All organizations work hard to expand their donor pool. Making new audiences aware of your organization and its mission is key, but donors need more than that – they need to be cultivated. Traditionally, donors don’t give the first time they hear about your organization.

Nonprofit marketers commonly look at donor cultivation as a “funnel” process. It starts at the top by getting your organization’s name and mission to as broad an audience as possible…as broad as millions, and even hundreds of millions of people. The next goal is to get some of those people to your website to take an interest, whether by signing up for a newsletter or some other form of engagement. Moving down the funnel, the goal is to get a donation, with the final step of becoming an ongoing financial supporter.

Starting at the top, how do you get in front of the widest number of people to start shepherding some into the funnel? One of the best ways to reach vast audiences is through a public service announcement (PSA) placed on television stations nationwide. A typical PSA campaign can generate from 55 to 90 million impressions.

TV stations routinely air PSAs during regular commercial breaks at no cost to the nonprofit. They do this because they have unsold commercial slots that PSAs help fill.

Even better, stations often will keep a PSA “in rotation” — airing for many months and up to a year or longer. This means the nonprofit gets repeated exposure for an extended period of time. And since PSAs air in all dayparts, your organization will be reaching different audiences watching TV at different times.

The :60 or :30 PSA briefly tells the story of the nonprofit creating the awareness, along with a “call to action” which gives your website for viewers to learn more about your organization.

By their nature, TV PSAs don’t always drive big clicks because a viewer isn’t sitting with pen and paper to write down a URL, although a number of our clients have experienced an uptick in web visits. Considering multiple touches are important to the “cultivation” process, it’s important to get in front of a viewer who sees your PSA on TV repeatedly for an extended timeframe. Integrating digital marketing tactics such as In-App Mobile and maybe a Facebook post will provide repeated exposure bringing it all together for someone to get through the necessary funnel stages.

To learn more about what’s involved in a PSA campaign – or if you need basic information on how PSAs work – contact us.

About The Author

Steven Edelman

Steve Edelman is a Partner and President of Connect360. He is a leading expert on the measurement, valuation, and financial reporting of Public Service Announcements by not-for-profit organizations.

About Connect 360

Connect360 is a leading media placement agency driving measurable results for some of Charity Navigator’s highest-ranked nonprofits, well-known associations, government agencies and public relations/marketing firms.

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