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So many nonprofits are treading water. We know this, and if you have been in the philanthropic sector for even a year, you probably know it as well.

Organizations spend money and also a lot of time, which by the way is also a valuable currency, promoting digital ads on Google or social platforms like Facebook by boosting their posts. Countless nonprofits are looking for a way to get prospective donors to click on their post, add their name to their database, and––hopefully––get someone to donate.

What if I told you that’s the wrong way to do it?

How’s it wrong?

Well, it’s all front loaded. In other words, your small nonprofit, school or charity has to spend cash that can be better used elsewhere, like directly making an impact in your programs.

There’s another approach you can take?

Give your prospects and the public the offer on the front end by giving them a value-add, which is a profit-driven marketing model for your organization. 

How does the profit-driven model work?

It’s easy.

In the traditional marketing model, when you have people land on your website, click into an ad you’ve sponsored or a post, and they register to get more information about your cause, you’ve already spent money. Then, once you’ve captured their information, you will send them a thank you and tell them a little more about your organization. However, that can take time, and you may have a new person who may never once contribute.

You want to get them when they’re hot on your cause, and the moment they are interested, is the moment when they register and provide you with their information.

 Think about it.

At that moment, they’ve provided you with at least their name and email address, if not more.

People get busy. Why have your messaging get lost in the countless emails they’ll receive from the moment they’ve registered with your organization?

Instead, provide them the offer upfront and entice them to support your marketing and organizational programs with something of value to them. You can do this by including a value-add offer in the email you will automatically send them when they register with you.

At that moment, they’re curious, and you’ve captured their attention. Think about giving them an offer upfront and not merely thanking them for joining your mailing list.

Don’t make that mistake!

Here are a few of the things your charity can package and encourage donors and new people on your list to receive for a donation to your cause.

  • Create a podcast, webinar or even a film about relevant issues regarding your particular sector. Put a donation amount on it that covers the costs, plus a contribution profit and tell people who register with you about it in the first email you send.
  • If you’re an organization that is event driven, you can invite people to your next event in the first email they receive. If you’re having a peer-to-peer fundraiser or gala, for instance, ask new people who are registering with you to attend or sponsor an element of your event.
  • If you have written content that you would like to promote, perhaps your CEO has written a book as an example, this is an opportunity for new people who register to purchase the book and also make a contribution to your cause. All you have to do is ask!

Small businesses have used this profit-driven marketing model for a long time. In fact, many companies have been able to grow this revenue stream from earning a few dollars to thousands within less than a year’s time. It’s an approach that savvy nonprofit marketers can also use with a little thought and creativity.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact”(Free Digital Download)

© 2018 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.