10X3X1 Rule

For those of you who attended the Lone Star Summit and my seminar, Map Your Marketing, this won’t be a big surprise, as we covered the topic of frequency and reach throughout the 90-minute session. However, for those of you who didn’t, here’s the scoop: 10*3*1 = For every 10 people contacted, 3 will respond and 1 will donate or engage.

Often, it is easier to understand a rule like this with an example. So, let’s say you have a goal to raise $10,000. If you’ve got a donor you can rely on for large checks, that’s one thing. But, if you are hoping to get $100 from 100 people, that means you need to contact 100,000 people! How on earth can you be expected to do that? 


With a thoughtful and cohesive approach, the 10*3*1 rule is not only achievable but reasonable. 

First, we need to assess your marketing efforts, let’s look at these three aspects: platforms, audience, budget. 


From where do you plan to connect with your audience? These three are highly recommended.

  1. A website is a critical component of any marketing effort. Not only do you have full control of the content (unlike a Facebook Business Page) but you also get to customize it to perfectly fit your branding and goals.
  2. Social media (Facebook and Instagram in particular) are your best bet at reaching an engaging audience as their demographics ranger from GenZ to Baby Boomers. Remember when you’re posting to social media, be sure to always link back to your website and engage with your audience as much as you post. 
  3. Email campaigns are a modern form of direct marketing (read: postcards and mailers). If you collect email addresses, you absolutely should give the people what they want! Dedicated email campaigns focused on organization updates, events and news.


Just a friendly reminder to always consider the audience when creating a campaign. For example, if you are fundraising for an after-school nonprofit, the audience for your fundraising campaign would consist of: teachers, parents, grandparents, former donors, current donors. Think of specific audience members and create the campaign language for them in particular. 


Our standard for figuring out a budget for a campaign is to start with 2% of your annual operating budget (or 2% or your revenues, if you have a retail operation). Remember, these funds might be allocated to run an online marketing campaign as well as purchase and print t-shirts for the next event. This budget should be used for setting up social media advertising (one of the least expensive yet highly effective ways to advertise online) and getting your creative assets in order so that you’re cohesive across all the platforms (website, social, traditional, etc).

Protip for nonprofits: if you’re struggling to find room in your budget, ask a sponsor or partner to pay for your advertising and marketing efforts. 

Next, let’s get back to your goal to raise $10,000.

Now that you know your platforms, audience, and budget, are known, we can begin to plan the campaign. 

Step 1: You’ll want to make sure your website has a page (and coinciding url) dedicated to the campaign with an empowering CTA (call-to-action) that is a one- or two-clicks to donate button. Any more than two-clicks and you are likely to lose the donation.

Step 2: You’ll want to direct all marketing efforts to that page on your website by including the URL in all outbound marketing efforts. Be sure to add it to your email signature, your Facebook Page, your newsletters and any other public-facing or internal communication. Additionally, if you have the capacity for traditional marketing efforts (local TV or radio, newspaper ads or press releases), make sure it is accurately depicted there as well.

Step 3: Be thoughtful about your asks. Start with those who have donated before and ask them to get the ball rolling with this new campaign. If there is a larger donor in your Rolodex, ask them to be a “featured sponsor” and do a matching campaign within the overall campaign. Once you’ve asked your current and former donors, get the word out via social media, email marketing (newsletters), word of mouth from within your organization and any traditional press you can muster.

Again, for every 10 people that see your donation request, 3 will consider it and look at your website and 1 will make a donation. Don’t be shy and do be consistent and persistent. 

Step 4: Pay to play. You’ll reach far more people using your social media platform when you Boost a post or dedicate funds to develop ads on social media. The results for boosted posts are outrageous in most cases and will get your donation request in front of scores more people than your dedicated followers.

Step 5: Keep your audience engaged and up to date! Highlight every donor on your social feed, keep a running total on your website, encourage others to ask their friends to participate, take every single dollar to heart and thank each person to participates. The more engaged your audience is throughout the campaign, the more likely they are to share it with their friends and Kids Making Piesuddenly, reaching 100,000 people is easy as pie (which, if you’ve ever made a pie from scratch, is not simple but is very rewarding and enjoyable). 

For more information on #nonprofitmarketing and if you’d like to chat about your company or organization, reach out to our team. 

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