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Allyson Kapin 5 min read

10 Tools and Strategies to Market Your Nonprofit on a Shoe-String Budget

WOMM (word of mouth marketing) and earned media should be key components of any communications plan to market your nonprofit’s website. If your nonprofit is not taking advantage of free tools like Add This, a widget that encourages users to share your organizations articles or webpages on the most popular social networks or branded toolbars like FreeCause, then your nonprofit is missing out on some big marketing opportunities.

Check out these 10 tools and strategies to market your nonprofit on the web, connect with your members and reach new supporters. I have also ranked them from easy to moderate to time consuming.

1. RSS Feeds: Add an RSS feed to your blog and news sections so people visiting your site can subscribe to your feed and stay updated on your nonprofits latest news. I like Google Feedburner because it gives visitors a choice to subscribe via RSS or email. *Easy*

2. Add This: A widget that allows website visitors to share your content via 50 social networks and bookmark communities. *Easy*

3. Pick Two Social Networks Where Your Target Market Is:
My two favorite social networks are Twitter and Facebook (Fanpages). Spend 15 minutes a day talking to the community and cross promoting your campaigns, news, etc. *Moderate* Note: This can be time consuming if you let it, so that’s why I encourage nonprofits to spend at least 15 minutes a day using two main online social networks.

4. URL Shorteners: Bit.ly, Tinyurl, and Pagetweet make links more manageable by turning them into short 20 character links. This is a great tool for sharing links and decreases the risk of links breaking after it’s been shared. Also bit.ly tracks data such as click-through rates, geographic locations, etc. Bonus points! *Easy*

Care2’s Petition Site: Start a free petition on the Petition Site to rally support around one of your latest campaigns. You can even list a signature goal and download signatures. *Easy*

6. Google Grants: Google gives nonprofits $10K in-kind grants for their AdWords program. Check out Robin Reed’s great tips for managing an AdWords grant. *Moderate*

7. YouTube Nonprofit Program: YouTube offers nonprofits some pretty cool benefits like branding, promotion on YouTube’s nonprofits channel and call to action overlays in your videos. *Easy*

8. Listservs: Participate in listservs that align with your nonprofit’s mission and where your organizations’ issues are being discussed. Listservs provide great opportunities to not only promote your organizations initiatives but to listen to what other people are saying about your issues. *Easy to Moderate*

9. Widgets: Create widgets to share content or actions. One of my favorites is the Rock the Vote/Credo widget that helps to register people to vote. *Moderate*

10. FreeCause Toolbar: A nifty toolbar that is customized with your nonprofits branding. Link to your social networks, post current news, stream video and audio clips, etc. Bonus – for every click generated, FreeCause will donate money to your nonprofit. *Easy*


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.