While companies often use influencer marketing to promote products, it’s also an effective tactic for nonprofits. With the right influencer, you can spread awareness about services or programs, raise funds, and host events, all of which can promote your organization and the good it does for others. To inspire nonprofit influencer marketing ideas, we’ll explore examples and potential roadblocks and how to overcome them.
Nonprofit influencer marketing challenges and solutions
Nonprofits often face different challenges than brands, but that shouldn’t stop you from leveraging influencers. Here’s a look at the hurdles nonprofits face and solutions to consider:
Challenge: Budget constraints
Money is usually tight for nonprofits, so there might be a limited amount of cash to pay influencers.
Solution: Focus on nano- or micro-influencers
With a small budget, you probably can’t work with celebrities, but you can connect with nano- (1-10K followers) or micro-influencers (10K-50K followers). Research shows more brands are working with smaller influencers because they tend to have higher engagement rates.
Challenge: Finding the right influencer
If your nonprofit has a small marketing department or even a marketing department of one, the time needed to find charitable influencers presents a challenge.
Solution: Use an influencer marketing platform
Rely on an influencer marketing platform like IZEA Marketplace, where you can search for influencers, refine your results, view profiles, and even purchase content packages influencers listed for sale.
Challenge: Measuring success
How do you know if an influencer campaign is successful? With metrics scattered across multiple platforms, it’s not always easy to identify KPIs.
Solution: Set KPI goals and consider helpful tools
When you plan an influencer campaign, state your goal and the KPIs you plan to monitor to gauge success. Think about campaign metrics before you reach out to influencers to make sure you invest your marketing dollars wisely.
For a more streamlined experience, influencer marketing platforms like IZEA Flex provide valuable campaign metrics in one easy-to-read dashboard by simply connecting, or associating, modules. Get metrics beyond likes and shares and see your ROI per influencer.
Influencer campaign ideas for nonprofits
You can reach your target audience through influencers with these campaign concepts:
Ask influencers to kick off a challenge
Social media challenges encourage followers to engage. They’re fun, active, and can spread like social media wildfire. Consider thinking of a challenge that promotes or supports your nonprofit.
Truth Initiative, a nonprofit that helps teens quit smoking and vaping, launched “The Quitting Challenge” on TikTok. They worked with several influencers to kickstart the campaign but encouraged others to quit and share their journey. The result was hundreds of UGC on TikTok like this:
Fundraising challenge between influencers
If you’re trying to raise funds, consider challenging two to four influencers to raise money for your organization and see who can raise the most. Remember, an influencer could be a local celebrity, previous clients, a content creator you find online, or even an employee.
ESPN asked several employees to participate in a fundraising challenge for Helping Mommas, a nonprofit that supports families in need. ESPN senior writer Ryan McGee and sportscaster Elle Duncan, who support rival sports teams, encouraged their followers to donate to the cause when their rivals played against each other.
Ask influencers to attend or host events
Whether you’re hosting a 5K, a speaker series, or a gala, get influencers involved. Ask influencers to promote the event, invite their followers, and attend. You could ask influencers to speak on a panel, mingle with guests, lead an activity, or simply share videos and pictures from the event like this influencer does at the Light the Night event, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser.
Looking for another event-based idea? An on-demand fitness company hosted an outdoor workout to support the American Red Cross Relief Fundraiser for Maui fires.
Consider partnering with local businesses to host a “gathering” like this where people simply show up, pay a small entrance fee, and complete an hour-long activity. Through a partnership, you tap into more resources and leverage employees from both brands as influencers.
Most nonprofits educate their audience about the problem they work to solve, and influencers can help here, too. For example, influencers can snap a picture wearing a brand T-shirt and explain your mission. They can share facts, spread awareness, and encourage others to take action.
For instance, this post spreads awareness during breast cancer awareness month and reminds women to schedule mammograms.
An influencer could do something similar for your organization.
Nonprofits should explore influencer campaigns to connect with their audience, drive awareness, and increase fundraising. While you may face challenges, with the right plan and perseverance, you can create effective campaigns that elevate your nonprofit and its mission.