How to Plan an Awareness Campaign for Your Nonprofit

Is there an awareness month, day or week that’s relevant to your cause? Joining the conversation through an awareness campaign can bring in new supporters that care about your cause. They may even be willing to share their passion with friends, family and social media followers.

Who can say no to more website traffic?

Planning an Awareness Campaign

Before we dive into the actual components of the campaign, it’s helpful to get a few things straight.

  • Who will your target audience be? Will it be those people already celebrating the day? Those affected by a certain cause or their loved ones? Or maybe you’re hoping to rally current supporters around the day.
  • What are your goals for the campaign? Set specific numeric goals around things like website traffic, the channels that traffic comes from, donations and other actions taken on your site.
  • What will the calls to action be? Make sure that these align with your goals to set yourself up for success.
  • Will you have a theme? For more general awareness days, it can be helpful to center your campaign around one specific theme or slogan.
  • What are the key messages? Narrow these down to key 3-4 statements paired with your calls to action for the campaign.
  • Will you need photos or graphics? It’s never too early to start stockpiling photos and graphics to use within website content, emails and social media.
  • Are there important dates you’ll need to keep in mind? Like a kick-off day, the actual awareness day and any webinars or other events that’ll need to be included.
  • How will you keep participants engaged after the campaign ends? As you’re taking time to widen your audience through an awareness campaign, be sure to keep retention and ongoing engagement efforts in mind.

Awareness Campaign Components

For your first awareness campaign, start simple and use the marketing channels that you already have. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for a one-month campaign. We’ve outlined a campaign for nonprofits with a website, blog, active social media accounts, an email list and a Google Ads Ad Grant.

If your organization doesn’t use one or more of these methods, simply cut it from your campaign. And the same goes for marketing tactics that you’re comfortable using, but that aren’t included in our list.

Landing Page

Use a landing page on your website as the hub of your awareness month campaign. It can house all of the details of your campaign, including those key messages and calls to action.

  • Add a video that highlights the issue around the awareness month and how your nonprofit is working to solve it.
  • Highlight events of the campaign and how supporters can get involved, like signing up for webinars or registering for a day of advocacy.
  • If your organization has an ambassador program or supports peer-to-peer fundraising, include details for getting involved through the campaign.
  • Highlight any partners or sponsorships involved in the campaign.
  • Note and link to updates or blog posts related to the campaign.

Landing Page Resources

Since this page is so crucial to your campaign, get strategic around how you piece this content together. For inspiration, check out our prototypical Awareness Month campaign landing page on the demo site for our Scholar theme. It may just give you the formatting inspo you need for your new page.

We’ve also written a good deal about landing pages on our blog, from the basics to promotion pieces to ways to stand out in the crowd.

Blog Posts

Your landing page doesn’t have to carry all of the weight of your website content. Use your blog by publishing posts targeted at your campaign audience. This can include things like relevant stories, resources or updates. Although this depends on your typical blog posting schedule, one to two posts is generally sufficient for a month-long campaign.

You can then link to the posts on the landing page once they’ve been published and share them with your email and social media audiences for some varied campaign content.

Social Media

Plan social media posts to pepper into your regular posting content throughout the month. Keep the campaign content varied with posts announcing your campaign kick-off, giving updates about your cause, highlighting and linking to blog posts, noting events and webinars or sharing stories.

To expand the reach of your posts, encourage dedicated supporters to share the awareness month details with their own followers. You might even include a downloadable social media graphic for them to use within a blog post or your campaign landing page. And don’t forget to remind them about any hashtags that you’re using for your campaign!

Emails

Emails are a proven way for nonprofits to inspire action (and donations!) from supporters. But email fatigue is a real thing for many audiences. To keep things simple this first time around, plan for two emails in your awareness campaign, which you can work into your standard email communications for the month.

  • One email to announce your campaign with the key messages, details and a call to action
  • One email on the actual awareness day or another day of action to drive home the importance of the campaign and ask for one key action

More Emails

To build more emails into your campaign, there are opportunities to further engage the active folks on your email list through segmentation. For example, after the first email, you might create a follow-up email for those who showed interest in the campaign by clicking the email. They’d likely be more inclined to take an action like signing up for a webinar or participating in an advocacy day.

If you’re planning to include blog posts, you can add on emails to highlight those for your email audience, too.

Google Ads

Have a Google Ad Grant? Use Google Ads to create an ad group specifically targeted around the awareness month with keywords like “x awareness month”, “x awareness day” and “x awareness”. Be sure to direct visitors to your campaign landing page.

As the month goes on, be sure to update the ad group regularly, tweaking ad content to perform better and adjusting keywords as necessary.

You’ll thank yourself for planning ahead when the next awareness month rolls around. Avoid the last minute scrambling and take advantage of the whole month to build awareness for your cause and drive traffic to your site.

Are you in the midst of awareness month planning? What cause are you planning around? Any questions about what to include in your strategy? Let’s hear them in the comments below.