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Marketing Grants for Nonprofits

Written by Fleur Ostojak on .
Money in jar with plant growing from it

Nonprofit organisations are created to drive social change - to make a positive impact on the world. While the heart and soul of nonprofits lie in their mission-driven work, using effective marketing strategies can help them spread the message tenfold. A well-structured marketing campaign can reach the right audience, convey its mission, drive donations, and increase brand awareness. It is estimated that for nonprofits, approximately 35% of the expense budget is spent on administrative purposes, while the other 65% is for programme expenses. Therefore, it is no secret that getting funds for a nonprofit marketing plan often means you are challenged to do more with less, but with the help of a marketing grant, extra funding can help nonprofits reach their goals.

Marketing grants can equip your nonprofit with the essential resources and support you need to amplify your organisation’s aims and objectives to make a difference in the world. So how do you get started? How do you know which marketing grant works best for your nonprofit?

In this article, we will explore:

What are marketing grants for nonprofits?

Marketing grants are financial resources provided by governments, foundations or corporations to support the marketing of nonprofit organisations, with no repayment required.

The types of marketing the grant covers can help you with include:

  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social media campaigns
  • Branding

However, depending on your organisation, your grant will be funded based on your organisation’s values or industry criteria.

Marketing grants can come from different types and sources of funding, such as:

Grant Sources

  • Corporate: some companies choose to have a grant source scheme that allows them to use some of their revenue to support charitable causes or other nonprofit organisations.
  • Foundation: foundation grants are funded by private organisations or foundations, rather than the government. They also provide grants for the benefit of nonprofit organisations, charities, or community groups.
  • Government: also known as operating grants, a government-funded grant can be given to a nonprofit on a federal, state or local level.

Grants can be awarded in different financial ways, the most common being:

Grant Types

  • Capital Support: capital grants are funded for long-term purposes, such as constructing, renovating or improving the organisation’s capital assets.
  • Restricted Funds: a restricted fund is a type of financial grant or donation under a certain condition. There would be an agreement on the purpose of the grant, such as using funding to launch a nonprofit’s programme, rather than an operational expense.
  • Unrestricted Funds: opposite to the above, an unrestricted fund covers day-to-day operating costs, supporting the overall function of the organisation.

What are the challenges that nonprofits face with grant funding?

Even though applying for a marketing grant as a nonprofit, charity or charitable incorporated organisation,is a great way to boost your brand’s objectives, it can often come with challenges.

Some of the common challenges include:

Applying for the wrong grant

If you are unaware of your organisation’s eligibility, you may fall into the wrong category of the funding you are looking for. Applying for grants can be time-consuming and complex, so make sure you have conducted thorough research in order to know which one works best for your nonprofit.

Grant eligibility

Nonprofit organisations must meet a specific set of eligibility criteria in order to apply for a grant. For example, your tax-exempt status, the purpose of your grant request or geographic restrictions.

Lack of financial Stability

The grant application process is not guaranteed to be swift, which might make your financial planning an arduous task. That being said, grant funding is also highly competitive, many other nonprofits are applying for the same reasons as yours, which is why securing the funding can be tough - especially if your organisation is smaller or newer.

Limited Funding

Depending on where your funding will be focused, grants may not cover the full cost of your objective, leading you to seek additional funding sources to cover the total amount.

How to apply for nonprofit marketing grants

Before you make the decision to apply for a grant to achieve your nonprofit’s marketing goals, it is important to understand exactly what your mission is and complete the necessary research.

You may want to consider the following:

  • What would you like to do with the grant?
  • Which type of marketing are you looking into? For example, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO) or social media
  • What would you like to achieve? Donations, signups, awareness?

Your funding application may differ slightly depending on the type of grant you wish for. The general steps are as follows:

  1. Review grant eligibility guidelines: ensure you understand the grant deadline, instructions, and whether your nonprofit meets the funding criteria.
  2. Organise your documents: prepare all of the documents that would be required - such as financial statements and tax-exempt documents.
  3. Communicate your cause: your proposal is your golden opportunity to show the funder why your nonprofit deserves the grant. What cause are you fighting for? What impact have you made already? Back up your credibility with relevant data to support your application.
  4. Review before submitting: once you’re happy with your application, re-read it from the funder’s perspective. What more could you add to get their attention? When you have submitted, make sure you store any confirmation into a save file, following up if necessary.

Top marketing grants for nonprofits

There are some great resources you can use to acquire a marketing grant. Many of the top marketing grants are from large, high-profile companies that are looking to give back to smaller organisations.

Examples include:

Google Ad Grants - digital marketing: Google gives support to charities and nonprofit organisations with US$10,000 in kind every month, to market online in the same way as normal paid Google Ads accounts, though with a few very specific policies that must be complied with.

Amazon Web Services - cloud marketing: cloud marketing is a type of digital marketing that uses different web-based tools. For example, social media, websites, apps and emails. Amazon’s Web Service is a public grant opportunity open to registered nonprofit organisations, who are looking to use technology as a primary source to achieve their goals. 

Worshipful Company of Marketors logo

Marketors’ Charity Marketing Grants Programme - Charity marketing: The Worshipful Company of Marketors have a grants programme to help charities use the power of marketing for social good. Applications are invited from charities registered with The Charity Commission for England Wales, and must have an annual income of between £10,000 and £200,000; with the charitable objectives to be focused on in the UK. The funding can be used for general fundraising campaigns, activities to improve regular donations, recruitment of volunteers, and campaigns to raise awareness of the charity’s activities.

Need help with your digital marketing grant? Contact us today

We work with some fantastic charities on their Google Ad Grant, and have loads of experience with achieving incredible results! Beyond Your Brand is a proud Google Partner, specialisting in delivering digital marketing for charities to help them harness their online capabilities.

Let us help you increase your donations, recruit volunteers, encourage event sign-ups and build brand awareness.

Contact us for more information, we would be delighted to speak to you and help you get started on your Google Ad Grant journey.

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