10 Fall Engagement Tips for Nonprofits Using Mobile Marketing

Kevin D. Hendricks
Published on | 
June 26, 2024
10 Fall Engagement Tips for Nonprofits Using Mobile Marketing

How can your nonprofit engage with donors, volunteers, and supporters this fall? Now’s the time to plan your fall engagement strategy. We’ll explore back-to-school and fall activities that can influence your marketing strategy and help you reach people on mobile.

It’s one thing to tell nonprofit organizations to use text messaging. But what should you text? At Rally, we’re happy to help you find the answer. We’ve got pre-written text messages templates built into our platform and we’ve also shared 42 examples of text messages you can send. Now let’s explore what you can text in the fall.

10 Nonprofit Engagement Ideas for Fall

The changing colors, the shifting seasons, back to school, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. There’s a lot happening in the fall thematically, and it gives you opportunities to reach out and connect. We’ll explore 10 ways you can engage your supporters this fall with different fall-related outreach:

1. Share What Changes Seasonally for Your Nonprofit 

How does your work change in the fall? For educational institutions, this is an obvious one with back to school. For homeless organizations, it might be about preparing for winter. Other organizations might have fall fundraisers or charity races. 

Give people a glimpse at what you do differently in this season.

Text pictures of your preparations and talk about what you do in the fall. Supporters love getting a behind the scenes look and this is an easy way to show timely and engaging content.

2. Offer Back-to-School Education 

It is back-to-school season, so offer your supporters some education. What do they need to know about the work you do? Send them to school with a “course” through text messaging where you share 5-10 facts or tips about your mission. 

Make it school themed with quiz questions, homework activities, or ‘ask the teacher’ opportunities. It’s a chance to educate your donors and help them better understand the work your nonprofit organization is doing.

Bonus: Use prompts or numbered responses with text messaging to create a reply tree and share different information depending on what people are asking.

Example of numbered response to ask a quiz question via text messaging.

3. Embrace the Season 

Lean into fall with autumn themed marketing. Send a photo with fall colors or take a video that captures leaves crunching. Use a fall background or talk about the cooler weather.

It's a small thing, but sometimes communication that captures the season will connect better than old photos that are clearly not current (or worse, stock photos).

By simply acknowledging the current season you’re connecting with people on a human level. You’re showing that you’re not some robot marketer—you’re a flesh and blood human who notices the changing seasons.

And if you’re in a climate that doesn’t have fall—that’s OK. Acknowledge that too.

4. Fall Festival

Nonprofit organizations are super busy—we get it. So we’re not about to suggest you plan an entire fall festival yourself. Instead, find ways to be a part of an existing fall festival in your community. Maybe it’s as simple as sharing the event with your supporters. Or you could host a booth and connect with your community.

It’s important for nonprofits to be part of their community. Especially when you serve local people, you should be involved locally. It really can be as simple as promoting a community fall festival. Not every communication needs to be about you, and sharing that kind of information shows your commitment and dedication to the community.

5. Halloween 

Halloween is a surprise community event where neighbors go door to door and actually talk to each other. There’s a lot of goodwill around fun costumes and free candy. That’s an opportunity for your nonprofit organization.

Look for ways to work Halloween into your messaging:

  • Jack-o-lantern: Maybe it’s carving a pumpkin with your nonprofit logo. Share the in-process photos and then reveal the finished product.
  • Costumes: Hold a text message costume contest among your volunteers. Ask them to send in a photo of their costume and share the best ones on social media. If you do peer fundraising with volunteers raising money through a fun run or polar plunge, encourage them to do a costume related to their event and post a photo online with a link to their donation page.
  • Trick or treat: The house that gives away toothbrushes is likely to get egged, but is there a treat you could offer that connects to your mission? It could even be a stretch, like a conservation organization that gives away gummy bears. Have your founder or CEO do it and text a photo to your supporters. 

6. Volunteer Appreciation

It’s always important to thank your volunteers and show appreciation, no matter the season. But fall is a good time, especially as we approach Thanksgiving and the end of the year. 

Highlight the work your volunteers do and share it with your wider community of donors and supporters. Send specific text messages to your volunteers showcasing how their work helps further your mission. Let them know how valuable they are and trumpet their accomplishments.

7. Food Drive

We love nonprofits, and it's super fun to see nonprofits working together and supporting one another. So leading up to Thanksgiving, find a local nonprofit that’s doing a food drive and find out how you can help. 

  • Share details about their food drive and how your supporters can help.
  • If there are ways to volunteer, take your team and help out. Text photos to your supporters sharing what your team is doing.
  • Of course it helps if there’s a connection to your mission, no matter how tenuous. Maybe some of the people you serve rely on food banks. But even if there’s not a direct connection, you’re both nonprofits serving your community. Emphasize that passion for helping people. 

8. College Students

Another way to connect with people is the many students heading to college this fall. There are a lot of students moving to new cities and parents finding a suddenly empty house. Share memes that reference college life or moving in. If your nonprofit is in a college town and locally focused, it’s a perfect time to welcome new students to town and offer tips and insights about your community.

9. Flashback to School

Not everyone goes back to school in the fall, but you could do a flashback to school campaign to tap into memories of school. Launch a campaign that encourages people to reflect on their time in school. Share old yearbook photos of your team, ask about favorite school memories, and tie it all to your mission.

Example text message using yearbook photos.

10. Say Thank You

Gratitude is a big part of Thanksgiving, but make sure you’re not just giving it lip service for one week in November. You should have an automatic campaign to say thank you to donors. But you should also thank them at random times throughout the year. It’s hard to overdo gratitude. 

Leading up to the fall is a good opportunity to put together a more involved and heartfelt thank you. Shoot video of staff and volunteers saying thank you. Ask your CEO or founder to share a quick video saying thanks. These don’t have to be lengthy videos with huge production values. Just use a cell phone and capture casual video. Learn more about nonprofit thank you videos.

Tip: You can share those videos with Rally.so—no commercials, no distractions.

SMS Marketing for Nonprofits

With Rally, we’re here to help you get results:

  • Tools: We offer integrations with your preferred fundraising platform, CRM, donation form, and more. Our functionality and workflows can boost donor engagement, encourage peer fundraising, increase recurring donations, and in general make your mobile fundraising more effective.
  • Support: We care about customer experience. We’ve got multiple options for help from FAQs to webinars. Plus, we’re happy to get on a phone call and talk through any issues. Read our case studies to see how nonprofits rave about our support and user-friendly system.
  • Not sure: If you’re still not sure, we’re happy to show you a demo, walk through strategy, and talk pricing options. We can also help you get your nonprofit leadership on board.

Get started: Check out a demo to learn more about Rally and start texting now.

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