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10 Essential Ways to Promote Your Next Nonprofit Event

Nonprofit events can be a wonderful way to call attention to your cause and rally your community around your work. However, it takes a lot of planning to pull off a nonprofit event that checks all your supporters’ boxes. 

If you’re looking for event promotion tips that will engage your audience, make the most of your budget, and help you stay on track from start to finish, here are some essential ways to promote your next nonprofit event.

1. Tailor Your Event Messaging to Your Nonprofit Audience

Your event messaging needs to be both clear and compelling to get your audience on board. You should talk not only about the purpose of your event but also about the value your event brings to those you serve. 

Consider what your audience cares about and how you can highlight their priorities in your event materials. For example, if you’re hosting a charity concert to support local arts education, your promotional materials could highlight a partnership with community artists who will be performing live, underscoring how each ticket sale directly benefits arts programs in underserved schools.

This helps promote your sponsors and encourage goodwill among all the participants in your event. Then, no matter what you say to your audience, make sure that your messages are consistent across all marketing channels.

2. Create Website Content for Your Event

Your website is a great place to go into more detail about your upcoming event. Share details about the date, location, and agenda and make it easy to register online.

You’ll also want to use multimedia elements to engage your visitors on a deeper, more visual level. Let’s say you’re planning an event to support an endangered species. You might ask a local expert to make a small video about why this species is so important to its natural habitat. Or you could use close-up photos to give people a better connection to the animal or plant. 

Once you’ve created your event resources, have colleagues or friends test the signup page on different devices to ensure that it’s an easy process to register on your nonprofit’s website. 

3. Segment Your Email List

Email is a great way to get the word out about your event, especially if you have particularly loyal supporters. For better event promotion, you should segment out your email lists before you craft any content. This is important to ensure a one-to-one experience for each recipient.

For example, the content you send to past attendees should be different from the content you send to new or potential attendees. Those who are already familiar with your cause may just need a gentle push or reminder to come to the event, while those who have never heard of your nonprofit may need a more detailed overview of why you do what you do. 

From there, you can start working on engaging email subject lines and content that highlights the excitement or the activities of the event. 

4. Post on Social Media

Much like email, your social media content has a lot of power to engage your audience. Event promotion, in the form of hashtags and quality content, can not only generate awareness of your event but also build anticipation. 

The best social media strategies will ultimately depend on your supporters:

  • Young professionals may be more likely to see your content at night, which means that you can schedule your posts in the evening when they’re sure to pop up in their feed. 
  • Older generations may be more likely to scroll through in the morning. 

No matter what you post or when you post it, track your engagement levels to see which content is having the most impact. 

5. Engage Your Most Loyal Supporters

Your most loyal supporters are going to have a lot to say about how your nonprofit is making a difference. Instead of simply telling people about how great or meaningful your event will be, you can engage your fanbase and even ask them to help create some content.

For example, you can:

  • Ask supporters to either write a testimonial about a past event or record a short video about their experiences, which you can share on social media or email to your user list. 
  • Increase engagement by creating exclusive content for your most loyal supporters, such as behind-the-scenes clips.

The more you recognize these supporters publicly, the more motivated they’ll be to continue their advocacy. Of course, be sure to respect the wishes of those who prefer to remain anonymous.

6. Post on Event Websites

Sites like Facebook and Eventbrite allow you to promote events and potentially streamline your ticketing process. When you post on these websites, it’s extremely important to list all of the essential information, just as you did on your website, and include a working link back to your event page or nonprofit website. 

You can also consider reaching out to your local community leaders for promotion opportunities on industry-specific websites for a more targeted reach.

Maybe there’s another charitable event taking place around the same time that you can partner with to advertise. Or if you’re fighting for labor rights, you might post on the websites of local union chapters in your city.

7. Utilize Event SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a powerful tool to promote your event page. Following SEO best practices allows supporters to find your event organically in search engine results. 

You’ll need to know what keywords and terms people are searching for and how they relate to your event or cause. Use SEO tools, like Google Analytics, to pinpoint how people find information and track page performance. 

For example, if you’re planning a beach cleanup event, you might focus on keywords such as “beach cleanup [Your City]” or “local beach volunteer opportunities.” By optimizing your content with these specific, locally-focused keywords, you ensure that your event is visible to those searching for environmental activities in your area. 

8. Run Ads to Promote Your Nonprofit Event

Targeted ad campaigns on platforms like Google or Facebook are a great way to reach potential attendees who are already interested in your cause. In fact, the Google Ad Grant program even provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 a month in free ad spending, which means you have the potential to expand your reach without straining your marketing budget.

Should you use paid ads, be sure to accompany them with compelling graphics and clear calls to action. If your event is more about awareness than fundraising, you need your audience to understand the nuances of your organization to generate interest.

9. Team Up with Event Sponsors and Speakers

No matter how big or small your network is, now is the time to tap into your relationships and partner with event sponsors or speakers who can broaden your event’s reach. 

For example, if a local retail business sponsors you, they can promote your event on their social media pages, letting people know what it is and how they can get involved in a worthwhile cause. 

You can also co-create content for cross-brand promotion. You might interview a sponsor about why they wanted to get involved in your event. Or, post a preview about the topic your speaker will address at your event.

10. Tap into Influencer Marketing

Influencers within your space can drastically increase your reach. Even if they don’t have the highest follower counts, they can tap into a very loyal or engaged audience. 

Look for people whose values align with yours. For example, an influencer who organizes activities for underprivileged youth wouldn’t have to pivot very much to support an event to fight homelessness. 

To create more authentic content, collaborate with the influencer and give them all the information they need to tap into the power of their audience. If the influencer’s audience prefers short updates about their preferred topics, you might post a TikTok video that highlights the most important parts of your upcoming event. 

Nonprofit events are a great way to engage your community in your cause, as long as you get the word out first. Leveraging your network, prioritizing your web content, and segmenting your supporter lists are all top options to create a more targeted strategy. 

Ideally, you’ll utilize all of these best practices to reach people who will not just come to the event, but continue to pledge their support long after it’s over.

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