using digital marketing to SCALE with Adora Drake



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Have you ever wondered how your small organization can leverage marketing to build an audience, raise more money, find volunteers or even find service users? I'm sure you've looked at the big organizations and their advertising, whether it be online or in-person and felt a little bit of envy - “I wish we could invest in that.” Well today's guest, Adora Drake, is going to bring her experience in marketing to the level that small nonprofits can actually implement and leverage so that they can in fact, grow their audience and their support base.


Myths that Adora wants us to walk away from:


  1. You need a big budget. The good news is that a lot of online engagement can happen for FREE! If you follow Adora’s SCALE model, you can build community and drive them to action organically, without a budget.

  2. Big ads are the goal. The days of billboards and TV infomercials for nonprofits are limited (or at least, not the goal for small shops). Instead, focus on digital marketing where you can better track results and have a clear picture of who you are targeting and what actions they take because of your ads.

Adora’s SCALE method:

  1. Social Media. You can’t be everywhere, so start by understanding the persona of who you are trying to reach and connect with. Where would they hang out online?

  2. Content. What type of content will engage your audience or target persona? Think of it as an exchange. Often we assume we’re asking people to give to us, but we forget we have things that they value. Be consistent in your content.

  3. Audience. Now is the time to grow your audience, leveraging the insights and engagement you’ve built with your persona and how they have been engaging with your content. You can run ads to target people based on their interests.The platform algorithms can help you find more people!

  4. Lead. Social media is limited as you don’t own the relationship with your community. When the platforms go down (recently Facebook and Instagram), you still want to be able to engage with your audience. Think about giving them something valuable in exchange for their email address.

  5. Execution. Use your email to nurture your list and lead them into a call to action - to give, volunteer, etc. Again, consistency is key - keep those relationships warm and engaged to build a “know, like, and trust” factor.

Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode

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“So no matter if you're in a for-profit or nonprofit, you're always going to have people that get on the list and they just don't stay on the list. There's nothing you can do about that. And it's actually a good thing. And I'm going to tell you why it's a good thing, because if they get on the list and they're not engaged, they don't really care about what you guys are talking about, then why have them on the list? It's just a vanity. I would rather have a really small list. Actually. I would really have five people that are really engaged on my list. Then they have a hundred people and one person maybe opens the email.”


“And so that persona represents that one person, that one ideal, which we call maybe a donor or a volunteer that you want to attract. You want to grab their attention. And so, instead of looking at a bunch of people and trying to get all these different people's interests, you want to just narrow it down to “who is this person?” Why would they be interested in my organization? And what should I do to give them value, to make them want to be attracted to me?


Resources from this Episode

The Good Partnership

Adora Drake Marketing - free guide for nonprofits