Presence Marketing Your Non-Profit on Valentine’s Day: What’s Not to Love? 

Getting attention for your non-profit enterprise and the good work you do is a big, never ending task – so why not mix in some love and fun with your marketing  – and get some love back?  Some ideas from Husky Communications. 

When you think “Valentine’s Day,” your first association is probably not “non-profit marketing.”  But if you run an enterprise like a charity, a civic organization or an academic center, there’s no holiday or time of year that can’t serve as a reason to connect with supporters and donors, and promote your non-profit brand.  You need to find messages and pitches that feel sincere, both to you and to your target audience, while still capturing attention and making your community feel good.  And there’s a plethora of low-cost ways to do that.

Executed with some skill, Valentine’s Day can be an ideal time to deliver a message of appreciation to the people who support your organization and its work.  And if your content feels truly warm-hearted, funny, touching, or all three, don’t be surprised if you see engagement spike.  Here are some examples from around the web.  

Website ad: How can you take the idea behind this brilliant Trust for Public Land display banner and make it your own?  If there are ‘X’  things you love about researching glaucoma or serving homeless community members (or whatever your mission), take this ad idea and customize itincluding a descriptive blog post. 

Social media campaigns: Whatever your organization’s focus, the power of social media to bring people together behind a good endeavor can win you positive attention, engage your supporters, and catch the eye of people who might not encounter you otherwise.  Asking your followers to share this Valentine’s Day campaign for Boston Children’s hospital children is the farthest thing from a hard sell for your brand, but it’s likely to generate good will, and it’s a meaningful way to interact with your audience.  Here’s a simple tweet based on the DCH web page – the goal is to have people retweet, sharing your brand at the same time:

Note that you would want to hashtag, but not too liberally: #BCHValentine, #LoveforBCHkids, and perhaps #YourBrandheartBCH .

Incidentally, here’s Boston Children’s Hospital itself doing the same thing, encouraging the community to run to support it on Facebook.  It’s not keyed specifically to Valentine’s Day, but with a bit of copy recasting, it could be, and it does illustrate how brands can leverage outside good causes to promote themselves and build other positive enterprises:

Another style of Valentine’s Day material centers on appreciation, one of the main themes of the holiday.  Here’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium thanking their donors with this goodie on Facebook:

Same idea, different kind of donation!  This time on Pinterest.  And with the same dual purpose – visibility for the organization, a sincere, loyalty-winning gesture for the people who keep it healthy.

If you want to promote your brand with social media, keep in mind that sites like Facebook or Linkedin reward the posting of videos, moving those higher up in visibility.  So if you can do a decent-quality video expressing gratitude for those who help you, that’s certainly the way to go:

Appreciation doesn’t have to be just about those who support you financially, as the American Red Cross valentine shows.  Volunteers, employees, community members – all deserve appreciation, and doing it where all the world can see is good for your image and the esprit of your enterprise.

So, now that we’ve looked at possibilities for content and approach, we should talk about the channels for delivering these messages.  Any pitch or campaign is an occasion to ask whether you’re doing an effective job deploying your Web, social media, and email resources in ways that get you in front of the people whose attention and support you want.  Husky Communications can do that, and at no charge, but we’ll save our own pitch for the end.  First, here’s a two-bullet-point list of what you should think about on a regular basis.


  • Are the people whose support I want (potential donors, volunteers or customers) young, old, in between? Close or far away, or both?  Why do I want their support?
  • Based on that, are those sorts of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik-tok? Are they more traditional, and therefore more likely to get your marketing message on the web, though Google searches?  Are there ways you can reach new people via email?

We’re here to talk about Valentine’s Day connections with your present and possible supporters, not a sweeping marketing-strategy review.  But if you give just a few minute’s thought to where your people are likely to be, that will help you examine if your modes of connection are up to date and appealing:

  • How’s your Facebook page? Do you update it regularly?  Do you find new posts and pictures to feed your Facebook followers?
  • Same with Twitter, if yours is a tweeting kind of crowd. Are you tweeting about your work, your sphere of endeavor, regularly and compellingly?  Or do you need to remember to tweet more often (or post on Instagram, etc.)
  • If you have an email newsletter, does it go out on a schedule and does it communicate your enthusiasm for your work and your organization?

You get the idea.  All of these channels are marvelous places to talk love – not the romantic kind, but the affection you have for your work and the appreciation you have for your supporters.  And you can win more of those if you find them effectively and engage them appealingly.

Lastly, if you’re left feeling, “Whoa, I know this is important, but I don’t have time or money to do it right,” Husky Communications is ready to assist you.  We do high quality marketing work at no cost – because we’re a non-profit ourselves.

No matter what, have fun with your Valentine’s Day outreach.  And if you could use assistance, click to get more information about us and our work.  We’d LOVE to help!

By students Craig Sandler, Jason Pombo, and Fareeza Amin

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