10 years of learning and supporting the next generation
how education + youth development nonprofits are utilizing effective marketing
Time flies! We’re already three months into our year-long celebration of a decade of Love and Impact here at Angel Oak Creative! We’re continually seeking opportunities to help nonprofits realize their full potential and learn from their grit every day. And speaking of learning, what better way to celebrate than to show some appreciation for our nonprofit partners advancing access to education and youth development?
Our community is blessed with schools and organizations who are tirelessly supporting the next generation. And we have the privilege of linking arms with some of them: New Life Camp, Make-A-Wish – Eastern NC, Hope Reins, Trinity Academy, Grace Christian Sanford, Cary Christian School, RISE SE Raleigh Charter School, Note in the Pocket, Haven House, Overture International, Boys and Girls Club of Central NC, SuNica, Raleigh Dream Center, Union County Library Foundation, Project CATCH, Teen Driving Solutions and Lucy Daniels Center. These nonprofits are changing lives through their selfless dedication to equipping the children of our communities and meeting their needs – both intellectually, spiritually and emotionally.
We’re grateful to be a part of this transformational work, and we’ve certainly learned a thing or two along the way. Our team understands the unique challenges that come with marketing for educational services, and we’re ready to share some valuable insights to take your nonprofit’s communication efforts to the next level!
1. Plan fundraising communications for new projects
There is always a need for funding educational institutions to maintain or grow their facilities, programs and more. But how do you begin to prepare for something that can feel so daunting?
We recommend thinking about a capital campaign! Even if you’re not ready for it, preparing for a capital campaign can open new doors and lead to other opportunities for your nonprofit.
The first step is to assess where your nonprofit stands and establish a clear vision for the future. When Trinity Academy was preparing to fundraise for their school’s first permanent building, they understood the need to establish a firm foundation. That’s when they welcomed moss+ross into the picture to help them assess their readiness for a capital campaign (Trinity Rise). Collaborating with consultants you know and trust will provide the guidance and expertise you need to achieve your goals!
But what role does marketing play in fundraising? Building trust is critical. What you say and how you say it needs to stay true to the values of your organization while welcoming donors and stakeholders into the vision – donors want to feel like they’re investing in a cause that is poised for success, and your stakeholders want to be a part of the journey. Your messaging needs to tell a story to reveal the tangible growth your organization is enabling for the next generation. Invite people to know the “why” behind the incredible work you do!
Want to learn more about the art of the capital campaign? Revisit our recent webinar with Courney Woodfin and Jane Currin from Trinity Academy and Mary Moss from moss+ross. Hear how these experts put the above practices and more into action to not only meet, but exceed their fundraising goals!
2. Increase enrollment through digital advertising
Our clients have found great success in reaching prospective students and families through digital advertising. Just as schools are adapting to include digital learning experiences and immersive technology, your organization’s marketing should focus on establishing a digital presence to meet your target audience online. By utilizing tools like Google Ads and social media advertising, your organization can share what makes your mission unique to the people who want to hear it!
As you consider kickstarting Google Ads (pay-per-click advertising), focus on the following best practices:
- Nail down the goals you want to achieve through these ads. Are you seeking to raise brand awareness? Looking to increase your donor base? Hoping to obtain more volunteers? Cater your ad groups to fit those objectives. You can have as many ad groups as you’d like within a campaign – strategically think through how your organization will benefit from the ads and go from there.
- Determine your target audience – who are you trying to reach and where are they located?
- Narrow down keywords, calls-to-action and descriptors that will properly communicate your goals and speak to the right audience. Google will use an algorithm that generates data-driven ads to fit your needs.
- Stick to a budget that works for you. On top of purchasing the ads, we typically recommend ~$1k per month on ad spend. You can set daily or monthly limits on Google.
3. Leverage different channels to engage parents, donors and other stakeholders
It’s critical for any nonprofit to keep its stakeholders engaged, but it’s especially important for those in the educational sector. The best way to do this is by utilizing all the available resources at your disposal! Think website, social media, email newsletters, print projects, multimedia. Leveraging these tools will equip your nonprofit to sustain and grow your stakeholder relationships. At the same time, you’ll leave people feeling cared for and invested in your mission!
Lucy Daniels Center is a great example of leveraging different channels…
- Lucy Daniels website: When building out the donate page on your website, it’s vital to consider what the easiest, most user-friendly way for donors to give securely.
- Lucy Daniels Center major donors offer kit (see pictures below): This piece of collateral quickly connects potential supporters to the heart of your mission and welcomes them to be a part of it!
We’ve already learned so much from our amazing nonprofits in the education and youth development space, and we’d love to hear more about what YOUR organization is discovering! Would you consider reaching out to share your words of wisdom? Put your thoughts under the ‘LEAVE A REPLY’ heading below.
Plus, stay tuned for more from the angels as we continue to celebrate #10YearsofLoveandImpact!