10 Ideas for Raising Awareness on a Budget

Are you being asked by your boss or board of directors to:

  • Raise awareness?
  • Do some public outreach?
  • Get some media attention?
  • Get some word of mouth going?
  • Go viral?

If you are completely flummoxed about how to do any of that, especially with limited or no real resources, we have some tips to help you!

We hosted a webinar sharing different ways to raise awareness, then polled the participants on their favorites. Here is what they picked (hopefully some of these could for you too!):

1. Host Educational Events. 

Invite people to attend an event where they can learn something really useful for their own lives, while also learning about your issues.

2. Host Social Events. 

Make the reason to get together fun and social, and then tack on some information about your cause.

3. Organize a Service Project. 

Allow groups (e.g., service clubs, employees at a company, etc.) to volunteer together in some way related to your work, perhaps on a special volunteer day.

4. Newsjack.  

Tack your story on to an existing news story. By providing reporters with a story they can use to update breaking news on the following day, your story becomes the second paragraph of the story on the second day.

5. Be the Helpful Friend.  

Share helpful tips in friendly way, such as how-to articles and checklists.

6. Distribute Brochures or Inserts. 

Where are people most naturally triggered to think about your issues? Put brochures, inserts, or other “leave behind” materials in those places.

7. Be the Trusted Expert.  

Publish research, case studies, or trends data that positions you as a trusted expert on your issues.

8. Share Your Gratitude.  

Bring attention to and share your gratitude for others who are doing good work on your issue.

9. Distribute Wallet Cards, Magnets, Stickers, etc. 

If you want people to keep a reminder handy, make it small enough to fit in a wallet or attractive enough for a refrigerator or metal door.

10. Empower and Connect Others.  

Bring together people who have a common interest and facilitate their sharing and networking, so they know they are not alone.

Have you tried any of these tactics to raise awareness? What worked for you?


Kivi Leroux Miller is the founder and CEO of Nonprofit Marketing Guide. She has personally mentored more than 150 nonprofit communications directors and communications teams as a certified executive coach. She is the award-winning author of three books, as well as a popular blog, and a popular keynote, workshop, and webinar presenter, speaking dozens of times each year. She is also the co-founder of Bold & Bright Media.

John Haydon