Why Nonprofit Marketing Matters
I bet you’re with me here, and you know exactly what I’m going to say. At least there’s a high certainty of that. But I’ll say it anyway: Here’s some clear, compelling messaging to use in your discussions with
colleagues and/or leadership who just don’t get why marketing matters, and think all fundraising all the time.
Marketing is how your organization builds and strengthens your relationships with the people whose help you need to move your mission forward, as donors, partners, volunteers or in other roles. Without establishing those relationships and then nurturing them on an ongoing basis, your organization will be spinning its wheels. Spinning, spinning, spinning — all action, and no traction.
It’s not all about the money
Fundraising is just one type of relationship — building your ties with current and prospective donors. Yes, it’s a vital relationship, but there’s more. So no, fundraising isn’t more important than marketing, nor does it replace marketing.
Communications is just one component of marketing — getting your content out the door. So no, marketing and communications aren’t interchangeable terms.
If you’re doing fundraising but not marketing, or communications but not marketing, or fundraising and communications but not marketing, you’re losing out on the potential to develop more and stronger relationships. Plus you’re likely to be alienating some of the very folks who are most important to engage, because you’re just not doing the work you need to do to frame what you want in the context of what they want — and that is a major disconnect.
And that’s why nonprofit marketing matters! FS
Nancy Schwartz is president of Nancy Schwartz & Co. and author of the Getting Attention! blog. She also is a member of the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org