of demographics. These classic marketing channels, however, can accomplish even more when accompanied by additional communication platforms.

As a fundraiser, it’s important to stay up-to-date with industry trends, innovative marketing ideas, and new technologies. Here are a few to consider trying:

  • Social media platforms like TikTok and Threads
  • SMS/text
  • Influencer marketing
  • User-generated content 
  • User-friendly graphic design platforms like Canva
  • AI and predictive modeling
  • Gamified fundraising

This tip can not only help your nonprofit reach untapped audiences of potential supporters, but it will also show that you’re flexible enough to quickly adapt to changing trends. 

When you are the first fundraiser to suggest launching a campaign on the newest social media platform, you demonstrate the valuable thought and research you put into your nonprofit’s outreach strategies. 

Before long, you may even find yourself becoming the organization’s authority on new technology. 

3. Leverage Offline Experiences

In addition to digital messaging, provide memorable offline experiences as a part of your omnichannel strategy as well. When you plan your campaign strategy, look for opportunities to include in-person or interactive elements in the campaign.

For example, an animal rescue might have a pop-up event in a local park, giving supporters a chance to play with adoptable cats and dogs. This way, the organization can encourage adoptions while giving supporters a chance to directly interact with the animals their donations support. 

Take advantage of these in-person events as a way to network and build real offline relationships with others in the space and your community. 

Make an effort to connect with major donors, prospects, local businesses, industry professionals, and even fellow fundraisers from peer organizations. 

These connections can come in handy when it’s time to solicit donations for your annual fund or a capital campaign or a sponsorship for your next event, and you might learn a thing or two from your peers.

4. Plan Ahead

The timeline for your organization’s omnichannel marketing campaign will vary depending on how many channels you are using and whether you are marketing on a regional or national level. 

It’s recommended to always be “in market” with some kind of evergreen, promotional activity—particularly in digital marketing spaces. For more thematic or seasonal campaigns, it’s best to plan at least one month in advance and run the campaign for around 30 to 75 days. 

Keep in mind that more traditional channels like direct mail and print have much longer lead times than purely digital channels. If your omnichannel efforts involve these channels, start planning two to three months in advance. To execute your omnichannel strategy well, planning is key.

By implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy, you’ll be able to brush up on important data analytics skills, gain a deeper understanding of your nonprofit’s supporters, and network with key players in your organization’s space. If you want to take your strategy a step further and gain more professional expertise, consider working with a seasoned nonprofit marketing agency to enhance your efforts.