Back to Blog

Influencer marketing ideas to support your nonprofit

How many of us have seen a product or service marketed by a celebrity or YouTuber in the past month? Whether you noticed these promotions on your personal social media channels (or your kids’ channels) influencer marketing has gained momentum in the past few years and is a method that can work well for nonprofits.

Through influencer marketing, nonprofits can scope out social media influencers to raise awareness of a cause, help raise funds, become a volunteer or board member, etc. But what most of us know about true influencers is that they are typically paid for talking about your cause or brand online. Even though they are creating organic content on your behalf, you need to think about what’s in it for them—what can you (or will you) offer them in return for them speaking positively about your cause?

As a nonprofit, if budget is an issue, think of how you can use the idea of influencer marketing to still elicit conversation online about your great cause or campaign. There are ways you can think about influencer marketing for your nonprofit on a small-scale budget.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Provide information to board and committee members.

If you have an engaged community of volunteers that have active social media channels or blogs, provide them with easy copy/paste content, images, one-sheets, etc. and ask them to share the great news about what you’re doing on their platforms.

2. Make it a contest for your team members or staff.

Hold a contest for how many creative ways your team members or staff can promote, tag and talk about your cause/campaign or organization online. Give small prizes or even big prizes at the end of the campaign, for those that were the most influential online.

3. Use your CRM to research where your donors are online.

Your donors are a great place to start. One of the features on the 4aGoodCause platform is the ability to look up social media accounts of your donors. By knowing where your donors “live” online, you can start to have conversations with them, follow their accounts and engage with them online, which can lend itself to the potential that they will reciprocate.

Knowing where your donors are on social media—who has a big following and what they are talking about—is valuable as you cultivate your donor lists and work to build relationships with additional members of your community. Think about your superfans – those that are already brand advocates and share your content/talk about your organization on a regular basis. Thank them for being such a great supporter and provide them with similar talking points and materials that you would your board members and other volunteers.

Start with some inspiration

You can always get some great ideas (and have fun conversations with) some of the top nonprofit influencers and experts on Twitter as well. A few to follow would include Kivi Leroux Miller, founder and CEO of Nonprofit Marketing Guide; Julia Campbell, author of “Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits”; Mary Cahalane, President of Hands On Fundraising; and Amy Neumann, author of “Simple Acts to Change the World.” Keep tabs on them online and see how they engage with their communities and followers. Ask them questions, be a part of the conversation and, if there are particular niche nonprofits that you see they have a passion for, don’t be afraid to reach out and get their input, advice and possibly influence if those areas fit with your organization as well.

Don’t discount the micro-influencers, either. These can be great as typically they are more niche and create content that is super relevant to their followers. Claire Axelrad has a great post on micro-influencers and how to use them in your nonprofit marketing.

What new ways will you reach out to potential donors, audience members and influencers this year as part of your nonprofit’s marketing strategy? Share your tips with us on Twitter!


Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

Grow your monthly giving program with our resources

Learn More