Fundraising and Marketing Does Not Have to be Hard or Costly

Marketing and fundraising for a nonprofit organization can be time consuming and expensive. But, it does not always have to be.

One way to market and raise money for your organization with little effort and no cost is to include a simple tagline in your email signature. The tagline can promote a program, event, general fundraising, or even planned giving.

email symbol on row of colourful envelopesRecently, one of my readers contacted me looking for email tagline tips and examples. Because I take topic requests, I’m devoting this post to the subject of taglines. If you have a subject you’d like me to address, just let me know with a comment below.

Before I get to email signature taglines, I want to quickly make a point about email signatures, in general: You should always use one. An email signature, with your name and full contact information, will make it easier for people to communicate with you and, if they are so moved, to give you money. So, use an email signature block in new and reply emails. If you want tips on constructing an email signature, checkout my post: “Remove Obstacles to Giving!”

An email tagline should come immediately after your email signature block. There are six factors that will make your micro-message standout:

1.  Actually use a tagline. As Woody Allen said, “80 percent of success is showing up.” If you want a successful email tagline, you have to use an email tagline. Even a mediocre tagline will be better than having none.

2.  Speak to Your Audience. Before you can speak to your audience, you need to know your audience. In the case of orchestra supporters, many like to see themselves as true patrons of the arts. Therefore, using a term such as “musical legacy” might resonate. For other types of nonprofit organizations, however, the term “legacy” might be off-putting. So, be sure to know your audience before crafting your message.

3.  Keep it pithy. An email tagline should be no more than 10 words in length. The fewer words you can use to get your point across, the better.

4.  Be donor centered. By keeping messages focused on the donor, you will be more likely to successfully engage them. Your micro-message should speak directly to the donor about her vision, not the organization’s. It should compel people to think about their passion and the impact they themselves can have. It should also imply that the donor has the power to help fulfill the organization’s mission.

5.  Include a call to action. The micro-message should contain a call to action. For example, “For more information, click here.” Or, “Join the Laureate Society.” Or, “Save a child today.” Keep it simple, specific to your organization, and of interest to your donor. The more you can help someone realize his personal vision of himself, the better.

6.  Provide a web link. Okay, you’ve issued a call to action. Now, make it easy for folks to take action. An effective tagline will make it simple for prospects and donors to act. So, the tagline should be linked to the organization’s website, preferably an appropriate landing page. For example, if the tagline encourages the reader to click for gift planning information, the link should take people to a Planned Giving Page rather than the organization’s Home Page.

A few years ago, Ruby Pediangco of the Minnesota Orchestra won a contest with her email tagline promoting planned giving. Ruby’s tagline provides a nice example of what I’ve been saying:

Create your musical legacy…join the Laureate Society.”

While an email tagline will not generate a massive amount of traffic to your website, it will likely get you some traffic. Furthermore, those choosing to click through will likely have an above average degree of interest in whatever you are promoting. In other words, it’s quality over quantity.

No matter how well you craft it, an email tagline will never take the place of other marketing or fundraising efforts. However, it’s a terrific tactic that requires little effort and no cost. So, why not use one? You have nothing to lose.

If you already use an email tagline, please share it as a “Comment” below so we can all benefit from seeing a wide range of examples. If you have other easy to implement, low or no-cost fundraising or marketing ideas, please share them as well.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

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6 Comments to “Fundraising and Marketing Does Not Have to be Hard or Costly”

  1. Create your legacy…support CKHS hospitals…join the Heritage Circle.

  2. We are a regional arts organization: Join our Circle of Friends. You’ll Set the Stage for a Brighter Tomorrow.

  3. I have historically had “Thank you for supporting the arts in Pennsylvania!” as soon as I make sure the website is cleaned up, it will be:

    “Thank you for supporting the arts! Join BAC today!”

    • Karen, thank you for sharing your tagline. I like that you thank folks for supporting the arts. As long as those receiving your emails do, in fact, support the arts, it’s a relevant and warm statement. While you wait for the website to be “cleaned up,” you might want to tweak your tagline. Why not make it more specific: “Thank you for supporting the arts in Berks County.”? In the interim, you can also still link your tagline to your fundraising page, the organization’s home page, or the organization’s performance-schedule page. You might already be doing one of those, but I thought I’d go ahead and offer the suggestion.

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