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Grassroots Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns: 4 Stellar Examples

Check out these stellar examples of grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns.

Grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns are a valuable opportunity for nonprofits to raise awareness of the mission that sparked the commencement of the organization itself. These campaigns provide an opportunity to share your passion!

The term "grassroots" refers to the foundation of an organization. It's this platform of advocacy and financial support that makes it possible to work toward your cause. Grassroots marketing campaigns are how you spread the word of these opportunities for support.

There are a few factors that go into this marketing plan. Consider the examples we've pulled from those who have used Salsa Engage's grassroots software. They used key grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign features such as:

  1. Action Alerts
  2. Customized and Personalized Content
  3. Supporter Connections
  4. Data Analysis

Of course, the first thing you may be wondering is what exactly you're promoting with these marketing methods. Well, grassroots support comes from the everyday activities and involvement opportunities you provide for your supporters.

Types of Grassroots Support

There are various types of support your organization's patrons can provide. Don't make the mistake of thinking that one type of support is better than another! All contributions are important and vital to the wellness of your organization.

  • Online Petitions
  • Click-to-Call
  • Tweet a Rep
  • Donations
  • Event Attendance
  • Volunteering

Let's circle back to how you can promote these types of support. Ready for a deeper understanding of what should be included in your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign strategy? Let's dive in!

Action alerts are the first strategy for effective grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns.

Grassroots Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Strategy #1: Action Alerts

So you've set up a great opportunity for your supporters to get involved with your organization, but you need an effective and efficient way of distributing this information. This is best done with marketing automation features.

Let's just say your opportunity for engagement is an online petition.

You've done everything right! You customized the design of the petition to include a header that reflects your organization's branding. You also adjusted the form fields to collect the most pertinent and relevant information from supporters. In the end, your petition may look something like this:

Create customized petitions for your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign, then use action alerts to spread the word.

Action alerts are one way to communicate with your supporters the opportunity to get involved. They can be set to be sent off through your nonprofit's advocacy software solution.

Set up your action alerts to trigger an email and a post to various social media sites simultaneously.

This way, you can increase the reach of your beautifully crafted online petition.

Real-Life Example: Salud America

Salud America does a good job representing the use of action alerts for grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns. Salud America is an advocacy-oriented organization that fights for the rights for Latino children and families to rightfully live, learn, work, and play. They support changes to policies, systems, and environments to ensure these basic rights.

As they began to grow, they realized that their small advocacy platform just wouldn't be enough to meet their needs. Therefore, they switched to Salsa Engage.

Salsa Engage made it easy for professionals at Salud America to create petitions and alert their supporters of opportunities for support with action alerts.

Communication director, Cliff Despres, states:

Creating petitions, sign-up forms, and even just regular emails is really easy in Engage... There are a lot of bells and whistles you are able to apply to your actions making them more interesting and attractive.

Salud America continues to advocate for important social issues through their targeted actions and action alerts. Salsa has helped this growing organization continue their growth by providing easy targeted action creation and alert settings.

Making it easy to create digital advocacy opportunities helps organizations allocate that additional time back towards the mission itself.

The second key strategy for grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns is customization of content.

Grassroots Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Strategy #2: Customized and Personalized Content

One of the major downfalls to many nonprofits' grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign strategies is the inability to completely customize content. This is a problem when it comes to the customization of any marketing materials, from advocacy to donation pages

While many software solutions advertise customization features, how often do organizations really experience it? That's because their customization features are incredibly limited.

When you use software to design your marketing materials, be sure to watch for software that will provide all of the functionality your nonprofit needs to truly make that content your own.

In particular, there are two different ways you should make sure you can customize:

Branding of the Message

Branding is key for your organization's marketing materials. For instance, if you're creating a targeted action for a click-to-call advocacy campaign, you should be sure to use your nonprofit's logo, font, and imagery to maintain consistency with your website.

Maintaining consistent branding provides visual indication to supporters right away that they are still working with your organization. Using a different font or forgetting your logo may look suspicious to supporters, causing them to leave the targeted action page.

Personalization of Content

When you send content directly to your list of supporters most likely to help you in your click-to-call advocacy campaign, you want to make sure you're personally addressing each individual who you reach out to.

When you read an email, are you more likely to pay attention when it begins with "To whom it may concern" or when it addresses you by your preferred first name? Make sure you have the ability to auto-populate the preferred name of your donors in the introduction of the message.

Want to see what this looks like? Here's an example:

Personalize and customize emails for your organization's grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign.

When you begin a grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign, you're relying on individuals who comprise the foundation of your organization's support. Show them their importance by individualizing them and providing the most attractive resources for them to use to help you.

Real-Life Example: Faith in Texas

Faith in Texas does a good job representing how to customize content for your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign. Faith in Texas is an organization that supports civic leadership movements in faith communities for economic and racial justice. They work with multiple faith groups in order to create a network of voices fighting for justice in various communities.

Faith in Texas switched from their old solution, EveryAction, to Salsa Engage for Salsa's increased functionality. The most noteworthy change they noticed was the customizability of Salsa's grassroots advocacy tools.

Director of Development at Faith in Texas stated:

Engage has been absolutely wonderful! We love the ease of creating a form or email and how simple it is to give it the look we want.

Faith in Texas leveraged the templates available through Salsa's software, then made adjustments according to their needs. These adjustments ensured their content was branded to the organization and the communications were as personalized as possible to engage supporters.

Learn more about nonprofit grassroots advocacy campaigns with this webinar by Salsa.

Encourage supporters connections as a part of your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign.

Grassroots Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Strategy #3: Supporter Connections

As a nonprofit professional, you know how important it is to make connections with your supporters. Building relationships is the foundation for improving your donor retention rates and ensuring engaged supporters.

When we talk about supporter connections, however, grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns have a secondary goal to pay attention to: connections between supporters themselves.

Because grassroots is defined as the foundation of support for your organization, when they feel connected to one another, it'll also lead to them feeling more connected to your cause.

Some of the specific marketing campaign strategies your nonprofit can employ to encourage the forging of these connections include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. Peer-to-peer fundraising encourages supporters to connect with one another and with their connections outside of the existing supporter network to collect donations in support of your cause.
  • Sharable content via social media. When you post articles on your blog or on other available platforms, be sure you also share them on social media and encourage your supporters to do the same. This will help ensure you get the word out about new updates at your organization and new opportunities.
  • Advocacy events. Encourage your supporters to physically come together at advocacy events hosted by your organization. Asking supporters to register via an online registration page will help you also receive a headcount for a better-run event, which, in turn, results in more conversation between supporters themselves.

Try combining all three of these strategies by creating a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign leading up to your advocacy event. Then, encourage your fundraisers to share their individual fundraising pages on various social media platforms! These fundraising pages may look something like this: 

Encourage supporters to get in touch with others by creating their own personal fundraising page as a part of your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign strategy.

You'll spread awareness, encourage supporters to feel important by involving them in the fundraising process, and bring everyone together during the event as a grand finale.

Real-Life Example: Our Clubhouse

Our Clubhouse began a peer-to-peer fundraiser as a part of their grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign. Our Clubhouse is a unique organization that focuses on providing support for individuals whose lives have been touched by cancer. At their annual event Over the Edge, supporters rappel down the side of a skyscraper.

Supporters of Our Clubhouse earn the privilege of rappelling by successfully participating in the event's peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.

Our Clubhouse emphasizes the importance of leaning on those around you who support you in hard times. Dani Wilson, executive director of Our Clubhouse explains:

"You have to trust the people around you and lean on your supports, and start moving. That's what we're asking people to do with Over the Edge...When Salsa sent a team down to be with us at our event that day, that's what they were getting into... They were there to support Our Clubhouse."

When they switched to Salsa Engage for their peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Salsa sent a team to Over the Edge in support of the organization. This showed that their mission was not only backed by their peer-to-peer fundraisers, but also by their software provider.

Analyze the data from your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign.

Grassroots Nonprofit Marketing Campaign Strategy #4: Data Analysis

As your nonprofit begins implementing some key grassroots nonprofit marketing strategies, you'll likely have a major influx of data that comes pouring in from your supporters.

Don't shrug off this data!

When you keep an eye on your various marketing metrics and key performance indicators, you can make better, more informed decisions for the future.

Look for easy, yet detailed, ways to track your data. While you could download spreadsheets monthly, quarterly, or at the end of each campaign, it's a lot easier to check in on these metrics with comprehensive dashboard functionality.

Look for a data dashboard that shows metrics from your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign such as:

  • Effectiveness of different petitions
  • Channels through which people find targeted actions
  • Email open and click-through rates.
  • Number of supporters who messaged a legislator
  • Number of new participants

For instance, a great dashboard may look something like this:

Online dashboards can give a good overview of your organization's successful grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign strategies.

Dashboards can help you take effective next steps for your organization's grassroots campaigns. If one of your targeted actions is dropping in popularity, you may need to boost your marketing efforts for an extra little push!

Real-Life Example: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

The CTFK does a good job of analyzing grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign strategies to determine next best steps. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) fights to protect children from the harmful effects of tobacco and, ultimately, save lives. They advocate for the stop of tobacco sales from popular retailers and tighter legislation from government officials.

CTFK employs various grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns in order to support their mission. They market their multiple targeted actions through various channels and track the successes of those campaigns for the future.

As CTFK leverages Salsa for newsletters, action alerts, social posts, and fundraising appeals, their supporters continue to donate and get involved with other campaigns that encourage a tobacco-free world.

Salsa's advocacy dashboard has helped organizations like CTFK determine important analytics that will launch them into future success.


With the right tools and the best strategies, your grassroots nonprofit marketing campaign will become increasingly effective as time goes on. Get the word out about your cause and how people can help!

Learn more about nonprofit grassroots advocacy campaigns with this webinar by Salsa.

Topics: Marketing