10 best ways as an NGO to get more traffic into your fundraising app

May 1, 2023

Are you considering getting your non-profit organisation its own fundraising app or are already using one, but are still unsure how to get traffic into it, so you can build a strong base of recurring donors and increase your online income? Here are 10 ways how to get more traffic into your mobile application:

  1. Paid advertisement
  2. Social media annoucement
  3. Newsletter update
  4. Promote it on your website
  5. Ask partners to share
  6. Use QR code on print materials
  7. Propose options for F2F fundraisers
  8. Use organic App Store traffic
  9. Use Billboards
  10. Fundraising event

1. Paid advertisement

You don't have access to the same fundraising budgets as international organisations like UNICEF or SOS children's villages? Don't worry, you don't have to. A paid advertisement campaign focused on app downloads is easy to set up and can give you incredible results, even with lower budgets.

According to Kenshoo, the rate of people clicking on ads for mobile apps goes up 32% every year, while the marketing costs for each click decrease by 33% every year.

Setting up a small marketing campaign on social media will lead to more discoverability and gets more people to join your app. Because of their broad audiences and ability to segment, Facebook and Instagram are very effective advertisement platforms for mobile apps, while making it quite simple to set up.

How to set up a paid advertisement campaign

social media ads
  1. Setup up Social media accounts for your NGO
    - To promote your app on Facebook and Instagram (the 2 biggest social platforms), you need a personal Facebook account and a social media account for your NGO.
  2. Set up a Facebook business account for your NGO. Here is an amazing video explaining how.
  3. Create text, images, and graphics
    - To get the user's attention on social media, you'll need eye-catching visuals compared with good copy. Here is a great article explaining how to create desirable creatives for your NGO.
  4. Set up the campaign
    - The last step before launching is to set up the campaign structure inside the Facebook ads manager. If you want to learn how to set up a campaign structure perfectly fitted to drive app downloads, feel free to get in contact with us here.
  5. Launch, test, iterate
    - Once your advertisement is live, don't leave it behind. There are plenty of ways you can improve promotions, you just have to see what works for your app and what doesn't. So after a week of a running campaign, go back to the Facebook ad manager and see how effective your campaign is and check what you can improve on. The Facebook algorithm will learn how your specific ad sets can get the best results for you.

2. Social media announcement

Paid ads are nice, but you don't have to promote to strangers of your organisation to get more traffic, you can use your already existing social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. It doesn't matter if you have 200 or 200.000 followers, as long as you give them a clear announcement on why they should download the app. 

Create powerful visuals, alongside convincing texts and announce that your app is finally live. Here is an example of how you could do that:

app promotion on social media

3. Newsletter update

Another promising channel is your website newsletter: People who are already interested in your doings as a charity organisation and willing to find out even more about their donation impact.
Preparing a newsletter announcement can follow the same framework as your social media postings, as long as you know who exactly is receiving this newsletter and how to convince them to donate through your new app. Here is an example:

Newsletter update from tearfund

4. Promote it on your website

Using your website as a channel for promotion might sound counter-intuitive at first thought because you will lose traffic there.
On the flip side, you guide your visitors to a place where you can achieve way higher one-off donations, and the focus is directed toward getting long-time donors, which will give you a better, more stable cash flow for your projects.

How can you promote it on your website?

Option 1: Create a landing page and link it somewhere on your main page.

red cross donation app
This is the landing page from the Austrian Red Cross

Option 2: Put a "Donate with our app" button next to the usual donation button.

red noses donation page
You can link your app next to the normal donation button to direct users to a better donation experience. Red Noses International.

5. Ask partners to share

Depending on your organisational structure, you might have the opportunity to invite other partner organisations to your app promotion. They also have channels you can use to get more exposure and more traffic to the app.
Note: Make it as easy as possible for your partners to promote it. This means preparing a ready-made content piece is key, while also making sure they have enough time to communicate your message to their team and followers.

6. Use a QR code on print materials

Mailings are still one of the most used ways to fundraise. One of the easiest ways to direct mailing receivers into your app is a QR code of the link to your app inside the app store. Here is an example of what this could look like:

Give the ability to download the app with a QR code

7. Propose options for Face-2-Face fundraisers

Your F2F fundraisers are your vocal and visual channel on the streets, but getting younger people to take their time and fill out a form can be difficult sometimes. So why not suit your fundraisers up and add a QR code or a link to your app to their repertoire. 

In 2021, we promoted a campaign for the Caritas Schlupfhaus in Austria, using QR codes to donate. We managed to get enough funds for 2 new beds in their youth shelter.

8. Use organic app store traffic

Like you look for the best coffee shop in your hometown on Google, people look for new apps in the App Store. Making sure your app ranks for certain keywords is a good way to get organic traffic from the App Store, especially when the density of donation apps in your country is limited.

Organic app traffic without any promotions inside the Apple App Store.

9. Use billboards

You don't have to use digital advertisements, just because you want to promote a digital tool. Billboards, placed at the perfect location in a city, can give you a lot of exposure and will drive high amounts of traffic into your mobile app (and you can save on your online budget).

An example of a billboard presenting the app

10. Fundraising events

With a well-organised fundraising event, you can not only get traffic from the participants but also invite the press to talk about your amazing innovation. Remember: Your organisation is one of the first to use an app to connect with its donors, so you are more than welcome to treat it like a big innovation inside the world of charities.

To sum up

Your decision to use a fundraising app was brilliant anyway, as it helps you bind your donors to your organisation and gives you access to younger audiences, which are usually pretty hard to discover. With the right ideas, you can get an incredible amount of traffic into your own app, and you don't even have to spend your digital budget on it.

The real challenge is to find out how you can mix those channels to set up a campaign that suits your needs perfectly. Do you want to get some ideas on how to plan the perfect campaign? Here is the perfect lecture for you.

About the Author
Nik Zechner

Niklas loves simplicity and design. As a founder of Felloz he takes on design and marketing challenges and shares them with the community.

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