How to Market a Not-For-Profit Organisation
Marketing can be quite intimidating and difficult for non-profit organisations, as they may not have the funds that other profit-generating businesses do.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are many ways you can still promote your not-for-profit organisation and get people interested in donating or even volunteering.
This article will teach you some of the best marketing strategies for NFPs (not-for-profits) so you can start attracting more donors and volunteers. First, let’s dive into its importance for your organisation.
Why NFP Marketing Is Important for Your Organisation
Helps Raise Awareness
Not-for-profit organisations, like any other business or company, need to get their mission across multiple individuals and groups to raise awareness. By having a proper marketing plan, not-for-profits can establish the importance of their cause and how others can support it.
Helps Raise Funds
Just as for-profit businesses generate revenue to continue their operations, a not-for-profit organisation generates donations and other forms of revenue to continue its work. There are various ways to generate funds for a not-for-profit, and marketing is one of the most important tools in your arsenal to attract donors. However, donors want to know that their donation is going to a good cause and will be used effectively. This leads to the third importance of NFP marketing below.
Builds Credibility for Your Organisation
When it comes to being able to exist and make an impact, people want to know that your organisation is trustworthy and legitimate. Marketing helps achieve this.
There are a few marketing efforts you can do to make your organisation look more credible to potential donors or supporters. One way is to provide case studies or success stories on your website that show how your organisation has helped people and made a difference in society.
Attracts Volunteers and Partners
Marketing is a powerful tool in the non-profit sector. When done correctly, it can attract funding and volunteerism to a cause. It’s a no-cost way to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and calls for donations.
How to Build Your Marketing Plan and Strategies
The following steps are what you can use when creating a strategic NFP marketing plan.
1. Identify Your Goals and Objectives
Setting goals and objectives provide a detailed overview of what marketing tasks need to be established or completed, in order to achieve the desired outcome. This allows for a more streamlined and focused effort when completing marketing tasks.
This step needs to be done in the very beginning to provide clear direction to all members within your organisation. Without specific goals, it can be difficult to determine what actions need to be taken.
When setting your goals and objectives, take into consideration how your organisation will stand out from the pool of organisations that are similar to yours.
To properly do this, we recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Guide which you can learn more about here.
2. Define Who Your Audience Is
Defining who your audience is, means understanding not only who you want to reach, but also who is likely to be interested in your cause.
It’s also important to understand that you may have multiple audiences that you want to target, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. We’ve listed the most common target audiences:
You’ll want to break down what makes up your audience persona in order to determine how to: market your organisation’s campaigns and construct the appropriate messaging for them.
Take note, other not-for-profits can include more than the ones listed above.
3. Establish Your Marketing Strategies
Step 1: Create Your Key Messages for Your Audiences
Each of your audiences will have a different tone and communication channel. For example, if you are an organisation looking for investors to fund small to medium businesses, then you’ll need to craft a message that is directed towards them, in the marketing channel where they are likely to communicate and engage with organisations like yours.
However, if you are looking for volunteers, then the messaging and platform would be different from that of the investors. We highly encourage you to take some time to think about your key messages.
Step 2: Make a Draft of Your Marketing Activities
We’ve provided a list of marketing efforts that might fit your organisation. Depending on your goals, objectives and the message you want to spread, it would be best to make some changes or adjustments to whichever activity you choose below.
Not-for-profit organisations should have a website, as it provides information about the organization, its services, and how to contact them.
On your website, you can share the stories of who your non-profit has helped, as well as feature individuals and companies who support your cause. This will help show potential donors the impact that their donations can have. You can use your website to connect with new audiences that you may not have otherwise been able to connect with and raise awareness about your organization and its services.
Additionally, you can even feature a blog post to provide more information about your work and how it is helping those in need. Finally, you can also add a resources section that includes links to helpful articles and videos related to your cause.
Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your donors and keep them updated on your latest news and announcements. It’s also a great way to welcome new subscribers and thank donors for their contributions. By sending regular email newsletters, you can keep your donors engaged and informed about your work.
When sending out an email newsletter, it’s important to personalise each message with the recipient’s name. This small touch will make your donors feel appreciated and valued. By adding the recipient’s name, it shows that you took the time to address them specifically, making them more likely to read your email and take action on your requests.
Social Media Marketing
According to Statista.com, over 3.96 billion people are using social media worldwide. With this number in mind, your not-for-profit can take advantage of social media platforms to distribute your message through content that’s informative, educational, inspirational or even entertaining if applicable. Your organisation can also do some outreach to donors, volunteers or even partners.
Whether you’re a charity, public clinic or rescue centre, you have an audience online and it’s an opportunity to build a community for each channel.
Content marketing helps non-profits connect with their target audience. It allows them to share their story and connect with people who might be interested in supporting their cause.
Your non-profit’s content can take many different forms, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, etc. It’s important to create content that is interesting, insightful, engaging, and provides value to the reader.
With content marketing, it’s also important to:
- Be consistent and publish regularly. People might assume that if a non-profit isn’t publishing new content regularly, it might seem as if the organisation does not really care about their mission or the community they serve.
- Think about who your target audience is, what they would be interested in reading or watching.
- Use the hashtags in your non-profit sector
- Consider how long content production takes.
- Always make sure that your content is aligned with your organisation’s mission, goals and branding.
The appeal of video content is that it can be engaging and interesting for your target audience. It also offers the opportunity to show rather than tell.
Essentially, video marketing is an avenue to showcase the stories of how your donors have helped, in an engaging and compelling way. This can help bring awareness to your cause and attract new donors as well as connect with potential donors and volunteers who may be interested in supporting your cause.
By hosting events that attendees can enjoy, non-profits can attract new donors or volunteers while also educating the public about your mission and work. There are many different types of events that your non-profit can organise, from fundraising galas, food festivals, live streaming events to fun runs.
No matter what type of event you choose to host, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, be sure to promote your event widely. Use social media, email marketing, and other methods to get the word out. Next, create a strong event branding strategy. This will help attendees remember your event and associate it with your organisation. And finally, if you’re going to sell event tickets, make sure it’s at a reasonable cost. This ensures that you are attracting not only the right audience of attendees but also raising enough funds to cover your costs.
This is also a great opportunity to collect emails from your attendees to grow your email list.
Hosting Webinars or Live Sessions
Webinars and live sessions are some of the other ways to engage more supporters and donors. They work really well because they reach a large number of people while providing valuable information. Webinars and live sessions create a sense of urgency, increase legitimacy, and show that you’re committed to your cause.
Here are a few tips for hosting a successful webinar or live session:
- Make sure you have a clear goal for the webinar or live session. What do you want people to take away from it?
- Plan ahead. Have everything ready to go before the webinar or session starts.
- Promote the webinar or session well in advance. Let people know what it’s about and why they should attend.
- Keep it interactive. Allow time for people to ask questions and for you to answer them.
- Make sure you have a sign-up sheet for collecting contact information from your audience so that you can add them to your email list and reach out to them after the webinar or session ends.
4. Set Your Budget
When creating a budget, you should finalise the different types of marketing that your organisation would use and how much each activity will cost.
If you plan to use the most popular types of marketing which are content marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and video marketing, consider that each of these activities requires different levels of investment. For example, you might need to hire a professional videographer to create enticing video content for an event. So it’s important to carefully consider what will work best for your organisation.
5. Execute Your Marketing Plan and Track Results
Of course, no marketing plan is perfect and you’ll realise this when you begin to execute it. This is why you need to use marketing analytics tools to track the success of your marketing campaigns. By tracking the results of your campaign, you can adjust your strategy accordingly, to attain the best results. With marketing analytics, you can identify which channels are most effective for your strategy and allocate your resources accordingly.
Not-for-profit marketing is essential for any organisation looking to increase awareness of its cause and attract new donors or volunteers. By applying the above tips and steps, you can effectively utilise a variety of deliverables that would be best for your organisation. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, so it’s best to experiment with a variety of different types.
Are you ready to use these not-for-profit marketing strategies in your organisation? If this sounds like something you would like to start doing, then let’s talk today about what we can do together! Click here