Does Your Nonprofit Understand How to Market Itself?
Nonprofits often complain about how they do splendid work in the community, but no one knows what they do. Additionally, they often have no marketing plan or advertising dollars. In the state of this current economy, the lack of marketing and advertising messages grows louder. When you think about marketing and nonprofits, you need to understand the concept of nonprofit marketing.
Nonprofit marketing refers to strategies and programs that spread the message of the organization. The goal of nonprofit marketing is to promote the organization's causes to secure volunteers, donors and supporters over time. Nonprofit marketing includes activities utilizing direct mail, mobile marketing, content marketing and social media marketing. Nonprofit marketing can be challenging in that its causes are being marketed rather than products and services. On a positive note, nonprofits having a well-defined mission can make your marketing efforts well-received.
Marketing goals will vary, such as promotion of the nonprofit, raising funds, encouraging membership, engaging volunteers and driving social change. Nonprofit marketing also serves a variety of functions, such as creating awareness, promoting a cause, fundraising, encouraging ongoing donations, recruiting and retaining volunteers, and driving political change. Examples of nonprofit marketing include traditional fundraising, consumer charity and message-focused campaigns. Tips for marketing a nonprofit include understanding your audience, having goals, making it personal, segmenting your lists, using current events, and following up with volunteers and donors.
Nonprofit marketing teams must do more with less, according to HubSpot. Most marketing teams are small, and resources are tight. Nonprofits must create a marketing plan by defining marketing goals by educating the communities they serve. They must understand their audiences and target multiple groups, such as constituents, customers, volunteers and donors. Nonprofits need to craft key messages to align with key messages. Create marketing strategies to denote how you will promote your messages. Analyze marketing performance by developing measurable indicators from an array of marketing strategies. Measure elements such as email, events, videos, social media, website, public promotions and content marketing.
Nonprofits use marketing to build awareness of their organization and its mission, as indicated by Indeed. It is important to build an engaged audience over time. You need to understand what marketing types are available to carry your marketing initiatives. General nonprofit marketing campaigns are usually either fundraising or message focused. These campaigns can be separate or in conjunction.
The key is to generate awareness and enhance behavior. Examples of nonprofit marketing include point-of-sale marketing, partnership marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, website marketing, content marketing, SEO marketing, traditional media marketing, and pay-per-click marketing.
Marketing your organization is often just as important as actually doing the work of your organization. Effective marketing can increase funding, raise awareness and enhance relationships with a variety of constituencies. You must have a clear mission for your marketing, consistent messaging and ways to reach different audiences on different platforms is necessary.
Good nonprofit marketing can provide the following benefits.
- Raise mission awareness.
- Increase funds.
- Gain long-term donor support.
- Attract a variety of support from various places.
- Promote services and strengthen brand image.
- Recruit volunteers and show their importance.
- Drive donor membership.
It is vital that you use best practices, such as impact stories and nonprofit storytelling to evoke emotion. Segment your audience, create SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound), use current events, follow up with supporters and track data.
Constantly seek to understand how to best market your organization while knowing you have limited resources. Learn from other nonprofits and obtain best-of-class models. Strive to secure financial resources for marketing and advertising. Obtain partnerships with for-profit businesses for mutual benefit. Create a marketing plan that focuses on the institutional mission. Ask your administration for greater marketing and advertising budgets.
Show the impact of your service model to the community you serve. Establish goals of what you would like to obtain through marketing. Build a multi-year plan. Recruit board members with marketing backgrounds and use their expertise. Constantly analyze your performance. Spread your message and develop activities and programs to make positive results happen. Understand that marketing and advertising is an important piece of your operational program structure. Do not forget to educate your institution internally plus externally.
Does your nonprofit understand how to market itself? If it does, congratulations. If not, start the process of developing an organizational marketing program today.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.