Use Public Service Announcements to Market Your Nonprofit

By QuickBooks Canada Team

2 min read

What Is a Public Service Announcement?
A PSA is a short advertisement that airs on television or radio, and all content is provided by a nonprofit organization. These spots are typically 15 to 60 seconds long. At the end, the viewers are given contact information and encouraged to call a phone number or visit a website.

What Organizations Qualify for PSA Messaging?
Any Canadian organization officially registered as a charity with the proper governing authorities is eligible to make PSAs. If your organization already accepts donations, producing a PSA is an extension of your existing fundraising methods.

Establish Credibility
A PSA can put your organization in a good light and give it a professional appearance. Advertising messages typically require several airings before a message resonates with the public. As your organization’s PSA airs more often, it will reach your target audience more effectively. Repeated airings give the public a chance to become familiar with your organization, and you gain enormous credibility.

Raise Awareness for Your Cause
Because you have complete control over how your message is presented to the public, your PSA can have a major impact on shaping how the public views the issues that concern your organization. Make your PSA memorable by using strong images and snappy dialogue. The best PSAs captivate viewers from beginning to end.

Increase Donations
A great reason to add PSAs to your marketing efforts is to increase the amount of donations. Your PSA can reach a wide audience, and those on-the-spot donations that your PSA inspires can greatly expand your donor mailing list. Imagine all the funds flowing into your charity with constant airings in different markets.

Communicate Your Message to a Broad Audience
Getting your message right is the most important part of creating your PSA. Get the process started by focusing on the people who are most likely to respond to your cause. Ideally, you want to tailor the message to appeal directly to those people. The messaging should be short and simple. You want the audience to absorb the message and then respond to a call to action.

For example, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada has a PSA depicting colorful fast-moving heart rate monitor graphics. Suddenly, the heart rate flatlines, and the visuals perfectly match the urgent message about cancer survival rates. Grabbing viewer attention right away is essential if you want potential donors to listen to your message. The ad ends with a verbal call to action to encourage immediate response. Follow these simple techniques to make your PSA a winner.

Celebrities Can Boost Appeal
If your organization already works with celebrities, they may be willing to appear in your PSA if they believe strongly in the organization’s mission. You can also reach out to celebrities who support similar causes, and ask if they’d like to help you out by doing a quick PSA. Celebrity participation can greatly boost interest and cause your PSA to go viral.

Producing and distributing well-produced public service announcements can be one of your best methods to raise awareness, raise money, and spread the word about your nonprofit and its mission.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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