Budget-friendly marketing ideas for your literacy program

To spread awareness, attract funders and learners, and engage volunteers, you need effective marketing. But as necessary as marketing is to your organization’s success, the funds for it can be hard to come by. Luckily, there are marketing strategies that you can use that won’t cost much – or anything at all. Here are the top three.

1. Get online

With its 24/7 accessibility, the Internet offers an inexpensive, far-reaching marketing opportunity. Create high-quality content on your website, such as blog articles and newsletters that keep readers engaged. The longer they’re on your site, the greater the chance you have of attracting people through search engines, ultimately converting them into clients.

Consider also setting up a Google My Business account. These free profiles are a great way to get your business to show up on local Google searches. Be sure to fill in the profile with as much detail as possible, and ask past clients or supporters to leave reviews. Reviews are extremely important when building trust and credibility with potential clients.

If you aren’t already on social media, now’s the time to join. These free platforms provide an opportunity to extend your organization’s reach without having to write fresh content. Reformat the content you already use on your website into infographics, video clips and other visuals to keep your audience entertained. Learn how to use hashtags properly, tag people and organizations, and regularly engage with your audience.

If you’re in a hurry to grow your social media followers, inexpensive social media ad campaigns provide the answer. Name your budget, the ad campaign timeline, and even the demographics you want to target, and let the platform do the rest. Sometimes, you can even receive free ad promo credits!

Learn more about how to get started with social media marketing by watching our on-demand webinar.

2. Get connected

Solicit free publicity as often as possible. Think of when your organization holds a special event, hits a milestone or wins an award: these are all potential opportunities to involve the media and get some awareness.

Networking in general is key – both online and in-person. Contact your local media and set up a coffee meeting to let them know more about your organization and the impact that you have on the community. Most media outlets are desperately seeking content and are more than happy to promote local initiatives.

In addition to media relations, hosting an informative webinar or complimentary class that’s related to your services is a great way to raise awareness and intrigue potential learners and partners.

3. Get creative

You’re likely advertising on your building, but what about the surrounding area? The sidewalks and surrounding land are potential locations for signs and banners promoting your organization.

Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, there are ways you can physically advertise – for cheap. Purchase some quality vehicle decals or bumper stickers, order custom t-shirts for staff and volunteers, and distribute inexpensive promotional gifts to all volunteers and donors.


Your literacy organization needs strong marketing to attract and maintain support. Even without a large budget, there are plenty of ways you can communicate your message with donors and the community.

For additional support with running literacy programs at your organization, check out our extensive program offerings.