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Can you rebuild donor trust with these marketing fixes?

Nhu Te
4 min read
Feb 1, 2024 9:13:00 AM
066: Can you rebuild donor trust with these marketing fixes?


Generosity is on a downward trend, evident in several giving reports from last year, reflecting a decrease in both the number of donors and dollars given. Playing into a broader narrative of diminishing trust among donors, nonprofits are at a crossroads between how to repair this disconnect.

Reasons for this vary from organization to organization: transactional communication, inconsistent experience, or even limited information about impact. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that if nonprofits don’t start making changes now, the connection gap between nonprofits and their supporters will continue to widen.

Dive into this week’s brief with me as I share resources on the state of nonprofit trust and what marketers can do to mend this bond.

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Inflight Briefing-assets

Snackable snippets 

A peek into building a trusted nonprofit brand 🎧
A legacy brand that’s been around for more than 70 years, UNICEF USA continues to find ways to stay relevant and connected to its community of supporters. How do they do it?

As Chief Marketing Officer, Shelley Diamond, and her team are responsible for building and maintaining the organization's brand in the US market. In this episode of Good Marketing Unplugged, discover how the organization has retained the loyalty of its supporters over the years and get advice on how you can build a trusted nonprofit brand.

Trust in nonprofits is waning, but there's no need to panic. Instead, focus on the actionable steps you can take in your everyday decisions to regain and reinforce this trust.

A new guide from Spitfire Strategies offers practical advice on how to earn trust, which includes rethinking the “donate” pop-up, not overdoing it with emergency appeals, leaning on your community to find a solution, and more.

A dive into Candid's social media strategy 📖
Candid did a deep dive into their social analytics from 2023 to re-evaluate how they should approach their strategy this year. Findings align with broader social media trends, such as audiences wanting organizations to be more relatable and not promote too much.

The team also shares how they’re approaching social in 2024, which we think nonprofits could use for their strategies. Not-so-spoiler alert: Less about you, more about your supporters’ preferences, needs, and interests 🙂

Building your brand with a customer promise 📖
Brands that centralized their campaign on a customer promise outperformed other types of campaigns across measures like brand perception, brand preference, and purchase intent. For example, Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15%.”

The good news: Nonprofits already build their brands on a promise—aka your mission. The not-so-great news: If you’re not delivering the impact of work, your promise falls flat. This is just a reminder to continue showing gratitude but also let supporters know the results of their generosity.

How MDDS boosts audience engagement 📖
The Metro Denver Dental Society, a nonprofit component of the American Dental Association, sought to expand its member engagement across digital channels. While investing in more digital efforts was important, they ultimately wanted to be more thoughtful about their messaging and optimize their email engagement.

Using segmentation to send highly relevant messages to their members, MDDS is now seeing email open rates of over 50%.


In the news

Since 2018, Apple has been rolling out short films ahead of Chinese New Year, and this year is no different. Titled “Little Garlic,” this year’s film focuses on a young Chinese girl who is self-conscious about her appearance.

Apple uses these films as a storytelling vehicle that deeply resonates with its Chinese audience—I admit this definitely tugs on one of my heartstrings 😢

Using Apple as an example, are there stories that your nonprofit can tell to engage with different supporter segments?


Remember when we briefly talked about Gemini in Brief #61? Well, Google officially launched a conversational experience powered by its Gemini AI model in Google Ads.

According to Marketing Dive, what we know so far is that advertisers have built higher quality search campaigns with less effort, increasing Ad Strength scores that measure relevance, quality, and diversity of ad copy.

For your inspiration folder

Fundraising can be emotionally taxing, especially when facing unrealistic expectations and limited resources. Whether you're a nonprofit marketer, fundraiser, or part of the development team, this conversation between April Walker, Founder of Philanthropy for the People, and Mallory Erickson is a must-listen.

This episode of What the Fundraising explores the fundraising challenges for nonprofits and how fundraisers can navigate this difficult terrain to find what brings them joy and fulfillment.

Source: Mallory Erickson


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