4imprint, LLC

4 min read

People look to influencers to entertain and provide honest information on what brands to support and take note of—from specific product lines to big causes. Influencer marketing for nonprofits can spark passion in your existing audience, as well as attract new supporters. Seventy-eight percent of nonprofits say social media is their number one marketing channel, making partnering with an influencer a natural next step for many nonprofits.

An influencer partnership can expand your network and provide new sources of support, funds, time, recommendations and more. We offer five tips to help you choose the best influencers for your nonprofit.

Focus on goals

Before trying to find an influencer partner, clearly define your goals. Do you want to boost brand awareness through “star power”? A celebrity might be a good choice. Are you looking to increase donations? An influencer who is already interested in the type of work you do is likely a good choice. Once you’ve pinpointed your goals, it’s easier to know which influencers will be the best fit.

When you do find influencers who can help your organization reach its goals, ask them what they would like you to do for them. Perhaps they’d like a tax-deductible exchange of services, exposure to a larger audience or the chance to participate more deeply in your nonprofit.


Find micro-influencers

Mega influencers with millions of followers aren’t always the most effective choice. Influencers with less than 35,000 followers have a 5.3% engagement rate—higher than any others. Focusing on small influencers who share your values results in a concentrated audience that’s more likely to spread the word and donate. Smaller influencers are also more cost-effective for your nonprofit.


When reaching out to micro-influencers, include a goodwill gift to start building a relationship. For instance, nonprofit giveaways like a Wine Tumbler, chocolate heart box or a pen and pencil set. Often influencers will happily talk about your brand and the gift they received from you, paving the way for a long-term relationship.


Filter through hashtags

Influencers and organizations use hashtags to help boost exposure and engagement. Searching for certain hashtags is an easy way to identity influencers who already align with your nonprofit’s mission. For example, if you focus on animal rescue, searching for #rescuepet and #adoptdontshop can connect you with influencers passionate about saving animals. Narrow down your options to select the right balance between niche, audience, reach and engagement.


Examine their audience

The main reason your nonprofit will benefit from an influencer partnership is exposure and engagement with their audience. An influencer’s audience looks to them for everything from recommendations to entertainment. An audience that overlaps with your target market is key. Examine their demographics. Do research to find out what brands and organizations they like and follow. Read through comments and see if you notice any themes.


Personalize your message

About 97% of marketers saw an increase in positive business outcomes due to personalization. When reaching out to influencers, keep your message to the point. Be transparent about why you’re contacting them. Talk about the benefits they’ll receive from working with you, such as greater exposure. Talk about how they may relate to your organization and why you reached out to them.

Bonus tip: Influencers often outline how to contact them. They’ll be more likely to pay attention if you carefully follow their guidelines. Send a nonprofit giveaway as well, like an accessory case, desktop phone stand or a cap. They’ll appreciate the thought and care you took in contacting them, helping your brand stand out as a great one to collaborate with.


Influence to the max

With ideas like being clear on your goals and focusing on the influencer’s audience, it’ll be easy to know how to choose influencers for your nonprofit. Good luck!