4 Tips for Marketing Your Animal-Related Nonprofit
Animals hold a special place in our hearts, which is why it’s so important for your nonprofit to protect and advocate for their well-being. However, running a successful animal-related nonprofit goes beyond compassion alone. It also requires strategic planning, effective communication, and innovative marketing techniques to reach your target audience and inspire them to take action.
In this guide, we’ll provide four tips for marketing your animal-related nonprofit. Whether you’re part of an animal shelter, wildlife conservation organization, or advocacy group, these insights will help you navigate the ever-evolving world of nonprofit marketing.
1. Leverage Multiple Marketing Channels
If you want to attract the attention of as many supporters as possible, develop a multichannel marketing strategy. Multichannel marketing refers to the practice of engaging your audience through a combination of direct and indirect communication channels, including:
- Email: Send out regular newsletters with updates on animal rescue efforts, upcoming events, and opportunities for supporters to get involved. Personalize these email campaigns to make donors feel appreciated and connected to your cause.
- Direct mail: For a more traditional approach, send fundraising flyers, event invitations, and thank-you notes to members of the community through the mail. Include a QR code or easy-to-type URL so people can access your website for more information.
- Social media: Maintain an active presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Share photos and videos of the animals in your care and use relevant hashtags to expand your reach.
- Website: Create web pages dedicated to the various aspects of your nonprofit, such as an “About Us” page that summarizes your vision and a donation page with integrated payment processing. Additionally, write search engine optimized blog content to drive traffic to your site.
- Text: Encourage supporters to opt in for text updates to stay informed about your nonprofit’s activities. Then, leverage SMS campaigns for urgent appeals, event notifications, and fundraising drives, including links to your website or donation pages for quick and easy responses.
Create a brand guide to ensure your graphics and messaging stay consistent across these channels. This document should include a comprehensive overview of your nonprofit’s logo, color palette, and typography, as well as define your brand’s tone of voice and other writing style guidelines.
2. Tell compelling stories
Telling compelling stories through marketing outreach is essential as it humanizes your mission and makes it easier for potential supporters to understand your organization’s value.
Whether you’re filming a video, writing an email, or posting on social media, use the following storytelling techniques to connect with your audience on a deeper level:
- Introduce a main character. Tell the story of those impacted by your organization. For example, you might narrow in on a litter of puppies in need of urgent medical attention, a child who adopted a forever friend, or a donor who found fulfillment through supporting your cause.
- Problem solve. Introduce a challenge that your character faces. Then, show you’re working to solve that problem with the help of your supporters. For instance, a rescue group might say, “Puppies like Luna are often found on the streets, emaciated and in dire need of medical attention. Thanks to generous donations from our community, we are able to provide life-saving care and help them find their forever homes.”
- Show impact and results. Don’t just tell your audience what you do—show them the impact of your work. Use data, visuals, and concrete examples to demonstrate the positive changes your organization has made. This will help you build credibility and inspire potential supporters to take action.
At the end of your story, include a call to action (CTA) that provides a clear next step for readers, viewers, or followers who feel inspired to support your cause. Incorporating a CTA like a donation link or a volunteer sign-up form can amplify the impact of your story.
3. Collaborate with social media influencers
To further amplify your message, NXUnite recommends partnering with social media influencers who have demonstrated a passion for your cause. An endorsement from a well-known animal lover, pet influencer, or local celebrity can potentially lead to increased donations, volunteer support, and adoption rates.
As you prepare for these collaborations, be sure to:
- Choose relevance over reach. Instead of solely focusing on influencers with large follower counts, prioritize relevance. Look for influencers whose content and values align with your nonprofit’s mission and who have an engaged audience interested in animal welfare.
- Build authentic relationships. Establish an initial connection with potential influencers by engaging with their content, leaving meaningful comments, and sharing their posts.
- Establish clear collaboration guidelines. When approaching influencers, clearly communicate your expectations, goals, and the scope of the collaboration. Make sure they understand your nonprofit’s mission and the specific message or campaign you want to promote. Provide them with the necessary resources, such as information, images, and videos, to create compelling content.
Let’s say you run an animal shelter and there is a dog groomer in your community who has been well-respected for decades. Invite them to visit your facility, document the heartwarming transformation of rescue dogs receiving grooming services, and share these stories on their social media platforms. Doing so can provide you with the reach and visibility you need to achieve your marketing goals.
4. Build cross-sector partnerships
Unlike influencer collaborations, which involve individuals promoting a cause, cross-sector partnerships focus on collective efforts between organizations in separate industries. Successful partnerships bring together diverse expertise, resources, and perspectives to achieve systemic change.
To cultivate cross-sector partnerships for your nonprofit, you should:
- Align missions and values. Seek partners whose missions and values align with your nonprofit’s cause. For example, an animal shelter and a doggie daycare business would be an ideal match due to their shared passion for animal welfare. This alignment not only makes for more effective partnerships but also reinforces the campaign’s authenticity.
- Define clear objectives. Clearly define the objectives and expectations of the partnership from a marketing perspective. Determine what both parties hope to achieve through the collaboration. Whether it’s raising general awareness, increasing online donations, or expanding your reach on social media, having specific goals in mind will help guide your efforts and measure success.
- Leverage each other’s resources. Cross-sector partnerships should be mutually beneficial. Use each partner’s strengths and resources effectively. For instance, a local pet boarding business might use Gingr’s all-in-one marketing and management software to promote your cause to their customers, while your nonprofit includes the business’s branding and information on direct mail materials. Joint marketing efforts like this can help both organizations reach a broader audience.
If your cross-sector marketing efforts are a success, consider asking for further support. For instance, the business might be willing to provide financial or in-kind contributions in return for more exposure from your organization.
Marketing your animal-related nonprofit requires a multifaceted approach. With a well-crafted plan and attention to detail, you can effectively promote your cause, raise funds, and ultimately make a significant difference in the lives of animals in need.