10 Very Good Reasons To Hire a Nonprofit Marketing Agency

Nonprofit Marketing Agency

Fundraising is a big job, and it’s tough to handle it all on your own. That’s why partnering with a nonprofit marketing agency who specializes in working with charities can make a big difference. 

Partnering with experts with years of experience and a long track record of success helping other nonprofits just like you is the right move if you want to raise more money each year and make your day-to-day work a lot easier.

Need more reasons than that? Here are 10 very good reasons charities should partner with a nonprofit marketing agency today:

1. Raise More Money

It may seem obvious, but a nonprofit marketing agency can play a huge role in boosting your revenue – often exponentially. 

Most qualified agencies have worked with dozens of charities in their history, and every one of those charities has required a strong return on their investment for their marketing dollars. That experience translates to knowledge and practices that you could be harnessing for your nonprofit.

Over our 12 year history, Frontier has worked on hundreds of campaigns for dozens of nonprofit clients. The value of the experience that comes from these campaigns can’t be understated. 

We know what works. We understand the timeless principles that underpin all nonprofit marketing…and that what worked well a few years ago may not work well this year. 


UGM’s Million Dollar Match:
Frontier built a winning annual match campaign for Union Gospel Mission’s 10th Annual Match campaign. 

The result: 
It raised $1,835,065 – a 20% increase from previous years and UGM’s highest revenue-generating match campaign to date.  

2. Never Worry About Staffing Again

Those who have been fundraising for nonprofits for a while will understand this. It isn’t easy to find and keep skilled people, let alone pay them competitively. 

That’s where a nonprofit marketing agency truly excels — they assemble a comprehensive team of experts, including data specialists, annual giving strategists, fundraising writers, designers, and digital experts. 

This way, you don’t have to spend your time searching for that mythical unicorn who can do it all. Or spend substantial time and resources training a staff member, only to have them leave months later. 

For the price of one in-house position, you gain access to a whole roster of experts, each specializing in their specific facet of fundraising. 

The truth is, it’s nearly impossible to find a single individual who encompasses the vast spectrum of skills needed in modern fundraising. For example, when we craft a digital marketing campaign here at Frontier, we draw on the expertise of at least 4 specialists. 

It would be challenging for even a well-funded nonprofit marketing team to hire, train, and retain those types of employees. 

Agencies provide a solution by bringing together qualified professionals from various specialties, ensuring you have top-tier expertise without the exhaustive search and constant worry about fundraising staff retention.

Furthermore, most nonprofits experience their growth in seasonal waves, creating peaks and valleys in staffing needs. Partnering with an agency means you’re prepared year-round, without the pressure to ramp up hiring for those peak times.

This strategy allows you to maintain a lean team while leveraging the agency’s resources to boost capacity whenever necessary.

3. Your Success is Their Success

When you partner with an agency that focuses on nonprofit marketing, their commitment extends beyond one-time projects. 

Your relationship with them is built on a foundation of mutual success — your goals become their goals. Your success is their success. 

Nonprofit marketing agencies are uniquely positioned to focus on key outcomes like growing your subscriber list, volunteer engagement, or fundraising results. 

By concentrating on these critical areas, they effectively become an integral part of your team.

At Frontier, for example, we have a regular cadence of meeting weekly, quarterly, and yearly with our clients to address their needs. 

At the yearly meeting, we go deep into their annual fundraising plans, focusing on listening to their goals and aspirations, then helping them develop annual fundraising plans that help them meet their goals. Our success is their success.


Optimizing Ask for Welcome Hall Mission: 
Frontier personalized ask amounts in a direct mail appeal for Welcome Hall Mission. 

The result: 
The charity saw a 15% jump in revenue for the Mission. A few more dollars from thousands of donors really adds up, having a significant impact on fundraising and those they serve.

4. Ensure Continuity No Matter What

In the charity world, burnout is notoriously challenging, and turnover can disrupt even the best-laid plans. You shouldn’t have to reset your strategies every time a key team member departs.

When leadership changes or when an inexperienced team member steps in, there’s often a gap in knowledge — be it about the latest industry trends or new regulations. 

The time it takes to onboard new staff or to bring existing members up to speed can stall your campaigns, potentially impacting your fundraising efforts.

When you partner with a nonprofit marketing agency, even as staff come and go, you can continue to launch digital marketing campaigns that raise a tonne to support the good work you do. 


Changing Development Directors: 
One of Frontier’s clients – a large international development agency – unfortunately went through three development directors within the space of a year. 

 During this time there were several major world events that the organization needed to respond to.

As this charity’s nonprofit marketing agency, our job was to ensure that the proverbial trains kept running on time, even though leadership had to focus elsewhere.

The Result:  

Thanks to the continuity we offered, we were able to launch their appeals on time and on budget. 

This is where the stability offered by a nonprofit marketing agency becomes invaluable. Think of them as your continuity champions, bridging the gap during staff transitions, ensuring that no campaign loses momentum and your fundraising efforts remain uninterrupted. 

By partnering with an agency, you mitigate the risks associated with having all your operational ‘eggs in one basket’ and maintain the agility needed to thrive amid changes.

5. Use Their Skills To Boost Your Performance

When you partner with a nonprofit marketing agency, you’re tapping into a deep well of industry knowledge and experience. 

Agencies not only work with many charities across different verticals (AKA types of nonprofits), they also work with multiple charities in the same sector. That could be wildlife protection, poverty relief, international development, community development, etc. 

While your organization’s marketing may include sending out five direct mail pieces a year, an agency could be mailing 500 pieces on behalf of their various clients – Acquiring a vast pool of data such as this allows an agency to adapt their fundraising tactics and strategies based on a far more substantial set of analytics. 

That said, continuous A/B testing is crucial to maintaining peak performance in any marketing endeavor, and agencies excel here too. 

They can conduct tests across different campaigns and clients, significantly reducing the risk associated with new strategies. It’s their business to stay on the cutting edge of industry trends and optimized practices.

Another benefit of frequently performing tasks across various clients? Agency staff can refine their skills to near perfection. What might take an in-house staff member three hours could be competently handled by an agency professional in just 30 minutes.


Rise Program for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission:
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission (KGM) wanted to find a way to engage more deeply and meaningfully with their major donors and continue building and improving donor loyalty among mid and major donors. 

These donors often requested more opportunities to meet each other to discuss ways to elevate their city. In response, Frontier created the RISE program, a branded loyalty program aimed at those who gave $1000+ annually. This provided an environment for collaboration, communication, and connection with and amongst their major donors. 

The result: 
Donors nearing the $1000 mark excitedly topped up their gifts to make the threshold, RISE members asked for more touchpoints from KGM, and KGM was able to find exciting ways to engage personally not only with their mid-level and major donors, but their corporate donors as well. A byproduct of this was that KGM gained a deeper understanding of their donor base at each giving level. 

6. Increase Objectivity to See Beyond Your Limits

Having an expert outside of your organization can really help when you need to make changes. Everyone working at a charity cares a lot about what they do — and they absolutely should! 

But sometimes, it’s helpful to have someone who can look at things a little more objectively. An agency can provide that fresh perspective, making it easier to figure out the best steps to move forward without losing sight of your mission.

Additionally, just because an organization has been doing something one way consistently, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do it. Bringing in a nonprofit marketing agency really opens up a world of possibilities. You get to tap into their wealth of experience from working with a variety of charities, uncovering successful strategies that you might not have even considered yet!

An agency can provide unique insight into how your charity could work more efficiently and give you new ideas on how to grow. All with the goal of helping you better serve your clients and do more good in the world.

7. Find New Donors and Keep Them

Think of donor attrition as a leaky fundraising bucket — despite continuous efforts, charities who are focusing on fundraising growth typically retain only 45% of their donors year-over-year. This makes an effective donor retention strategy vital to any nonprofit organization’s marketing strategy.

Partnering with an experienced agency will help you address this challenge – Agencies specialize in stewardship programs that deepen donor engagement and acquisition strategies that attract new supporters. 

Both of these approaches are necessary to ensure that existing donors feel valued and new ones are seamlessly integrated.


Reducing Donor Attrition for ADRA Canada:
Despite their impactful work, ADRA was relatively unknown outside its core community. To address this, they partnered with our team at Frontier Marketing

We conducted a detailed analysis of ADRA’s past efforts and optimized their strategies using the latest best practices in fundraising.To reduce donor attrition, we focused on building a list of potential supporters enthusiastic about ADRA’s mission.

The result:
Their 2022 Ukraine appeal implemented this new strategy, and tripled the industry’s average response rate. It not only attracted many new, committed donors but also increased the average gift size by 70%. This contributed 15% to ADRA’s year-end fundraising revenue, significantly enhancing their financial stability.

With the right guidance from a nonprofit marketing agency, you can turn sporadic support into a steady stream of contributions, transforming challenges into substantial growth opportunities.

8. Personalize Your Donor Communications

Segmenting your donors isn’t just about organizing names in a database — it’s about making every donor feel uniquely valued.

Here’s where the expertise of an agency that specializes in nonprofit marketing comes into play. They’re pros at expertly segmenting donor data to figure out who’s who, ensuring that your communication hits the mark every single time.

Despite the surge in popularity of digital marketing (which we love!), our expertise in direct mail allows Frontier to achieve huge returns for our clients. But this is only possible with proper donor segmentation, something we specialize in. 

By grouping donors based on criteria like past donations, interests, and other key info, an agency’s communications expert can craft messages that resonate deeply with each group’s unique behaviors and motivations

This tailored approach ensures your fundraising campaigns connect more effectively with donors, enhancing engagement and potentially increasing donations.

For example, an agency could help you whip up personalized email campaigns that keep donors in the loop about projects they’ve helped fund or nudge those who gave last year but haven’t yet this year.

The bottom line? 

Personalizing your approach does more than just foster deeper commitment; it significantly boosts financial support. Partnering with a nonprofit marketing agency that specializes in fundraising communications not only makes this process smoother but also builds a consistent and trusted voice for your campaigns, ensuring long-term success.

9. Launch a Monthly Donor Program: Stability You Can Rely On

The best way to secure a steady stream of income is through a monthly giving program. However, developing a program can be complex and demanding. 

Working with a marketing agency can help shape your monthly giving program from the ground up! With insight into donor behavior and preferences, their experts can help you craft an attractive offer and acquisition plan specifically for your target audience.  

When it comes to technical aspects, such as web page development, a nonprofit marketing agency will ensure that the donation and landing pages are not only visually appealing but also optimized for user experience and conversions. 

Their communication experts on staff will also help create emotional narratives and powerful calls-to-action that motivate potential donors to commit.

To convert donors, an agency will help you decide which approach will be most successful for your organization: From advertising and social media campaigns to email marketing and direct mail, they’ll help you reach a wider audience and attract more monthly commitments.

They’ll also provide analytics and reporting that help you refine your strategy and improve donor retention rates.

When you put this all together, a nonprofit marketing agency partnership is a no-brainer when it comes to boosting your fundraising results and creating lasting relationships with your donors!

10. Be Data Savvy Without Breaking The Bank

Data analysis is essential to your charity’s success. 

Many CRMs promise easy-to-use tools for analyzing and exporting data, but truly mastering data management in-house can be quite challenging. Also, experts in fundraising data are scarce and expensive because of their specialized skills.

That’s why working with an agency can be a smart move. It’s usually more cost-effective than hiring full-time experts, and having solid data analysis is vital. Without it, your charity might not be making the most of its opportunities.

Effective data management lays the groundwork for setting realistic budgets, forecasting donations, and crafting strategic fundraising initiatives. 

With clear and precise data, you can identify the right donors to target and determine the ideal donation amounts to ask for. Agencies can enhance this process with advanced RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) calculations, helping you fine-tune your fundraising approaches for better results.

Plus, agencies bring access to advanced tools that enhance your data projections and analysis significantly. They’ll thoroughly review your CRM to ensure you’re maximizing its potential and correcting any inefficiencies. 

Accurate data attribution can be challenging, and many charities might not realize how straightforward adjustments can substantially improve their operations with minimal extra effort. 

Expert advice from an agency can be crucial, helping you achieve your goals and avoid the pitfalls that could derail your annual plans.

Bonus: Navigate Internal Disputes Easier With Experts By Your Side

Internal disputes are pretty common in charities, spanning from department squabbles right up to the Board of Directors. 

In Canada, every registered charity must have a Board of Directors (BOD). However, the level of involvement from each director can vary widely within a board, and even more so from one charity to another. 

The primary role of the BOD is to govern the charity and ensure it complies with relevant laws and regulations, particularly those set by The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Generally, the board plays a significant role in either creating or – at very least – approving the budget. This can lead to tensions if the board isn’t aligned with the Fundraising team. 

They might not be up-to-date on the latest fundraising trends or realistic about what can be achieved in terms of spending and goals.

A nonprofit marketing agency can bridge the gap and help ensure everyone is on the same page, using their years of experience and data to answer tricky questions and provide sage advice to charity leaders and board members alike.

For example:

  • Why continue print mailings throughout the year if most donations come at year-end?
  • Could we boost our marketing ROI by only mailing at year-end?

An agency can provide insights without the risk of slashing your mailings and potentially seeing a dip in donations.

Internally, it’s not unusual for teams like Philanthropy/Fundraising and Communication to butt heads. A well-run agency can invigorate a stagnant work environment, introducing new practices and procedures that inject fresh energy into an organization. 

It could be something as simple as establishing a new system for story collection or redefining priorities for story placement throughout the year.

Consider Partnering With A Nonprofit Marketing Agency

At the end of the day, it’s not just about understanding why you should work with a nonprofit marketing agency, but finding the right one. 

Make sure to ask any potential agency about what similar clients they have and what they specialize in so you can make the most of your partnership! See if they really listen to you, or if they simply want to offer their one-size-fits-all solution. 

At Frontier, we’re expert fundraisers who excel at optimizing nonprofit growth, with a customized approach to each of our clients. We love helping charities solve their biggest fundraising challenges so they can do what they do best — helping those who need it most and creating positive, lasting change in the world. 

If you want to learn more about us, contact Frontier and see if we’re the right partner for you!

Connect with Frontier and begin raising more today.

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