It’s no secret that highly involved supporters are essential for your nonprofit to further its mission. Retaining donors and building long-term relationships with them allows you to bring in the consistent funding you need to run your programs and operate your organization. Plus, your volunteers, event participants, and advocates play their own critical roles in your mission, so it’s also important to keep them engaged.

Data-driven supporter engagement strategies tend to be the most successful, and you likely have a lot of information stored in your donor database that you can reference. However, this data needs to be analyzed in order to provide actionable insights. The conclusions drawn from this process are collectively known as donor analytics.

In this guide, we’ll discuss four ways donor analytics can help your nonprofit boost supporter involvement, including:

  1. Creating Targeted Appeals
  2. Making Your Storytelling More Compelling
  3. Sending Personalized Thank-You Messages
  4. Improving Financial Management

To glean these insights, you first need to analyze the right information. Jitasa’s guide to donor analytics recommends looking at giving, engagement, demographic, and predictive donor data to better understand your supporters’ motivations and preferences for being involved with your nonprofit. Then, you can tailor your fundraising, marketing, and financial planning activities to those motivations and preferences. Let’s dive in!

1. Creating Targeted Appeals

Chances are your nonprofit runs a variety of different initiatives that you ask supporters to participate in. To maximize the number of supporters who respond to these appeals, use donor analytics to determine the best target audience for each opportunity. Then, tailor your communications to those audiences.

Some initiatives where targeted appeals can be particularly helpful include:

  • Volunteer opportunities. In your database, make note of supporters’ interests that are relevant to certain areas of your mission. That way, you can promote your volunteer opportunities to those who are most likely to be interested in participating. For example, an animal shelter might keep track of which supporters prefer dogs or cats and advertise different volunteer positions accordingly.
  • Matching gifts. By tracking donors’ employment information, you can identify those who work for a company with a matching gift program. Then, you can reach out to these donors individually to remind them to submit match requests to their employers each time they contribute, multiplying the impact of their gifts.
  • Major gift solicitation. Analyzing supporters’ wealth and philanthropic markers allows you to identify potential major donors among your supporter base. A strong prospect needs to have both the financial capacity and the willingness to support your mission through a major gift. Supplement the information in your donor database with specialized prospect research tools to get a complete picture of each candidate before reaching out.

To figure out the best way for each supporter to be involved, leverage demographic data like their age, location, employer, and interests, as well as the predictive analytics drawn from wealth and philanthropic data. Analyzing information on supporters’ past giving and engagement can then help you decide how much money or time is reasonable to ask for in your appeal.

2. Making Your Storytelling More Compelling

Many nonprofits use storytelling to inspire supporters to get involved with their mission because stories engage supporters’ emotions more than facts alone. To make your stories even more compelling, leverage donor analytics to discover:

  • What types of stories would catch your supporters’ attention. Supporters often like to see themselves in stories, so feature donors as main characters who share demographic characteristics and engagement histories with your target audience. Alternatively, if you want your story’s protagonist to be one of your organization’s beneficiaries, ensure the story aligns with your audience’s interests.
  • Which marketing channels to use for storytelling. Donor engagement analytics also encompass the marketing content your supporters prefer to engage with. Determine which channels are receiving the most interactions and concentrate on telling compelling stories in those materials.

To see these tips in practice, let’s say an educational nonprofit is preparing to send out its year-end fundraising appeals, and the campaign’s primary target audience is Millennial donors. By analyzing demographic and engagement data, they determine that many supporters in that generation are interested in improving elementary education, and their preferred communication channels are email and social media.

With this in mind, the organization could convince this audience to donate by sharing stories about an elementary school’s students who achieved academic success through its free after-school tutoring program in their Instagram posts and email newsletter.

3. Sending Personalized Thank-You Messages

In addition to appeals, donor analytics can influence your follow-up communications after supporters engage with your organization. In particular, the insights you glean will help you send personalized thank-you messages that help donors feel valued.

To effectively leverage analytics for donor recognition, try these tips:

  • Address each supporter by their preferred name. Along with other demographic data, make notes in your database about whether each supporter likes to be addressed by their title and last name, their first name, or a nickname in the greeting of a thank-you note.
  • Mention the donor’s individual contributions. Review the donor’s giving and engagement history to thank them for the exact amount they gave, the number of hours they volunteered, or the ways they participated in your event or advocacy campaign.
  • Provide an opportunity to give feedback. If a supporter fills out a survey or answers a satisfaction question, it shows that they care about their involvement with your organization. Not only can you use their responses to improve their experience, but you should also track which supporters give feedback as part of your engagement analytics.

According to eCardWidget, leveraging analytics to personally thank donors is important for retaining them. Supporters who feel valued are more likely to stay involved with your organization over time, saving you money on donor acquisition and ensuring consistent support.

4. Improving Financial Management

Although they may not be the first aspects that come to mind, your nonprofit financial management activities are essential to your supporter engagement strategy. Being transparent with donors about how you manage their contributions builds trust in your organization, which encourages them to stay involved.

Here are a few ways that donor analytics can apply to your nonprofit’s financial management:

  • BudgetingAnalyzing supporters’ giving patterns helps you predict when you’re most likely to receive a large number of individual donations so you can allocate your funding accordingly. For instance, nonprofit giving often peaks at the end of the calendar year, so you might wait to launch a new program until after the new year to ensure you’ll have enough funding to do so.
  • Revenue generation. Diversifying your funding allows you to bring in more sustainable revenue. Review your donors’ engagement histories and interests to determine what new revenue streams would appeal to your supporter base. For instance, you might decide to create a membership program to increase long-term involvement or add a new annual fundraising event to your calendar.
  • Financial reporting. By tracking supporter contributions accurately, you can ensure you report your revenue and expenses correctly on your end-of-year financial statements. Plus, you’ll know which supporters you’ve sent donation acknowledgements to for tax deduction purposes.

While many nonprofits view fundraising and financial management as separate processes, they actually work together to further your mission. Therefore, make sure you don’t overlook financial management activities as you work on involving supporters more deeply in your organization’s efforts.

When deciding whether to get involved with your nonprofit, supporters take a variety of considerations into account. Some of these include their personal interest in your mission and available opportunities, the experience of contributing their money or time, the potential impact of their involvement, and their trust in your organization. So, an engagement strategy that also considers these desires and is backed by donor analytics is most likely to succeed in boosting involvement at your nonprofit.

It’s no secret that supporters lie at the center of any nonprofit or association’s long-term success. In many cases, they make donations, volunteer, and even pay membership dues in support of your organization.

To maintain and strengthen these connections, organizations must craft an effective supporter stewardship plan. That means developing a strategy to keep donors invested in your organization and motivated to donate again.

In this guide, we’ll first discuss the basics of supporter stewardship, then delve into five key ways to create long-term, productive relationships.

What is supporter stewardship?

Supporter stewardship is the process of strengthening your organization’s supporter connections through effective communications and appreciation. By building strong relationships with supporters, you’ll deepen their loyalty to your cause and inspire future gifting.

With successful supporter stewardship, your organization can:

  • Retain more long-lasting support. Empower supporters to stay invested in your cause for years to come.
  • Generate more revenue. Having engaged supporters leads to future time and financial donations.
  • Spend fewer resources acquiring new supporters. Typically, recruiting and onboarding new supporters is more costly than retaining your existing ones.
  • Build an engaging community. With a meaningful and active community, supporters can feel excited about making a difference while connecting with like-minded individuals.

While it may not be feasible to engage in one-on-one interactions with every supporter, there are ways to make them feel individually valued by your organization.

How to steward your supporters

Having a supporter donate to your cause should never feel like a transactional experience. Instead, it needs to feel like the start of a meaningful relationship. To build this relationship, you’ll need to create a stewardship plan with a mixture of communications, activities, and feedback channels.

Follow these five tactics to develop your supporter stewardship plan.

1. Segment your communications

The foundation of any great relationship is communication. Keep your supporters updated about the ongoings of your organization, how their support is making a difference, and upcoming initiatives so they can stay engaged after making their first gifts.

Since your supporter base is likely diverse, you’ll want to segment your communications. Segmentation lets you group supporters based on different characteristics like gifting frequency and event history.

You can segment supporters by their:

  • Involvement, such as volunteering. Tell supporters about upcoming events that they can participate in to support your organization.
  • Communication preferences. Whether it’s email, private messages, or text, communicate with your members on their preferred platforms.
  • Average gift amount. By segmenting supporters based on their gift amount, you can write messages that celebrate generous gifters and encourage others to donate again.
  • History with your organization. Newer members can benefit from learning about your organization’s origin story, founders, and milestones.

Segmentation allows you to send messages tailored to supporters’ specific interests and involvement with your organization. This ensures that your supporters are more likely to read and respond to your communications.

2. Emphasize their impact

Your supporters want to know how their donations are making a difference in your organization and the community that you support. Keep supporters invested in your organization by sharing the impact of their contributions with personalized thank-you letters and additional communications.

Imagine that your organization launched a new community program with the help of your supporters’ donations. To thank your supporters and show them the achievements of this community program, you can send out a message that details:

  • The amount raised.
  • How the program uses these donations, such as renting a community center.
  • What community the program uplifts.
  • The number of people that the program supports.
  • Messages from the team running the program and the community.
  • Future milestones for the program.

An effective way to help supporters understand how their involvement in creating positive change is to use storytelling backed by statistics. An impact story forges an emotional connection between supporters and your organization’s purpose, making them feel like a driving force behind your work.

3. Express your appreciation

When supporters donate their time and money to your organization, they want to be personally appreciated. After being recognized for their gifts, supporters will feel good about donating and become motivated to give again.

To thank supporters for their generosity you can:

  • Send an automated thank-you email after every donation.
  • Spotlight key supporters on social media and forums.
  • Reach out around the holidays or their birthday with a celebratory message.
  • Host a virtual or in-person appreciation event.
  • Create a thank-you video with messages from your team.
  • Send appreciation gifts, such as branded merchandise.

By using a combination of these recognition tactics, your supporters will feel appreciated throughout the year and keep your organization at the forefront of their minds.

4. Offer multiple engagement opportunities

Having a range of engagement opportunities is essential for organizations with a diverse supporter base. Hosting multiple events lets supporters decide exactly how they want to stay involved.

Popular supporter engagement opportunities include:

  • Volunteering. Let supporters take a more hands-on approach to helping your organization with volunteering initiatives, such as lending a helping hand at community events.
  • Signing up for your email newsletter. By signing up for your newsletter, your supporters can stay up to date on your organization’s current initiatives, upcoming events, and community milestones.
  • Subscribing to receive texts from your organization. Younger supporters may prefer texts from your organization to learn about events.
  • Attending events. From virtual meet-ups to happy hours and everything in between, your organization can hold different events during the year that appeal to supporters’ interests.
  • Following your organization on social media. Your organization’s social media is ideal for demonstrating the difference your organization is making in the world, highlighting events, and showing the community you uplift, all while encouraging supporters to respond in the comments.
  • Promoting membership tiers. By creating different membership tiers, your supporters can upgrade their status in your organization by giving more, thereby providing them with access to exclusive perks like events, resources, and branded merchandise.

With different types of events and topics, you’ll ensure that supporters can make the most out of their time with your organization.

5. Request and implement feedback

Let your supporters know that you value their experiences and opinions by sending out regular surveys to ask for feedback. This shows that you’re dedicated to maintaining your relationship with supporters, building better experiences, and ensuring that they are satisfied with your organization.

You can gather supporters’ feedback by:

  • Sending out regular surveys where they can rate their experience.
  • Requesting feedback from supporters after they attended events.
  • Creating an email where supporters can send their feedback.
  • Encouraging supporters to communicate what they most enjoy about your organization and where you can improve.

After getting this feedback, you can directly gauge how satisfied supporters are with their involvement with your organization and where you have room to grow. Remember that your stewardship plan will evolve over time to better meet supporters’ preferences.

Be sure to thank supporters for responding, tell them that you value their input, and explain what changes you will make going forward.

Stewardship is the way we take care of our supporters in order to give them the best experience possible so that they will feel empowered to do more for your cause. Investing in your supporter stewardship journey will allow you to build long-term relationships and deepen connections that will inspire supporters to donate again.

As you implement these five supporter stewardship techniques, keep an eye on your retention rates and other metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of this initiative. With this data, you can determine how to improve your results moving forward, strengthen relationships, and ensure that supporters are getting the most out of their involvement with your organization.

Your volunteers spend time pursuing your mission because they want to make a difference. They offer their skills, knowledge, and free time all because they want to see your organization succeed. They do so selflessly, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want your nonprofit to show volunteer appreciation.

Volunteers hold up the foundation of civil society by contributing in invaluable ways. Their hard work equates to an estimated $31.80 per hour, according to a recent Independent Sector volunteer report. In other words, keeping volunteers happy can have an incredible impact on your cause.

As a volunteer manager, it’s up to you to come up with memorable volunteer appreciation ideas that inspire people to stick around. It takes a little creativity to make your volunteer program stand out, though. If you’re running low on creative gifts, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share everything you need to know about the art of volunteer appreciation and more than 20 standout ideas. Here’s what you’ll explore throughout this guide:

By the end of this guide, you’ll have everything you need to communicate that you genuinely value your volunteers’ hard work. If you can’t wait to get started, let’s dive in!

Use eCardWidget to design volunteer appreciation eCards.

Learn the basics of volunteer appreciation, so you can select the best gifts.

The Volunteer Appreciation Fundamentals

What does it mean to recognize volunteers, and why should you do it? We’ll answer all of your burning questions below. That way, you can choose the right volunteer appreciation gifts that will resonate with supporters.

What Is Volunteer Appreciation?

Volunteer appreciation is the act of expressing gratitude and acknowledging the individuals who freely give their time, skills, and efforts to a charitable cause. Acknowledgment can be in the form of:

It’s up to your nonprofit to determine which methods will communicate gratitude. A nonprofit that proactively thanks volunteers fosters a positive environment in which volunteers want to work. Doing so means you’re striving to foster a sense of belonging and continued engagement by highlighting volunteers’ vital roles in the success of the mission.

Why Does Volunteer Recognition Matter?

For those who are new to the volunteer manager role, expressing gratitude through grand gestures might seem silly. You might be wondering, “Can’t I just send a mass email to all my volunteers saying thanks?” You certainly can, but it’ll be a whole lot more meaningful if you put thought behind your approach to volunteer appreciation!

Going above and beyond with your volunteer appreciation gifts means you can experience these benefits:

Showing volunteer appreciation enables you to cultivate relationships, improve your organization, and recruit volunteers.

  • Motivation and Retention: Just like your fundraising team implements donor retention strategies, you need to retain volunteers. Fun volunteer appreciation ideas will motivate your volunteers to stick around and do their best work since they’ll see you appreciate it.
  • Stronger Relationships: When you show that you value someone’s hard work, you’ll grow that individual’s loyalty to your organization.
  • Positive Impact on Organizational Culture: Make your nonprofit a happy place for people to come together and make a difference. You’ll develop an inclusive and appreciative environment where people want to contribute.
  • Volunteer Recruitment: By fostering a culture of gratitude, the word will get around to prospective volunteers. They’ll see just how much your value those who contribute to your cause, inspiring them to get on board, too.

Choosing creative and memorable volunteer appreciation gifts means you can transform your nonprofit’s volunteer program. In turn, you’ll multiply your impact and make more substantial strides toward your mission.

How Can You Make Your Volunteer Appreciation Efforts Memorable?

You don’t have to throw a full-blown volunteer appreciation event every month to say thanks in a memorable way. Although, those events can be a blast! Giving recognition can be as simple as sending a personalized letter or ringing them up on the phone.

To make any volunteer appreciation idea stand out, try out these strategies:

  • Be creative. Come up with memorable volunteer appreciation ideas. Any nonprofit can send a mass thank-you email. Leveraging strategies like personalized eCards can take traditional methods up a notch.
  • Be prompt. If you wait too long to reach out, that communicates that you don’t genuinely value their contributions. By the time they hear from you, they may forget they even volunteered for your nonprofit.
  • Personalize the gift when possible. As explained in our donor recognition guide, you should tailor communications to each individual. Always be as specific as possible about the positive change their work has made. For example, if they worked one-on-one with at-risk youth, mention those kids or have them sign their names to the gift.

Bearing these best practices in mind, you can transform any volunteer appreciation gift into a memorable token of gratitude.

How Do You Recognize and Reward Volunteers?

It all depends on each volunteer and your nonprofit. There are plenty of great volunteer appreciation ideas out there, whether you want to send a tangible gift, ring them up to say thanks, or provide a memorable experience.

We recommend checking your nonprofit CRM for individuals’ preferences any time you want to say thanks. Kindful’s nonprofit CRM guide explains that you can segment supporters using specific filters and group them based on shared characteristics. That way, you can easily determine whether they want public or private recognition based on their past interactions with your team.

Go all out with our favorite volunteer appreciation ideas for nonprofits.

Our Favorite Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

With all that great background knowledge in mind, let’s move forward with some creative ideas we think you (and your volunteers) will love!

Thank-you eCards and letters are our top two favorite volunteer appreciation gifts.

Thank-You eCards

If you’ve ever received a thank-you card, you know just how special greeting cards can be to the recipient. Now, you can use that same strategy to thank your volunteers. Even better, you can do so digitally with thank-you eCards for charities!

Personalized eCards are an interactive, inexpensive, and environmentally-friendly way to say thanks to your volunteers. You can have your team, beneficiaries, or other volunteers send them, making them perfect for peer-to-peer recognition.

For some real-world inspiration, check out this volunteer appreciation eCard campaign from Youth For Understanding:

Youth for Understanding designed volunteer appreciation eCards.

They designed a collection of eCards like this one, enabling youth impacted by their program to reconnect with former volunteers, mentors, and staff members.

To replicate this volunteer appreciation gift, all you need is a platform to power your efforts. We recommend eCardWidget, a leader in the digital greeting card space. Their user-friendly platform equips you with everything you need to:

  • Design custom eCards whether you want to use a template or start from scratch. Easily incorporate your nonprofit’s branding by uploading your logo, choosing from an array of fonts, and incorporating your brand’s color scheme.
  • Upload eCards to your site using the convenient plugin, or share your eCard collection from eCardWidget using a link.
  • Send eCards through a variety of outlets like email, social media, and text. That way, you can adhere to volunteers’ communication preferences.

Trusted by more than 4,000 organizations, eCardWidget is the ultimate resource for your volunteer appreciation needs! Not to mention, nonprofit eCards have tons of great other uses, whether you want to sell them or use them to invite people to events.

Use our preferred eCard platform to leverage our favorite volunteer appreciation idea.

Thank-You Letters

Looking for a classic volunteer appreciation idea? Look no further than a thank-you letter.

Writing a letter to say thanks is one of our all-time favorite strategies. It offers plenty of personalization opportunities, and it shows that you spent time drafting it, making it meaningful to the recipient.

Our guide to crafting volunteer thank-you letters shares a few key elements you should always include:

  • A salutation: Address the volunteer by name for a personal touch.
  • Why you’re reaching out: Let volunteers know you want to thank them for all of their help right off the bat.
  • Specific details regarding their impact: Be specific about what they contributed and how it impacted your beneficiaries.
  • Upcoming opportunities: Encourage them to join you at one of your next volunteer events.
  • Contact information: Let them know you’re happy to answer any questions about upcoming opportunities by providing contact information for a specific team member.
  • A closing: Close the letter genuinely by saying you hope to see them again soon or that you wish them a happy holiday season if it’s around that time of year.

This graphic breaks down the anatomy of a volunteer appreciation letter.

Whether you send it via direct mail or email, make sure to include those details in your letters. That way, your gratitude will shine through!

Explore several volunteer appreciation event ideas in this section.

Volunteer Appreciation Event Ideas

Get some face-to-face time with your volunteers and go all out by throwing a full-blown volunteer appreciation event. Your supporters will love coming together, whether you’re meeting for dinner, a family movie night, or a casual happy hour.

As a bonus, you can use your eCard platform to create online invitations. Volunteers will be thrilled to receive a custom invitation in their inbox. Just be sure to include RSVP details and explain the purpose of the event (to say thanks, of course!).

This graphic summarizes several of our favorite volunteer appreciation event ideas.

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Host a special dinner to honor and celebrate your volunteers. You can either make reservations at a local spot or host it at a different venue and line up catering.

Either way, you’ll want to provide a delicious meal, fun entertainment, and speeches recognizing volunteers’ contributions.

Volunteer Recognition Award Ceremony

Organize an awards ceremony where you recognize your nonprofit’s outstanding volunteers. You can create award titles like:

  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Rising Star Volunteer
  • Best Volunteer Ambassador
  • Exemplary Dedication Award
  • Most Infectious Volunteer Spirit

Then, present personalized certificates, trophies, or plaques inscribed with their names. Supporters, staff, and beneficiaries can vote on the different awards, making them a meaningful token of volunteer appreciation.

Family Picnic

Plan a fun outdoor picnic where volunteers can bring their families for a day filled with food, games, and activities. Choose a warm day and gather at a local park.

Perfect for relaxing, this volunteer appreciation event will provide a casual way to interact with one another and your organization.

Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

Start the day off right with a breakfast event where you honor volunteers. Meet up before a volunteer event, or choose a weekend morning for everyone to gather.

Then, offer a range of breakfast options and deliver heartfelt speeches to say thanks.

Volunteers will enjoy filling up on their favorite breakfast foods like pancakes, bacon, eggs, and muffins thanks to your nonprofit. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

If breakfast or dinner isn’t your jam, why not try a luncheon?

Put together a catered luncheon event where you treat volunteers to a delicious meal, engaging conversations, and uplifting speeches. Be sure to work in time to say thanks and highlight the impact of their contributions.

Volunteer Appreciation Day

If a meal isn’t enough, dedicate an entire day to recognizing volunteers’ outstanding accomplishments.

Bring everyone together for various activities, workshops, and team-building exercises. This is a great camaraderie-building and volunteer appreciation event in one!

Happy Hour

Some volunteers might love the chance to chat with your nonprofit’s team or network with others outside of volunteer opportunities.

Organize a casual after-work happy hour event at a local venue or at your organization’s office. Everyone can enjoy free drinks, snacks, and socializing.

Not only is this a wonderful volunteer appreciation event idea, but it also serves as an opportunity for networking and building camaraderie among volunteers.

Movie Night

Arrange a special movie night exclusively for your volunteers. Create a cozy atmosphere and stream an uplifting and inspiring movie.

You have a few options when choosing a venue for this volunteer appreciation event:

  • Rent a room at your local movie theater.
  • Create a cozy setup in your organization’s office.
  • Set up a screen at a local park or other public venue.
  • Stream it online for volunteers to enjoy in the comfort of their homes.

Be sure to offer refreshments like popcorn and candy for your volunteers to snack on during the film. If you’re going virtual, you can always drop off movie snacks at volunteers’ houses. Bonus points if the movie relates to your cause!

Volunteer Gala

Plan a grand gala to celebrate volunteers’ dedication and impact on your cause. Make the night extra special by:

  • Featuring live performances
  • Offering a catered formal dinner
  • Lining up live performances
  • Setting up a dance floor

The end result will be an elegant and memorable evening. Even if you don’t host a separate event exclusively for volunteers, you can provide free entry to your annual fundraising gala and dedicate part of the night to expressing gratitude.

These inexpensive volunteer appreciation ideas for nonprofits are perfect if you're on a budget.

Inexpensive Volunteer Appreciation Gift Ideas

Not every nonprofit has enough room in the budget to throw volunteer appreciation events, and that’s okay! Thankfully, there are plenty of cost-effective ideas that are perfect for nonprofits working on a budget.

Remember, the absolute most important aspect of volunteer appreciation is ingenuity. Even simple gestures and heartfelt messages can leave a positive impression and make volunteers feel valued and appreciated.

Try out these inexpensive volunteer appreciation gifts.

Volunteer Spotlights

Showcase your standout volunteers in your nonprofit newsletter or on your nonprofit’s social media. To do this, create a ‘Volunteer of the Month’ spotlight in which you feature someone who made an incredible impact over the past few weeks.

In your spotlight, include details like:

  • Their accomplishments and the impact they’ve made
  • A quote from them or from beneficiaries they impacted
  • A picture of them, either smiling or hard at work

Other volunteers will see this and have the chance to offer their congratulations. Plus, it may make them step up their commitment, striving to be Volunteer of the Month next time around.

Birthday and Holiday Cards

Digital greeting cards aren’t just for saying thank you. Send eCards on special occasions to show volunteers you’re thinking of them. Send holiday eCards, birthday eCards, and other themed cards to celebrate important days.

Send personalized eCards to celebrate special occasions and express volunteer appreciation.

This will keep your cause top of mind and show recipients that your nonprofit’s team cares about them on a personal level.

Bonus! Explore our digital cards guide to learn different eCard uses that’ll create powerful engagement opportunities and push your mission forward.

Design volunteer appreciation eCards for special occasions with eCardWidget.

Personalized Photo Frames

Custom photo frames can be a heartfelt volunteer appreciation gift. Personalize each frame with the volunteer’s name, your nonprofit’s name, or a special message. Doing so adds a personal touch that makes the gift more meaningful.

Volunteers can use their frames to showcase special memories from serving your nonprofit, whether it’s a group photo or a snapshot of them in action.

Each time they look at the frame, they’ll be reminded of the time they spent with your nonprofit. Perfect for displaying at home or in their offices, photo frames are tangible, lasting tokens of volunteer appreciation that honor their contributions and dedication.

Thank-You Videos

For a touching yet inexpensive volunteer appreciation gift idea, create personalized videos expressing gratitude for each volunteer.

Tectonic Video’s guide to the best nonprofit videos explains that story videos help demonstrate the impact of your mission, taking viewers on an emotional journey through your nonprofit. We recommend specifically creating testimonial videos in which your staff or beneficiaries speak directly to volunteers about the difference they’ve made.

After all, nothing conveys impact quite like visual storytelling. Don’t just tell them about their impact; show them!

Digital Recognition Certificates

If you don’t have time to host an awards ceremony, create customized certificates to recognize your volunteers’ efforts instead. Include details like the number of hours they’ve contributed or the projects they’ve worked on.

You can use online templates or design your own to recognize individuals’ contributions and highlight specific achievements. By sending them virtually, you’ll save on printing and postage costs, too! Sending them digitally transforms recognition certificates into an incredibly inexpensive volunteer appreciation gift idea.

We have plenty of other creative volunteer appreciation gifts in mind.

Other Volunteer Appreciation Ideas For Nonprofits

Still not sure you’ve found the perfect volunteer appreciation idea? Don’t worry; we’ve got plenty of other ideas!

Here are a handful of other creative gifts that can go a long way in communicating gratitude.

Try out plenty of other volunteer appreciation ideas for nonprofits, like branded merchandise and gift cards.

Branded Merchandise

Give your dedicated supporters a tangible token of volunteer appreciation by giving them free merchandise. Whether you have leftovers from a recent fundraiser or create a special line of merchandise, volunteers might love:

  • Apparel like t-shirts and hats
  • Tote bags
  • Everyday items like mugs and keychains

When the merchandise incorporates elements of your nonprofit brand, this also works as free marketing. They’ll wear your apparel or use your mugs, keychains, or whatever else out in public. Strangers may strike up a conversation with them to learn more, transforming this into a super smart nonprofit marketing idea.

Skills Development Opportunities

People often volunteer to grow their professional skills or put their existing ones into practice. Those same volunteers might enjoy skills development opportunities such as:

  • Virtual Workshops or Webinars: Organize exclusive virtual workshops or webinars on topics that interest your volunteers. It could be a skill-building session, a guest speaker series, or a panel discussion related to your organization’s mission. This provides them with continued learning opportunities and shows that their contributions are valued.
  • A Volunteer Mentorship Program: Pair experienced volunteers with new or less-experienced volunteers. By offering a peer mentorship program, you’ll recognize the expertise of long-term volunteers while fostering a sense of community and support.

Either way, encouraging volunteers to expand their skills provides invaluable learning opportunities.

Volunteer Wall of Fame

Create a dedicated wall or bulletin board in your organization’s facilities where you showcase volunteers’ photos and stories.

This will serve as a visual recognition of their contributions while also livening up your workspace.

Gift Cards

Send volunteers digital gift cards to their favorite stores, popular coffee shops, and other local businesses. Then, they can treat themselves to something they enjoy, making it a fantastic way to express volunteer appreciation.

Chances are, there are some local businesses that would jump at the opportunity to exercise corporate social responsibility, so you wouldn’t have to pay for these out of pocket. These businesses might be willing to give you free gift cards or at least offer them at discounted rates.

Bonus! Use our free sponsorship letter templates to create personalized outreach that will help kickstart relationships with businesses.

Volunteer Time Capsule

Show off your lasting commitment to expressing volunteer appreciation with a time capsule. Fill the time capsule with meaningful items, photos, and messages from volunteers.

Then, seal it and open it during a future event or milestone celebration. This is a great way to remind everyone of the collective impact achieved thanks to their support over the years.

Volunteer Appreciation Cookbook

This gift idea takes a collective effort that’s worth the output!

Collect volunteers’ favorite recipes. Then, compile them into a volunteer appreciation cookbook. You can either share the cookbook digitally or print copies to distribute.

Volunteers will have a lifetime of recipes thanks to your team!

Learn how to show authentic volunteer appreciation with some additional resources.

The Lasting Impact of Effective Volunteer Appreciation

Your volunteers are the heart and soul of your organization. If we had to guess, you want them to stick around for years to come. Make sure their selfless work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Spending time choosing the right volunteer appreciation gifts means you can effectively communicate how much you value your volunteers.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you throw a lavish gala or send digital certificates. So long as you make it unique and memorable, they’ll recognize the effort you put in. In turn, their loyalty will grow, and they’ll be ecstatic to spend time pursuing your mission.

While you continue pondering your plans, check out some of these additional resources we pulled together:

With our preferred platform, design custom eCards to show volunteer appreciation.

As a nonprofit professional, you know how easy it is to get caught up in fundraising numbers, whether you’ve spent hours working to secure one major gift or months trying to reach a campaign goal. Of course, the financial well-being of your organization is critically important, but sometimes, well-intentioned nonprofits can fall into the trap of focusing so much on dollars and cents that they neglect important relationship-building opportunities.

The good news is that there are many simple ways to strengthen relationships with your supporters, including using your website. Use your website to recognize your organization’s supporters and thank them for how they’ve contributed to your cause. Doing so will not only make your donors, volunteers, and sponsors feel great about their contributions so far, but will also help transform them into lifelong supporters as your recognition efforts encourage further involvement.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with these four quick tips for recognizing your supporters on your website:

  1. Create a virtual donor wall.
  2. Spotlight volunteer contributions on your blog.
  3. Include sponsor information on your site.
  4. Embed your social media feeds on your website.

Even organizations with the best websites can struggle to know where to begin when it comes to using their sites as a recognition tool. But with a little guidance, you’ll soon be well on your way to fostering long-lasting relationships with the people who want to see your mission succeed. Let’s dive in!

1. Create a virtual donor wall.

You’ve likely heard of a physical donor wall being used as a recognition tool (or your organization may have constructed its own!), but virtual donor walls are a little different. These donor “walls” are available to view on your nonprofit’s website and feature the names of your organization’s donors. And, with the virtual format, it comes with the following benefits:

  • Affordable for organizations of all sizes to create
  • Easy to update
  • Can be used for online marketing efforts
  • Can easily feature your nonprofit’s branding

To create a virtual donor wall, set up a new page on your website that includes a short introduction thanking donors for their contributions and links to your donation page to encourage additional gifts. Below this introduction, list your donors’ names. This page could be live in a Support or Ways to Give section on your website or be a floating page.

You may be wondering, “Who should I feature on my virtual donor wall?” Traditionally, donor walls are used to honor donors who give major contributions, such as loyal board members or donors who give to a capital campaign. However, with the flexibility and affordability of a virtual donor wall, you can feature anyone you’d like on your wall. You could even divide your donor wall page into sections based on different tiers or donation size ranges.

However, some donors may not want to be recognized for their contributions in such a public and visible way. Make sure that you ask permission before including an individual’s name on the virtual donor wall!

2. Spotlight volunteer contributions on your blog.

Your blog can be a powerful tool for giving shout-outs to your supporters, especially your volunteers! You can spotlight individual volunteers or your entire program, whatever you feel would resonate most with your audience.

Here are some content ideas you can include in volunteer recognition blog posts that will really help them pop:

  • Interviews: Make your volunteers’ voices heard through your blog posts by interviewing them. For example, you might interview the volunteer who’s been working with your organization the longest. Not only would their story send a great message to the volunteer about how much you appreciate their efforts, but it would also inspire other volunteers to keep up their great work.
  • Quick Metrics: You may want to report to your community on the effectiveness of your volunteer program using numbers, like the number of volunteer hours that have been logged over the last six months, the number of students your volunteers have tutored, or the weight of the clothing they collected at your recent clothing drive. Go the extra mile in sharing these metrics by communicating them visually through infographics or graphs.
  • Event Recaps: If you have an event that is powered by your volunteers, consider recapping it on your blog. Detail the types of roles and responsibilities they took on and explain how their work made your event possible.

You can bring any of these types of blog posts to life by incorporating high-quality photos of your volunteer(s). Pictures are a great way to show what your volunteers look like in action and can be a useful tool for capturing the memories made in your volunteer program. You can incorporate images into the body of your blog posts or post entire galleries. Whatever your vision is, remember to ask your volunteers for permission to take and share photos before doing so.

3. Include sponsor information on your site.

Your nonprofit likely thanks its corporate sponsors in a variety of ways, whether you include their logos on your volunteer t-shirts or thank them by name during your events. But you can also take your sponsor appreciation strategy up a notch by including your sponsors’ information on your website.

For example, you might create a dedicated “Sponsors” or “Community Partners” page on your site that includes information like:

  • Brand names
  • Logos
  • Website links
  • Sponsorship tier

You might also write a paragraph or two about how each sponsor has contributed to your cause and what makes your partnership with them unique and valuable.

Additionally, a little extra free advertising can go a long way in showing sponsors your gratitude. Consider incorporating advertisements for your sponsors into your written content or creating pop-ups on certain pages that lead to your sponsors’ websites.

4. Add social media sharing buttons on your website.

According to Cornershop Creative’s nonprofit web design guide, it’s best practice to incorporate social sharing buttons onto your organization’s website. By doing so, you can encourage your supporters—whether they’re donors, volunteers, or sponsors—to share the recognition they receive on your website with their personal networks.

When your supporters share your virtual donor wall, volunteer-focused blog posts, or sponsor-specific content, they’ll get a boost from their family, friends, and colleagues that like and comment on the post, further reinforcing the value of their contributions to your nonprofit. They may even inspire others to join them in their work to support your nonprofit’s cause!

Your nonprofit’s website can be a great place to recognize your supporters and support the work you’re already doing to strengthen relationships with them. Use these tips to get started with turning your website into a recognition tool, but to take things to the next level, consider working with a nonprofit web design company like Cornershop Creative to give your efforts an edge. You’ve got this!

You’ve set a date and booked a golf facility—now it’s time to get people on the green! A well-crafted, personalized invitation is a great way to rally your donors, constituents, volunteers, and partners to attend. Personalizing your invitations is a great marketing tactic that not only garners the recipient’s attention but makes them feel valued. After all, wouldn’t you rather open a letter addressed to you rather than something vague, like “valued supporter”?

According to GolfStatus, the average golfer’s annual income is near twice that of the average American, which makes them prime candidates for donors. Because the golfer donor is such a valuable audience segment, inviting them in the most personal way possible makes them more inclined to participate or donate to your event. Here are seven tips to effective golf fundraiser invitations.

1. Segment your audience.

Your organization likely has a great base of contacts to invite to your charity golf tournament. Start by segmenting your recipients by your chosen criteria to tailor your messaging to appeal to each audience segment. You can segment by:

  • Age or gender
  • Past event participation
  • Giving history
  • Volunteer history
  • Interest in a particular program or outreach effort
  • Geographic location
  • Job title or organization

It’s important to note that to create these segments for targeted messaging, it’s important to collect as much information about your contacts as possible. If you haven’t done this in the past, now’s the time to start! You can better understand your audience by conducting surveys, hosting focus groups, tracking email opens and clicks, or using social media to gather insights.

2. Determine how you’ll reach supporters.

A mix of approaches is likely to yield the best results in inviting people to play in, sponsor, or donate to your golf fundraiser. Email, direct mail, in-app messaging, social media, are all possibilities to include in your marketing mix.

According to Double the Donation, email fundraising has the highest ROI of any fundraising communication method. It’s effective in reaching a wide audience with less time and expense, and it can be scheduled to send at certain dates or times with calls-to-action specific to an audience segment. Craft clickable and compelling subject lines that capture the recipients attention so they open and act on the invitation. Use humor, wit, or creative wordplay to increase open rates, such as:

  • Swing into Action: Join Us for Our Annual Golf Fundraiser
  • Fore! Get Ready for a Hole-in-One Experience
  • Hit the Green and Support Our Cause
  • Tee Up for a Great Cause: You’re Invited to Our Golf Fundraiser

Relevant emojis can also be used sparingly as well as personalized greetings by using merge tags to make the email stand out in your recipient’s inbox.

Don’t underestimate the power of direct mail invitations. Make these printed pieces attractive, personal, branded, and compel the recipient to open it instead of tossing it straight into the recycle bin. Think about creating a custom envelope that bears your email subject line to create a cohesive campaign and pique the recipient’s interest. Or send a simple save-the-date postcard ahead of the formal invitation to get it on golfer and sponsor radars as soon as possible.

3. Personalize the invitation’s message.

Adding a layer of personalization to your invitation makes your donors feel even more seen by your nonprofit. This can be as simple as customizing the email or letter for each audience segment or any of the following creative approaches:

  • Send a personalized video via email or text. Record a video from event organizers, nonprofit beneficiaries, or volunteers thanking the recipient for their past support and inviting them to attend the golf event. Add a personal touch by mentioning something specific to the recipient, such as their favorite golf course or a recent accomplishment.
  • Include a small personalized gift. Show the recipient how much you value their support and involvement with a gift that plays to their interests or the type of event, such as a golf ball, can cooler, or set of tees bearing your organization or tournament’s logo along with a handwritten note. Tap your planning team, board of directors, or volunteers to help write these notes.
  • Create a custom invitation package for major donors. Because this is more time and cost-intensive, it’s best to save this approach for major supporters. Design a special invitation that’s customized to the recipient, such as their name or photo, as well as event details and program highlights. You might also hand-deliver the package to the recipient’s home or office for an extra touch.
  • Combine printed and digital formats. Use QR codes in printed pieces to link folks directly to the event registration website or to a personalized video that invites them to support the event.

However you choose to personalize your invitations, your message should resonate with the recipient in some way. Whether you cater to their specific interests or past involvement with the organization, a personalized ask is more likely to get a response.

4. Keep it clear and concise.

No one wants to read a wall of text in an email or letter and will fast-track your invitation right to the trash. Keep your copy brief, concise, and to the point. Use bullet points to break up text and complement text with graphics, photos, or infographics.

For example, instead of detailing everything about your event in the invitation, write a brief description and supplement it with photos from last year’s golf fundraiser. Link out to a photo album or the event website where folks can find out more about the event, what you’re raising money for, and the itinerary for the day.

5. Make them want to get involved.

Above all, your invitation should make recipients want to play in the golf event or support it in some way. Highlight elements that make it fun and exciting, specifics about the program or effort the tournament will raise funds for, and components that make it special. If you’re hosting a hole-in-one contest, raffle, or silent auction, talk up the prizes they could win. If you’re live-scoring the tournament, you could also invite people to follow along with the live leaderboards and follow certain teams (these are also a great chance to ask folks to donate to the event). If you have other games, entertainment, or demonstrations on the course, be sure to feature these in your invitations. Another idea is to create videos of your unique golf tournament fundraising ideas in action.

6. Include a call-to-action.

However you invite people to your golf fundraiser, it should be actionable. Email invitations should include a direct link to where they can register, purchase add-ons, make a donation, or purchase a sponsorship as soon as they hear about the event. Printed and mailed invitations should include a QR code that links to the same event website. Forcing people to fill out a paper form, write a check, find a stamp, and drop it in the mail creates barriers to participating. Make it simple!

Create urgency by offering early bird registration rates, offering an exclusive offer for a certain number of golfers or teams (such as a free t-shirt, gift certificate from a sponsor, or sleeve of golf balls), or limiting your tournament’s field.

7. Follow up after the tournament.

Keep the conversation going after the tournament. At a bare minimum, send recognition letters to all attendees. For major donors and sponsors, send handwritten thank you notes that help build and strengthen the relationship. Think creatively about how to keep these folks engaged with your organization, such as making check-in phone calls, inviting them for coffee or lunch, a round of golf, or a tour of your offices.

Wrapping up

You can adapt this road map for golf tournament invitations to your nonprofit’s needs and capabilities. The goal is to create invitations that compel people to play in, sponsor, or donate to your charity golf tournament, so use these tips and best practices to make your next golf event a success.

Charity eCards offer a unique take on fundraising and marketing. By sending an eCard, a donor can send well wishes to a loved one for a special occasion while also supporting a charitable cause. Not to mention, directly expressing their appreciation for your cause can help spread the word about your mission, making an even stronger impact as their loved ones explore your work.

With a strong digital greeting card collection, any nonprofit can take the online space by storm and make a name for itself. From celebrating holidays to thanking someone, donors can send cards every day, so your team can offer them year-round. Between selling them and letting donors give any amount they want, you have plenty of options for how you offer digital cards to supporters.

While there are plenty of effective tools out there, not every eCard creation platform is created equally, though. As our preferred tool, eCardWidget offers everything you need to design and sell greeting cards online. they make it incredibly simple to understand how to sell greeting cards online. We’ll specifically look at the options this platform offers, so you can get a good sense of how charity eCards can fit into your existing marketing and fundraising strategies. Here’s what we’ll cover:

At Fundraising Letters, we’re fanatics of effective supporter engagement and recognition. We believe that with charity eCards, you can bring an interactive element to your online presence that deepens audience engagement and takes brand loyalty to new heights. Whether you want to sell greeting cards as individual products or let donors choose any donation amount, you’ll be ready to go by the end of this article!
Create and sell charity eCards online with our recommended platform, eCardWidget.

Learn the fundamentals of charity eCards before creating yours.

The Basics of Selling Greeting Cards Online

If you’re new to the idea of selling cards for charity, it doesn’t hurt to go over the basics! Let’s walk through a few common questions that your team might have as you get up and running. In no time, you’ll fully understand the fundamentals of how to sell greeting cards online for your cause.

Is selling greeting cards online profitable?

Yes, selling cards for charity can be a valid revenue stream for your cause. So long as you’re backed by a strong array of charity eCards, you can sell plenty to make up for eCard platform fees.

Compared to printed cards, offering cards digitally is much more cost-effective since it eliminates the need for printing and shipping. Plus, the immediate delivery makes them an easy sell for donors looking to celebrate an occasion or send well wishes to someone.

When you offer them for all sorts of occasions, your donors can conveniently support you throughout the year. Donors can even give to your cause in someone’s name as a way to celebrate a birthday or other gift-giving occasion. Then, they can send an eCard branded to the charity letting the honoree know.

What is the best way to sell greeting cards online?

The exact method you use to sell eCards for charity is entirely up to your organization, but you have a few options. To start, we recommend choosing an eCard platform that’s tailored to nonprofits. For example, eCardWidget offers out-of-the-box donation features and also integrates with several popular fundraising tools like DonorPerfect and Shopify.

With these options, you might:

  • Add the cards directly to your nonprofit’s website, where donors can give in exchange for charity eCards.
  • Sell them as fundraising products in your Shopify store.

We’ll explore the technical side of these approaches later on. For now, just know you should choose the sales channel that works best for your organization. If you already have a highly-visited eStore, sell the cards as products in your fundraising store. If you want to use them to optimize the donation experience, offer them on your website.

No matter your approach, maximize your sales potential by promoting them across different channels, like email and social media. In no time, you’ll start selling greeting cards to supporters!

How do I price charity eCards?

Charity eCards typically have low overhead costs, so you can really offer them for any price and still make a profit. Your pricing can vary depending on factors such as the cost of producing each eCard and the demand for each one. Here are a few approaches you can take to price your cards:

  • Set a fixed price. You can set the same price for all of them, regardless of the design. We recommend somewhere between $1-$25 so that they’re affordable yet still able to make a difference.
  • Use a tiered pricing model. Offer different designs for different prices. More intricate designs or more popular cards can go for higher prices.
  • Offer them in exchange for any donation amount. This approach relies on donors to choose their own prices. If you use this method, add suggested donation amounts to give donors a frame of reference for how much to give.

Use these pricing strategies when selling cards for charity.

No matter how much you charge, remember that the primary goal of charity eCards is to raise awareness. Raising some extra funds is just a bonus! Therefore, your pricing strategy should strike a balance between generating revenue and making the eCards accessible to a wider audience.

Sell charity eCards by integrating them into the donation process.

Charity eCard Flow 1) Integrated Donation Forms

As fundraisers, we’re always searching for new ways to optimize the giving experience. What better way is there to do that than by offering incentives for donating?

With your eCard platform, you might be able to integrate eCards into your online giving experience. As explained in our donation eCards guide, here’s how the process works:

  1. The donor selects their preferred eCard, adds the recipient’s contact information, chooses a donation amount, and fills out their payment details.
  2. Upon submission, the donation goes to the nonprofit.
  3. The donor’s loved one receives the eCard with a personalized message.

Some platforms even allow senders to select different platforms to send an eCard. Donors can send the cards via email, social media, or text message, depending on the options you enable. Requesting donations will be much simpler when you provide unique incentives and flexible sending options.

An Example of This Approach in Action

Curious how selling greeting cards for your charity would fold into your donation process? Here’s a real-world example from The Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County.

When determining how to sell greeting cards online, consider integrating charity eCards into the donation process.

As part of their Valentine’s Day campaign, they offered a collection of charity eCards stylized with furry pets and witty animal puns. They hosted the cards on an individual page on their site. Upon selecting their preferred card, donors were met with a pop-up screen where they could fill out contact information, add a personal message, select a donation amount, and provide their payment details.

Notice how The Humane Society included suggested donation amounts. The widget preselected the $10 amount, but donors could change it to give $25, $50, $100, or a custom amount that fit their budget.

You can offer charity eCards to donors on your donation confirmation page.

Charity eCard Flow 2) Post-Donation

Offering charity eCards post-donation is another popular strategy. Embed the widget into your donation completion page. Then, whenever donors give, the widget will appear on the donation confirmation page.

While you can promote the reward before someone donates, it can be a fun surprise for donors if they don’t know they’ll receive an eCard until it pops up on the confirmation page.

From here, donors can choose their favorite options, fill out each recipient’s contact information, add personalized messages, and click “send.”

When using this method, offer a few different card designs. For instance, you might create some centered around the cause. Then donors can send them to as many loved ones as they want, challenging others also to give.

An Example of This Approach in Action

Offering eCards post-donation is likely the easiest option. All you really have to do is embed the widget into your existing donation confirmation page.

Offer charity eCards on your donation confirmation page like this example.

As shown above, Maryland Food Bank took this approach for tribute donations. Notice how they offered a collection of cards alongside some instructions for sending one.

The options included:

  • An in-honor-of donation eCard
  • A sympathy charity eCard to express condolences
  • A birthday card
  • A wedding congratulatory card

Each card design lends itself well to tribute donations. Donors can give in the honoree’s name and send a personalized eCard letting them know.

No matter how much someone donates, they can choose one of these options. Remember, allowing donors to pay any amount makes charity eCards much more accessible, allowing you to capitalize on the marketing power of digital cards.

To sell greeting cards online, we recommend adding your charity eCards as products in your online store.

Charity eCard Flow 3) Fundraising Products

If your nonprofit runs an eStore, charity eCards are the perfect addition to your branded merchandise. When selling cards as products in your online store, there are two options to choose from, including:

  • Customize the eCard before purchasing. Enable donors to personalize their eCard and add it to their cart before checkout. That way, they’ll know exactly what they’re buying.
  • Customize the eCard post-purchase. Someone will add the card to their cart and complete the buying process. Then, after purchase, the widget appear on the confirmation page, enabling customers to send eCards with personalized messages.

Our recommended provider eCardWidget offers integrations with tools like Shopify. That way, you can add your cards directly to your store. As soon as you finalize your designs, you’ll be able to sell greeting cards online and choose whichever selling option works best for your cause.

An Example of This Approach in Action

Let’s take a look at how you can sell cards for charity as fundraising products. The example below depicts an order confirmation page with a Father’s Day card.

When debating how to sell greeting cards online, consider adding them to your Shopify store.

After purchasing an eCard, a donor would be met with the widget on the order confirmation page. From here, they could personalize and send it to their loved ones.

For this approach, we recommend offering an array of cards to cover all sorts of holidays and special occasions like birthdays. That way, you can continue selling them as fundraising products year-round for an affordable price.

Beyond selling cards for charity, you have a few options for using charity eCards.

Other Ways to Use Charity eCards

One of the best parts of charity eCards is their versatility. While learning how to sell greeting cards online is a smart strategy, you can also take other approaches to increase donor engagement.

When you get creative with your approach, you can use charity eCards to:

  • Spread awareness. Cause awareness is one of the leading benefits of charity eCards. Double the Donation’s guide to charity eCards explains to use eCards to amplify your mission during cause awareness days, weeks, and months. For example, environmental organizations can encourage donors to send cards for Earth Day, while mental health organizations can boost awareness during Suicide Prevention Week and World Mental Health Day.
  • Recognize supporters. Just as much as they enjoy sending charity eCards, donors and volunteers will love receiving a thank-you card from your team. Recognize your committed supporters by crafting a visually-engaging eCard alongside a short personalized thank-you letter.
  • Challenge others to give. Create challenge cards that donors can send directly to their friends or post on social media, encouraging others to give and acting as a form of peer-to-peer fundraising. They can personalize a message to explain why the cause is important and why their loved ones should donate.

Here are a few use cases for charity eCards, including selling them and using them for donor recognition.

From showing volunteer recognition to sharing your cause, you’re not limited to selling cards to supporters. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can use personalized greeting cards to grow donor engagement. It’s up to your team to figure out how! These options are just our top recommendations.

Check out these additional resources to create effective charity eCards.

Wrapping Up

With some creative thinking, your options for your charity eCards are limitless! Whether you want to sell them or integrate them into the donation process, figure out which flow works best for your team.

Remember, not every eCard platform offers these options. That’s why we recommend eCardWidget. Not only will you gain access to intuitive eCard design tools, but you can also sell your cards through the different methods we covered in this post.

Now that you know how to sell greeting cards online, it’s time to get started. Start designing cards for every occasion, from celebrating birthdays and holidays to expressing get-well-soon wishes.

As you get started, check out some of these resources:

Use eCardWidget to create and sell your charity eCards.

Most of us love a good story. Whether we’re watching our favorite TV series, reading the latest best-seller, or listening to a friend relate a past experience, storytelling engages our emotions in a way that facts can’t do on their own. Stories also tend to stick with us—it’s estimated that stories are 22 times more memorable than simple facts.

For nonprofits, incorporating storytelling into your marketing strategy has a variety of benefits. Stories about your organization’s history and impact can spread awareness about your mission, encourage donors and volunteers to get involved, and recognize the supporters who made your accomplishments possible.

To help your organization start telling meaningful stories, this guide will walk through four top nonprofit storytelling strategies, including how to:

  1. Develop Characters and Conflicts
  2. Support Your Stories With Data and Images
  3. Consider All of the Audiences for Your Stories
  4. Tailor Your Storytelling to Each Marketing Channel

As you start implementing these strategies, ensure all of the stories you tell align with your nonprofit’s brand. According to Loop, nonprofit branding encompasses not only visual elements like logos and font choices, but also messaging guidelines. Effective stories communicate your organization’s overarching brand message and unique position, persuading donors that your mission is worth supporting. Let’s dive in!

1. Develop Characters and Conflicts

Before you start telling your nonprofit’s story, consider the way stories are told in popular media.. Bear in mind that you’ll take a slightly different approach to storytelling because your organization’s stories are true and used for marketing purposes, rather than being fictional and told for entertainment value. However, the basic elements of your story will be similar, including:

  • A compelling main character. In the past, nonprofits would focus their stories on a loyal donor so that their audience could relate to the main character. Most organizations have since found that it’s much more effective to choose someone their nonprofit has helped. These stories pull at the audience’s heartstrings and help them put a name and face to the organization’s mission.
  • A problem that the main character must overcome. It can be tempting to skip to the end of the story to show how your organization helped the main character. But audience members need context to understand the gravity of the main character’s predicament.
  • Specific details about how your nonprofit helped the main character. Once you’ve fully established the main character’s need, showcase how your organization’s initiatives and  hardworking supporters made their happy ending possible.
  • A call to action. Naturally, you’ll end the story with the main character’s problem being resolved. Because your stories are meant to persuade, though, it’s also important to include a call to action to get your audience to take the intended next step.

To see these elements in practice, let’s look at this story an animal shelter might use:

Dante, a four-year-old gray tabby cat, came to our shelter when his previous owner could no longer care for him. During his time here, he was brought up-to-date on vaccinations and underwent a dental procedure to treat advanced gum disease. Our amazing volunteers fed and socialized with Dante every day so he could go to his forever home happy and healthy. If you want to help cats in need like Dante, visit our Volunteer page to apply today!

This story focuses on a named individual who the organization helped—Dante the cat—and quickly establishes why he needed the shelter’s help. Detailing the specific medical and social care Dante received makes the shelter’s impact more concrete, and the last sentence calls upon readers to take action by applying to volunteer on the nonprofit’s website.

2. Support Your Stories With Visuals and Data

Once you’ve developed the basic elements of your story, consider adding different types of visuals that each strengthen nonprofit storytelling. For instance:

  • Photos help audiences visualize the characters and problems you describe.
  • Your nonprofit’s logo demonstrates that the story is true and relevant to your mission.
  • Infographics can display facts related to your story in a digestible format.

Although stories are more memorable than facts alone, connecting the concrete data your nonprofit collects to your stories helps establish your credibility. To return to the animal shelter example, the organization could add a detail before the call to action stating that Dante was just one of 200 cats they had cared for in the past year. This data point helps readers realize that the shelter regularly makes a difference for animals in need, further encouraging them to get involved.

3. Consider All of the Audiences for Your Stories

Most stories have an intended audience. An upcoming movie may appeal to science fiction enthusiasts, or someone might tell a personal story to the friend who would find it most entertaining. But identifying the audience for your nonprofit’s stories is often more challenging because your organization must communicate with a variety of audiences at any given time.

If you understand each of these audiences, you can tell stories that resonate with them and reflect well on your organization. Some common nonprofit audiences to keep in mind include:

  • Supporters. Each of your donors, volunteers, event attendees, and advocates has different motivations and backgrounds that affect how your stories resonate with them. Kwala’s guide to donor communications suggests segmenting your supporters based on shared characteristics so that you can adjust your storytelling strategies for each segment.
  • Individuals your organization serves. You’ll often feature these individuals in your stories, so provide opportunities for them to tell their stories in their own words. Remember to get permission from them before using their names or photos in your marketing materials.
  • Outside stakeholders. Adjust your storytelling to highlight your mission so that corporate sponsors, community decision-makers, and other stakeholders will have an understanding of your organization’s impact before deciding to work with you.

Understanding your nonprofit’s audiences not only helps you tell stories that appeal to each of them, but it also allows you to form stronger relationships with each of these groups that can have long-term benefits for your organization.

4. Tailor Your Storytelling to Each Marketing Channel

Your nonprofit can incorporate stories into any of your marketing materials, but your storytelling will vary based on the channel’s limitations. Consider these common marketing methods:

  • Your website. As storytelling is a nonprofit website best practice, include stories throughout all of your copy, from your about page to your blog. You can also make the visuals and data that accompany your stories more engaging by embedding videos or designing interactive infographics.
  • Email marketing. It’s best to keep emails concise, so you might tell a brief story in the message and then link to the page on your website where supporters can learn more.
  • Social media. Each social media platform requires its own storytelling strategy based on the site’s structure. For example, you might first tell a text-heavy story in a series of tweets and then rework that information into a short video for Instagram and TikTok.
  • Direct mail. Although many nonprofits focus on digital storytelling, direct mail appeals to certain donor segments and supplements your online efforts. Make sure any images you use are printer-friendly, and include a return envelope or QR code to support the story’s call to action.

In these marketing materials and any others your nonprofit uses, experiment with your storytelling techniques to determine which strategy is most effective. Analyze engagement data and consider asking your audience for feedback to improve your storytelling tactics over time.

Nonprofit storytelling can help your organization’s various audiences connect emotionally with your cause and understand your impact more deeply. Think about whether each story you tell would make sense if it were a movie—if it would, you’ve optimized your storytelling efforts. Once you add visuals, incorporate data, and ensure the format works for your chosen marketing channel, you’ll be ready to share your organization’s story!

Growing your nonprofit requires regularly reaching out to your current donors and grabbing the attention of new potential supporters, whether it be to spread awareness about your programs, promote an upcoming event, or request support for an ongoing advocacy campaign. As such, marketing is a core skill for nonprofit professionals, and routinely analyzing and updating your approach is necessary for maintaining high levels of engagement.

Nonprofit marketing has evolved over the last few years, and modern organizations understand the importance of a strong digital strategy. This means knowing what platforms to use, how to grab supporters’ attention online, and which strategies work best for online outreach.

To help your nonprofit improve your digital marketing, this guide will explore four strategies for targeting supporters, spreading awareness, and maintaining an online community.

1. Segment your supporters.

The more closely you can align your messages with your supporters’ interests, the more effective your marketing campaigns will be. Start preparing your marketing campaign by looking at your current supporters’ data. This includes their demographic information, preferred communication channels, and past initiatives and campaigns they’ve engaged with.

Use this information to create supporter segments in your constituent relationship manager (CRM). Some CRMs like Salesforce NPSP are highly customizable, allowing you to make detailed emailing lists based on segments, record data about new supporters in order to place them in the appropriate segment, and create messaging cadences for each segment.

After determining your segments, use them to create personas. Personas are hypothetical individuals that stand in for an entire group of supporters. They are a useful marketing tool as it is generally easier to craft messages that will appeal to one person rather than an entire audience.

Design your personas by examining each of your supporter segments. Determine what their demographic information, motivations, and barriers to give, as well as name, occupation, location, marital status, and any other details that will help your team create marketing messages. From there, use these personas as stand-ins for segments when determining what types of messages will most appeal to them.

2. Launch a multi-channel campaign.

Few supporters will convert and make a donation the first time they see a message from your nonprofit. Attracting new supporters requires building up brand recognition through multiple messages on various platforms. As such, your nonprofit should launch a multi-channel marketing campaign.

Multi-channel campaigns require having a strong understanding of each platform you choose to leverage. This includes understanding who the primary users are, what type of content succeeds, and how to attract attention.

For instance, your email campaigns are an opportunity to provide detailed promotions for your events, blog content, and fundraisers. By contrast, on most social media sites, you will likely have less space to explain your cause. Additionally, consider how you can promote the same opportunity across multiple social media platforms. On Facebook, you might post about an upcoming event by using an eye-catching image and a schedule of your planned activities, but on Instagram or TikTok, you may create a short video instead.

When launching a multi-channel campaign, ensure you have the right tools to help you manage your content and marketing strategy. Assess your current software for tools that that allow you to track online engagement and quickly create professional emails. If your nonprofit lacks tools with needed features, consider asking other professionals in your field for a referral or explore recommendations online. Some nonprofits may need to invest in an entirely new platform, while nonprofits using flexible software like Salesforce and Blackbaud may be able to get the features they need with just a new add-on.

3. Focus on SEO.

Supporters looking for causes to give to will often start by entering a query in a search engine. You can improve the chances that they will discover your nonprofit by focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) for your online resources. SEO marketing takes time to develop, but it can result in increased traffic to your website and help build an online community.

SEO requires developing your website to be search engine friendly. A few ways you can do this include:

  • Choose specific keywords with low competition. Choose keywords that are closely related to your cause and are terms your supporters are likely to search for. Additionally, consider what keywords you have the highest potential to rank for by selecting terms with low competition. Broad keywords such as “wildlife protection” might align with your nonprofit’s cause, but large, established organizations will be challenging to compete with for this competitive term.
  • Create high-quality, keyword optimized content. After selecting your keyword, begin creating content focused on that topic. When writing this content, add the keyword naturally into the headers and body of your content, but avoid keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when websites use the same keyword an unnatural number of times in an attempt to rank for that term. Keyword-stuffed content tends to be low-value and will result in fewer conversations. Additionally, search engines will penalize websites that are reported for keyword stuffing.
  • Post regularly. Websites that regularly post new content are seen by search engines as active organizations that provide new and relevant information. To help your website rank, make an effort to post new content every week or so. This content can include blog posts, research reports, news updates, or any other type of content that your audience will find valuable and interesting.

These tips will help you gain organic traffic—visitors who find your website by clicking on links that appear in their search results. To give your website an immediate boost, you can also explore paid traffic by taking out search engine ads. These are the links at the top of a search results page marked “ad.”

These ads can be expensive, but several search engines offer grant programs for nonprofits. The most popular of these programs is the Google Ad Grant. Double the Donation’s quick guide to the Google Ad Grant explains that one of the first steps to earning a Google Grant is having a high-quality website. This means optimizing your content that focuses on the keywords and topics you will buy search engine page ads for. Essentially, whether you’re interested in pursuing an organic or paid SEO strategy, your first step will be creating valuable content for potential supporters to engage with.

4. Partner with influencers.

Marketing is most effective when it comes from a trusted source. For instance, most people are more likely to consider donating to a nonprofit a friend recommended than one they have only heard about through online ads. As such, you can improve your marketing by partnering with social media influencers who are trusted by large fan base.

There are three main types of nonprofit influencers to consider when determining who to partner with. These types include:

  • Major influencers. Major influencers are celebrities and well known figures with significant follower counts of over 1 million. Given their large fan bases, partnering with these influencers can quickly spread awareness to thousands of people at once. However, they are also often harder to reach due to busy schedules and many other organizations requesting partnerships.
  • Micro-celebrities. Micro-celebrities are social media personalities with 5k-50k followers. With their notable but significantly smaller followings, they have close relationships with their community and are often easier to get in touch with.
  • Superfans. Superfans are individuals in your community who are deeply dedicated to your nonprofit and excited to help you in any way. These individuals tend to be long-term supporters and those who have a personal connection to your target issue. Superfans usually have limited followings, but they are already invested in your cause and willing to reach out to their networks on your behalf.

Keep in mind that when deciding who to partner with, an influencer with a larger audience is not necessarily always the best choice. For example, an influencer with a smaller fan base may be a respected figure in a field that aligns with your nonprofit’s, meaning their followers likely already have an interest in causes like yours. In addition, superfans are the backbone of most marketing efforts, voluntarily spreading your messages and providing positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Effective marketing requires continually reviewing your process, identifying what is working well and improvement opportunities, then taking steps to evolve your strategy. When planning your next outreach campaign, consider your specific audience and where you can reach them, as well as how you can make your website and content more readily available to interested supporters.

When your members joined your sorority or fraternity, they gained many brothers or sisters, both those currently involved and those who had graduated. Leveraging alumni giving is a powerful way to not only raise money for your chapter but also strengthen your community’s bonds across age groups and other demographics.

Paying forward the aid your alumni received when they were in college is a powerful case for support. But you need to do more to convince your graduated members to become loyal, long-term donors. Let’s explore how to reignite your alumni’s passion for philanthropy and, in the process, fortify your familial relationships with your brothers and sisters.

1. Appeal to your alumni’s emotions

Appealing to your donors’ emotions and sense of moral responsibility is an essential fundraising tactic. As a fraternity or sorority leader, you’re in a unique position to conjure powerful emotional memories all of your alumni share: their time spent with your chapter.

One of the best ways you can inspire alumni support is with the “pay it forward” case for support. They might not have known it at the time, but your brothers’ and sisters’ experiences were also fueled by alumni giving.

When communicating with your prospects, reference any chapter traditions or shared experiences your alumni have with current members. Then, tell your alumni that these traditions are fueled by their support, just as when they were in school. To boost your claims, take quotes from your active members about how much their gifts mean to them and how they shape their college experiences. Donors respond well to appeals they can relate to, so evoking a shared memory will tug at their heartstrings.

2. Segment your communication

While appealing to shared experiences is an essential fundraising strategy, your alumni community isn’t a monolith. It’s also helpful to align your asks with specific groups of alumni for a more personalized approach. Create several alumni segments based on demographics such as:

  • Graduation year
  • Major
  • Existing relationship with your chapter
  • Role within the chapter
  • Preferred mode of communication

According to NPOInfo, your segmentation strategy will only work if you keep accurate and organized alumni data. Start by sending out surveys to alumni that sort them into a segment. Then, keep the data in your CRM and update it when necessary. It might take time to build out a comprehensive dataset, but you’ll have a richer and more customized segmentation strategy.

Once you’ve collected your data and determined your segments, craft messages that align with each group’s preferences and interests. Remember to use multiple forms of communication to reach out to your alumni, such as email, letters, phone calls, and text messages.

3. Enlist the help of your current members

While your chapter’s leadership team spearheads your fundraisers, they shouldn’t be the only ones contributing to your efforts. Rally your active members to pitch in by offering easy ways to participate. You might make fundraising participation part of their philanthropic responsibilities to your chapter. Or, you can offer perks for joining in, such as free meals or branded merchandise.

Once you’ve rallied your active members, assign them roles based on their skills, interests, and availability. Some ways they could help out include:

  • Running a fundraising booth at a reunion
  • Writing and sending fundraising letters
  • Helping operate fundraising events
  • Posting fundraising appeals and event promotions on social media

Including your current members in alumni outreach is only an effective strategy if you stay organized. According to OmegaFi, sorority and fraternity management software is the best way to keep your members on the same page. It allows you to send messages to your chapter about their responsibilities in executing upcoming events.

4. Offer numerous ways to give

The best way to capture the most potential givers is to offer numerous ways to contribute. For instance, a recently graduated brother or sister might not have the funds to donate right now, but they can give their time as a volunteer for your next philanthropy event. Here are some alternative giving options to offer to your alumni:

  • Volunteering
  • Donating in-kind gifts
  • Providing pro bono services
  • Setting up a planned gift
  • Donating non-cash assets like stocks

Highlight these other ways to give on your fundraising materials so you can capture as much support as possible for your chapter.

5. Educate them about matching gifts

Billions in matching gift revenue go unclaimed each year. This is mainly due to donors’ lack of knowledge of their employees’ matching gift programs. But once a donor knows their gift can be matched, 84% of them are more likely to give. Thus, your nonprofit has a vested interest in educating your alumni about matching gifts and facilitating the giving process for them.

Using a powerful and user-friendly matching gift software solution is the best way to boost your matching gift rate. This software should be able to integrate with your online donation form so your donors can easily check if their company matches gifts while they’re giving. The best software options are those with the auto-submission capability, which allows your alumni to check their company’s matching gift policy and submit the request at the same time. Ensure you’re always mentioning matching gift opportunities to your alumni during fundraisers so they’re more likely to contribute to your chapter.

6. Take their feedback into account

Your alumni outreach efforts are more likely to be effective if you tailor them to your alumni’s preferences. The best way to do this is by asking them directly about their opinions on various topics, such as:

  • Preferred mode of communication
  • Event format (in-person, hybrid, or fully remote)
  • Event theme/type of events desired in the future
  • Fundraising area of focus
  • Type of giving (volunteering, in-kind gifts, or monetary gifts)
  • Interest in future involvement (such as being on a panel or joining the board of your alumni association)

Send surveys throughout the year to gauge your alumni’s interest in these areas. The best time to send out surveys is right after a fundraising event so their feedback is fresh. Then, work with your leaders to determine any patterns in the data and which changes are the most feasible.

7. Say thank you

Once your alumni have participated in fundraising events and campaigns, don’t cease communications yet. Always thank your alumni for any type of engagement, whether that’s filling out a feedback survey, donating, or volunteering. Sending thank you letters is a simple yet powerful way to make your alumni feel valued.

You don’t have to write a novel for each alumni recipient, either. Use a letter template for the body of your letter. For your larger donors, consider including a handwritten component on the letter thanking them personally for their support. This customized outreach shows your alumni that you’re committed to your relationship and that you put in extra work to recognize them.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, your alumni want to see your chapter succeed. Showing them how they can help and displaying your appreciation when they do are essential to deepening your relationships with them. As long as you put effort into stewarding your alumni, you’ll turn them into passionate donors in no time!

Author: Mathew Tooker

Mathew Tooker is an expert in sales forecasting, analytics, goal-setting, client growth, and business development. With experience serving the Greek life community, nonprofits, and other member-based associations, Mathew is dedicated to providing tremendous value to his clients.

When he’s not moving organizations forward, you can find him on the golf course, spending time with his two dogs, Reagan and Teddy, running marathons, and watching the Atlanta Braves. He’s also a graduate of Auburn University and a part-time MBA student at Florida State University.

What is the Microsoft Ad Grant? What Nonprofits Should Know

When you go to a theater, you naturally pay attention to center stage. In fact, theaters are structured so that center stage can be viewed from almost every seat. The lead actors and actresses are rarely far from this specific location.

Believe it or not, the theater is not that different from the world of digital advertising. Occupying center stage in theater has a similar effect to appearing in the first slot of the search results page – your audience recognizes your unique presence. 

The Microsoft Ad Grant places the advertising spotlight on your nonprofit, so your mission can shine. Through the program, you can promote your organization’s most important web content, effectively driving more donations, volunteer registrations, event attendance, and awareness for your mission. In turn, you’ll forge deeper supporter connections and put your organization on a path toward achieving its goals.

In this article, we will cover all things Microsoft Ad Grant related. For reference, here are the main points we’ll cover:

While the grant can do a lot of good for your cause, know that it takes a considerable amount of work to manage. At any point, you can ease the workload by outsourcing Microsoft Ad Grant management to a professional agency. We recommend partnering with Getting Attention for all of your grant management needs.  

Get started with our recommended Microsoft Ad Grant managers: Getting Attention. Set up a free consultation today.

In the meantime, if you’re ready to harness the power of pay-per-click marketing, let’s dive in!

Here is a general overview of Microsoft Ad Grants.

Microsoft Ad Grants Overview

Also known as the Ads for Social Impact program, the Microsoft Ad Grant is a $3,000 in-kind monthly grant that can be used to create ads that amplify your nonprofit’s web content. Ads can be placed across all Microsoft-owned and operated websites including Bing, Yahoo, AOL,, MSN, and Microsoft Edge. 

Similar to the Google Ad Grant, participants bid on mission-centric keywords and craft ads with compelling ad copy and a landing page. Their ads then have the chance to appear at the top of search engine results for their selected keywords.

The Microsoft Ad Grant became available for qualifying organizations in June 2022. Similar to a coupon, the grant program applies the monthly $3,000 to your existing Microsoft Ads account. Think of it as free advertising cash!

Let's explore the eligibility requirements for the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Microsoft Ad Grant Eligibility

Eligible organizations include nonprofits, public libraries, public museums, and some religious organizations. Universities, healthcare, political, and professional organizations are considered ineligible. 

Here is a list of Microsoft's eligible and ineligible organizations for the ad grant.

If you are a fully registered nonprofit organization, you have already satisfied one of the few eligibility requirements. Microsoft has a few other qualifications that you must meet before applying.

To register for the Microsoft Ad Grant, you must:

  1. Hold 501(c)(3) status, which means you are fully registered as a nonprofit organization and the IRS recognizes you as an official charitable organization and exempts you from tax obligations. 
  2. Adhere to Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policy
  3. Have a mission that benefits the broader community. This includes but is not limited to providing relief to the poor, improving social welfare, or advocating for human rights. 
  4. Only assign grants to eligible staff. This includes paid nonprofit employees and unpaid executive leaders. 
  5. Only use grants for your nonprofit. You are not permitted to share your grant with affiliate or sister organizations.

After you have checked off all of the eligibility criteria, you are ready to apply!

Steps to apply

If you’re familiar with the Google Ad Grants application process, Microsoft’s process shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Lucky for you, the application process is painless. It only contains two significant steps: prequalification steps via Microsoft for Nonprofits and the application for Microsoft Grants. Let’s explore these steps a little further.

Step 1: Apply for Microsoft for Nonprofits.

You will first need to apply for Microsoft for Nonprofits. Visit the Microsoft for Nonprofits application where you’ll complete these four steps: 

  1. Welcome and Policies
  2. Organization Information
  3. Verifying Phone Number
  4. Account Creation 

These steps should take around 10 minutes to complete. Microsoft should get back to you about your acceptance into the Microsoft for Nonprofits program within 24 hours after your submission. 

Step 2: Complete the Microsoft Ad Grants Application.

After Microsoft approves your application, you can now apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant itself. 

This step includes providing additional organization information and information related to your position at your nonprofit. Microsoft requires that only current users within your nonprofit apply. The grant application should take even less time than Step 1 to fill out. Confirmation of your Ad Grant status should appear within 10 business days.

The application for Microsoft Ad Grants is composed of two easy steps: applying to Microsoft for Nonprofits and completing the Microsoft Ad Grants application.

Here are some best practices for how to optimize your Microsoft Ad Grant campaigns.

Optimizing Your Microsoft Ad Grant Campaigns

If leveraged effectively, the Microsoft Ad Grant can give your nonprofit center stage on the search engine results page. Once you occupy this coveted position, there are some best practices to help you maintain your lead role.

From keywords to landing page optimization, there’s a lot you can do to make your nonprofit stand out through the program. Let’s explore our recommended tips further!

Choose the right keywords.

To properly optimize your website for your Microsoft Ads, it’s important to have an understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) basics. SEO refers to tactics that help your nonprofit rank highly on search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, and Google. It’s the behind-the-scenes work necessary to increase your nonprofit’s visibility online.

Driving more traffic to your site is the end goal of every SEO strategy. One of the best ways to strengthen your SEO strategy is by targeting the right keywords for your organization. Competition for keyword targeting can be stiff, so it’s important to tailor your keywords to your specific content and audience. 

High-authority websites have dominance over certain keywords. For example, including the keyword, “Twitter” for a social media fundraising campaign is not specific enough to your content and audience. Instead, including specifics like location can help you refine your keyword selection. 

For instance, let’s say you work at a environmental nonprofit that wants to drive more traffic to your fundraising campaign to fight climate change. In this case, you might target terms like: 

  • Donate to prevent climate change
  • Give to stop global warming
  • How to stop climate change

Then, you’d link to your specific campaign page, urging people to give. Choosing specific keywords for your mission and campaigns will help you put your content directly in front of individuals most likely to get involved.

Select compelling imagery.

With the right keywords in place, it’s time to make your landing pages stand out with some dazzling images. Often, images communicate messages that words cannot fully convey. Logos, infographics, and edited organization photos should all consistently align with your brand’s message.

Picking the perfect visual can be tricky. Here are some pointers to reference when selecting images:

    • Loads quickly. Lag time matters. If an image takes too long to load, the likelihood of user page abandonment drastically increases. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to resize and compress all images on your site. By doing this, users stay on your site instead of exploring other comparable options. 
    • High quality. When resizing and compressing images, sometimes image quality is sacrificed. Review your images to avoid overly-pixelated or blurry visuals. If you design graphics for your site, it’s best to avoid fine lines and other indistinguishable elements. 
    • Informative. Is your image telling the right story? Select infographics that are up-to-date with your nonprofit’s goals and mission. Be sure your photos accurately reflect your organization’s values. If an infographic becomes overly complicated, look for ways to delete any unnecessary icons or text.  
    • Emotionally-charged. Photographs are digital snapshots of your mission in action. When you use a photo to highlight the passion you feel for your community, it strengthens your mission’s authenticity. 
    • Well-placed. A beautiful photo placed on the wrong page is a missed opportunity. Well-placed images aid in explaining the related written information on your web page. Be sure that your images and text are playing nice with one another. For example, a registration or information page about your volunteer program is the perfect place to feature images of your volunteers hard at work.

As you start choosing and redesigning your graphics, make sure they embody these common qualities. Whenever a user clicks one of your Microsoft Ads, your website will catch their eye, communicate professionality, and ultimately reel them into your content.

Types of Images

There are several types of images you can use to spice up your site. It can be tempting to find one image type and stick with it. However, having image variety provides a full picture of your nonprofit.

Here are some common image types to consider when reworking your site for Microsoft Ad Grants:

  • Infographics. Infographics are a great option to streamline educational information. Maybe you have an engaging concept for a fundraising campaign. Using an infographic to describe your fundraising goals, progress, and how to enter is a great way to educate your users. 
  • Photographs of those you serve. Putting a face to your cause helps users identify who they are benefitting when they give to your nonprofit. Because humans are relational creatures emotional photographs function as a visual connection between your users and your mission. 
  • Photographs of your staff.  Your employees, volunteers, and leadership act as unofficial nonprofit brand representatives. Their smiling faces also tell a story about your mission’s impact. Helping others can be contagious, and an engaging photograph of your staff motivates users to join your cause. 
  • Your logo. As the king of visual cues, your logo is crucial to your online identity. All reputable nonprofits have distinct, unique logos as a part of their branding. Make sure you keep your nonprofit’s logo design minimalistic to maintain quick recognition, and aim to create a design that communicates trustworthiness. Then, feature it prominently on the web content you promote through Microsoft Ad Grants, such as in your navigation bar.


Now that you have your visuals in place, let’s examine why you should optimize your landing pages. 

Ensure your landing page is informative

As a general guideline, you want your users to find their desired search information as quickly as possible. Using Microsoft Ads to lead users to your homepage is inefficient and unproductive. It’s better to direct them to a specific landing page that includes just one or two calls to action. 

For instance, maybe your landing page is dedicated to providing volunteer information. To maintain user interest, it’s essential that this landing page is neatly arranged and full of relevant content. Volunteer testimonials, high-quality photos of volunteers, and a call-to-action link like “volunteer today” would be great additions.

As you evaluate your landing pages, ask yourself these key questions:

  • Is my landing page well-structured for a positive user experience? (Does it load quickly? Do all of my links work?)
  • Is the content on my landing page relevant?
  • Do I use eye-catching and informative imagery?
  • Is there at least one call to action on my landing page?

 If you answer yes to these questions, you are good to go! If not, you should re-evaluate your landing pages before promoting it with the Microsoft Ad Grant. For more advice on advertising campaign optimization, check out Getting Attention. 

Get started with our recommended Microsoft Ad Grant managers: Getting Attention. Set up a free consultation today.

Feeling overwhelmed from juggling your marketing campaigns? Let's explore the benefits of working with a Microsoft Ad Grants. agency.

Working With a Microsoft Ad Grants Agency

Perfecting an actionable SEO strategy and cleaning up your website can feel like hefty tasks. Don’t sweat if your team is not full of tech-savvy individuals. Managing your digital presence is time-consuming, so maybe a more efficient use of your time would be found working with an external partner.

Professionals trained in Microsoft Ad Grant management exist to help you take full advantage of your advertising budget. If you are considering working with an agency to increase capacity, let’s answer some questions you might have.

What are the advantages of working with an agency?

Working with a professional Microsoft Ad Grants manager empowers your team to take full advantage of the program. By partnering with an agency, you can expect:

    • Expert advice. When working with an agency, you take the guesswork out of SEO strategy. Agency experts know which strategies deliver the best results, so you don’t have to waste your time experimenting. 
    • Full-time monitoring. Agencies can help you set reachable goals and track your progress. Having eyes on your online marketing status means that an agency can make quick and meaningful adjustments when needed. 
    • More time to focus on your cause. Running a nonprofit means you have a lot of different aspects to manage. Hiring an agency can take one more item off of your to-do list. That way, when more traffic appears on your site, you’ll be ready for it. 

Depending on the exact agency you partner with, the benefits might run deeper than this. These are just some of the most common ones you may encounter.

What should I be looking for in an agency? 

Each nonprofit’s needs will vary when it comes to managing the Microsoft Ad Grant. Depending on how much of the account maintenance you want to outsource, look for these core services:

  • Ad campaign formulation and maintenance. Juggling several campaigns at one time can be demanding work. Look for an agency that can create new online content while actively monitoring your campaign performance. 
  • Website optimization. Search for a Microsoft Ad Grant agency that knows website optimization ins and outs. From website design to SEO, the right agency will be able to make meaningful improvements and create new pages where needed. 
  • Account hygiene. Outdated and unnecessary data can clutter your site and hinder your load times. A detail-oriented agency will help you sort out any account management issues, monitor performance, and adjust your ads to generate the best results.
  • Grant reactivation. Sometimes unexpected things happen and you lose your grant status. That’s okay. Agencies are there to help you get back on your feet.
  • Keyword research. Keyword research can be tricky business. Look for an agency that specializes in keyword research so you can take full advantage of the Microsoft Ad Grant’s benefits. 

As our recommended agency, the experts at Getting Attention are trained in Microsoft Ad Grant management. This means they are pros at creating impactful online strategies and know what it takes to stand out on search engines. With extensive nonprofit experience, they know how to initiate and maintain a valuable search engine marketing plan.

Here are some additional resources to consider to learn more about the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

When used productively, the Microsoft Ad Grant gives your nonprofit center stage in digital marketing. A well-branded online identity, refined keyword selection, and efficient landing pages should be top of mind during your ad grant journey. 

Searching for more digital marketing tips? Here are some of our recommended resources for grant management, logo creation, and employer appends: 

Start leveraging Microsoft Ad Grants with our recommended agency: Getting Attention.