Testimonials from your patrons, supporters and volunteers are a great asset when trying to attract new supporters and staff. Think about it. The last time you were debating about going to a new restaurant or reading a new book, what did you do? If you’re like many people today, you went online and looked for reviews.
Today’s consumers (and non-profit supporters) are looking for “social proof.” For this reason, collecting and using testimonials is a powerful way to market your non-profit. So how can you get started? Here are five ways your non-profit can use testimonial:
1. Include Testimonials on Your Website
One of the easiest ways that your non-profit organization can use testimonials is to publish them on your website. According to some marketing research, the simply act of placing testimonials on a lead generation page, can increase conversions by as much as 50%. Ronald McDonald House Charities does an excellent job of including stories and testimonials of families who have used their services.
2. Use Last Year’s Testimonials to Promote This Year’s Event
If your organization has an annual event.. say a black tie gala, summer camp or anything, be sure to survey the participants and get quotes. With their permission, you can use their quotes in your marketing material when you begin promoting that same event the following year! The Tim Horton’s Children Foundation, does a great job at surveying their camp youth workers and volunteers so that they can include testimonials on their website.
3. Let People Brag
When people do something awesome to support a good cause, it is natural for them to want to brag about it. Whether your organization is planning a walkathon, a polar dip, or some other spectacle that requires some extra effort on the part of your supporters, be sure to give them a platform to boast about it. This will help improve exposure for your non-profit.
The Kidney March, for example, posts a list of their top fundraisers each year on their website. By clicking on the name of the individual or team, you are taken to their fundraising page which includes their testimonials about why they support the march.
4. Incorporate Testimonials Into Your Blogs
Having a blog on your non-profit’s website is a great opportunity to use testimonials from clients, volunteers and supporters. You might incorporate some of the testimonials you already have, or you might be able to solicit some in the form of interviews.
International Justice Mission recently interviewed one of their interns and turned it into a blog post. Not only does this make for an interesting read for supporters, but it also naturally brought out positive comments about the organization from the interviewee.
5. Design a Marketing Campaign Using Testimonials
Finally, if you’ve got a good bank of testimonials anyway, or know that you can easily get them, why not design your own marketing campaign? Instead of using your own words though, use the words of your supporters. Your campaign can be in the form of a video, signage, social media, etc.
The Pat Tillman Foundation includes a video about their annual run on their website, which begins with a brief message from their CEO, but then is filled with testimonials from participants.
Testimonials are a powerful marketing tool, and one tool that your non-profit should not be without!