3 Ways to Grow Your Impact for the Animals with Digital
We believe that impact belongs to everyone. This is especially true for animal rights and animal welfare nonprofits, who confront unspeakable animal cruelty every day. No matter the size, they are speaking up for the most vulnerable among us, and they can all benefit from digital marketing, digital fundraising, and digital advocacy to help achieve their greater good.
When fully invested in, digital has the potential to dramatically scale up your work and ultimately improve what we all care most about: saving and improving the lives of more animals, and treating all beings with the respect they deserve.
1. Build An Individual Giving Online Fundraising Program to Raise Crucial Funds
With the popularity of Facebook’s fundraising tools and the advent of modern fundraising platforms like Classy, Raisely, and Salsa, there’s never been a better time to start fundraising for your organization online. In fact, animal wildlife and welfare nonprofits increased their investment in digital ads by 112% from 2017 to 2018, with the majority (55%) going to direct fundraising ads*. And for every 1,000 fundraising emails sent, nonprofits raised an average of $45. (Do some quick math on your list size and the number of emails you could be sending to get a sense of the opportunity here.) Since 2014, animal-focused nonprofits specifically have increased their online revenue by 67%. If you’re an organization that, like many, depends on individual donations to operate, you risk falling behind your peers and leaving money on the table if you don’t start or scale up your online fundraising efforts soon.
For Example: We’re working with organizations like FOUR PAWS US to scale up their online fundraising program using a multi-channel approach that involves email appeal campaigns and direct fundraising through Google Ads and Facebook Ads. By implementing advanced tracking codes and audience segmentation techniques, we’re able to make better-informed decisions about the best campaigns and subject matter to focus on based on data, not emotion or assumptions.
2. Use Inbound Marketing to Find Animal Advocates and Grow Your Supporter Base
Did you know that Google gives $10,000 per month in free search advertising for qualified animal rights and animal welfare nonprofits? It’s called the Google Ad Grants program, and it represents one of the most cost-effective opportunities for organizations today because — when managed properly — it translates into thousands of additional website visits by people who care about your cause each month.
Once you have a Google Ad Grant account (which we can help you apply for), you’ll need to think about the other side of the coin: where are your shiny new search ads actually driving to? (Hint: it shouldn’t be your homepage.) This is where the “inbound marketing” process comes into play: guide all that new website traffic to specific, targeted landing pages based on what they showed interest in, with the goal of increasing important actions taken like email subscriptions, petition signatures, and donations. These pages should be tied into your email marketing platform so that you can send automated series of “welcome” emails and other regular emails about your work.
Given the competitive nature of search advertising and the tight regulations Google enforces for Ad Grants accounts, it’s important that you hire specialists who know the Google Ads platform inside and out. Our Account Strategists are not only Google Ads experts, but they are also nonprofit growth marketing specialists who understand how an Ad Grant fits into a broader strategy to reach supporters and expand the work you do.
For Example: If you run an animal sanctuary, use a Google Ad Grant account to run free search ads that direct people nearby who are searching for animal sanctuaries (or zoos) to your location in order to increase the number of tours and donations for the rescued animals in your care. (If this sounds like you, we offer services like these to organizations like yours through our Media Cause Rise program. Reach out and say hi!)
For Example: If your organization works regionally or nationally to educate the public about the horrors of factory farming and the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, use a Google Ad Grant to drive to blog posts on your websites that answer specific questions people often search for in Google, like “what is factory farming?” or “how do I go vegan”? At Media Cause, we’ve worked with vegan campaigners from across the spectrum to improve their marketing results as part of our partnership with VegFund.
3. Buy Targeted Online Ads to Win Elections and Pass Policy For The Animals
Effective digital advocacy is about more than just one-off petitions and social media posts. It’s about forming a sustained and strategic approach to pressuring politicians to pass pro-animal policies and electing new candidates to office who will fight for animal rights and animal welfare issues. One of the most effective tools that animal-focused advocacy groups should leverage is paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google. For a relatively small amount of budget, you can generate mass (and measurable) awareness of your cause or candidate during key moments and geographic locations.
For Example: We’re working with the Australian-based Animal Justice Party to grow a political constituency in the state of New South Wales on matters of animal cruelty. Most recently, we helped them shock the country with the surprising election win of Emma Hurst by leading the campaign’s digital advertising efforts across Facebook, Instagram, and Google Search.
Ready to grow your impact for the animals? Let’s chat!
*Source: M+R 2019 Benchmarks Study